Jessie Dunahoo.jpg

Jessie Dunahoo

(August 6, 1932 - May 14, 2017)

The captivating, octogenarian raconteur Jessie Dunahoo assembled quilted panels into what he called “shelters” ranging from single tapestries to sprawling room-sized forts. He made his sculptures from petroleum plastic bags and various bits of fabric, using them to share his many autobiographical and fictional stories. Dunahoo utilized his sense of touch (and occasionally his senses of taste and smell, for inspiration) because he was both sight and hearing-impaired. He loved guiding interested folks through his shelters and recounting the tales associated with them.

photograph by Katelynn Ralston


Experience Jessie's creative process by clicking the link below:

Professional Summary:

Selected Exhibitions 

2008 Folk Art Takes a New Form, Artsplace Gallery, Lexington KY

2008 Solo Exhibit Andrew Edlin Gallery NYC

2007 Group Exhibit Jones Art + Design, Lexington, KY

2007 Installation Woodland Arts Fair, Lexington, KY

2005, Rasdall Gallery, University of Kentucky, Lexington

2005, 2003 Rasdall Gallery, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

2005 Featured Artist, UK Sanders Brown Series On Aging, Lexington, KY

2003 Featured Artist Successful Aging for People with Disabilities Conference, University of Kentucky

2003, 2000 Shearer Gallery, Transylvania University , Lexington KY

2001 “Strung Along” (performance/installation based on Jessie Dunahoo installation with Mecca) Mecca, Lexington, KY

2008 Featured Artist ABC Television "Extreme Home Makeovers"

2008 Featured Artist "Bernson's Corner" Fox TV affiliate, Louisville

2007 "Blind Ambition" 'W' Weekly, Lexington , KY

2003 Fox 56 News "Personality of 2003" video

2000 Lexington Herald- Leader “An Impressive Touch of Genius”

2001 “Strung Along” (performance/installation based on Jessie Dunahoo installation with Mecca) Mecca, Lexington, KY

Selected Collections

Latitude Artist Community
Institute 193, Lexington
Mayor Jim Gray, Lexington

Kuntz, Jac, "60 WRD/MIN Art Critic Lori Waxman Visits Institute 193 in Lexington", Burnaway, March 27, 2017.

Stern, Julian, "Mapping the Senses: The Tapestry of Jessie Dunahoo"Brut Force, December 14, 2016.

Isaacs, Barbara, "An Impressive Touch of 'Genius' Jessie Dunahoo," Lexington Herald-Leader, November 22, 2008.

Clark, Robbie, "Blind Ambition," W Weekly, August 2, 2007

Other publications