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Art Center joins with Maker’s Mark for special release honoring Stephen Rolfe Powell

May 8, 2024

‘Zippy Honey Blaze’ suggests the vibrant, colorful nature of Powell’s glass pieces, and Powell himself

The Art Center of the Bluegrass is proud to announce the release of a very special Maker’s Mark Private Selection Bourbon honoring the legacy of Stephen Rolfe Powell and the GLASS National Art Museum in Danville, Kentucky.

This partnership between the world-class bourbon distiller and the Art Center of the Bluegrass began in the fall of 2023 when Maker’s Mark donated a barrel of bourbon in honor of the late internationally-known glass artist. The donation was made as the GLASS National Art Museum prepared to open, which features a permanent collection of Powell’s work.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Powell studied painting and ceramics at Centre College in Danville before discovering hot glass, which quickly became his obsession. Powell traveled the globe exhibiting his work and participating in demonstrations and workshops. He also founded a glass program at Centre College, where he taught for more than 35 years. 

A group of Powell’s friends and fellow bourbon enthusiasts gathered at Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Kentucky, to create a bourbon in his honor. Working with master distillers, the group crafted a collector’s item to honor their friend. They chose wooden staves to flavor the bourbon, including Roasted French Mendiant, Toasted French Spice, and Maker’s Mark 46.

The result is a bourbon called Zippy Honey Blaze, a name that suggests the vibrant, colorful nature of Powell’s glass pieces, and Powell himself, who was an avid bourbon enthusiast.

The first release of 50 limited edition bottles of Zippy Honey Blaze is available now through May 25. To purchase a ticket visit https://givebutter.com/artcentermakersmark. Those aged 21 and over may purchase a ticket and pick up their bottle of this special release on Saturday, May 25 at the GLASS National Art Museum, 401 West Main Street in Danville, Kentucky, between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. For those unable to come on May 25, arrangements can be made by contacting Audrey Stith at audrey@artcenterky.org to designate an alternative pickup time. 

Proceeds from this very special commemorative release will benefit the Art Center of the Bluegrass and is the beginning of a long-term relationship with Maker’s Mark. More details to come!

“Maker’s Mark has a long history of supporting their community and key organizations in the commonwealth,” said Brian Hutlzley, board president of Art Center of the Bluegrass. “It is our honor to be part of that history. The opening of GLASS National Art Museum would not have happened without support like this”

Powell was a founding member of the Art Center of the Bluegrass and a friend of Rob Samuels, eighth-generation distiller and managing director of Maker’s Mark Distillery. Supporting the arts is a mission of Maker’s Mark, evidenced in the collection at their Loretto campus. Powell exhibited his work there in 2019. 

Several friends of glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell gathered in the fall of 2023 to create a Maker’s Mark Private Selection bourbon in his honor.

Several friends of glass artist Stephen Rolfe Powell gathered in the fall of 2023 to create a Maker’s Mark Private Selection bourbon in his honor. They are, from left to right: Mike Gilley, Diana Gilley, Niki Kinkade, Teresa Nolet, Dan Nolet, Brian Hutzley, Milton Reigelman, Tom Hagerman, and Mark Lucas.