Tuesday, June 06, 2000

'Horse Mania' to strike

Lexington takes part in project similar to Big Pig Gig

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The works of two local artists will be a part of the Lexington Horse Mania, a public art project similar to Cincinnati's Big Pig Gig.

        But the artists used horses instead of pigs. The project is sponsored by the Lexington Art and Cultural Council.

        The design ideas and paintings of Velma Morris, 62, of Groesbeck and Judy Anderson, 59, of Deer Park were among the 600 entries from the Tristate.

        The selections were made by a panel of art critics in Lexington.

        Mrs. Morris put the finishing touches on her 6-foot by 8-foot, 120-pound fiberglass horse Friday. Both paintings were shipped to Lexington on Saturday.

        “I used the theme of a horse race,” Mrs. Morris said. “On the horse, I show the beginning, the race and the ending. That is shown through the starter who blows the trumpet. You see the jockey riding and then a blue ribbon is painted on the face, signaling the horse in the winner's circle.”

        Her horse also shows Kentucky history. The horse's mane and tail shows goldenrod, the state flower. All legs have trees painted on them with squirrels on the front legs and a cardinal on the back.

        “I put 1779 across the forehead which is when Lexington was founded,” she said.

        Mrs. Anderson used a circus theme. “I show all the fun that takes place under a circus tent,” she said. “I have become attached to the horse. I consider it a part of my family and frankly it is going to be hard for me to ship it to Lexington.”

        Leslie Gwynn, marketing and events coordinator for the council, said all the horses have to be in Lexington by June 15.

        “They will be placed around the city as Cincinnati did with its pigs and will remain there from July 1 to Nov. 15,” Mrs. Gwynn said. “On Dec. 2, we will take them to Keeneland race track for a public auction.”

        Each artist received $2,500 for their paintings.


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