Annual event connects local art community

A piece from Isaiah Kennedys Hope in Blue exhibit, which will be on display at the Murray Art Guild until April 22. (Photo courtesy of

A piece from Isaiah Kennedy’s ‘Hope in Blue’ exhibit, which will be on display at the Murray Art Guild until April 22. (Photo courtesy of

MacKenzie Rogers, Staff Writer

A formerly annual Murray Art Guild event, the Art Hop, is returning with four different exhibits after being canceled for three years because of COVID-19.

The guild is excited to have the event return, said Debi Danielson, executive director of the Murray Art Guild.

“It’s just a fun community-wide event, and the energy of the people going to all the different places has always been super fun,” Danielson said. “It’s an opportunity for some people, as this might be the only guild event they do all year.”

The Art Hop will be taking place across four different locations: the Murray Art Guild, Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau, Shaffer Square and Clara M. Eagle Gallery.

The Murray Convention & Visitors Bureau’s exhibit “Proofs” is a regional juried photography exhibition. The reception and award ceremony will take place during the Art Hop, with selected winners receiving their cash prizes. Winners were selected by juror Glenn Hall, a commercial photographer based in Paducah, Kentucky.

In one of the storefronts in Shaffer Square will be the event “Night of 1000 Drawings,” a fundraiser for the Mayfield Ice House Gallery, which was destroyed in the Dec. 10, 2021, tornado. All donated drawings will be put on sale for $10, with all proceeds going to the rebuilding fund for a new Ice House Gallery.

“It’s a beautiful cause, and we’ve never done that before,” Danielson said. “I think that it’s going to be really fun having different groups in Murray bringing and donating drawings.”

Danielson said the guild has received donated drawings from Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

The Clara M. Eagle Gallery exhibit will feature 15 senior capstone exhibits so students can fulfill their graduation requirements. The capstone exhibits generally take the form of concurrent exhibits or consist of small groups of students presenting their capstones within the gallery space.

“For the Eagle Gallery to be open at night is another really great opportunity,” Danielson said. “Usually, the Eagle Gallery is just open during the day, and sometimes that’s hard for people in town, but with it being open at night, it’ll be easier for some people to go and see the exhibit.”

The Murray Art Guild exhibit “Hope in Blue” by Tennessee artist Isaiah Kennedy will feature his contemporary take on American modernist paintings covering a variety of topics.

“‘Hope in Blue’ represents the hope for the future while being tinted with moments of fear and anxiety,” Kennedy said. “The body of work shows aspects of life that I look forward to and also potential moments in the future I fear.”

Through partnering with Murray State’s Town and Gown, an on-campus organization focused on improving communication between the University and Murray citizens, the guild will have two rented Murray Calloway Transit buses running a continuous loop between the exhibition sites.

The Art Hop is from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 15. The event is free and open to the public.