Photos from the past, present, and future of The Parklands [Visual Art]

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What would Louisville do without the beloved Olmstead parks? The dependable scenic loop at Cherokee, the free movies at Iroquois, and the challenging golf course at Seneca have all found a special place within the hearts of Louisvillians. There’s no doubt that we love our green spaces, so why not add some more?

David Jones, founder of Humana, and his son Dan Jones, a park enthusiast, created 21st Century Parks, which is a non-profit corporation that is committed to preserving and developing new public parklands. Their current project, The Parklands of Floyds Fork, consists of 4,000 acres in eastern and southern Louisville, along Floyds Fork Creek, a classic Kentucky stream. Shelbyville Road borders the project to the north and Bardstown Road to the south. The Parklands will include four major parks linked by a park drive, a first-rate urban trail system, and a remarkable water trail. Construction of the area, which started this summer, will be done in phases and The Parklands will begin to open in 2013 with the entire system scheduled to be open by 2015.

In 2007, Dan Jones met with photographers Ted Wathen, who founded the Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project, which is currently on display at the Frazier Museum, and John Nation, photographer for Louisville Magazine. When they toured the thousands of acres of land that would become The Parklands, Ted proposed documenting the landscape before, during and after the creation of The Parklands throughout the seasons.

Thus the exhibit, The Vision of a Generation: Photographs from The Parklands of Floyds Fork, was born. The 36 photographs that comprise the exhibit range in season and landscape, and were chosen from a collection of more than 2,000 images that the photographers have shot over the past four years at The Parklands. 

On Thursday, Oct. 20th at 7 p.m. the photographers Bob Hower, John Nation and Ted Wathen will discuss their work on this four-year project. The event is free and open to the public. The gallery talk and exhibit is at the Louisville Free Public Library, Main Branch, 301 York Street and will be on view until Oct. 31st. This event is in conjunction with the Photo Biennial.

Photo: Quadrant Photography/Bob Hower

About Julie Gross
I’m originally from Ohio, but have been a Louisvillian for half my life. I divide my time between hubby, 3 kids, too many pets, and the 930 Art Center. When I'm not, you'll find me running the trails in Cherokee or Jefferson Memorial Forest.
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