Several weeks ago now there was an editorial of sorts in Ace Weekly that ran something like all culture and art in Lexington is basically unsupported and considered second string to art that featured our equine friends. The article was written in particularly reference to the then current court dates and hearings that were happening in reference to the demolition certain downtown properties to make room for the new Center Point Hotel complex. It seemed to suggest that there is a move by the elite upper echelons of Lexington to crush out all creativity and expression of culture if it did center around the horse. Further, there was an overtone that seemed to suggest that if you like horse art, you were stuck on yourself and could not appreciate art forms and culture that were otherwise available in the town.
I have to admit at the time I was more than a little riled up about the notion that they were suggesting and putt the article somewhere safe so I could reference back to it to give my own two cents worth about the subject here on my blog. I guess I put it somewhere really safe, as I can not seem to locate the copy at all. However, I will start from the stand point that I miss the likes of The Dame already. I have enjoyed the Thursday Night Life sessions this summer, having missed only a few. But I agree, that it is just not the same level of variety that The Dame had to offer. However I will then have to stop and say, “WHOA!”
After all, I own horses myself. I have more than a few prints that are put away (yeah, they need to have frames and mating and such and actually be displayed) that feature horse pictures, some of which are particularly to the bluegrass area and some not. There are further several sketches and paintings that have horse subject, not to mention, at least a few that featured yours truly in medieval ‘garb’ on horseback.
Stage whispered aside to my friends that are historical reenactors: How about this for the ultimate in farby – back when I first started doing medieval stuff, I was riding in a western saddle, complete with a big horn, like what is used for roping. An artistic young lad took some great looking pictures of me in long tunics, on a horse that fit the part, in his own trappings. Using the pictures he painted great looking views and right there in the middle of what looks like a great picture of medieval knight on his trusty horse, there is a freaking western roping horn. So you know how sometimes someone catching you with a cell phone, soda pop, or modern cigarette in a photo, I have my ‘farbiness’ captured in oil on canvas.
What a tangent that was. My point here is this though. Not everyone is going to appreciate the horse in artistic forms and that is fine. I myself have a hard time appreciated a lot of modern art where I am left to wondering why something a first grader could have done is considered to be something awesome and worthy of celebration, not to mention high dollar prices. However, that doesn’t mean that there is not room for all of those different things. Now, I have not mentioned the publication and maybe I am being a bit hard on them. However, I do not thing there was some grand conspiracy of the horse owning and loving public of Lexington and the surrounding area that led to the demise of the cultural area in Lexington. I think when the new magazine in question has such comments in their pages that suggest that is the case, they are leading down a slippery slope themselves.
Fact is this, there are lots of artistic venues in and around Lexington that are not centered or even focused in much direction at all on the equine in art. Granted, with the some of the things that are gone, like The Dame, maybe the music scene is suffering a bit in the short-term. I do think it will rebound eventually and perhaps it will be a bit more spread out, but I can honestly say that I have probably been made more aware and attended more musical events since the demise of The Dame then I did when it was around, especially if you measure that over the last few years. I will also point out that the folks that are likely to find appeal in the musical taste of that which was offered by the dam, with a few exceptions, such as myself, do not often overlap the crowd that will appreciate a fine artistic picture of a horse breathing with vapors captured on a crisp fall morning.
I do feel like I have to give a word or two to the other side. About this same time, there was a lot of things being said in some other publications around town. The basics of some of those articles were that places like The Dame were a dime a dozen and they really only attracted the college age crowd. Well, I can certainly say that was big wrong on that score. I can’t say I was a regular, but I can say I spent more time in The Dame after getting out college then I ever did when I was attending. Further I can say that as a thirty-seven year old quasi-professional (remember, I am Gen-X, so a slacker at heart) I was still enjoying music there on occasion last year. I regularly ran into other Gen-X while there, who were also probably slacking from some professional type of position at the time – or at least just getting away from it all for an evening. I even on occasion <GASP> ran into some older baby-boomer types down there enjoying the music on occasion.
Well, enough of a rant that is really going no where, really outdated, and certainly not going to change anything at this point. However, look for photo essay of the demolition coming soon to this blog space…