Art exhibit and rally scheduled in September
Guy Mendes' "Marble Creek in Summer," silver gelatin print, is included in the "Marble Creek/Endangered Watershed" exhibition at Ann Tower Gallery
A number of prominent Kentucky artists are joining together to protest a potential road that would link US 27 in Jessamine County to I-75 in Madison County, commonly referred to as the I-75 Connector.
"OFF THE ROAD! A Rally Against the I-75 Connector" will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and will feature prominent Kentucky authors Wendell Berry and Barbara Kingsolver, who will express their opposition to the potential project at the Lyric Theatre, according to a press release about the event. Other Kentucky artists and musicians taking part include Crystal Wilkinson, Richard Taylor, Maurice Manning, Erik Reece, Eric Scott Sutherland, Matt Duncan, the Northside Sheiks and Tee Dee Young.
This will be a rare public appearance for author, essayist and poet Wendell Berry. Barbara Kingsolver, named one of the most important writers of the 20th century by Writers Digest, was awarded the National Humanities Medal. "Those of us who call Kentucky home will have to remember that 'home' is not some bigger road to get people through or out of here. It's the winding creeks and limestone cliffs that nourish the bluegrass. It's the quiet places that have made us who we are," Kingsolver said in the release.
The rally follows the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Guy Mendes entitled "Marble Creek/Endangered Watershed," which will be on display at the Ann Tower Gallery.
The Marble Creek Gorge is home to kingfishers, otters, beavers, egrets, herons, fox and deer, along with an array of flora and other fauna. Mendes believes the area's waters and ecosystem should never be polluted and destroyed by runoff from an interstate connector road for semi-trucks.
“The fight against the I-75 connector road should concern all of us who live in the region,” Mendes said. “Besides threatening Marble Creek and the Kentucky River Palisades, it would destroy large sections of Jessamine and Madison County farmland. The more people realize that the Bluegrass is a finite quantity and are moved to protect it, the better.”
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has unveiled potential four zones the department will study in greater detail during the next year when considering an I-75 Connector. The department will also consider a “No-Build Option.”
The study of the four zones involves in-depth analysis, including traffic projections, possible road alignments, costs and environmental impacts. State and federal requirements guide the process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The result of the study will help answer the decades-old question of whether or not a beneficial, affordable, constructible and environmentally responsible road can be built, according to a press release from the department.
A map showing the zones is available at I-75Connector.com, as is additional information about the project.
Tickets to "OFF THE ROAD!" are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For tickets, visit lexingtonlyric.tix.com or call (859) 280-2218.