A new exhibit and art show are opening this weekend at the Bobby Davis Museum in Hazard, and the museum will host a wine and cheese reception for the event.
Just over two years after the death of long time Mayor Bill Gorman, the Bobby Davis Museum is holding an exhibit honoring him and his time in office. “Bill Gorman: His Life and His City” will open Sunday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.
Gorman served in office for 33 years during some of the biggest changes in Hazard’s history. He helped bring about many of the largest businesses, including the ARH medical center. However, his work did not start when he became mayor. He had been civic-minded for many years before that.
As a young man he lobbied organizations to replant tress on the hills around Hazard after many of them had been logged. He also built a boat and maneuvered it a great distance along the Kentucky River to show the importance of the rivers in Kentucky.
“He traveled from here to Frankfort to impress the importance of the river and how it could be better used,” said the Bobby Davis Museum curator, Martha Quigley.
One of his biggest accomplishments before becoming mayor was the building of Buckhorn Dam to create the lake and resort. This time in his life is shown in the exhibit in a large printed version of a telegram confirming that the project and the funds had been approved, and it would be completed.
Quigley said that it is fitting that the museum would hold this exhibit since the museum was one of his many projects in office. He has help design the building and used city workers to complete much of the work on it.
In 1992, the building burned and much of the history held inside it was lost. “Mayor Gorman stood outside when the museum was burning with tears streaming down his face,” said Quigley. “He said we will build it back, don’t worry.”
The exhibit holds many of the artifacts of his life and unique items he was given and collected over the years. Much of this was lent to the museum by his wife and current mayor, Nan Gorman. Quigley said that the idea for the exhibit came from Nan, who is a member of the board of directors of the museum. “I was talking to her over the summer and she said, ‘I think it is time to do something about Bill,’” Quigley explained.
This exhibit will coincide with the opening of a photography exhibit by local photographer Jenna Brashear. The art show is called “A Walk in the Park” and is comprised of photos taken in the Bobby Davis Park. “I have been wanting to do this for Jenna for a while because I really admire her work,” said Quigley.
The photos in this exhibit will be available for sale by filling out a form at the museum.
The opening of these exhibits is open to everyone and will include free wine and cheese. The exhibit about Bill Gorman will remain in the museum until his birthday in May.