three painted horses on display in the Kentucky Capitol as part of Horses of Hope

Donate from anywhere to help those affected by the devastating tornadoes by clicking on the link below. Please denote in the comments section when making a donation using: Horses of Hope and County (Graves, Hopkins or Warren). If you are unable to add a comment, please refer to your confirmation email to ‘Add a comment’.


Commonwealth Compassion: Horses of Hope

In an effort to bring a bit of brightness to the dark devastation in western Kentucky caused by a winter tornado, Independence Bank is partnering with Lexington-based non-profit organization LexArts on a public art display as a form of healing for the Commonwealth.

LexArts, Lexington’s official local arts agency, works to enhance the quality of life through the arts. Its Horse Mania public art project has returned to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary. In a unique collaboration with LexArts, Independence Bank has funded three of the 70+ life-size fiberglass horse statues which are each scheduled to be painted and exhibited throughout Kentucky. Three local Lexington artists eagerly agreed to work with ten skilled high school art students from the affected areas of Graves, Hopkins and Warren Counties. The groups then finalized colorful designs to be painted on the six feet by eight feet white horses. Students and artists spent a weekend at LexArts in March to start on their projects that had been planned out via Zoom meetings for weeks. The main themes of the horses encompass hope, memory and renewal.

The three finished pieces were revealed by Governor Andy Beshear at the State Capitol on Friday, April 29th. The horses are scheduled to travel across our three affected communities for an exclusive one-day showing where the public will be invited to view them. Downtown Lexington will then host the Horses of Hope from mid-June through November with a potential stop at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

To help raise funds for storm relief, these horses will be auctioned at Keeneland—home of the largest Thoroughbred auction house in the world. The event and fundraiser is scheduled to take place in December which falls around the one-year anniversary of the massive tornado. The horses will then be displayed in the storm-impacted areas of Graves, Hopkins and Warren Counties as a permanent symbol of resilience after the auction.


RESOLUTE  Graves County
four students from Graves County standing with artist in front of blue hourse at lex arts   up close view of painted horse with the word Mayfield painted on it   girl painting flowers onto horse leg
When Lily Insco, Mara Marby, Emily Dillon and Casey Wurth from Graves County met virtually with artist De Selby, they knew that Mayfield would be more than just a memory after the devastating storm. Inspiration was drawn from Starry Night utilizing colored rice paper to evoke the wind. Sunflowers are also being incorporated as a focal point growing up from the ground on the legs of the horse showing the growth that Mayfield will have rebuilding their community. The Ice House Gallery in Mayfield was destroyed in the December tornado. The proceeds from RESOLUTE at the Horse Mania auction will directly benefit the gallery.


FABRIC OF LOVE  Hopkins County
2 students standing with artist with horse   girl up close painting on horse   3 people painting on legs of horse
When Camryn LaGrange and Katy Gilbert from Hopkins County met with artist, Jerielle Hanlon they came up with a design inspired from a quilt-like pattern. The painted quilt squares represent their community, their own lives, close causes, passions, some even being dedicated to the death of a classmate. Many other sections capture Dawson Springs’ natural beauty. The quilt is depicted as unfinished because Dawson Springs’ is not finished rebuilding. The proceeds from FABRIC OF LOVE at the Horse Mania auction will directly benefit the Dawson Springs softball and baseball fields in Hopkins County that were damaged by the storm.


four students from Warren County standing with artist with painted horse in Lex Arts       up close view of painting of hands holding kentucky on painted horse    student painting on top of blue horse
Students Sam Lowe, Elma Kalabic, Alexis Shehan and Hayli Hundley from Warren County met virtually with artist Lennon Michalski to plan out what their collaboration would be for the design. The outline of Kentucky, with the heart representing Bowling Green, the symbol for medicine, butterflies and flowers all represent recovery and regeneration. These symbols cover every inch of the horse in a beautiful coordinating color palette. The proceeds from IN THE PRESCENCE OF INFLORESCENCE at the Horse Mania auction will directly benefit the Family Resource Centers within both local school districts to support families in need.


Stay up to date with the progress of HORSES OF HOPE on the Independence Bank Facebook page.


Donate from anywhere to help those affected by the devastating tornadoes by clicking on the link below. Please denote in the comments section when making a donation using: Horses of Hope and County (Graves, Hopkins or Warren).




Mayfield Messenger:  Local art students unveil Resolute, June 2022

Eyewitness News: Hope Horses help Hopkins County, June 2022

14 News: Horses of Hope unveiled in storm-affected areas in Hopkins Co., June 2022

Madisonville Messenger: Horses of Hope, June 2022

WNKY: Student painted “Horses of Hope” are helping tornado victims, June 2022

Bowling Green Daily News: Horses of Hope: Art project raising tornado relief funds, June 2022


WTVQ: LexArts Horses To Visit Tornado Affected Areas, May 2022 

WKYT: Special Horse Mania horses, created with help of KY Students, May 2022

The Madisonville Messenger: Dawson Springs represented in Horse of Hope Project, May 2022


WKYT: LexArts helping to heal western KY through Horse Mania, March 2022 

Tops Lex: LexArts Horse Mania for Western KY Tornado Relief sponsored by Independence Bank, March 2022

Fox Lexington: Horse Mania, An Art Collaboration to help with tornado relief efforts, March 2022

WTVQ: Western KY students help raise money for tornado relief through Horse Mania, March 2022

The Mayfield Messenger: Western KY students partner with Lexington artists, March 2022

The Dawson Springs Progress: Independence Bank using art to help tornado ravaged areas, March 2022

Ace Weekly: Lexington’s Horse Mania Helps Heal, April 2022


Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 28 locations in Calloway, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, McCracken, McLean, Shelby, Warren and Webster Counties. One of the fastest growing banks in Kentucky and fifth largest, Independence Bank possesses the size and experience to serve the largest and most complex clients and offers trust and investment services and agricultural services. As a banking revolution for the people, by the people, central to Independence Bank’s mission is doing what is right and fair for customers, communities and employees. Independence Bank has been recognized in multiple categories by the American Bankers Association, including being named a Top Performing Bank and Best Bank to Work For, for 12 consecutive years, a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 12 years and has assets totaling $3.2 billion.


LexArts is a nonprofit community organization that works for the development of a strong and vibrant arts community as a means of enhancing the quality of life in central Kentucky. Through its annual Fund for the Arts, LexArts raises millions of dollars in support of local arts. In turn, LexArts underwrites the operating expenses for a variety of Partner Organizations, awards grants through its Community Arts Development and Professional Development programs, and offers affordable exhibition and performance space for arts organizations. Major support for LexArts programs and services is provided by the City of Lexington. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state’s official arts agency, provides operating support to LexArts with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit their website to learn more.