If The Walls Could Talk. Pope villa. Lexington Kentucky. USA. October 2014.

Expanded Draught has been invited to collaborate in the creation of a large-scale installation in Henry Latrobe’s Pope villa in Lexington Kentucky USA in October 2014. This exhibition is in association with The Lexington Art League & the Bluegrass preservation trust.

Benjamin Henry Latrobe is known as the father of American architecture; Latrobe designed and collaborated on some of the USA’s most important structures, including the United States Capitol. Pope, a Kentucky lawyer and politician, and later Territorial Governor of Arkansas, worked closely with Latrobe on a proposal for vast internal improvements of Western America, including highways, bridges and canals. Pope commissioned the Villa in 1810. It is one of only three extant Latrobe buildings in the USA. It is of great importance socially and in terms of the visual cultural history of the USA.

The façade has been reconstructed; but the original interior architectural elements are scheduled to be restored over the coming years. The building is now at a unique stage in its historical development. Expanded Draught has secured the permission and opportunity to develop a series of artist responses through installations and residencies over the period of a month at the Villa. The contemporary visual response allow the citizens, communities of interest and audiences to develop an alternative public memory of the building and its meaning a new light in the time before it becomes preserved.

The project focuses on the notion of sequencing and on the particular order in which related events, movements or things follow each other. For this project 8 American artist with work with 7 Irish Artists in Lexington, the critical framework will be to respond to two dichotomous concepts of work and play presented in the house.  The Villa was designed to house both concepts seamlessly; designed for entertainment by its Masters a series of corridors sequestered working house slaves out of sight.  We have been given unprecedented access to peel back the layers, connecting the house’s history with its imagined future. Through the use of layered materials and ideas, we will control not only the path the viewer uses to navigate the house, but also how they see it. As with all our projects, while we work we will ask ourselves; who is this for, does it take in the public as an audience, and what would the neighbours say?  There we will begin our large-scale installation in Henry Latrobe’s Pope villa.  We will bring the house to life by creating a completely immersive experience for the viewer by creating a cohesive collaborative installation in which Pope Villa becomes the artwork and the participating artist are unified as one.


Expanded Draught members enjoy working together; we’re all artists and collectively speak the same language. We want to empower people we come in contact with to be involved creatively in our projects. Whether that means creating an immersive experience for the viewer, or formulating a plan to do a project that involves the audiences participation. At its core, Expanded draught helps to build a platform for creative human interaction. This allows us to invite the audience to participate. Our aim is to reawaken connections to everyday life and each other, and create large scale accessible projects. These projects encourage artist- audience interaction and diminish the physiological distance we place between one another. Expanded Draught persues projects that could not be realized by one individual artist. By utilizing all of our skills we can achieve much more than any one person could, and do so in shorter periods of time. For the Pope Villa project, we will bring the house to life by creating a completely immersive experience for the viewer. We will create a cohesive collaborative installation in which Pope Villa becomes the artwork and the participating artist are unified as one. Our collective goal is to rejuvenate Pope villa in a new and contemporary way before its preservation, allowing the locals and residents to view the building in a new light and bring the past back to life.


The blog (link above) is a tool to help us grow to know Pope Villa and in understanding its long and diverse history as well as its meaning within the community, This blog exists to begin the collection of Pope Villa’s stories. This is our first source of interaction with the space. We are asking you- the community to contribute memories, hand-me- down tales and musing of the house. Please add your stories to the box below or email us at expandeddraught@gmail.com. These stories will directly impact how we come to see the space and the artwork that inhabits it.

E-mail: expandeddraught@gmail.com

This project is in association with:

Lexington Art League http://www.lexingtonartleague.org/

Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation http://www.bluegrasstrust.org/

If the walls could talk story bank blog: http://expandeddraughtblog.wordpress.com/