Around these parts, we have horses, hats and hooch down to a science. Here’s a sampling of what’s happening in the visual arts, Derby-style.
The Speed Art Museum (2035 S. Third St., 634-2700, speedmuseum.org) has picked the perfect time to unveil two new acquisitions: bronze horse sculptures by Deborah Butterfield. They’re included in the exhibition “Inside|Out” on display through Sept. 23. Butterfield will be in town on May 12 as part of the Speed’s next “Artist Dialogues” panel, where she will discuss, among other things, her interest in horses and dressage.
To make your Derby experience complete, be sure to see the work of Jeaneen Barnhart. Her show at the Gallery at The Brown Hotel (Fourth and Broadway, 583-1234, brownhotel.com) is “Equine Flight.” The opening is Friday, April 27, from 6-8 p.m.; it closes June 8.
“Nobility” is a group art exhibit at Bearno’s by the Bridge (131 W. Main St., 584-7437, bearnos.com) through July 1. This show is Horse 101, as all the works feature the animal. Many aspects of horse culture are also covered in “Woman/Horse/Legend/Myth” at Gallery M in the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center (1860 Mellwood Ave., 895-3650, mellwoodartcenter.com) from April 27-July 1. Also at Mellwood is “A Celebration of Louisville and the Kentucky Derby” at the Kentucky Watercolor Society (suite 116A) through May 19.
The inspiration for Linda J. Nelson’s “Really Kentucky” show at Wayside Expressions Gallery (Hotel Louisville, 120 W. Broadway, 836-7661) from May 4-29 is all things Kentucky: “The remarkable history, rolling green hills, horse farms and wonderful cities of Kentucky captured (my) imagination,” she says. “There could be no better place to be inspired to paint than Kentucky.”
The drink of Derby has its own art show at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts (Mount Saint Francis, mountsaintfrancis.org), titled “Mint Julep Cup Invitational.” More than 60 regional, national and international ceramic artists made cups inspired by the delectable drink. There will be a reception on April 28 at 6 p.m., and the show continues through May 6.
To take a step away from horses but still be in Derbyland, go to The Blind Pig restaurant (1076 E. Washington St., 618-0600, theblindpiglouisville.com) in April to see “IDOL.” Artist David Green is donating a portion of his Hollywood-based art to the May 5 “Down a Derby.” That event will benefit WINGS, U of L’s Health Sciences Center HIV+ outpatient clinic.
Oaks and Derby brunches are the perfect time to reacquaint oneself with the mint julep. If you’re hungry for food and art on your way to the track on Thursday, May 3, stop by the Speed. You can eat, see “Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color,” then take their shuttle to and from Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (715 W. Main St., 589-0102, kentuckyarts.org) is holding its 26th Annual Oaks Brunch fundraiser on Friday, May 4. But before you go, head down to KMAC’s shop to buy your Derby head covering. The hats by Sarah Havens (not to be confused with LEO’s Bar Belle Sara Havens, who may or may not be wearing a hat while drinking) are on display through the end of April.
The beautiful Victorian historic home that is the Brennan House and Gardens (631 S. Fifth St., 540-5145, thebrennanhouse.org) is also holding an Oaks Brunch with a trolley to the track.
The Third Annual Annmarie Art Breakfast on Saturday, May 5, is a fundraiser for the Annmarie Campbell Artist Scholarship at Murray State University and the Louisville Artists Syndicate. The breakfast will be at the United Way Building (334 E. Broadway); tickets are available at the Louisville Visual Art Association (3005 River Road, 896-2146, louisvillevisualart.org).
The Derby-themed F.A.T. Friday Trolley Hop this year is on April 27 (fatfridayhop.org). But during the May 4 First Friday Trolley Hop, many galleries will not be open; visit firstfridaytrolleyhop.com for closings.