Baker Hunt exhibit spotlights its first Artist-in-Residence, Ken Landon Buck

Through September 22, Baker Hunt Arts and Cultural Center in Covington, KY presents Ken Landon Buck: Life and Connection through Art, an exhibit of 22 recent paintings and pastel pieces, with works available for purchase.

The exhibit is open to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays with advance registration, and a ticketed reception closes the exhibit on September 22. On September 18, a ticketed Twilight in the Gardens at Baker Hunt provides a chance to enjoy an outdoor dinner, view the exhibit, and watch a pastel demonstration by the artist. See registration information below.

The exhibit’s opening reception on September 1 was a sellout for Buck, Baker Hunt’s first Artist-in-Residence in its nearly hundred-year history. As well as working out of a studio in the building, Buck teaches five weekly classes there.

Executive Director Karen Etling delights in having Buck as part of the Baker Hunt family. “Ken is an amazing artist and an exceptional instructor who brings out the best in his students through careful and kind critique,” she says.

Ken Landon BuckBuck’s dynamic figurative artwork is well known for its striking large-scale subject matter of swimmers interacting with light and water, as well as for still life, portraits, nature, and flowers.
 
After taking a high school art class, Buck instantly fell in love with painting, finding that his talent in art garnered the respect of others. Though he graduated from the Ohio Visual Art Institute (OVAI) with a business art degree, his fine art skills are primarily self-taught. After school he began intensively drawing and painting, especially driven by his love of the human figure. He continues to study the great masters including Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Singer Sargent, and Degas for inspiration.

Painting is now an all-consuming passion for him. “I have to paint,” he says. “I think it, sleep it, wake it. I’m constantly thinking about art.”

Buck works both from photographs he has taken and from models. “I love dancers and swimmers,” he says. “I find that beauty, power, and motion stimulating and inspiring.”

The diligence and meticulousness in his art have won him innumerable accolades. He has signature membership status in the Pastel Society of America, Kentucky Watercolor Society, and many other art groups. He has won Best of Show awards and prizes in top juried national and international exhibitions, and his work has many private and public collectors. In 2017, Buck’s prolific talent was recognized in a segment of PBS’ The Art Show.

Along with teaching at Baker Hunt for the past six years, for over two decades Buck has instructed weekly classes in the Art Academy’s Community Education program. Buck’s supportive style has earned him a tremendous following, and students come back year after year for instruction and for the warm and encouraging spirit of his teaching.

Buck says he tries to help his students as much as he himself was encouraged, pointing to such OVAI teachers as Jan Brown Checco, whose encouragement and guidance have had a lifelong impact.

“Every time I have a student succeed,” he says, “I’m exhilarated. Walking through the room and seeing all the work they’re doing thrills me. I tell students, ‘I started out with stick figures — if I can do it, you can do it.’”

“Watching my students paint all week,” he adds, “revs up my own desire to create.”

Baker Hunt is located at 620 Greenup St., Covington, KY 41011. Register here to select specific times on Mondays and Tuesdays to view the exhibit or to attend the closing reception on Wednesday, September 25, 5–7 p.m. Buy $100 dinner tickets for Twilight in the Gardens, Saturday, September 18, here.

Read more articles by Connie Springer.

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