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Downing Museum
P.O. Box 1
4801 Morgantown Road
Bowling Green, KY 42102


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The Story of Joe Downing: Select Works From the Collection

doorsoflife             detail

Left: Les Portes de la Vie/The Doors of Life (detail), ca. 1992-1992
Right: L'Eveil/The Awakening (detail), 1974

Selections from the museum's collection as well as private collections will give visitors a glimpse into the celebrated career of an internationally renowned artist from Horse Cave, Kentucky. Objects on exhibit represent a lifetime of creative work by Joseph Dudley Downing; a visual journey spanning from his humble beginnings in Horse Cave, Kentucky to his international recognition as an contemporary visual artist. Visitors will learn about the life of Joe Downing as well as the history of the Downing Museum and Baker Arboretum. 

This is a permanent exhibit open year-round.

Be sure to check out the Joe Downing section in Instruments of American Excellence at the Kentucky Museum. Click HERE for more information. 




The Jack Lunt Show, originally a collaboration between Southcentral Kentucky philanthropist Jerry E. Baker and the Capitol Arts Alliance, has become the Downing Museum’s annual regional art show. Artists submitting to this exhibition must live within a one hundred and fifty mile radius of Bowling Green, Kentucky and are allowed to enter one two- or three-dimensional piece of art. This year, we opened the exhibition to installation and performance art in an attempt to fully represent the visual arts in our region. Looking through the galleries, you will find everything from paintings to screen prints and ceramics to glass. With such a diverse range of artistic media represented from individuals of all backgrounds, the artwork in this exhibition is guaranteed to awe, excite, and inspire. We extend our utmost thanks to all artists that have participated in the exhibition process and congratulations to those juried into the show and even bigger congratulations to our winners!

This year’s exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Jerry E. Baker.

Jack LeSieur
Downing Museum Director


Best of Show
Sponsored by Sarah & Harvey Johnston,
In Memory of Joe Downing
Eleanor Davidson
, 2017
oil on canvas


1st Place
Sponsored by the Jerry E. Baker Foundation
McKenna Vierstra
Godless Animals, 2017
screen print


2nd Place
Sponsored by Bob & Laura Hilliard
Kathryn Moore
Breaking the Stigma, 2017
etching in intaglio


3rd Place
Sponsored by Ann Ferrell & Brent Björkman
Marilee Salvator 
Growth, 2012-2017
etching, screen print, archival pigment


Honorable Mention
Nancy Green-Smith
End of the Line, 2015
digital photography


Honorable Mention
Donna Schulte
Sudan, 2017
pit-fired clay 

Honorable Mention
Tiffany Oliver
Numinous View, 2014 
oil on canvas


Juror Statement

It was an honor to jury the Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition this year. There was an impressive range of work representing a talented pool of artist who have mastered their craft. The figure was employed in a variety of ways including as protagonist, icon, avatar, power symbol, portrait and occupier of nature. Breaking the Stigma is a striking piece that is confrontational yet showcases the power of vulnerability. It has a refreshing sincerity, and great craftsmanship with its bold graphic lines and facial details. It is an invitation to be true to ones feelings. Somatic is an ambition figure work pulling from both art historical and contemporary contexts. Like the Dutch Vanitas we have a reference to the fleeting nature of life. I applaud the details of fruit and hands.

The landscape is also widely represented in many fashions including as a dreamscape, serene place of meditation, expansive wilderness, spiritual and sentimental backdrop, each artist making it their own. The photograph End of the line takes the everyday and finds the extraordinary in a faded and chipping vehicle put out to pasture. It shows the soft gentle way nature and time reclaim all. Sudan, a ceramic vessel has a sweet countenance but is a cautionary object. It has an understated esthetic and a quite elegance. Numinous View has a wonderful painterly application, and glowing light showing the vigor and vitality of nature.  

Narrative is an important element in a number of art works. We see allegory alive in well as a form of storytelling. Godless Animals has a playful, yet edgy feeling. The animals are playing the parts of mascots, power symbols, warring factions. The animals feel very present as if they know their part in the story.

What I found to be most outstanding was the range and variety of use of materials, each artist maximizing the potential and individual strengths and characteristics of the materials used and subject matter represented. The visual elegance of science is a recurring theme. In the piece Growth, a harmonious constellation of parts working together, shows the beauty in the mystery.  This piece is a visual treasure trove of form, pattern, rhythm and texture. It makes one feel like every part of our world was meant to be looked at and unraveled, even the smallest of parts.

Anne Wedler

Full exhibition catalog available Nov 21, 2017.




Art of the Macabre

Print Mafia Retrospective

Kim Jones: Grid Series, July 18 - August 19, 2017

David Stratton: Gesture & Landscape, May 30 - June 28, 2017

Kristina Arnold: Liminal, April 4 - May 13, 2017

2017 WKU Student Installation Art

Arctic Residues - Sightings by Yvonne Petkus, January 31 - March 18, 2017

24th Annual Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition, November 13 - December 17, 2016

Michael Nichols: Refresh, September 20 - October 29

Kathryn Waters: At Home and Abroad, July 26 - September 1, 2016

Gabriel Mo: Relics of Cairn B, May 31 - July 9, 2016

23rd Annual Jack Lunt Memorial Juried Art Exhibition




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 Last Modified 11/19/17