The Kentucky Derby takes around two minutes to be run, but we’ve managed to talk and write about it for months as a cottage/Churchill Downs mansion-sized industry. That’s good, as it’s important for many businesses, including creative ones.
In my humble opinion (who am I kidding?), the best equestrian artists in Louisville are Jeaneen Barnhart and Jaime Corum. LEO Weekly did a website-only Q&A with Barnhart posted on April 6, with Corum’s coming up on April 27. Corum’s art is also on the cover of this issue.
I’m one of many who admires their work. As well as creating the 2018 Kentucky Derby Festival poster (kdf.org) with her sister, Doreen Barnhart DeHart, Barnhart was licensed to create a limited-edition print of Secretariat (artsocool.com). She’s a tenant at the Mellwood Art Center (mellwoodartcenter.com), and is having an exhibition in its Pigment Gallery beginning May 1.
The Gallery at The Brown (brownhotel.com) is showing Corum’s paintings in “Poetry in Motion” through July 1. The two-person exhibition also features work by Richard Sullivan. I’m going to be so bold as to say he’s on his way to being in the same league as Barnhart and Corum.
Corum is represented by the Kentucky Fine Art Gallery (lesliespetzcustomframing.com), and is part of its “My Derby Little Secret” through May 31. Also included in that show is another excellent Derby artist, David Schuster.
Additional galleries featuring Derby and horse-related art include CRAFT(s) Gallery & Mercantile (craftslouisville.com). This year they’re exhibiting “My Kentucky Home” by John W. Snell. His photographs include subjects he’s labeled as “horsey” — paddocks, central Kentucky, racing. CRAFT(s) is also selling StoryWood’s (storywoodbowties.com) replica of the 1973 Pegasus pin, created from wood from Claiborne Farm, Secretariat’s home.
The Arts Association of Oldham County (aaooc.org) is showing “Animal Attraction” through May 19. Ceramicist Jana John’s long, toothy “horse face” garden stake is hilarious.
Revelry Boutique Gallery (revelrygallery.com) has a little of all things Derby. Besides displaying wonderful fascinators and paper bouquets by Alyson Thiel through Derby, they’re also exhibiting equestrian paintings by Kevin Oechsli and Melissa Crase.
Hats are everywhere (I’m not exaggerating – they’re for sale in my neighborhood Kroger). For advanced creativity, look for actual designers and artists, such as Christine A. Moore Millinery (camhats.com), the official hat maker of Kentucky Derby 144. Since her studio is in New York City, here are a few creatives, museums and galleries to visit in Louisville: Jenny Pfanenstiel of Forme Millinery Co. (formemillinery.com) is in Mellwood Art Center (she’s the official milliner of the Kentucky Derby Museum). The Hat Girls (thehatgirls.com), whose shop is in Prospect, are the official hat designers of the Kentucky Derby Festival and are sold at Revelry. Olivia Griffin’s The Mysterious Rack store (mysteriousrack.com) on Fourth Street features her Griffin Hatters (also sold at Revelry). Sara Havens Millinery (havenhat.com) has her studio in the Hope Mills Building. Gwendolyn Gleason designs can be found in the shop of the KMAC Museum (kmacmuseum.org). The Chestnuts and Pearls Gallery (chestnuts and pearls.com) is showing “Exclusive Expressions” through May 6, featuring hats and fascinators by Look at That Hat.
After you find that perfect hat, consider entering it in the Kentucky Derby Museum’s “It’s My Derby” contest (derbymuseum.org/hatcontest). Approximately 25 hats will be chosen to display for a year.