Lyric Gallery & Museum

The Lyric's mission includes celebrating diverse cultures, with special emphasis on African American cultural heritage, through artistic presentation of the highest quality. With our rotating exhibits in our Gallery & Museum, The Lyric is able to highlight the talents of local, regional and national artists, all free of charge for the public to view and enjoy.

Gallery Hours

Tuesday - Friday: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Group tours available by appointment - call (859) 280-2201 for more information.

In The Lyric's Museum

Rotating Display

In our Museum, The Lyric is extremely proud to feature works of community artists and artist groups who have donated their work to us. These artists represent the diversity and core of our mission, and we are proud to host their work for all of our patrons and supporters to enjoy. Current artists on display: Adan Utrero, Enrique Gonzalez, Agustin Zarate, Jared Owens, Mercedes Harn, 2016 'Artist's Eye' Program Participants.

Lyric Featured Artist

Derek King Jr.

On Display March 23, 2018 - May 25, 2018

Along with our community partners who donate work to The Lyric, we also feature rotating artists/groups of artists on our Lyric Featured Artist wall in our museum.

On the current installation:

About the Artist: Derek King Jr.

Derek is an artist based in Lexington, Kentucky. Using the human figure, Derek creates work surrounding the idea of identity within the youth community as well as the connection between the youth and the hip-hop culture. Focusing on popular styles and trends, Derek wishes to bring awareness to the constant battle of identity the youth deal with daily as far as being themselves and/or emulating something they have seen in popular culture.

Derek earned his B.F.A. degree at the University of Kentucky in 2015, with a focus in drawing and painting. During his time of study, he was accepted into the Carrie Ellis Student Juried Art Show in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He was also accepted into the Juried Exhibition "Not Too Big” at the MS Rezny Gallery in 2013. In 2015 he held his first solo show at the Tuska Gallery on the campus of the University of Kentucky. In 2013, Derek also started a clothing brand entitled "Chillmatic” and "Flowas” in 2017, in which he does all the designing and artwork.


About the Exhibit:

In The Lyric's Gallery

Aye Aton: Visions

On Display April 9 - May 25, 2018


Next in The Lyric's Gallery

KS Lachheb: Between Two Worlds

On the Current Exhibit:

Aye Aton (American Artist, Designer, Musician 1940 – 2017) was born Robert Underwood on January 29, 1940 in Versailles, Kentucky.  Aton attended Central State University in Xenia, Ohio and Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. 


Aton moved from Midway, Kentucky to the South Side of Chicago in 1960 to be involved in the civil rights movement.  Through contacts he made being an activist, he was introduced into the vibrant visual and musical arts culture of Chicago.  In 1964 he began performing as a percussionist with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a group known for developing an avant-garde style of jazz.  He also became a prolific muralist, painting many home interiors as well as the exterior of public buildings. 


Aton heard about Sun Ra’s (born Henry Blount; bandleader, composer, arranger, artist, poet and philosopher) avant-jazz music and cosmic philosophy from the Washington Park Study Group in Chicago.  In late 1960 he contacted Sun Ra by phone and an eleven-year long distance mentorship ensued. Aton’s murals began to  reflect the topics he and Sun Ra discussed. Egyptian motifs, ancient symbols and outer space images appeared in his work.  In 1972 Sun Ra and Aton finally met at a concert.  For the next two years Aton would work and live with Sun Ra’s Arkestra, travelling internationally, performing as a percussionist with the group and designing and executing stage backdrops. 


Aton returned to Chicago in 1974, resuming his commissioned mural works and continuing his musical associations with AACM and the Sun Ra Arkestra.  Aton supplemented his artistic endeavors by periodically working for various programs in the social work field, specifically with disadvantaged and at-risk youth.


In 1983 Aton moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and became a community arts advocate, continuing to create artwork as well as drumming with area groups.  He was recognized as an Arts Ambassador by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge in 2001.  In addition to exhibiting his art work locally, Aton was commissioned by the Kansas City Memorial Juneteenth Arts Festival to design and produce a poster for their 2010 Juneteenth celebration.  The poster features images of the musician John Coltrane.  A version of this work has been donated to The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Art Center’s permanent collection by Aton’s eldest son, Ahmosis Aton.


Aton moved back to Kentucky in March of 2016 to be close to family after a diagnosis of lung cancer.  Despite his frail health he continued to create art every day. His philosophy regarding his art is summed up in this excerpt from his artist’s statement:


". . . Color, like music and many other natural forces, has a healing and nourishing

effect, and with proper application and utilization, a person’s thought patterns are affected, thereby producing different kinds of personalities. . . . Upon creation, the symphonies of color bridge the gap between the deep recesses of the mind and the borders of the extra-terrestrial. The implementation of fresh imagination and delicate techniques takes the viewers and transforms them into listeners of color.”



Gallery Hop: 
Friday, May 18

On the Next Exhibit:
KS Laccheb: Between Two Worlds

In The Lyric's Historic Lobby

Rico Andre Berry

Rico Andre Berry is a professional artist from Eastern Kentucky. His art brings to life his life’s experiences and how they are seen through his mind’s eye. Berry’s true calling for art was recognized during his unfortunate incarceration. During his time, he discovered the work of one of his mentors, the late, Ernie Barnes.  Berry became known for his work there and began to correspond with the University of Kentucky where he did his first art exhibit entitled, "Proud on the Inside.”  He has been contracted to do many jobs where his work can be seen in various churches, restaurants, horse farms and businesses throughout Kentucky. Berry’s work brings to the forefront the true essence of the messages they convey. Whether it is a mural, sketch, portraits or image he has created, you feel the spirit of each piece.


Berry’s work will be on display in The Lyric’s Main Lobby

January 18, 2018 – March 23, 2018