If Derby visitors and locals go to only one museum for Derby art and memorabilia, make it the Kentucky Derby Museum (derbymuseum.org). This year’s Derby-themed temporary exhibition is “Photo Finish,” on display through September. The star is “Fighting Finish” by photographer Wallace Lowry. And a fight it was — it shows the battle between jockeys Don Meade and Herb Fisher as they came down the stretch at the 1933 Kentucky Derby. Other photographers in the exhibition are Gean Baron, Barney Cowherd, Bill Strode and Pat McDonogh.
The Gallery at The Brown Hotel (brownhotel.com) continues to show some of the more important horse art in the area. That’s because they usually feature Jaime Corum, one of the state’s best equestrian painters. She’s at the Brown again this year in “View from the Grandstand” through June 16 with Melanie Osborne, Donna Bernstein and Thomas Allen Pauly.
CRAFT(s) Gallery & Mercantile (craftslouisville.com) carries jewelry that’s certainly a favorite of the horsey set. After all, it’s part of their beloved animal. Designer Gina Moeller of Found in a Field Jewelry has created necklaces and earrings that dangle with horse hair. True to her company’s name, it comes from brushing or falling out, not cutting.
They also have another excellent artist with an easily recognizable style on display, Jeaneen Barnhart. Her show, “The Gestural Line of Equine,” is up through May 13. If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can still see some of her art on an unusual location: chocolate. What a terrific twofer! Cellar Door Chocolates (cellardoorchocolates.com) teamed up with Barnhart to create the wrapper art for some of their truffles, caramels and bars.
But wait, there’s more. Geoff Crowe is showing equestrian paintings and drawings at the Pigment Gallery at the Mellwood Art Center (mellwoodartcenter.com); it runs through June 30. The Arts Council of Southern Indiana (artscouncilsi.org) has “Horsing Around” by Thai artist Tanatus Joei up through May 8. Consider Boutique (considerboutique.com) is exhibiting Lyn Drennon’s “Derby Ducks” in May.
E&S Gallery (eandsgallery.com) always has fantastic Derby art exhibitions and sales, and this year is no different. For their 2017 Derby Art Gala on Friday, May 5, they have invited Marion Meadows, best known as a jazz musician, to show his visual art side in his first solo art exhibition in Kentucky.
I love that we adopted the English tradition of wearing hats at the races. There are many galleries and museums that feature hats, including the shop at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (kmacmuseum.org). This year they are featuring local hat makers Forme Millinery and Olivia Griffin. If your style leans toward the unusual, then local artist Alyson Thiel is the hat designer for you. In “Fresh Cut,” her first solo exhibition at Revelry Boutique Gallery (revelrygallery.com), handmade paper botanicals become fascinators, hats and bouquets.