Are you in the mood for something whimsical, quirky, entertaining or just plain weird? The following is a guide to art venues that are a bit off the beaten path – across the river.
Yep, you heard correctly – some of the region’s best art is actually in Kentucky! There is an art walk in all three major cities in Northern Kentucky (Covington, Newport and Bellevue) the first Friday of every month. They provide great free entertainment and all the wine, cheese and crackers you can eat.
Did you know Covington has an arts district? If not, you’ve got some exploring to do! Covington has a really great art scene. The following are some cool art venues in Covington:
- Leapin’ Lizard: Housed in a renovated church complete with stained glass and a big pipe organ on the upper floor, this gallery offers fun and funky art with everything from paintings and found art sculptures to jewelry made from typewriter keys. Yoga and salsa classes and other special events are also held on the top floor. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse; there’s much to see!
- The Flying Cat: So, in a fight, who wins: a leaping lizard or a flying cat? Luckily, these two Mainstrasse neighbors get along well. A colorful artists’ cooperative, The Flying Cat shows multi-media work from a group of artists and host craft nights. It is now open, but stay tuned for their grand opening in May.
- The Lovely Teaspoon: This is the place to go for awesome, unique gifts crafted by local artists. They also do a lot of online sales. It’s definitely worth a look-see.
- Bean Haus: What goes better with eye candy than a steaming mug of coffee or tea? This cute cafe always has fresh art on the walls. They also have Wi-Fi and public computers.
- The Carnegie: OK, so it’s not exactly “alternative,” but this venue hosts great and innovative programming for music and theatre as well as visual art. They also do frequent craft days for families and kids. I’ve gone a number of times for various shows and have never been disappointed.
- The MARX Gallery : This is a big gallery near the Wedding Mall. They often do group artist shows and sometimes host special events. With two large floors of art, how can you go wrong?
- The Passionate Arts Center: This gallery has something fun for everyone. An eclectic mix of unique styles, it offers everything from colored glass decorations to pottery to photography to handmade household items, such as lamps. It’s tucked away on Pike Street and is one of the city’s best-kept little secrets.
Across the street from the Levee in the historic Southgate House, there is a ghost — I mean a gallery, on the top floor. Few know this, but it’s true. There is often some really great stuff up there. Next time you’re there checking out some live music, ask the bartender about it. You’ll be glad you did.
There’s a new kid on the block – Zaum Gallery. Newly opened and already hosting great art on beautiful exposed-brick walls, Zaum’s is also organizing open houses on the first Friday of each month. Make Zaum’s a stop on your way to Covington.
This quaint, historic town parties hardy every first Friday — usually around a theme. The gallery in residence is Fusion Gallery, which always has interesting works on display. The rest of the street, though not necessarily galleries, is equally fun to brows. All of the independent shops stay open late and offer refreshments and specials. You’ll find everything from cool consignments to jewelry and knitting supplies to handmade soaps and homemade ice cream.
Other places in the city to check out cool art:
- Downtown: Art Beyond Boundaries, BASE Gallery and Findlay Market.
- Clifton: Brutopia, Myra’s Dionysus and Rohs St. Café
- Uptown: Essex Studios
- Evanston: Speckled Bird Café
- Northside: Feralmade
And don’t forget, Fringe Fest 2008 will provide 11 days of thought-provoking performance, art, film and music running from May 28 until June 8!
Photos: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes
Model: Ashley Moeller
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics