City launches artist in residence program

April 22, 2015

Louisville Metro Government’s first artist-in-residence is in town soaking up all things Derby, leading to the creation of an original art piece later this year.

Benjamin Duke, a Louisville native who has created and displayed art throughout the world, is the first artist selected for the city’s new artist-in-residence program, which is being funded by a private, anonymous donor. The initiative will each year bring an artist to Louisville — or tap a local artist —to create one significant new art piece for the city’s permanent collection at no cost to city government.

“Arts truly define a city, and shape its personality and quality of place,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This is an exciting opportunity to attract some of the most creative artists in the world to visit and further develop an artistic legacy for our city and its people.”

Duke, the inaugural artist, arrived in Louisville for Thunder and will be attending Derby Festival events and the Kentucky Oaks and Derby while also experiencing bourbonism, neighborhoods and other mainstays of Louisville life, arts and culture.

From his experiences, Duke will create an 8 by 8 foot art piece that will be on permanent display in Louisville Metro Hall. The artwork will be unveiled this fall during a public lecture where Duke will discuss his creation and creative process.

Duke, who has been an artist-in-residence in Taiwan and has exhibited his works in galleries worldwide, is currently an Associate Professor at Michigan State University.

 

About Ben Duke

Benjamin Swallow Duke was born in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up in Utah. He studied Literature, Philosophy and Art at the University of Utah receiving his BFA in 2002. He received his Master of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Hoffberger School of Painting, and has been teaching painting and drawing at Michigan State University since 2006. Duke has had numerous Solo, and Group shows at the national and international level including at the Fitton Art Center in Hamilton, Ohio, “Weak Painting Group,” exhibitions at The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art in Taipei and Da Xiang Art Space in Taichung City, Taiwan, and Several Solo exhibitions at Ann Nathan Gallery in Chicago. Duke’s work has been represented since 2006 by Ann Nathan Gallery, a well-established and respected downtown Chicago Gallery with a focus on contemporary realism. Duke has also been awarded international residencies at Bamboo Curtain Studios, Taiwan from May to July 2009 and The Kuandu Museum of Fine Art December 2009 through January 2010 at Taipei National University of the Arts, the premier Art University in Taiwan. A Catalogue entitled: Benjamin Duke 2001-2010: Ten years of Work with essays by Brian Kubarycz, a scholar of contemporary literature, and Su YuAnn, an independent curator and critique, has been published by Garden City Publishing.