With loads of lakes, rivers, caves, bridges, bourbon, horses, bike trails, cliffs, streams, and beautiful green forests - Kentucky is a vacationland for everyone. True dat. We first discovered the ‘Kentucky Vacationland For Everyone’ saying on an old 1969 Kentucky Highway Map. We loved it so much we started printing it on t-shirts. Now we’re excited to announce that we are bringing the ‘Kentucky Vacationland For Everyone’ party to your house. Specifically, your walls. On Friday, July 25th, we’ll have available for purchase 120 one-of-a-kind ‘Kentucky Vacationland For Everyone’ vintage Kentucky county map prints. These kick-ass map prints are sourced from an old 1950’s-1960’s bound notebook (prepared by the General Highways Department of Planning) we picked. The notebook contains 120 (each representing a different county) maps of Kentucky’s highways. The maps date back to the 1950’s, 1960’s and several from the 1970’s. At the handy size of 11” x 14” these prints are sure to please. Hang this print proudly in your old Kentucky home and let everyone know - Kentucky Is A Vacationland For Everyone. Hand printed in Lexington, Kentucky by Chris Hamersly of Push Push Press. Available Friday, July 25th. 10am. Get Yours, $20.
*Only 120 prints available. You will not be able to select a specific county, they’ll be shipped at random.
* Overall prints are in good condition. Given their age, there is some wear to a few of the pages at the bottom edges. Some light yellowing on some of the maps as well.
This week, we’re launching a selection of beautiful, handcrafted cutting boards cut, sanded, and finished at the hands of Lexington firefighters who have a passion for woodcraft. And, as usual, they’re in limited supply. We’ve only got 25 to share with the world – so get them while they’re hot. Sanded to a silky finished and sealed with mineral oil, the Kick Ass Kentucky-shaped cutting board is perfect for in-home display, daily use, or special occasion entertaining when you want everything to taste especially delicious.
There’s a story behind these boards. Andy Carter and Tad Willis, Lexington Firefighters together since 2004, began a new venture in the summer of 2011 when a friend asked them to make built-in bookshelves for Two Chicks, a local Lexington boutique. Though Andy originally had little experience with woodworking, Tad had been crafting ornate wood pens and furniture for years, and so they joined forces and began making a series of bookshelves for various friends, acquaintances, and small business owners around the Bluegrass. However, it wasn’t until Tad and Andy began making cutting boards for the same boutique that they realized the huge demand for beautiful and unique custom boards. As Andy says, “This is when bout business began…we honestly had no idea of the popularity of the cutting boards nor the demand.” Their business grew steadily as the word spread through the Commonwealth that these two firemen were making boards unlike any others.
Andy explains the evolution of Red Wagon Cutting Boards, “In our early days of cutting board making, we did most everything by hand (pieced the wood together, shaped the boards with a bandsaw, hand-sanded, etc.). As business increased, we quickly...
This week we’re mining the legacy of “The Narco Farm,” a Lexington legend that housed many greats – including Sonny Rollins, William S. Burroughs, Chet Baker, Wayne Kramer, Elivn Jones, and Red Rodney – that we’ve rounded up together in a dream team version of “the Narco Farm Brass Band.” This summer, we’re celebrating with a hand-pulled print that’s exclusively designed, signed, and numbered by Cricket Press for Kentucky for Kentucky. Before you snag ‘the cure for what ails you,’ let us give you a little dose of history to get your head right.
Recreational drug prohibition got cracking in America a century ago with the passage of the Harrison Act of 1914. This law was the first major federal curtailment of opium and cocaine distribution. Heroin, alcohol, and marijuana were also made illegal in the following decade. By the late 1920s, a third of all federal prisoners were in for drug charges.
In an attempt to head off the growing drug/incarceration crisis, the United States Narcotic Farm was opened in Lexington, Kentucky in 1935. Featuring a big-shouldered, Art Deco-style complex, and situated on a thousand acres of kickass Kentucky farmland, its daunting mission was the full rehabilitation of American drug addicts, and the development of a cure for drug addiction.
