SportsRace to the Derby


Hope for Horses: Painted sculptures to benefit tornado victims

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 17:28:59-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — They won’t win the Derby next week, but these horses might prove to be just as valuable at some point.

As part of the 50th anniversary of Lex Arts and the return of “Horse Mania” for the first time in 12 years, local artists and high school students came together to create some equine sculpture art.

“This was a great chance to give back to a community,” said artist Lennon Michalski. “As you know, artists typically don’t have the funding to just donate cash, so I was able to donate talents to locations that were hit by the tornadoes,” he continued.

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The painted horses, all 70 of them, will be auctioned off at Keeneland after being on display across Lexington for a few months. The auction will take place on December 10, the one-year anniversary of the tornadoes that ravaged large portions of western Kentucky. Proceeds from the sales will go in that direction.

“Going over the hill to downtown Mayfield and seeing a sight I don’t think anybody has ever witnessed. Going to my dad’s hometown of Dawson Springs, a safe place for me, that is unrecognizable,” Governor Andy Beshear said during today’s unveiling of three of the painted horses.

The Governor’s mother also grew up in the western Kentucky town of Bowling Green, which was also hit hard by those storms. It’s one of many reasons the recovery effort has been so important to him and his administration.

“It’s hard to comprehend what happened in those communities. It’s hard to comprehend why. But the response has been incredible,” Mr. Beshear added.

This campaign is just one of the many from which western Kentuckians have been helped in their effort to rebuild their lives.

“I heard everyone talking about their experiences and it was truly something that I had never seen before,” said artist, Alexis Sheehan from western Kentucky.

Sheehan’s home was spared, but she personally knows so many people who were not as fortunate. It’s why she grabbed a paintbrush and got to work.