Allegra Lockstadt, our featured artist this week, has created a Kentucky image that is richly detailed and deeply embedded in the natural world of our lush state. Allegra spent many of her formative years in Kentucky, though she now draws from afar. Many displaced Kentuckians can related to her feelings, "my personal story and association with Kentucky is that it's home at a distance: I've lived outside of Kentucky for the past 6 years, but even so, it will always be part of my history and part of who I am no matter where I end up."
When working with her to design the print, we knew we wanted a fresh take on another aspect of the state's identity while simultaneously creating play with the lyrics of 'My Old Kentucky Home.' Allegra's take on the project accomplishes those goals and more, the resulting print is tinged with nostalgia, wildness, and a touch of the psychedelic.
Lockstadt articulates her connections with the design, "I wanted to create an image that Kentuckians abroad could relate to in this same way. And I wanted to make that idea of Kentucky as a distant home really 'romantic', somewhat mystical, nostalgic and beautiful, making sure it reflected the natural beauty of Kentucky which is hard to find elsewhere. Hence, the use of flowers and plants that are native to Kentucky in this image. Finally, this whole image pays obvious homage to Kentucky as a far away home by making light reference to 'My Old Kentucky Home', the state's official state song, one that I can't help but get misty-eyed over when I hear it."
Much of Allegra's early identity as an artist was shaped by her years at Henry Clay and Lafayette Senior High Schools, where she was able to dedicate herself to learning and honing her craft, especially painting. Once moving on to MCAD, Lockstadt could move beyond execution to the meaning of her creative work, which is interdisciplinary in nature. Lockstadt feels connected to the narrative aspect of illustration: "concept and poetry in a work will always be something I am drawn to…something that can tell a story and move you."
When asked about some of her favorite Kentucky indulgences, Allegra said she loves seeing horses everywhere and visiting Miguel's Pizza in Slade, Kentucky when she returns to the Commonwealth. Fittingly, this week's print is emblematic of the flora of the Bluegrass and the wealth of fall foliage spreading across Red River Gorge.
'My Old Kentucky Home Far Away' Prints by Allegra Lockstadt. Split-fountain method screenprinted in a dark red, purple, and navy fade. Printed by PushPush Press in Lexington, Kentucky, on 19" x 25" warm off-white 100lb stock made by French Paper. $25. Available Friday, Oct. 10th @ 10am.
Words by Hannah Legris and photos by Cassie Lopez