abandoned properties in Louisville, Ky a horror story

This is archival information from a 2012 art exhibition. The topic of the show was abandoned properties in Louisville.

In 2022 as I think about if, when, how, to return to art making I’ve been reviewing past words about work as much as the artwork itself.

abandoned properties in Louisville identified while walking my neighborhood inspired this print

Walking Meditation – relief print by Gwendolyn Kelly. Photo by Geoff Carr.

This body of work was a departure for me in that I let myself fall into thinking about negative aspects of my life instead of exploring my inner life and future possibilities. At the time I started these pieces the house near door to my home was vacant and burned out. It was soon to be demolished. It was depressing to sit on the porch and it was traumatic to watch it being torn down. Abandoned properties in Louisville is a growing and long term problem.

Gwendolyn Kelly: “Meditation on Houses and Other Everyday Objects”

(February 3, 2012) Concurrently on exhibit in the Kentucky School of Art Gallery located in Theilard Hall
LOUISVILLE, Ky.

Gwendolyn Kelly is a curious MultiPurposeWoman who thinks too much. She wonders about the
objects people throw away and the things they leave behind as they move through life.

She questions her own everyday decisions to put potentially useful items in the trash. She picks up litter and too
often finds things on the street and keeps them for possible later use.

The works in this show are meditations on everyday objects. They were prompted by Gwen’s growing concern about the
number of abandoned properties in Louisville.

The pieces include …

  • Shelter, a mixed-media collage incorporating a window from the now demolished house that use to be next door to Gwen’s home.
  • Abandon, a beaded curtain inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags and representing 16 forgotten houses on West Kentucky St.
  • The Postcard Prompt Project, a crowdsourcing experiment to remind owners about their abandoned property.
  • Property Protection Amulets, fiber collages available for barter