Bluegrass museum seeking Monroe art

The International Bluegrass Music Museum in downtown Owensboro is hoping to attract works by 80 artists for its two-year Bill Monroe Centennial celebration.

But Rex Robinson, who is spearheading the project, said he only knows of 10 artists who are already creating works for the show.

And the deadline for them to be delivered to the museum is April 18.

The exhibit opens June 23 during the museum’s River of Music Party and continues through Sept. 13, 2012.

The competition is funded by a $5,000 grant from the Kentucky Arts Council Projects through Arts Build Communities and a matching donation from bluegrass museum patrons Chris and Mike Manno.

Monroe, known as the “father of bluegrass music,” was born near Rosine in Ohio County on Sept. 13, 1911. He was buried in Rosine Cemetery on Sept. 12, 1996.

Robinson said the exhibit is open to artists around the world.

It’s advertised on the museum’s Web site —

But Robinson said he’s mostly concentrating on artists in the Owensboro, Henderson and Evansville area.

“A couple dozen artists have expressed an interest so far,” he said. “But I know of 10 who are actually working on something for the show.”

Robinson, a Philpot artist, has created several works about Monroe and his music through the years.
For this show, he’s painting a quilt.

“We’re wide open on the types of work we’re accepting,” Robinson said. “We like a lot of variety.”
The work just has to be a form of visual art.

The museum asks that the works be based on original Monroe songs. The exhibit will include song lyrics on a plaque beside each painting.

The artworks will be professionally photographed and DVDs of the exhibit will be made available to bluegrass festivals and events.

All the works will be for sale after Sept. 13, 2012. Artists will receive 60 percent of the proceeds from the sale and the museum will keep 40 percent.

For information, call Robinson at 729-4147.

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