Sunday, October 7, 2012
JSH’s KY: Curse of Third & Broadway spans six decades, still confounds local art world
On Nov. 25, 1938, Lexington artist Edward Fisk is struck by a car and badly injured at the intersection of Third and Broadway in Lexington. Fisk was an early 20th century modernist painter beloved for his renditions of Kentucky and Vermont bucolic scenes. Fisk studied in New York and Paris, where he hobnobbed with celebrities like Gertrude Stein before bunkering down in Lexington to hold down an solid outpost of modernism among the philistines.
(Photo by Judy Clabes)
In 1981, another Lexington artist, Henry Faulkner, is struck by a car and killed at this same intersection by a drunken teenager running a red light. Faulkner was one of Lexington’s most brightly burning candles, conquering the worlds of painting and poetry in a colorful and chaotic career that led him from a Jackson County farmhouse to NYC galleries, Italian studios, and retreats in the exotic Florida keys.
In 1991, another Lexington artist, Jeffrey Scott Holland (hey, that’s me!) is almost killed at this same intersection by a rowdy street gang looking for trouble. Fortunately, I somehow managed to talk my way out of certain damage and doom, with a few Jedi Mind Tricks I learned from some wise old cat. (And a decade later, I actually lived at the corner of 3rd & Broadway with artist/polyglot/polymath Erica Cefalo.)
Though hardly a mover and shaker in the official art world, I have eked out a certain niche as a neo-expressionst “outsider artist” and a part of the historic British Stuckist movement against the rising forces of jaded “anti-art”, and in the related realm of “Remodernism” that I helped
In 1999, another Lexington artist, Dan Selter, was hit by a car on the corner of Third and Broadway while walking from his nearby studio to Rupp Arena. Selter was not badly hurt, and actually hitched a ride with the driver of the vehicle for the rest of his trek to Rupp.
Selter, a master ceramicist, recently retired in May after 35 years at Transylvania University as an art professor. Selter is well loved for his 1992 installment at the Lexington Family Care Center (a home for underprivileged, pre-school-age children and their mothers). With assistance from a generous grant from the city and from the Lexington Arts and Cultural Council, he constructed a 20-foot mural of giant children’s books rendered in foam.
In 2000, another Lexington artist, J. Todd Dockery, attends a party at the corner of 3rd & Broadway, shortly after which he is near-fatally stabbed by a drunk on Upper Street, and somehow charged with assault by Lexington police even though he was clearly the victim, not the attacker. Dockery survived the attack and the ensuing mishaps to prevail as one of the Commonwealth’s leading cartoonists.
Dockery has recently returned from an extended stay with hipsters from the Schulz Museum in Vermont, and will be providing the illustrations for an upcoming novel of mine, a Bukowski-esque potboiler called “The Bartender.”
Have any other altercations occurred among the art world at this majestic but mysterious corner? Email me and clue me in!
Jeffrey Scott Holland is a native Kentuckian, painter, writer, actor, musician, paralegal – and interested in all things. He joins a growing stable of talented, interesting regular columnists for KyForward.com, bringing his gift of a well-turned phrase, quirkiness and humor to entertain and enlighten — and sometimes provoke — our readers. He can always be reached at any time, by anyone on the planet, at email@example.com.