Celebrating the Legacy of Alma Lesch at Bullitt County Library

By Hannah Coleman-Zaitzeff

Curtains created by Alma Lesch for Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in the mid 1960s

The newly opened Central Library location of the Bullitt County Public Library system recently featured the work of Alma Lesch, including a piece commissioned and owned by Bernheim.

Alma Lesch was a renowned American fiber artist, particularly known for her fiber portraits. Born in Kentucky in 1917, she stayed in the state for the entirety of her life and career, with her studio and home in Shepherdsville, KY. Lesch’s work is in collections across the country, including Bernheim’s collection and archive.

In the mid 1960s, Bernheim commissioned Lesch for a block printed piece of fabric for display in the A-frame Visitor Center (now the Education Center). It featured animal and insect figures transferred onto fabric via linoleum carvings. The piece is currently on display at Bullitt County Library as part of the exhibit honoring Alma Lesch’s legacy.

An arts educator herself and an outspoken art and arts education supporter, Alma touched the lives of many young artists and teachers including exhibit curator Dennis Shaffner. Dennis is a visual arts advocate who retired from public school education. He met Alma Lesch before she passed away and was greatly touched by her views on art and art making.

Titled “A celebration of the legacy of Alma Wallace Lesch”, the exhibition features both Lesch’s own work and the work of other Kentucky artists that were inspired or influenced by her.

The exhibition at the Central Library located in Shepherdsville, KY ended June 11.

Our Newsletter

Sign up for the Bernheim Buzz

Get the "buzz" of Bernheim activity weekly in your inbox by signing up below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.