Breaking the Stigma of “Untouchable” Art

“Please do not touch.” Sound familiar? We have all seen the signs before. These four words stop us from breaking things, from messing things up. If you walk into a museum full of artwork with your family, the first thing you would probably tell the kids is, “Keep your hands in your pockets!” But sometimes this creates disconnect between art and the public, stemming from the stigma that art is untouchable, and not to be interacted with. Which can be the  complete opposite of art’s purpose – art is intended to be interacted with!

With the John James Audubon art collection and the Fine Arts Center, the community of Henderson, Kentucky has a rich history with the arts. One of the ways our community has introduced a laid-back way to interact with art is the annual Art Hop coordinated by the Downtown Henderson Partnership.

If you took a stroll downtown last Friday night, you saw how the Art Hop helps strip traditional barriers between viewers and works of art, by providing up-close and unique experiences which help forge a connection between art and the public. Our favorite downtown shops welcomed audiences with open doors, providing a casual atmosphere to view and talk about art over refreshments. With many artists present with their displayed works, it added opportunity to discuss and learn about the pieces that were of interest to us.

Shortly after I walked in the old Drop Shop on North Main, I found myself flipping through a photo album with artist Ginger Adams, and she tells me how she looks for inspiration in her client’s portraits and how she brings her favorite photographic qualities of to life. It’s moments like these where you can really explore the stories behind the art and discover the value that lies behind the medium.

In this digital age, we can’t always have the luxury of interacting with art in person, but we can interact with all art using our eyes, minds, emotions and reflections. All of which are used to construct conversations around art. And it is these conversations that over time accumulate to create shifts in contemporary art.

If you weren’t able to enjoy the conversations and social atmosphere of this past weekend’s Art Hop, we hope you enjoy some of the works captured below-look for upcoming art-related events on our community events calendar.