Covington's funkiest park is also a memorial

The floodwall murals are great, but there's a place in Covington where a pocket park is not only a memorial to one of Covington's greatest but has to be the funkiest expressions of art in the city, if not all of Northern Kentucky.

It's Henry Farny Park at the corner of Banklick and W. Robbins Streets.

David Michael Rice takes a break inside his
sculpture at the park. (Internet photo)

Start with the unique sculpture by David Michael Rice, the centerpiece for the park, which is a depiction of Henry Farny's signature character, which means "Long Boots" in Sioux, as shown above.

Born in France, Henry Farny immigrated to Warren, Pennsylvania with his parents and shortly thereafter settled in Covington, where he spent the remainder of his life as a renowned artist. He had a home nearby on Banklick Street which was destroyed by fire in the 1980s.

Farny (1847-1916) is best known for his artwork on the American West and native Americans.

During repeated visits to the West in the early 1890s, Farny gathered materials for the oil paintings and gouaches he would later complete in his studio.

Covington artist Henry Farny is best known for his "Wild West" paintings.

Collecting artifacts and props from the Indians he came to know affectionately, Farny recreated, and often repeated, scenes and events he witnessed on the Plains and in the mountains.

Aided by on site sketches and photographs both taken and purchased, Farny had gathered sufficient material and firsthand experience to paint the Native Americans of the American West in a sympathetic and lasting fashion.

The park on Banklick was dedicated to his memory in 2009. Besides the unique centerpiece, there are many other attention-getting aspects to the little park.

Covington artists Henry Farny (right) and Frank Duveneck in 1874.

A wooden fence has been colorfully painted to remind people of Farny's love for the American West landscape. The grass-less grounds are a reenactment of the Western prairie/desert that he often depicted in his artwork.

The park, of course, is open daily. It's very much worth a visit. And it's COVINGTON COOL!

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