Louis Zoellar Bickett: Selections from the Art Collection/ installation view

Institute 193 presents Louis Zoellar Bickett: Selections from the Art Collection, a visual testament to the artist’s deep connections to the Lexington art community. Over the years, Bickett has supported and encouraged a number of artists as friend, mentor, patron and collector. The artist has further transformed the collected artworks through the action of labeling, indexing, and assimilating them into his own all-consuming Archive. Most artworks receive their own label and appear in one of Bickett’s various indexes. Some are carefully wrapped in craft paper while others are placed within sealed Ziplock bags or covered in black opaque plastic. In some cases, the object is only identifiable by its label, having been completely digested by the artist’s meticulous process.

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An Evening With Ben Sollee

Thanks to everyone who came out to our first annual NYC fundraiser with Ben Sollee.

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193 Sound + WRFL: Itasca (5/31)



For the fifth installment in the 193 Sound/WRFL concert series on May 31st, we were joined by LA based Itasca. Behind this musical identity is singer, songwriter, and guitarist Kayla Cohen, who’s refine musical abilities allow her to create a sound that alludes to multiple genres at once.

In this performance, Cohen was joined by steel pedal player and regular collaborator Dave McPeters. Their presence was humble, met by the attentive seated audience that filled the remaining gallery space. Though this was the only date of the tour that didn’t feature the full band, the performance left nothing to be desired. Backed by her own finger-style guitar playing and the meditative steel-pedal work of McPeters, Cohen delivered haunting but subtle vocal musings that were honest and introspective in the same. Each song maintained and recreated a dewy sunsetting atmosphere that surrounded the audience. It was a performance where each member of the audience was able to interpret the set as something completely unique from the person sitting next to them.


We are looking forward to next months installment in the 193 Sound/WRFL series. Keep an eye out for information regarding July’s show on our Facebook page.

—Lizzie Gray

Natalie Baxter Is Featured in Hyperallergic!

Pillowy Gun Sculptures Take Aim at US’ Culture of Violence

by Ashlie Danielle Stevens on April 12, 2016

Installation view of Natalie Baxter’s ‘OK-47’ at Institute 193 gallery in Lexington, Kentucky (photo courtesy of Institute 193)

LEXINGTON, Ken. — Nearly 50 plush guns line the white walls of the small gallery Institute 193. They range in size, pattern, and make: there are fluffy 10 mm. pistols; handguns with hot pink cylinders and gold lamé tips; and rifles with silk-covered barrels that droop, nearly grazing the floor. These pieces are part of Brooklyn-based artist Natalie Baxter’s exhibitionOK-47, which features selections from her Warm Gun series deftly exploring issues of masculinity, mass violence, gun culture, and gun control in the US.

Baxter was inspired to begin the project when she returned home to Kentucky for the holidays in December 2014.

“[I was] at a friend’s house who has a collection of handguns hanging on his wall,” Baxter says. “This was in the wake of Ferguson, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Black Lives Matter marches were happening all across the country, and police brutality and gun violence were hot media topics fresh on everyone’s minds.

“So looking at this entire wall covered in guns, it felt uncomfortable and strange, and like something I would never see anywhere in my new home in New York City,” she says.

Natalie Baxter, “Tammy Gun” (2015), fabric and polyfill, 12 x 42 x 8 in (photo by and courtesy the artist)

While being raised in Kentucky, Baxter was introduced to gun culture, but also to the craft of quilting and sewing by her “Appalachian, gun-owning granny.” This seemed the ideal project to blend these two aspects of her upbringing, which Baxter says comes in the wake of having grown up exposed to mass shootings, like watching TV coverage of Columbine when she was in high school, the Virginia Tech shooting while in college, Aurora, Newtown, and, most recently, San Bernardino.

Read the full article via Hyperallergic.

193 Sound + WRFL Concert Series


Flanger Magazine

 The first two installments of the monthly 193 Sound/WRFL concert series were fantastic! Robert Beatty, the series organizer, has been packing the gallery full of listeners. We’re looking forward to what the year in music will bring.

On January 30, Lexington’s Daryl Cook opened for Boston’s Noise Nomads. According to Beatty:

“Noise Nomads is the long running noise project of Western Massachusetts based artist and sole member Jeff Hartford. In a steady stream of releases and performances in the underground since the early 2000’s he has developed a body of beastly and sometimes humorous homemade sound. His drawings, collages, and photos of his travels are often documented in small edition handmade zines available at shows. The project’s name was referenced by Kim Gordon in the lyrics to the Sonic Youth song “Sacred Trickster” from their final album and also used as source material in one of her “noise paintings”. Hartford also plays in the bands Greyskull and Buddyship among other projects.”


Noise Nomads

“Daryl Cook is a Lexington-based artist who plays his own brand of confounding and fragile improvised electronic music (formerly under the name Walter Carson).”


Daryl Cook

On March 25, Louisville’s Flanger Magazine played two brief electronic sets followed by an acoustic bit.

“Flanger Magazine may very well be a magazine someday. So far it has been a cassette label, a blog, a radio show (on Louisville’s new to the FM dial ARTxFM/WXOX), and more frequently in recent years a solo and collaborative musical recording and performance project. Comprised live of Chris Bush and Ben Zoeller (both known for their work in the band Caboladies with Eric Lanham), Flanger Magazine is a largely improvised wave of freeform and pastoral electronic sound. Blasts of sparse analog cacophony give way to blissful orchestral drone — clattering metallic drum machine melts gently into acoustic lullabies. These sounds- at once turbulent and calm are often accompanied with mind bending visuals created by the band for a fully immersive experience.”

Flanger Magazine

We missed February, but we’ll make it up to you. The next performance is set for Friday, April 22. Tim Barnes (Louisville, KY) will play an experimental percussion set. Mark your calendar!

Institute 193 thanks WRFL and Robert Beatty for their support.

Lots of Love for OK-47!


Natalie Baxter, My Super Sweet M Sixteen, 2015, fabric and polyfill, 20 x 60 x 3.5 inches.

OK-47 is receiving lots of press! Natalie Baxter and the exhibition were recently featured on The Creators Project (VICE). Julie Gross penned a review of the exhibition for AEQAI titled “Weapons of Mass Construction” (we’re all been having a lot of fun with gun puns) in which she likened the works to drag queens. To top it off, Alabama Chanin just posted a Q+A with Baxter and Institute 193 director Cat Wentworth; Baxter talks process and politics.

We’re delighted that the exhibition has been so well received and widely covered. Stay tuned for more press, and please join us on April 16 for a closing reception / artist talk / Q+A with Baxter at Institute 193.