A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Catalytic Fund, NKY Chamber Bourbon Barrel Walk celebrates the people, places and passions of region

The Catalytic Fund

This week, 100 custom-painted bourbon barrels were placed along a walking route in Northern Kentucky as a public art project that celebrates the people, places and passions of our region.

The self-guided tour can be accessed either by scanning the QR code on top of all the 2022 barrels or by going to www.NKYBourbonBarrels.com.

Dye Brothers barrel in front of their office in Newport

The Covington, Newport and Bellevue routes take walkers through the entertainment districts, as the barrels connect interesting bars, restaurants and businesses in the river cities. Fort Mitchell and Florence also have barrels on the Walk.

The Catalytic Fund and the NKY Chamber of Commerce led the initiative, matching 83 sponsors with 69 artists to create the barrels. Organizer Jill Morenz said, “These barrels showcase not only the incredible talent in our region, but also the strong support from local businesses for the arts in our community.”

Brent Cooper, president of the NKY Chamber of Commerce, explains the thinking behind the project. “The Northern Kentucky riverfront is, for many, the entry point to our great region. Given our rich bourbon history, the barrel walk is a perfect way to greet and acquaint visitors to the NKY Metro so they can experience all the wonderful things our river cities have to offer,” he said. 

The barrels were unveiled at a private party for sponsors and artists last week at Newport on the Levee. This event was followed by a public preview, called Roll Out the Barrels, which included a ribbon cutting to kick off the Walk.

The barrels remained at Newport on the Levee until the weekend, when they were placed along the route. They will remain on display through August of 2023.

Free guided walks

This Saturday July 30, Morenz is leading four free, guided art walks to showcase many of the barrels along the Covington route. The 9 am and 3 pm tours will focus on the Downtown and Roebling Point barrels and the 11 am and 7 pm tours will include the Downtown and MainStrasse barrels. Visitors and residents can register for these free walks at www.eventbrite.com.

The NKY Bourbon Barrel Walk route, complete with photos, sponsor and artist information and more, can be found at www.NKYBourbonBarrels.com.

(All photo provided by The Catalytic Fund)

Barrels on dispaly at the barrel walk party

Barrels before going on display

Barrel by Anne-Marie Herrera for Jeanne Schroer and Michael Dinn

Barrel by Diana Murphy for Revival Vintage Bottle Shop

Barrel by Keri Shinault for Assured Partners

Jim Dies painting Rotolo’s barrel

Linda Bittner painting Stock Yard Bank’s barrel

Edward Lopez painting Champlin Architecture’s barrel

Related Posts

Leave a Comment