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As the preparations are made for the Governor’s Derby Celebration in downtown Frankfort May 5, one of the final touches will be the tablecloths for the picnic tables. Each picnic table on the Old State Capitol grounds will be shaped like a horse and covered with a “blanket” painted by schoolchildren of all ages from across the Commonwealth.
The Kentucky Arts Council invited Kentucky schools to participate in this canvas painting project for the Derby celebration on behalf of Gov. Steve Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear. The arts council has also created a photo album of the canvases on Facebook.
One of the canvases comes with a poignant story. Students at Knox County Middle School took the opportunity to memorialize a fellow student with their canvas. Shane Smith was struck and killed April 2 while crossing a Knox County highway. The design was traced from a class folder doodle he made the day before he died.
“My heart goes out to the family, friends and teachers of Shane Smith,” said Mrs. Beshear. “I want to thank the teachers who gave students from all parts of Kentucky a way to become involved in the Derby. Each canvas is a wonderful piece of art and a true reflection of our people, our spirit and the beauty of Kentucky.”
Among the participating schools was Summit Christian Academy of Lexington. The others are:
Cannonsburg Elementary School, Ashland
Chandler Elementary School, Russellville
East Calloway Elementary, Murray
Gallatin County Elementary School, Warsaw
Kentucky School for the Deaf, Danville
Knox County Middle School, Barbourville
New Haven Elementary, New Haven
Ohio County Middle School, Hartford
Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Louisville
Reidland Elementary School, Paducah
Stonestreet Elementary School, Louisville
Washington County High School, Springfield
Washington County Middle School, Springfield
Western High School, Louisville
Whitney Young Elementary School, Louisville
In April, the Beshears announced that the 76th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration will be held in historic downtown Frankfort for the second year in a row. This year’s celebration will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is free and open to the public. For more information on the celebration, click here.
From the Ky. Arts Council
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