Wildcats on Wheels bike to Lexington art scene

By Tyler Worthington and Finn Clance

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Wildcats and pedaling enthusiasts gathered for the Tour de Downtown Art at 6 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Wildcat statue on Alumni Plaza.

Organized by members of the Office of Sustainability and The League of American Bicyclists, the tour was concocted as a way for locals to see the fruits of the local street art that can trace its origins to the forefront of a new renaissance in “graffiti” street art.

The artworks were described by Georgia Henkel, an artist whose artwork focuses on realism in people. About 10 murals were spread out over three to five miles of downtown Lexington, accessible to tour members who could proceed at their own pace.

The tour included murals by both local and international artists who imparted each work with a link to their individual philosophies and statements, which were both personal and left up to the viewer to decide, to an extent.

Artists like Eduardo Kobra, Herakut, a German artistic duo, Andrew Hem of Los Angeles and the local team known as PRHBTN put forth time and painstaking effort to beautify downtown Lexington.

“(It was) not for profit, but with local support, with contributions made by members of the community who pitched in money and food to make this happen,” Henkel said.

Some of these murals tour-goers may have already seen, like the one of Abraham Lincoln seated and highlighted by red-white and blue stripes behind the Kentucky Theatre, or another on the side of Belle’s Cocktail House, titled “Lily and the Silly Monkeys” which is inspired by the Giant Storybook Project involving budding artists and even actor Jim Carrey.

The tour culminated in a rendezvous at the last mural in the tour, located behind Ethereal Brewing, located off of Manchester Street.

The last mural by the artist — affectionately titled “Phlegm” — is a rendering of what appears at first glance to be a pyramid of clones supporting a few at a table as they enjoy each other’s company and the spoils of the good life, beer and food.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for members of the local community to come out and see, experience, some amazing art,” Henkel said.