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Dunbar grad becomes the teacher inspiring younger students through Horse Mania masterpiece

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Posted at 5:54 PM, Jul 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 18:21:58-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — By now, you've seen the horse statues placed throughout parts of Lexington.

The inspiration behind some of these horses comes from all over and often starts with the artist. A recent grad from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School hopes the horse she designed and painted can inspire the next generation of Fayette County graduates.

"I didn't think I'd be able to do this. It's huge, it's a lot of work," said Missy Talbert. "I've always been more like sport based, I mean I did art in high school, but my main goal was sports. And I did this and this was like my best thing I did all of high school."

Talbert's masterpiece stands along W. Vine Street in downtown Lexington. Like a story, finding one that's the same as another is like a needle in a haystack. The hundreds of Horse Mania statues are all different in their own way. Missy, though, won't take all the credit.

"They told us to add the sparkles, the kids did," she said. "They added some of the flowers on here."

As Talbert worked on this, she had some help from students at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

"They wanted the torch there because that's the Rosa Parks insignia, emblem," she said.

With one more go around for the Dunbar grad, she takes pride in knowing the next generation is watching.

"I had at one point, I had 20 kids standing over me while I painted it, so that's cool," she said.

The 18-year-old clearly demonstrates some serious artistic ability, which inspired a bit of help.

"They see a lot more than we do," Talbert said of the kids. "They think differently about stuff so they added more to the design."

With her work on display for the city to see and enjoy, Talbert looks at the big picture of the experience.

"I think that was the best part, being able to do what the kids wanted to do and all that," she said.