A Vibrant View of Human Rights

Tuesday, May 31 through Sunday, August 28 – Kentucky Museum Community Gallery

Opening reception, open free to the public is Tuesday, May 31st at 1 PM.

This exhibit showcases the collaborative work of residents at the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center and local artist Alice Gatewood-Waddell. The twelve paintings, each representing a month of the year, highlight human rights issues relevant to that month.

For more information contact Lynne Ferguson, 270-745-2594

Photos below of Gabriel Mo during the exhibition installation.

Study Hall

The Museum hosted our first Study Hall May 9th.  One hundred and five WKU students enjoyed free coffee and study snacks from 4PM until midnight while studying in the beautiful KY Room ballroom.

Chandeliers hung overhead as 15 of the Museum’s extension cords and power strips snaked around the ballroom. Students plugged in laptops, and worked individually or in study groups to review for finals. Some students took breaks and walked around the room enjoying the art. Several students said they enjoyed studying in such a unique space and suggested that not only we offer Study Hall again, but consider offering two nights instead of one.

Many students downloaded the new KY Museum App and shared pictures of themselves studying.study hall 5jpgstudy hall6study hall 7jpg

Good luck to all Hilltoppers during final week!

Early America Early Kentucky

Thank you to everyone who attended and helped out with Early America Early Kentucky last week! We had a blast sharing Kentucky’s history with the many 5th graders, parents, and teachers who came to visit us.

WKU theatre major Elliott Talkington started off each day for us with his first person  performance as Rory, an Irish immigrant coming to America after the potato famine struck Ireland. Elliott did a wonderful job engaging the students and helping them understand what it was like to immigrate to the United States under such hardships. Thank you, Elliott!

Then, the students went to four different stations to learn about different aspects of Kentucky’s history. At the African American station, they learned about African American Kentuckians and their many different experiences as well as the musical influence of African tradition. They even tested out their own musical abilities by playing claves.


At the Native American station, different foods, tools, and materials used by Native Americans were on display. After learning a few phrases in Cherokee, students beaded their own chevron necklaces that they were able to take home with them.

Students also discussed the differences between primary and secondary sources while talking about early American documents at our Colonial station. Next, they learned about colonial fashions and tried on some for themselves.

Finally, the students were sent to frontier school in the Felts House where they learned about what life was like when settlers first came to Kentucky. Here, they practiced their writing and reading skills and made hornbooks like those that would have been used in early one room schoolhouses.

What a great week!


The U.S. Bank Celebration of the Arts Exhibit is Open

The U.S. Bank Celebration of the Arts Exhibit is open at the Kentucky Museum! On February 26th, we held the opening reception and ceremony for the exhibit which features hundreds of works completed by both professional and amateur artists from Kentucky. Exhibit categories include painting, watercolor, works on paper, fiber arts, ceramics and glass, sculpture, mixed media, and photography, showcasing the variety of local artistic talent.

Here are just a few of the award winning works that are on display

There are only two weeks left to see this inspiring exhibit, so why not come check it out on March 18th between 5-8pm during the Bowling Green Gallery Hop? Admission is free! If you find yourself wishing you could take a piece of the museum home with you, ask about the many  beautiful works included in the U.S. Bank Celebration of the Arts Exhibit that are for sale. If you cannot join us for the Gallery Hop, please stop by to explore the artwork during our regular hours before the exhibit closes on April 2nd.

There’s S(no)w Place Like WKU!

Welcome back! And welcome to a winter wonderland. After being closed for the weekend due to the winter weather, and the first day of classes canceled we are so glad to have the students back on campus and to have a bit of warmer weather.


Although, Abe is still looking a bit chilly!

Luckily though, inside is nice and toasty and filled with excitement as we welcome a new piece to our Instruments of American Excellence exhibit.

We are proud to showcase, one Lex Luther’sIMG_5982 suites from the hit TV series, Smallville, played by Michael Rosenbaum, a WKU alumni. Lex Luther is an iconic supervillian who has appeared in many of the D.C. Comics and on the TV show as Superman’s archenemy.

A 1995 graduate, Rosenbaum, partook in many different activities while enrolled on the hill. He was in musicals and plays with the theatre department, auditioned to be a WKU TV anchor and tried to be a sports anchor. In the end, he felt most at home performing and contributes his success to WKU. “Experience is confidence—when you have that you can do anything,” Rosenbaum said. “It’s all about being brave, and WKU had everything I needed.”

