ChimneyStop on Leestown Road receives finishing touches

Finishing touches were added to ChimneyStop on Leestown Road this week.  The project is the second Art in Motion smART shelter, along with Industrial Oasis on Southland Drive, to be built with funds from a federal/state CMAQ grant AIM received in partnership with Lextran.  Both shelter designs were chosen through public design contests held by AIM. The Kentucky Office of Local Programs was instrumental in funding the project.

The ChimneyStop design team was made up of Ryan Hargrove, an associate professor in UK’s Department of Landscape Architecture, and his students, Martin Steffen, Justin Menke and Chad Riddle.  According to Hargrove, the design was inspired by the team’s effort to relate to the sense of place in the bluegrass region of Kentucky.  The “dry laid” limestone walls mimic the miles of such walls that crisscross the region and define the landscape. The strong lumber structural components are inspired by the barns that dot the landscape and have served the region’s strong agricultural heritage. The exposed wooden columns, stained glass, and distinctive roof styling, in combination with the stone masonry foundation, reference the Craftsman style of architecture that has been fundamental in shaping the appearance of the surrounding built environment, including the neighborhood that anchors the Townley Center where the shelter is located.  The addition of distinctive, modern design finishes are used to provide a marriage of traditional and modern, representing a continuum between past, present and future.

IMG_2790Where are they now?  Hargrove’s students have moved on to professional posts in the design field.   Steffen is a landscape designer with the Genesis Group in St. Petersburg, Florida, Menke is a landscape designer with MKSK in northern Kentucky and Riddle is an urban designer/planner with Wantman Group, Inc. in Lexington.

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New East End Artstop exhibit incorporates history of neighborhood

A new exhibit was installed Tuesday, September 1st at the corner of Third Street and Elm Tree Lane near the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.  Members of the Art Club of Sisohpromatem Art Foundation, Inc. researched, designed and created five new art panels incorporating elements of the history and buildings in the East End of Lexington, Kentucky.

lyric (2)






The art panels have a bold, colorful, abstract design that can be  ‘read’  from a distance, as well as up close.  Working over three Saturday mornings, 10-13 Art Club members and 3-5 high school volunteers drew, cut and pasted the symbols they chose to represent the East End.  The original pieces have been hung in the Lyric lobby while reproductions of the work on weather-proof boards have been installed in the shelter.

Some meanings in the works are obvious, like “Lyric” and “LASC”, or the jockey on horseback and the horseshoes.   Neighbors, especially, may recognize the presence of the iconic design over the Lyric’s marquee. Then there’s an “E” (for East End), four signs (historic markers) and a pattern of spear-like forms (wrought iron fencing found around the Old Episcopal Burying Ground and many other places in the neighborhood).   Look closer for houses and other buildings, trees, flowers, stars in the sky and the skyline.

Thirty-plus colorful hands reaching across the panels are those of students and staff from the William Wells Brown Community Center.  Each person drew his or her own hand outline, then decorated and signed it.  Art Club members added a few more signed hands, then interspersed their signatures, and subtle designs and words on the panel backgrounds.  Students from the International Tutoring Club of Lafayette High School, who regularly volunteer with Art Club, participated throughout the creation of the panels, as well, and left their mark on the design.

Art Club is an art-based developmental program that meets one Saturday each month.  Students, nominated by their art teachers, join in the 5th grade and continue attending as long as interested.  At the time of creation of the bus stop panels, Art Club students ranged from 5th to 8th grade and attended from numerous schools and neighborhoods in Lexington.  During 2014-15 Art Club received partial funding from the LFUCG Partner Agency Program and from the Partners for Youth Foundation.

Sisohpromatem Art Foundation, Inc. is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to creating a metamorphosis in the lives of young people through their participation in the arts. Our name is ‘metamorphosis’ spelled in reverse. We believe that participation in the arts can create a metamorphosis–in individuals and in the community. We focus on encouraging children’s confidence and self-esteem by offering educational and fun arts programming, in a safe, creative and stimulating environment.

