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Program 820

1. Coffey’s Concrete
2. carriage collector Dinwiddie Lampton Jr.
3. artist Joe Petro III
Season 8 Menu

Barren County

For more information:
Coffey’s Concrete, 414 East Happy Valley Street, Cave City, KY 42127, (270) 773-4040

Producers, videographers: David Brinkley, Jennifer Belcher
Editor: Jennifer Belcher

Set in Stone

Coffey’s Concrete

Head south from Mammoth Cave to Cave City in neighboring Barren County, and you’ll encounter “Concrete Alley,” a collection of businesses that specialize in cast-concrete lawn ornaments. Birdbaths and fountains, angels and saints, animals of all sorts, and other more fanciful creations all await the traveler looking for a durable, decorative souvenir with some real weight.

To see how sand, gravel, and cement are turned into cherubs and frogs, Kentucky Life visited Coffey’s Concrete for a behind-the-scenes tour. Owner Chris L. Holder explains both the art and the science of the design and casting process.

Oldham County

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographer: Brandon Wickey
Audio: Charlie Bissell, Chuck Burgess
Editor: Jim Piston

Country Gentleman

Carriage collector Dinwiddie Lampton Jr.

Dinwiddie Lampton Jr. was a Louisville business leader, insurance magnate, and local celebrity who also dabbled in politics—even running for governor in 1987. At the time we visited in 2001, he was still putting in daily hours at his insurance company at the age of 88. But this profile focuses on another passion in his life: horses.

Lampton was the owner of one of the largest and finest collections of antique horse-drawn carriages in the country. And he put them to use as often as he could, taking the reins himself to cruise around Hardscuffle, his Oldham County farm, in a coach and four. In many ways the picture of an old-fashioned Southern gentleman, he also competed in horse shows, could usually be found on Kentucky Derby Day holding court amid a circle of guests, and for years hosted an annual steeplechase race at Hardscuffle to benefit a local arts organization.

Lampton died in September 2008.

Fayette County

For more information:
Joe Petro III, P.O. Box 22888, Lexington, KY 40522-2888

Producer: Guy Mendes
Editors: Guy Mendes, Dan Taulbee

The Art of the Familiar

Joe Petro III

Joe Petro III of Lexington started out to be a biologist. But his interest in animals has now been channeled into art. In a way, that career change put him back in the family business, since his father was also an artist.

An accomplished sculptor in bronze and clay, Petro is best known for his silk-screened posters and prints. A self-taught printmaker, he also makes his own paper and mixes his own colors. Petro uses an elaborate process in which he applies as many as 246 colors to the paper, using stencils so that each ink is applied directly to blank areas of the sheet, rather than layering the colors. The vibrant colors yielded by this painstaking technique, combined with his striking designs, create a signature style that’s much in demand. Organizations like Greenpeace, the Nature Conservancy, and the Iditarod Sled Dog Race have commissioned Petro posters, and he has counted Kurt Vonnegut, Ralph Steadman, and Hunter S. Thompson among his artistic collaborators.

The images in Petro’s work are often drawn from his own life. His parrot, Bub, has “posed” for several works, and he spent countless weeks creating a serigraph of a favorite toy from his childhood—a 1960s-style action figure of Robby the Robot from the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet.

In the photo at right, the artist is shown in front of KET’s Lexington headquarters with Big Red TV, a sculpture he donated to us in honor of the dedication of the O. Leonard Press Telecommunications Center (photo by Guy Mendes). The TV shape also appears in several of his prints.

SEASON 8 PROGRAMS: 801802803804805806807808
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