The Kentucky museum is open Monday-Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 1-4, we hope you can come by and see our very own Supervillian suite worn by our very own grad.

Written by: Chandler Smith, The Kentucky Museum- Education Department

Women and Quilting as a Political Act

Quilting, historically a story-telling tool, is an art form used for generations by women to tell their stories and represent their individuality. Dr. Saundra Curry Ardrey led the audience of 50 in a discussion of how an explosion and exploration of memories and personal nostalgia combine pop culture and political references to make powerful statements about the political and social condition.


Dr. Saundra Curry Ardrey is head of the Department of Political Science and Director of the African American Studies Program at Western Kentucky University. Her current research projects include a comparative analysis of the political behavior of women of the African diaspora.

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An Artist’s Perspective

On October 27th Cynthia Lockhart made public presentation. Lockhart is a professor of professional practice, an award winning fashion designer, and a gifted artist from the University of Cincinnati.

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Her quilt, Mandela / Prince of Freedom, is one of the extraordinary works from Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela exhibit. Professor Lockhart gave an overview of selected artists’ works from the exhibit. She also discussed her piece, and talked about her collective work as an artist.

Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela exhibit is on display at the Kentucky Museum through January 31, 2016.


Fall Break Camp Re-Cap

We’ve just completed our Fall Break Camp here at Kentucky Museum and it was a blast! We had thirteen campers this year, and each created all sorts of wonderful arts and crafts to take home. We started off by exploring the Nelson Mandela exhibit together. After discussing Mandela’s accomplishments, each camper created a quilt square of their own. They really enjoyed getting a chance to use the paint markers on canvas to create their own designs, most of which were inspired by the exhibit, Mandela, or another great leader.

To continue our discussion of Nelson Mandela, the campers also collaborated to create a large collage. First, each camper designed their own pattern. Then, they voted on the five patterns that they liked the most. Working together, the campers took turns drawing, cutting, and gluing pieces of paper to create the top five patterns and placed them on a canvas to form the South African flag. Adding a final touch, they cut and glued pictures of Nelson Mandela onto the flag as well. Throughout the week, the campers continued to build on their abilities to recognize and create patterns.

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We also visited the Reminders of South Africa: The Nancy Baird Collection exhibit and identified colorful items made from wire including a basket and a giraffe figure. The campers got creative and made their own wire sculptures; some of the items they made were a cat, a butterfly, a fish on a fishing line, jewelry, and a back scratcher!

The last exhibit we looked at was the Happy Street Signs exhibit, an exhibit of street signs with positive messages posted on them. Using vinyl, poster board, and letter stickers, the campers then designed and made their own happy street signs through which they were able to express their own values and experiences.

Other projects we worked on were paper weaving, maze booklets, and watercolor landscapes. Before painting the landscapes, we went outside as a group to sketch part of the landscape around the Felts House or the Felts House itself. After sketching, the campers were given a short lesson on using watercolor paints. We navigated some of the difficulties of using watercolors as we went along, and each camper was able to create a painting they were happy to take home.

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It was a wonderful week in which everyone found new ways to express their own personalities! Each camper learned new art forms and made plenty of their own creations to take home and show off. They learned about patterns, designing their own art, and working together. We can’t wait to do our next camp!

Submitted by Claire Casey

One More Day!

Western Kentucky University students head back to campus tomorrow after their Fall Break to continue their studies! With that being said, that also means that we are one day away from our Fall Break Camp at the museum!


The campers for this fall will be exploring three of the new exhibits that the museum has recently opened. Two of the exhibits have to do with the WKU International Year of South Africa (The Life of Nelson Mandela and Reminders of South Africa: The Nancy Baird Collection,) and the other is called Happy Signs. Happy Street Signs is putting a positive spin on street signage.

The campers will use these exhibits as inspiration for making a quilt square, working collectively on a mural, doing wire weaving, bead work, printmaking, and designing their own Happy Street Signs!

Luckily for us, it looks like the weather this week will be clearing up just in time for the campers to take a look at WKU’s outdoor sculptures as well!

We invite children ages 6-12 to join us next week for the Fall Break camp. Members pay $110 to send their children, while non-members will pay just $125. Camp hours run from 8:30 AM to 12 PM with a snack break included around 10:15 every morning.

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We hope to see your children this week and can’t wait to get started!

Happy Fall, ya’ll!


Sign up HERE.

If the link does not work, please copy and paste this to your search bar. https://www.wku.edu/kentuckymuseum/education/camp_registration.php