U.S. EDA, Community Ventures Help Glass Artist Open Unique ‘Hot’ Spot
January 17, 2023

While most artists are by definition ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers, glass artist Travis Adams has gone so far as to annihilate the box altogether with his three-pronged business model for Trifecta, so named as an ode to Kentucky’s racing heritage. With a Business Resiliency Fund loan made possible by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and obtained through Community Ventures, Kentucky-born Adams brought this exciting concept home to the Commonwealth, locating on Walton Avenue in Lexington’s East End. The Business Resiliency Fund was established in the wake of Covid 19 in part to create jobs and leverage new private investment opportunities. Trifecta, in close proximity to The MET—home to Community Ventures’ Art Inc. Kentucky and ArtHouse Kentucky gallery—has joined the revitalization efforts in this historically arts-rich neighborhood.

“Mark is the one who suggested that there may be some funding options through Community Ventures with the East End build-out initiative that focuses on the arts,” Adams explained, referring to Mark Johnson, President of Art Inc. Kentucky and himself a glass artist. “He has been a huge proponent of what we are doing, and Community Ventures and Shirie Hawkins worked with me to get this thing off the ground funding-wise.”

The front door of this immersive glass blowing facility, fine art gallery and prohibition-era-inspired lounge opens into the gallery where the work of internationally known glass artists can be viewed and purchased. Adjacent are the fiery-hot furnaces and resident glass blowers who can be observed as they create. And lean just right on a certain section of mirrored wall and you will suddenly find yourself in the ‘secret’ speakeasy, dimly lit and complete with bartender, cocktail tables and wide windows where those in the know can relax with a drink while watching globules of molten glass being transformed into amazing art.

Having studied financial economics at Centre College in Danville, Adams worked briefly in the field of finance before deciding it wasn’t for him. He turned his attention to art, a passion since the age of two that had been further fueled by a class taken under renowned glassmaker Stephen Powell. After receiving his MFA from Illinois State University while studying under contemporary glass maker John Miller, Adams rounded out his education working with Lino Tagliapietra, an international glass artisan known as the Italian Maestro who Adams says provided “a very fast, intensive exposure to a great breadth of glass techniques.”

“I am a Kentucky boy at heart, and there is a great arts and crafts culture here,” Adams noted. “Lexington has embraced me with open arms. It has been incredible—the community has really gotten behind what we are trying to do. That assures me that this was the right move.”

For current hours and information on classes, visit https://www.trifectadesignstudio.com/.

To learn more about how Community Ventures can help your business grow or expand, visit www.cvky.org or contact Shirie Hawkins at shirie.hawkins@cvky.org.

To learn more about Art Inc. Kentucky, the Artists’ Studios and ArtHouse Gallery, visit www.artinckentucky.org or contact President Mark Johnson at 231-0054 ext. 1023 or mjohnson@cvky.org.