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Daniel Dutton

Daniel Dutton, born in 1959 near Somerset, Kentucky, is a versatile creative force, encompassing the roles of contemporary artist, lyricist, composer, artistic director, and amateur filmmaker. His artistic endeavors seamlessly weave together visual, musical, and narrative elements, with his inaugural opera, “The Stone Man,” standing out as a hallmark of his career.

In the 1980s, Dutton gained recognition for his visual and video installation art displayed at the J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. The museum commissioned two video works, “A Day in the Life of the Artist” and “Water; an installed environment.” Notably, his work took center stage in a solo exhibition at the rotunda of the US Congressional Office Building in 1985.

The year 1990 marked the premiere of Dutton’s first opera, “The Stone Man,” by the Kentucky Opera at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Following this success, Dutton introduced a compelling four-part cycle of dance operas titled “The Secret Commonwealth,” staged between 1995 and 2000. Noteworthy is the fact that Kentucky Educational Television broadcast the first three operas.

Dutton’s visual art is showcased in the corporate collections of the Brown-Forman Corporation in Louisville, KY, and the LeBlond Machino company in Cincinnati. Additionally, his works grace the Berea College Art Museum in Berea, Kentucky, and the 21c Museum in Louisville, KY.

John Henry art by Dan Dutton

In 2003, 21c Museum Hotels in Louisville commissioned Dutton to paint a series of 12 scenes inspired by traditional ballads. These paintings, along with a book and Dutton’s recordings of traditional ballads, coalesce into the project “Ballads of the Barefoot Mind,” exhibited at 21c Museum in the Fall of 2006.

Collaborating with welder and artist Jesse Rivera in 2016, Dutton co-founded the Rivera-Dutton Sculpture Studio.

Residing in Somerset, Kentucky, Daniel Dutton is a descendant of the Dutton family, whose property was the historic site of the Civil War Battle of Dutton Hill (also known as the Battle of Somerset). Notably, his studio is located within a quarter mile of the Battle of Dutton’s Hill Monument.

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