ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky native is hoping to use his love of art to help his hometown.
Elkhorn City resident Trent Hylton told the Appalachian News-Express (http://bit.ly/ZqR8Bq) that he hopes opening an art gallery in the Pike County community will help with "revitalizing" the area and bringing in more tourism.
Aside from his own art, Hylton said he is displaying pieces by Whiteburg artist Carmie Baxter and is working on getting more artists to share their work at the Raging Rapid Art Gallery.
Hylton said the gallery isn't fully open yet, but he expects it to be before Memorial Day.
He hopes it will improve the town and allow him to pursue becoming a professional artist.
"When I was a kid, Elkhorn was a pretty booming town. (It) had just random shops and local businesses everywhere," Hylton said. "My grandpa use to run the Western Auto out of where my gallery is now and he retired and closed all that down and stuff and it's been vacant since then and I figured something needed to open there and I've been doing art since I can remember just now trying to get into it professionally during the past year ... Elkhorn needs a new breath of life breathed into it and I figured that would be a good start."
Hylton said he is inspired to create by his surroundings.
"I really like nature, you know, hiking up the river looking at that. (I've) been trying to get into a lot of still life's of nature, landscapes, you know, things like that lately and just mountain life in general."
He said he hopes the gallery will inspire other Appalachian artists to share their work.
"I'm trying to get other people out too, other artist around here because there's a lot of creativity around Elkhorn," he said. "It's just getting them to display it, you know, a lot of people are real modest about it."
Information from: Appalachian News-Express, http://www.news-expressky.com