For more information about the foundation, contact director Sonja Brooks at 259-0222 or

SAF, Inc. Art Club students who participating in creating the panels:

  • Danae Cox
  • Lauren Fields
  • Chase Faulkner
  • Emerald Taylor
  • Kelsey Duggins
  • Deja Baker
  • Pedro Hernandez
  • Allison Chavez
  • Esmeralda Gallegos Ortega
  • Cassady Powell
  • Patience Baker
  • Majessa Dunn
  • Saniiyah Hamilton

Along with International Tutoring Club, Lafayette HS students:

  • Meriem Boughroud
  • Lovelace Benedicta Ebu
  • Francisco Espinosa
  • Leslie Martinez
  • William Funez








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Gardenside Bus Shelter Documented in Architecural Drawings

AIM extends a big thank you to Janie-Rice Brother and architect-intern Jonna Wallace of the KY Archaeological Survey Department of Anthropology at UK for their contribution to the Gardenside Restoration Project.  Jonna documented the sign and shelter in detailed architectural drawings in the event the owners ever want to apply for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, which would qualify it for state and federal tax credits without conveying any restrictions on the property owners.

Janie-Rice describes the structure as “a unique feature that is significant in Lexington’s post-war growth and development of both residential suburbs and their accompanying shopping centers.”



View the drawings here:

Gardenside_A1 0 groundlevel Gardenside_A2 1 east side Gardenside_A2 2 west side



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Volunteers Needed for Gardenside Plaza Bus Shelter/Sign History Project

Got Stories?  Volunteers Needed for Gardenside Plaza Bus Shelter/Sign History Project

At times throughout its history, the Gardenside Plaza shopping center has been more than just a convenient place to shop. It has served as a destination and as a focus of activity in the fast-growing suburban landscape. When constructed in the late 1950s, it wasn’t simply a concentration of businesses; it was a community landmark, functioning as a focus for human interaction and as a definer of place. For these reasons, as part of the Gardenside Bus Shelter/Sign preservation project, AIM is sponsoring a project to record stories associated with this significant landmark.

Do you have stories to tell? Did you live in the area before the plaza was constructed? How did its arrival affect your life? What did you think about the modern design of the sign/bus shelter? Do you know anyone who helped build the bus shelter/sign? Who were some of the early tenants in the shopping center? Did you work at the plaza? Were you one of the residents who helped lobby the city to extend bus service to Gardenside in the 1950s? Did you ride the bus to/from the plaza to shop or work? What were some of the community events that took place at the plaza? Do you have a mother, father, grandparent, or neighbor with stories about the plaza?

We are looking for volunteers, both those willing to be interviewed, and those who can help record the stories. No story is too small.  You need no experience to serve as a community historian; help will be provided. Please contact Karen Hudson at to volunteer or to obtain additional information about efforts to record the history of this Lexington landmark.

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CMAQ Contract Awarded

CHIMNEYsTOP, winner of Leestown Contest

CHIMNEYsTOP, winner of Leestown Contest

Marrillia Design & Construction has been awarded the long-awaited Art in Motion transit shelters on Leestown Road and Southland Drive.  The projects are being funded by a $150,000 federal grant through the Kentucky Transportation’s Cabinet’s Office of Local Programs.   More information on this project can be found here.

Industrial Oasis by John Darko and Pohl, Rosa, Pohl

Industrial Oasis by John Darko and Pohl, Rosa, Pohl


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Art in Motion has just released a Request for Qualifications for a new permanent mosaic art mural to be installed in the Gardenside bus shelter on Alexandria Drive as part of the project to restore the lettering and other elements of the historic structure and replace inefficient neon tubing with low energy-consuming LED fixtures.  More information about this project can be found here.

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Calling all designers!

Art in Motion is sponsoring a new design contest for an artistically designed bus shelter on Georgetown Street in Lexington, KY in partnership with  the Lexington-Fayette County Corridors Commission, Lextran, and LexArts.  Area neighborhood representatives, churches, and the owner of the proposed location are participating as well.

The deadline for submission of a conceptual design is April 30, 2014.

The shelter will serve both as a bus stop with seating and shelter for riders, and as public art that enriches the Georgetown Street corridor. The shelter will also be as environmentally sustainable as possible in design and construction.

Professional architects, engineers, sculptors and artists are eligible.  Students under the supervision of relevant professionals are also eligible. Design/build firms are encouraged to participate.

Click link on this page to view the full design call and a map of the location

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