From cave paintings of the prehistoric age to the work of contemporary artists like Olly & Suzi, animals, both real and fantastic, have endured as compelling subject matter. In the Lexington Art League’s upcoming exhibition, Creatures Great & Small, animals emerge from artworks to inspire questions regarding life and death, morality and meaning with humor, whimsy, sensitivity and insight.
“A huge number of artists today are using animal imagery to talk about difficult issues such as intimacy, loss, and vulnerability,” said LAL Exhibitions & Programs Director Becky Alley. “In many ways animals are effective stand-ins for ourselves, because they allow artists to discuss challenging concepts with a power and intensity unattainable through the human form.”
Alley, who curated the exhibit, will offer a contextual ARTalk discussion to open Creatures Great & Small on July 10, at 3pm, at LAL @ Loudoun (209 Castlewood Drive).
The exhibition runs through Aug. 28, with an additional ARTalk with artist Brandon Smith on Wed., Aug. 25, at 7pm, as well as two Fifth Third 4th Friday celebrations on July 23 and Aug. 27, from 6-9pm. Admission to the exhibit and ARTalks is free and open to the public; admission to Fifth Third 4th Friday is free for supporters, $7 for potential supporters. LAL @ Loudoun House is open 10am-4pm, Tues-Fri, 1-4pm, Sat.
To allow audiences to actively engage with the exhibit, LAL is presenting a one-day workshop led by UK Opera Theater Costume Designer Susan Dudley Wigglesworth on Saturday, July 24, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Participants will create fantastical and realistic creatures, masks and various disguises using a range of materials. Cost of the workshop is $60 for LAL supporters, $85 for potential supporters, and there is an additional $15 supplies fee that will be collected on the day of the workshop. To register, contact Julia Curiel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-254-7024 by July 19.
“Creatures Great & Small reinvigorates that part of the imagination that made you believe the Velveteen Rabbit could come to life and that the tortoise stood a chance against the hare,” said Alley. “As light-hearted and delightful as this exhibit is, it also presents contemporary adult issues with astute sophistication and clever irony.”