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Art In The Park

Artist Spotlight Mike Mankel has been fascinated with guitars most of his life. He tinkered around with them in junior high, built miniature models of them from balsa wood while at college, and later built electric guitars and basses from scratch. After he moved to Kentucky, he developed an interest in bourbon and the barrels it was made in. Being a woodworker, he recognized that each barrelhead had its own unique character and identity. The concept for building a guitar from a bourbon barrel was born after he shoveled snow one winter afternoon in 2012. He was warming himself with a glass of bourbon and gazed at one of his guitars through the rusted amber colored bourbon in the glass. Because the color and condition of each barrel is different, each guitar is unique. Some of the harvested barrel wood will have obscured stamps, while other stamps are pristine. And, of course, the darkness of the barrel will affect each guitar made by the Bourbon Barrel Guitar Company. Mankel will be sharing a booth with Portraits by J at Art in The Park on the lawn of the Woodford Inn on Friday May 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, May 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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