Through May 30
Alice Baldwin’s ‘Still Life with Bagels’
Matisse or Picasso: I often wonder which of the two has influenced contemporary artists more. Matisse scores with painter Alice Baldwin, who says, in her artist statement, that she is “a true color junkie and like the freedom of fauvist and expressionistic work.”
And Baldwin delivers bold, bright still-life paintings. Her selection of objects comes naturally — she probably can’t help herself. She is the Kentucky Opera’s props master, so arranging “stuff” is a way of life for her.
“ love the way the right object can help develop a character, convey a mood or drive a plot,” she says. “I like to arrange props in tabletop displays and try to generate a sense of artifice and drama, playing with the balance and forcing lines of perspective into slightly skewed, flattened out or exaggerated dimensions.”
This exhibition gives Baldwin a chance to flaunt her fine art flair. I’m not sure if there will be bagels at the opening reception, but there certainly will be servings of color. —Jo Anne Triplett
Nancy’s Bagel Grounds
2101 Frankfort Ave.
Free; reception, Tues., May 8, 6:30 p.m.
Through May 31
The Process of Exploration: 1900 drawings
“Busy minds plus busy fingers” — a definition I once heard for creativity — seems to apply to this exhibition of drawings at Rouge Noir Gallery by what must have been 19 very busy local artists, including former Guggenheim intern Jim Doiron, recent MFA recipient Lisa Simon and muralist Brad Stivers. Curated by Brent Dedas (whose work is also in the show) to provide a peek into this basic creative form, the exhibit features drawings suspended from the ceiling.
Why not place them on the walls?
“It’s more enticing and engaging, more interactive by inviting people into the work for a closer investigation,” Dedas explains. “Unlike most art exhibitions, the viewer will not be able to walk in, take a quick look and instantly decide. Rather, they like it or not. This is a slower process, inviting a more intense look.”
The drawings are $20 each. The opening reception is during the First Friday Gallery Hop. The gallery will be open from 1-4 p.m. every Saturday in May. —Jo Anne Triplett
Rouge Noir Gallery
333 E. Market St.
Free; reception, May 4, 6 p.m.
Derby Tip: Velcro Pygmies
For all out-of-town guests looking for a quick Derby pick — here’s mine: Take in a Velcro Pygmies show. You won’t be disappointed if you were born before 1980, seriously. They’re back in town this week and you’ve got two chances to see them — Thursday night at a free concert at Fourth Street Live, and Friday at their familiar stomping ground, Phoenix Hill Tavern.
If you’ve flashed the international sign for metal more than the peace sign, these are your folks. If you’ve always wanted to roll around on the hood of a car half-naked, these are your folks. If you still Aquanet your mall bangs, these are your folks. If you know what mall bangs are, these are your folks. If you’re tired of me writing about them year after year, these are your folks. Or not. —Sara Havens
May 3: Fourth Street Live
Free; 8 p.m.
May 4: Phoenix Hill Tavern
644 Baxter Ave.
$15; 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 5
Today is Derby Day. It’s all built around the ninth race of the day at Churchill Downs, during which three-year-old thoroughbred horses run a mile and a quarter around the track. For more than a century, this race has given people a reason to celebrate, even if they couldn’t see the race. Last year, it began operating under the corporate sponsorship of a Louisville-based international fast-food conglomerate, bringing yet more class to our hometown if that is even possible.
As for me: All I want is a Fogelberg-free Derby. No more playing of “Run For The Roses’’ as we watch footage of a colt as he takes his first awkward and adorable steps. Oh, and quit crowding up my lovely Highlands neighborhood to gawk at B-listers. —Gina Moeller
Anywhere One Wants to Celebrate (with respect for others, of course)
All day and all the night (if you dare and have the stamina)
Sunday, May 6
‘And They’re Off’
While we commonly associate this expression with horses, each year the Louisville Youth Orchestra uses the dictum to title its final season concert. As the orchestra’s music director Jason Seber explains, “This is the concert where we say good-bye to our seniors.” This year that includes 28 members. Of those, more than half intend to study music at reputable music programs, including Indiana University, University of Louisville, University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
The program in the lovely Iroquois Amphitheater will feature more than 250 young musicians in the orchestra playing a range of works — including Giacommo Rossini’s overture to the opera “William Tell;” choices from Leonard Bernstein’s music for “West Side Story” (“Maria,” “America,” “Tonight” and “Cool”); selections from John Williams’ scores for the “Star Wars” films; and, continuing on a space theme, “Mars” and “Jupiter” from the English composer Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite ‘The Planets.’ —Elizabeth Kramer
Louisville Youth Orchestra
Iroquois Amphitheater, Iroquois Park
Free; 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 6
Author Elizabeth Gilbert
Clearly, “gamble, drink, party” is the mantra for many during Derby season. But try on this trifecta instead: “Eat, Pray, Love.” That’s the title of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling and deeply moving memoir, now in paperback. It recalls her year-long sojourn to three disparate corners of the world (Italy, India and Indonesia). Each destination held the promise to fulfill an important purpose for the author, who aspired to leave behind the shadows of failed relationships and personal despair. Gilbert gave the book a unique structure that blows out the dust that many readers have seen piling up amid the recent glut of memoirs. Carmichael’s, in association with Interfaith Paths to Peace, is holding a reading/signing on the day after the Derby. —T.E. Lyons
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 4 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8
California Guitar Trio
For the last 16 years, the California Guitar Trio has built an uncompromised reputation out of its uncompromising talent. Bert Lams, Hideyo Moriya and Paul Richards come from three different countries — Belgium, Japan and the United States, respectively — and yet their worlds and dissimilar backgrounds come together with a confidence that is absolutely stunning, thanks to their accomplished guitar playing. They’ve played with King Crimson and Dark Star Orchestra, and their music has been featured on CNN and in the 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 Olympic games. Classical, blues, jazz and surf music — CGT does it all with a style often imitated, but never upstaged. This is an all-ages show . —Mat Herron
The 930 Arts Center
930 Mary St.
$15; 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8
Jennifer Herrema speaks in non-sequiturs, but her intelligence shines through in an unpretentious, albeit indirect, manner. Her band, RTX, comes screaming out of Sunset Beach, Calif., with Western Xterminator. On the surface, its guitar work signals ’80s hair metal, but Herrema quashes inevitable stereotypes by explaining where the concept came from: her time spent with an all-new backup band during RTX’s 2005 European tour supporting its last record, Transmaniacon. For RTX, originally the abbreviation for the much-loved Royal Trux until it broke up in 2001, Xterminator “is about me knowing them, and getting to know them better and realizing what they were capable of, what they could bring and where they came from,” Herrema said. “So I started writing it. I could utilize what they had and what they were passionate about.” —Mat Herron
2126 S. Preston St.
$TBD; 8 p.m.