SportsRace to the Derby


Meet the Lexington artist behind the official art of this year's Kentucky Derby

Posted at 6:00 AM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-07 09:09:01-04

AIMEE GRIFFITH WAS BORN AND RAISED IN BARDSTOWN AND CREATED THE OFFICIAL ART FOR THE DERBY. — If you ever wonder who comes up with ideas for logos, sometimes there's a story behind it.

For this year's official art for the Kentucky Derby, a woman from Lexington holds the honors of having her work printed all over Derby memorabilia.

Aimee Griffith was born and raised in Bardstown, but she's lived all over, including North Carolina and even Australia. It was in Australia when she had her now 6-year-old, Lizzie, and it was right around that time when she picked up a talent she was always interested in.

Despite being a mother of three, she still finds time for herself. One room has helped with countless productive therapy sessions.

"It is like therapy to kind of have a hobby that you can have as an outlet," said Griffiths.

One stroke of the brush puts peace, to print.

"Horse people know their horses," she says.

Placing a picture-esque Kentucky to canvas is a talent that has grown along with her.

"The Derby thing kind of propelled me and challenged me to try new things and to push myself," Griffiths said.

She's the artist behind the official art of the 148th Kentucky Derby.

"Happy energy and that's what I wanted it to be," she said. "I took a class, just like one of those where they show you step-by-step how to paint, and it was watercolors. And ever since then, I was just always thinking about it."

Little Lizzie has been right by her side from just about the very start.

"I started painting when she was one. 2016," said Griffiths. "It's like therapy. I just love sitting down and working through a painting."

The product of that is now on world display. It's something that almost didn't happen.

"There was a time when i was not really painting anymore," she says. "With COVID and all the kids being home, i didn't really have a lot of time."

The Derby brings joy to fans near and far. It helped Griffith reunite with her love, talent, and passion.

"When the Derby thing happened, it was almost like kind of fate," she says. "Just saying this is what you should be doing, this is what you need to be doing."

Aimee says the people at Churchill Downs came across her work and told her they wanted her to do the painting. From there, she said she had sketches and ideas, and ultimately settled on this one.

And it's important to think about what she wanted from this... happy energy.