Well, Howdy Neighbors.

Rich Copley of the Lexington-Herald Leader stopped by this week to chat about pARTy, but the news of 21C coming to town was so exciting, we just couldn’t resist chatting with our fellow art lover about it, especially since 21C is going to be our neighbor once we complete our expansion.

Here’s an excerpt from Rich’s fantastic article:

For more than a year, members of the Lexington Art Leaguehave been excited about the prospect of a establishing a downtown venue in addition to its home base in Loudoun House, on the east end of Lexington.

That excitement spiked last week, when Art League ­leaders found out who their new ­neighbors are likely to be.

The Art League recently made public its plans to take over the third floor in the McAdams and ­Morford Building on the west corner of Main and Upper streets, ­cater­corner from the old First National ­Building. On Tuesday, the league and everyone else learned that the First ­National Building will be converted into a 21c ­Museum Hotel. That effectively will create a contemporary art intersection in downtown Lexington, which currently does not have a major non-­commercial visual arts venue.

Art League executive ­director Stephanie Harris says the decision to move into downtown was part of a five-year strategic plan whose final objective was “to establish a ­contemporary venue in the heart of ­downtown Lexington.

A year and a half ago, Harris says, the Art League got to work on that objective and settled on the McAdams and Morford building.

“The fact that 21c is now going to be joining the downtown community really does change the dialogue completely,” Harris says. “It will be a huge catalyst for change of the cultural ­climate in our community, and I think it is exactly the thing our community has needed to take it to the next level.”

We’ll be able to answer any questions about the new space and our Capital Campaign to fund the expansion at pARTy, which happens next Friday from 5-10 at the Cheapside Park Pavilion, so if you’ve got them, bring them.

And, because we really just cannot contain the excitement, here’s a preliminary sneak peek of the new space.

Image

Architectural Rendering of LAL's downtown contemporary art space. By Jere Sullivan.

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