From Bob Dylan and President George Bush to beloved pet beagles, photographer Mark has captured subjects of all sorts with a practiced eye honed at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Today, Mark operates an extensive photo complex with his wife, Stella. Outside, his portrait garden frames couples, families, and tots with ponds and waterfalls. Inside, he uses some 50 different backgrounds to set the stage for indoor shoots, which include tempestuous but tasteful Red Door Divas boudoir images. Stella helps ladies accessorize for the shots, which can range from retro-styled pinup poses to head shots that highlight the sitter's facial features. Whatever type of image he's crafting, Mark can lend prints a more artistic bent by altering them to fit the style of oil or watercolor paintings.
The extravagant Fasig-Tipton Pavilion houses this year’s Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, where acclaimed musicians give majestic performances and host master classes. Friday evening reveals a nuanced rendition of Dvořák's Terzetto in C Major, as delivered in part by the festival's artistic director, Nathan Cole, who also holds the position of first associate concertmaster with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ravel's Trio in A Minor brings together soothing sounds of piano, violin, and cello, ad Schubert's famed Trout Quintet dances between strings, piano, and a trio of opera-singing fish. Saturday evening ushers in Busoni's Sonata no. 2 in E—its ivory, dulcet piano tickled by Alessio Bax, who has appeared as a soloist with more than 85 orchestras worldwide. Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze and a world premiere written by Daniel Kellogg set the sound stage for Dvořák's Quintet in G Major, as two violins, a viola, a cello, and a double bass come together to fight musical crimes wrought by vuvuzelas and Christmas recordings of dogs barking.
Only in Kentucky equips natives and visitors alike with Kentucky-themed collectables, from University of Kentucky Wildcats merchandise to culinary items such as cookbooks and sauces. Shoppers can bathe under the watchful eyes of 100%-polyester felines with a UK shower curtain ($13.99), or accessorize the side-view mirrors of hatchbacks, SUVs, and vintage Batmobiles with logoed mirror covers ($21.99). Filled with classic Southern recipes, The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook imparts instruction on how to craft bourbon-inspired masterpieces ($24.95), while spicy salsas and barbecue sauces provide an extra kick to meals ($3.95–$15.95). Metal emblem shot glasses ($5.99) infuse each beverage with a Bluegrass-State amusement as traditional as horse, car, or squirrel races.
The Kentucky Ballet Theatre was founded in 1998 to give Lexington audiences their own local company of ballet dancers. The performances that have followed have included classics such as Prokofiev's Cinderella and new works such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. The dancers host their shows at the Lexington Opera House, a historical landmark which was built in 1887, was converted into a movie theater in the 1920s, and did a brief stint as a Rockette before returning to its classical roots in 1976.
Through informative lectures and thought-provoking exhibits, Lexington History Museum assists all age groups in interpreting and internalizing the city's storied past. A family membership grants you and your kin unlimited access to the exhibits, including Play Date With History, an interactive display inviting children and overanxious history majors to dally around with toys, such as tree branches and miniature tea sets, that Abraham Lincoln's children might have played with in the 1800s. Track the history of key plunking with the Antique Typewriters exhibit, which offers a glimpse into the word processor's lifespan, from its heyday in 1872 to the Great Typewriter Rebellion of 2002. Members also receive The Bluegrass History, a quarterly publication, unlimited free ketchup packets from the place down the street, The Vidette newsletter, and a 10% discount on any additional merchandise.
Splash 'Em Out's team of professionals man an arsenal of mammoth 20- to 60-pound front-load washers that can handle up to six loads of laundry at a time. When clothes are washed clean, they're moved into extra-large dryers with high, medium, or no heat settings capable of handling anything from heavy-duty towels to delicate undergarments. For customers who prefer performing the wash themselves, Splash 'Em Out's four locations keep customers' minds off the wait with entertainment including cable TV, video games, WiFi, and a children's play area. Stained clothes get special attention from Splash 'Em Out's staff, who can remove remnants of smoke, soot, or water stains from damaged clothing and thoroughly clean horse blankets without riding the horse through a car wash.