A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First Team Kentucky Gallery exhibit unveiled at Capitol; first rotation in place through Dec. 31

Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear recently unveiled the first exhibit in the Team Kentucky Gallery. The Beshears noted that the Capitol – “the people’s house” – is the best place to showcase the artistic talents of Kentuckians and to provide a voice for them as represented through art.

“Now that the crisis of the pandemic is behind us and Kentuckians are able to visit the Capitol, we want to make sure they see their stories and communities represented,” said Gov. Beshear. “We want them to be reminded of all the reasons Kentucky is so special, and this art exhibit – by Kentuckians and for Kentuckians – does just that.”

The selected artworks will remain on display for a six-month rotation in the Capitol and on the Team Kentucky Digital Art Gallery. The first rotation opened July 1 and runs until Dec. 31.

“I have seen firsthand the transformative power of art to help young people reflect and heal from trauma,” said Mrs. Beshear. “As a mom, I know how important it is for us to provide our kids with time for them to be creative. And, as a Kentuckian, I’ve been so impressed by the extraordinary artists we have in every region of our state. This exhibit highlights just some of that talent, and it provides such joy after a really tough year.”

Mrs. Beshear has long supported Kentucky artists. She created the Hope Gallery when Gov. Beshear served as attorney general, which gave voice to Kentucky children facing adversities and promoted art therapy programs.

Kentucky’s arts and humanities industry has a significant impact on the state’s economy. Generating more than $2.3 billion annually in economic impact, this industry plays a critical role in enhancing Kentucky culture, education and tourism.

The Beshear administration investing in the industry as part of Team Kentucky’s initiative to build a better Kentucky through tourism development and travel spending. In 2020, Gov. Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry announced an award of more than $450,000 to provide COVID-19 prevention, preparedness and response assistance to non-profit arts organizations throughout the commonwealth as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Through the Kentucky Arts Council, 93 Kentucky arts organizations received critical funding support to help stabilize arts organizations and provide assistance to protect employees from long-term unemployment.

An additional $1.1 million was awarded to 95 arts organizations to provide unrestricted operating support to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to Kentuckians through the Kentucky Arts Partnership program. This critical funding is anticipated to generate more than $84.1 million in revenue for Kentucky’s economy.

To learn more about the Kentucky State Capitol building, visit capitol.ky.gov. The site includes visitor information, Capitol building facts and a historical overview.

To learn more about the Kentucky Arts Council and to find ways to support Kentucky artists, visit artscouncil.ky.gov.

Governor’s Office

Note: The featured photo is a the painting “Fancy Farm – August Tradition” by Fred Biggs of Mayfield

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