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  1. Saturday, October 19, 2019

  2. Sunday, October 20, 2019

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Reception: Art After Hours: Doctor-Sculptor Laman Gray’s Model Ships

Please join us for a reception for the exhibition Art After Hours: Doctor-Sculptor Laman Gray’s Model Ships. Come explore the intricate model ships created by Dr. Gray and enjoy a cash bar and light snacks. The reception is free and open to the public.

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About the exhibition

An internationally recognized leader in the fields of artificial hearts and circulatory support systems, Laman Gray, Jr. M.D. performed the first heart transplant in Kentucky in 1984 and, in 2001, his surgical team implanted the first fully implantable replacement heart, the AbioCorTM. While spending his days involved in ground-breaking medical work, Dr. Gray spent his off hours creating elaborate models of historic British ships.

He works in a method called scratch building, creating each part of the ship out of wood, rope, paper, and paint to replicate the details of the interiors and exteriors of the ships. “The key for scratch building in my opinion is getting a good set of plans,” says Dr. Gray. “If you have a good, detailed set of plans, they will really tell you how to build the model – then you learn through a lot of mistakes how to make it better.” Working with his hands to create the numerous pieces of the ships, planning out their construction, and solving the challenges he encounters, has some similarities to Dr. Gray’s first love of cardiac surgery, but spending his evenings and weekends with his mind and hands engaged in this creative pursuit has enabled him to relax from the stress of his critical medical work. Now that he no longer practices surgery, Dr. Gray continues to contribute to developments in cardiac research and he is building a new ship, a model of an 1860s American clipper ship.

Image: Laman Gray, The Atlanta (1767-1780) Sloop (detail), 2008-2012. Wood, rope, paper, paint, copper. Plans by David Antscherl. Courtesy of Julien Laman Gray.