Its official name was changed to the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital soon after opening, but it was forever known as the Narcotic Farm, or “Narco.” Narco was the leading—or only—federal drug treatment facility for four decades. It was a prison, it was a hospital, and it was a daring sociological and scientific experiment. The federal authorities, in their wisdom, knew that when pioneering needs doing, Kentucky is the right place to do it.
The Narcotic Farm employed many novel methods to “cure”...
This week, we’re excited to announce our partnership with Institute 193, a non-profit art gallery space that generates collaborations between artists, musicians, and writers to produce exhibitions, publications, and projects that document the cultural landscape of the modern South. Founded in 2009, Institute 193 “embraces the notion that groundbreaking contemporary art can and does emerge outside of large metropolitan centers,” and seeks to expose the world to the work done in lesser-recognized regions of the United States.
Ultimately, their goal is to increase media exposure for artists while fostering connections in art markets across the globe. As the curator of Institute 193, Phillip March Jones attests that, in the South, “you don’t have to dig very deep to find things of immense value and beauty. Those things are all around us.” We couldn’t agree more.
Featuring 14 Kentucky artists, Institute 193 Volume One holds an impressive compilation of images culled from the first three years, during which time the space has housed 28 exhibits and countless cultural events. A large coffeetable book, Institute 193 Volume One contains 159 full-color pages that include images from 18 Southern artists and biographical descriptions of the circumstances of their lives and careers.
Here at Kentucky for Kentucky, we believe in celebrating the beauty of our state and the talents of the makers who choose to make a life in the South – Institute 193 Volume One accomplishes that goal, and more. So set a spell, pour a nice tall drink, and start turning these pages, friends – it’s time to take a peek into the lives, times, and images that further tell the tale of why Kentucky is such a Kick Ass Commonwealth to call home.
$45 per book – treat that coffee table right and grace...
In 1917, Irvin Cobb wrote an amazing quote about Kentucky in the Columbia Spectator. In 2014, the sentiment continues to ring true: “To be born in Kentucky is a heritage; to brag about it is a habit; to appreciate it is a virtue.” Earlier this year, Jeremy Booth made us a print celebrating Cobb and his epic quote. Now we’ve made it a t-shirt so you can spread the word far and wide. Boast about the land you call yours, Kentuckains – you’ve earned that right.
Quote by Irvin Cobb. Artwork by Jeremy Booth. Printed by PushPush Press in Lexington, Kentucky on American Apparel Unisex tri-blend t-shirts, grey with black ink, XS-XXL. Available on Friday, July 11th at 10:00am.
Words by Hannah Legris. Photos by Stanley Sievers. Design by Jeremy Booth.
This week, we launch the ‘Lexington Rainbow Print,’ an emblematic and classic design with a rich history spanning back nearly 40 years. As we celebrate all things America we’re also celebrating all things Lexington – a tip-of-the-hat to the town Kentucky for Kentucky calls home. This is no ordinary rainbow, but one with a long and virtuous story laden with love, destruction, and rediscovery. So gather round, friends, because we’ve got a tale to tell about a time of yore, the time of the first Lexington Rainbow.
In 1975, Lexington prepared to celebrate the city’s bicentennial, encouraging artists to submit their vision for a mural commemorating the anniversary. The winning design would be painted on the side of the Phillip Gall building, which once stood in the center of downtown facing the old courthouse. Ellsworth “Skip” Taylor, the art director of KET at the time, turned in a hand-drawn design that captured his feeling about the town he’d adopted as his own. Skip knew that Lexington was the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and so he penned a simple sentiment to reflect this vision. He won the Lexington Art League contest and a sign-painter re-created the Rainbow in the middle of downtown.
Though a handful of silkscreen prints with the same design were produced, the mural itself was lost when the building was demolished in the mid-1980s to make way for the 5th/3rd financial center. The prints were so rare that the artist himself no longer had a copy, and he simply assumed that the time of the Rainbow had passed. As he explained, “the biggest thing was that when they tore it down, that was it.” We discovered the print...
