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Bourbon Barrel auction raises about $65,000, with variety of youth arts initiatives to benefit

LexArts’ Bourbon Barrel project ended with a bang as an auction of the barrel artwork netted more than $64,850. Proceeds from the event will support LexArts’ Endowment Fund, its Public Art Fund, youth arts programs of several partner organizations and the recent street art initiatives of PRHBTN.


The event drew over 250 people to a fitting locale – Buster’s Billiards & Backroom in the heart of the Distillery District. Art lovers bid in the fast-paced auction that was equal parts community art event and fundraiser.

“It was an incredible evening for the arts in Lexington,” said James M. Clark, President & CEO, LexArts. “It is evident that people were not only investing in unique art objects, but they were investing in the future of the arts, in arts education and public art. ”

Fifty percent of the proceeds from 10 specific barrels, totaling $7,000, will directly benefit the following organizations’ arts education and outreach programs.

‣ Lexington Philharmonic’s Music Builds Program
‣ Lexington Art League’s Education and Community Outreach
‣ Living Arts & Science Center’s Scholarship Program
‣ Lexington Children’s Theatre’s Scholarship Program
‣ Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra’s North Limestone MusicWorks
‣ The Give Into The Groove Foundation’s Virtual Quilt
‣ The Nest – Center for Women, Children and Families

Thirty-six artists created 41 barrels for the project. In addition to a $1,200 honorarium per barrel, artists were paid an additional honorarium of 10 percent of the auction price of their barrel. Throughout the project, LexArts generated over $57,000 in local artist wages.

In addition, LexArts will make a $2,000 donation to PRHBTN to cover costs associated with the group’s recent commission of international muralist Eduardo Kobra, creator of the Lincoln mural on Vine Street.

Fropm LexArts

You might also be interested in reading Bourbon barrels as public art fill downtown Lexington streets along Town Branch Creek.

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