Art by Nature: Front Yard Friends is now open for submissions

Summer is officially here! As the seasons change, the city is seeking submissions for Art by Nature: Front Yard Friends, a celebration of our local environment. This exhibit brings attention to front yard landscaping. Eight locations from across Fayette County are featured. Visual artists of all kinds – painters, photographers, fiber artists, jewelry makers, sculptors and more – are encouraged to participate. The deadline for artists to declare their intention to exhibit is Saturday 30 July.

The Art by Nature program is in its fifth year. The initiative showcases local indigenous landscapes represented by local artists. The first year focused on local greenways and watercourse restoration projects. Native plants in medians, easements and mailbox strips were featured in 2019. In both 2020 and 2021, trees got their chance to shine. Now, in 2022, front gardens have taken center stage.

The topic was chosen to raise awareness of new Plant by Numbers plans for front gardens. These plans make it easy for beginners to design beautiful, earth-friendly, low-maintenance landscapes. The plans were created by EARHeim Landscape Design and are available for free from the city, lexingtonky.gov/PlantByNumbers.

The exhibition will take place Friday, August 26 through Saturday, September 24 at Loudoun House. The program is not graded; artists of all skill levels are welcome to participate by submitting up to three works. Participants are guaranteed only one place in the show. Works are for sale, although an artist may choose to opt out of this aspect of the program. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit Celebrate Lexington, formerly known as America in Bloom Lexington. Artists keep the rest.

“Front yards can be one of the most undervalued spaces in urban environments, yet they provide a number of benefits,” said Nancy Albright, the commissioner of the Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works. “The Art by Nature series always results in a fantastic range of art and I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s exhibition.”

The municipality is planning a number of art and nature events in connection with the exhibition. Details of these events will be announced in early August.

The artist intent to participate form, map of featured sites and other information can be found at lexingtonky.gov/ArtByNature.

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