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Kentucky artists present ‘Reflections of the Commonwealth’ at Governor’s Derby Exhibit

Work by 24 Kentucky artists is on view in Frankfort for the Governor’s Derby Exhibit, an annual initiative coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council.

The exhibit is on display through June 4, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort and is part of the Governor’s Derby Celebration.

“The People’s Champ” by Jefferson County artist Victor Sweatt.

“The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored tradition, and so, too, is our celebration of work by Kentucky artists,” said Kentucky First Lady Glenna Bevin. “We hope all Kentuckians will take advantage of the opportunity to see this exhibit, whether they are in town for the Derby this weekend, or visiting the Capitol during the rest of the month. The artwork in it is truly a treasure the Commonwealth can be proud of.”

The exhibit theme is “Reflections of the Commonwealth,” which Louisville artist Victor Sweatt chose to interpret with his painting, titled “The People’s Champ,” showing The Greatest of All Time, Louisville native and world champion boxer Muhammad Ali.

“He was a neighborhood icon,” said Sweatt, who grew up a few blocks away from Ali’s childhood home. “Folks viewed what he did inside the ring, but I was fascinated with what he did outside it. He was a humanitarian. He had a humble presence. You couldn’t tell he was the champ.”

Building on his fascination with Ali outside the ring, Sweatt chose images of the champion boxer in training. He started with nine photos, gradually whittling them down to the three that appear in his painting.

“I wanted those images because he was always working. A lot of people look at the destination, but not the journey,” Sweatt said. “The stories of his determination and will are mind-boggling.”

This is Sweatt’s first time exhibiting work in the Governor’s Derby Exhibit.

“The Governor’s Derby exhibit is one opportunity we have that is open to all Kentucky artists, and we are never surprised at the high level of work we receive,” said Chris Cathers, arts council interim executive director. “This collection — ‘Reflections of the Commonwealth’ — embodies those same stellar qualities we have come to expect from artists in this exhibit.”

Below is a full list of artists included in the exhibit, their county of residence and title of artwork:

Philis Alvic, Fayette, “Finding the Path” and “Twilight Cast”
Bill Berryman, Clark, “Another Farewell” and “Catnapping at Carpenter’s Shop”
Debby Bird, Jefferson, “Wishes in the Wind” and “Facing the Light”
Kathy Conroy, Henry, “Smitten-Barred Owls”
John Andrew Dixon, Boyle, “Star of the Commonwealth”
Paula Haynes, Grayson, “Kentucky”
Robert Hunt, Madison, “Horse Latitudes”
Sallie Clay Lanham, Franklin, “Elkhorn Creek”
Ed Lawrence, Franklin, “Mink Run Reflections”
Chao Ma, Fayette, “Red River Gorge II”
Jessica Mayes, Bourbon, “Equus Silhouette” and “Profile of Kentucky”
Helen Morrison, Fayette, “Bernheim Forest on a Bright Winter Day”
Kevin Osbourn, Clark, “The Burley Harvest”
Ken Page, Kenton, “Crocus Creek”
Linda Pierce, Christian, “On the Banks of the Ohio” and “Buffalo & Sky”
Fran Redmon, Franklin, “Frankfort Pike Splendor”
Marcheta Sparrow, Franklin, “Looking Through the Windows of Time” and “Potions from the Past”
Jennifer Stanley, Madison, “Portrait of American Pharoah” and “Master of His Domain”
Jason Sturgill, Fayette, “Washing Away the Dreariness of Winter”
Victor Sweatt, Jefferson, “The People’s Champ”
Ted Tarquinio, Jefferson, “American Pharoah, Triple Crown Champion” and “Derby Week Sunrise 2017, Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY”
Patty Trujillo, Jefferson, “Mama”
Sharon Weis, Jefferson, “Kentucky Yellowwood” and “Tyler Park”
Angela Wells, Jefferson, “Reflections of the Derby” and “White Horse in the Bluegrass”

The Governor’s Derby Exhibit is open to the public during regular State Capitol building hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

View exhibit slide show

From Kentucky Arts Council

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One Comment

  1. Angela wells says:

    had a hard time getting to the Governor’s derby exhibit it was not linked to the art council website like it had been in the past. I feel as if the artist who entered this Exhibit are not held as important enough to be linked on the home page. are we a victim of budget cuts or just judged as amature’s

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