Louisville’s art scene is about to undergo an overnight transformation.
Land of Tomorrow Louisville will host an opening reception, the debut of Louisville’s newest and largest private art gallery – all 18,000 square feet of it.
That’s almost a half-acre under roof, the largest gallery space short of the Speed Art Museum.
LOT Louisville is going into space at 233 E.Broadway that previously housed parts of St. Francis High School and the downtown YMCA before that.
If you haven’t heard anything about this or heard of Land of Tomorrow, you’re not a alone – this is an out-of-nowhere turn of events that I can’t even begin to explain at this late hour (I’m writing this way after I’ve passed my peak period of performance ) or with the facts at hand.
But here’s the 9-line brief, as they say in the Army.
LOT started as “an experiment” 18 months ago in Lexington, Ky., a, said Bart van Dissel, who is one of three partners in the project with Drura Parris and Rives Rash. Van Dissel, Parris and Rash make up PR&vD LLC, the company that created the Land of Tomorrow concept.
The group opened the LOT gallery in an old warehouse in Lexington. For the first show, six people showed up, Parris said. “Our goal was, ‘Can we get 1,000 people to show up (for a show), and we did,” van Dissel said of LOT Lexington’s latest show last May.
Van Dissel is a former Harvard University biz school professor who worked at McKenzie & Co., the fabled Manhattan-based global management consulting firm before becoming an angel investor/venture capital guy. Or something like that.
Parrish and Rash are faculty members at the University of Kentucky’s College of Design.
Somehow, in an art world where many aspire to play, but few escape the financial gravity of the starving artist., PR&vD – which is a 501c3 non-profit – has figured out a way to make art cash-flow positive.
In Louisville, they have the advantage of owning the space because van Dissel’s wife, Holly van Dissel, is a partner in AU Associates Inc., a Lexington-based firm specializing in converting old buildings into senior living facilities.
More on that later.
Tomorrow, LOT Louisville will open with shows that feature Louisville’s top names including Stephen Irwin, Sarah Lyons and Chris Radtke.
That’s in one gallery.
In a second gallery, Lexington-based artist/architect Mike McKay will have a solo show that includes an complex installation inspired by Hurricane Katrina flooding his childhood home in New Orleans.
Several of McKay’s paintings will also be part of the show.
Opening night includes a gala with a specially created diner in the building’s basement serving locally sourced bar-b-q in a retro setting along with live entertainment including Judexxx and LOT’s resident DJ, the Chaotic Good.
I don’t know the whole story, but this much I do know – you really don’t want to miss this opening.