So many great inventions have come out of Kentucky. Inventions like the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, cheeseburgers, bourbon, the bowie knife, gold, horses, and the crowd favorite - motha f***in fried chicken. We were the first to fry chicken and everyone loves fried chicken.
With that said, we’re excited to introduce a brand spanking new Kentucky invention. An invention so kick-ass, it will change the jewelry game forever. We’ve taken one great Kentucky invention and turned it into a completely new Kentucky invention. Like Willy Wonka's 'Everlasting Gobstopper' we've figured about a way to make it possible to savor a single piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken forever. For-ever and ever. We all win.
So how'd we do it? We got together with our favorite Kentucky jewelry designer Meg C to create a beautiful line of “Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces”. That’s right, your dreams have now come true. Thanks to Meg C and Kentucky for Kentucky, you can now wear a 14kt gold plated Kentucky Fried Chicken bone around your sexy neck. No joke, beautiful handcrafted gold necklaces made with real bones from a Kentucky Fried Chicken 8-piece chicken dinner. Boomtown.
So how'd Meg C create these game-changing Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Necklaces? After hitting up the KFC on New Circle and Boardwalk (Lexington, Kentucky), Meg and her boyfriend got down to business and crushed 25 wings late that night. After they had their fill, Meg cleaned the bones with soap and water and let them dry in the fresh Kentucky air and sunshine.
From there, the bones needed to be...
Earlier this week, we looked around the Kentucky for Kentucky office and realized that something was missing, something essential. We looked at the prints on the walls and the shirts on the racks and the booze in the cabinet, and we felt, well, not quite at ease. We needed something classic, we needed something handmade...we needed something to hold all of the moonshine we’d been storing in random containers.
Thankfully, Kick-Ass Kentuckian Carl Wagoner came to the rescue, supplying the Kentucky for Kentucky team with an assortment of hand-thrown jugs – all of which may be used for a wide variety of purposes. For example, here around the Kentucky for Kentucky offices we filled them with some homemade 'shine, busied ourselves with rustic flower arrangements, and propped one against a wayward door. Now that we’ve had our fun, friends, we’re ready to share these treasures with the world.
Kentucky moonshine jugs: black and brown glaze, dishwasher safe, individually signed by the artist, limited edition, nine available per size. Two options: small (approximately 3lbs) for $32, and large (approximately 5lbs) for $48. On sale Friday, June 20th, 10am.
Words by Hannah LeGris. Photos by Stanley Sievers.
The “no-tell motel,” America’s slightly repressed version of the Asian love hotel, is the accidental product of two seemingly unrelated trends of the 1960s and ‘70s (it’s always preferable to have unrelated parents). In generous terms, the no-tell is the lovechild of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Helen Gurley Brown: President Ike began the Interstate Highway System, and Ms. Gurley Brown was a leading architect of the sexual revolution.
The Interstate Highway System was championed by President Eisenhower and begun in 1956. It took shape in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and long-distance car travel became more frequent than ever before. This drove the rapid appearance of inexpensive motor hotels along interstates and across vacation sites. Motels typically feature parking just outside each room, and are equipped with a small office rather than the full pass-through lobby of most hotels.
During the same period, American sexual mores were shifting. Helen Gurley Brown, author of Sex and the Single Girl (1962) and editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine from 1965, had at least as large an effect on the sexual re-landscaping of America as anyone during these two decades. Divorces instigated by women rose dramatically as their financial independence became more viable. Infidelity statistics for women increased at a higher rate than men: more women in the workplace meant more women “working late,” and more women were willing to discuss this formerly taboo subject. Adultery was also effectively decriminalized in most states during this era. In short, more adults were adulterous with each passing year in the Age of Aquarius.
Obviously, Mrs. Jones couldn’t be seen smooching Mr. Smith, so “your place or mine?”...