Humans of the Speed

After over three years of renovation and expansion, the Speed Art Museum reopened in March 2016 with new fervor and passion in pursuit of its mission: to be a museum for the entire community. On March 12th, 2016 the Speed welcomed the public for thirty straight hours, and over that opening weekend, the Museum hosted nearly 20,000 guests who attended a diverse offering of programs with the help of over sixty community partners.

As the culmination of the Wall Together partnership with the Academy @ Shawnee, Humans of the Speed celebrates the diverse community of Louisville represented at the Speed’s opening. For the exhibition, photography students from the Academy engaged with guests in the Museum during the re-opening celebrations. The students captured recordings—in the form of audio files and photographs—in order to commemorate this moment in the Speed’s and our community’s history.

In their planning sessions, the students formulated questions that would encourage guests to share stories from their experiences of art and the Speed, both past and present. The exhibition that resulted is a snapshot of an exciting time for the Museum and its community: when the Speed finally returned home and opened its doors.

Created with the goal of promoting community collaboration, Wall Together pairs Speed educators with local organizations and non-profit groups. Over the course of several visits, Speed staff work with community members to create works of art that are then displayed in the museum, giving everyone a chance to exhibit their work and share their own unique perspective.

The Academy @ Shawnee is a magnet high school in the Jefferson County Public School District in northwest Louisville, Kentucky, with a focus in Aerospace. A small high school, the Academy serves approximately 500 students; 90% come from the immediate residential area. The Academy meets the high-needs population (poverty, special education, & adjudication) with extensive therapeutic, health, and basic needs services that reach into the family and the home.

In addition to Aerospace, the Academy @ Shawnee offers a competitive visual and performing arts program complete with art, choir, and band. Through innovative instruction, students learn the foundations of the arts and develop skills to actively compete with schools across the district and state. The arts reflect the thoughts and beliefs of those who produce them and connect history and culture to a global audience.

The Speed Art Museum would like to offer a special thank you to Huber Décor and MotoPhoto for their help with this project.

This project was made possible by the generous donations of Frank and Paula Harshaw, Christe and Randy Coe, and Kosair Children’s Charities.