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I Was Here


Marjorie Guyon, Patrick J. Mitchell, Nikky Finney

I Was Here is a public art project launched in Central Kentucky that features images of contemporary African-American men, women, and children, turned into “Ancestor Spirit Portraits” in a collaboration between artist Marjorie Guyon and photographer Patrick J. Mitchell with language from poet Nikky Finney. These portraits, acting as a living memorial to the enslaved persons bought and sold, are to be installed throughout the Central Kentucky Libraries beginning with Northside and Central thanks to generous sponsorship from Wells Fargo. We believe that the spirit of the past can be redeemed and our future, as a shared humanity, more richly nurtured.The mission of the project is twofold—to create a memorial to those who were sold into slavery and in doing so, to seek a path beyond who we were and move toward a vision of who we could be…. to instill a deeper  understanding of our common humanity and to create a means to “see the world with different eyes.”

Opening Reception:  Thursday, October 3, 6:30-8:30pm at Central Library

Gallery Locations & Hours

Central Library Gallery 
140 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507
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Sun1 pm - 5 pm
Mon-Thu9 am - 9 pm
Fri9 am - 6 pm
Sat9 am - 5 pm

Eastside Gallery Wall 
3000 Blake James Drive
Lexington, KY 40509 
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Sun1 pm - 5 pm
Mon-Thu9:30 am - 9 pm
Fri9:30 am - 6 pm
Sat9:30 am - 5 pm