Iconic woodland pasture trees featured in Kentucky Museum exhibit
- Author: Kentucky Museum
- Author: Thursday, August 30th, 2018
The Kentucky Museum is hosting Salient Features: Trees of Old Forests and Woodland Pastures through December 1. As part of this fall’s exhibit offerings from the museum, this special exhibit focuses on celebrating the living world around us through the eyes of Kentucky-based artist Charles Brindley. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 7.
“Charles Brindley’s work remains primarily focused on his home area, the natural karstland between the Nashville Basin and Kentucky’s Bluegrass. Already well-known for his environmental and architectural renderings, this exhibit is the first to highlight his love of and fascination with the woodland pasture tree, an iconic symbol of the Upland South,” Kentucky Museum Director Brent Bjorkman said. “Charles’ focus on the region’s pasture trees is a testament to his evolving grand work, his dedication to detail, and the pride he feels -- that many of us feel -- being connected to the distinctive landscape of southcentral Kentucky.”
“I have always been drawn to the karst landscape,” Brindley said. “Those areas that are defined by rich top soil underlain by limestone that yield beautiful and dramatic characteristic land forms that include alluvial plains and fertile fields along rivers and streams, gentle declivities, fissures, caves, sinkholes and copses.”
Brindley’s interest in woodland pasture trees began in earnest in the mid-1980s, when he started working directly on-site, creating large scale drawings of these majestic wonders. Since then, the artist has produced over 500 tree drawings and paintings, many of which are featured in the exhibit. Brindley is well-known for his artistic interpretations of such wonders as the Great Bur Oak of Pembroke, the Ancient Osage Orange of Harrodsburg, and one of the largest Sassafras trees in the world, located in Owensboro. Tying in local campus culture, the exhibit will also feature a “work-in-progress” by Brindley of a prized oak tree adjacent to Cherry Hall.
Since 1939, the Kentucky Museum on the WKU campus has worked to celebrate and share with its visitors all aspects of the art, history, and culture emblematic of the southcentral region of the Commonwealth, including expressions related to the local environment. “Kentuckians need to know Kentucky” was the museum’s earliest conceptual framework, which took shape in the eyes of WKU’s founding president Henry Hardin Cherry. Nearly 80 years later the Kentucky Museum remains a steadfast educational campus partner helping to inspire innovation, elevate community, and transform the lives of our students and the community.
The Salient Features exhibit joins two other environmentally-focused offerings being presented at the Kentucky Museum this fall. The exhibit, The Essential Tree, pulls from tree-related paintings, documents and artifacts from the collection of both the Kentucky Museum and its on-campus partner the Department of Library Special Collections. In October, the Kentucky Museum will partner with WKU’s Cultural Enhancement Series to host award-winning artist Patrick Dougherty who will create one of his celebrated large scale outdoor sculptures made from intertwined tree saplings. This artwork will be installed on the front lawn of the Kentucky Museum. We invite you to visit the site anytime during construction or to help to build it.
For information on Charles Brindley’s exhibit and upcoming exhibits and programs, visit the Kentucky Museum’s website at https://www.wku.edu/kentuckymuseum/
Contact: Brent Bjorkman, (270) 745-6261