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Commonwealth Compassion: Horses of Hope
In an effort to bring a bit of brightness to the dark devastation in western Kentucky caused by the December 2021 tornado, Independence Bank has partnered 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 have been painted and will be 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 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 traveled across our three affected communities over the summer for an exclusive one-day showing where the public was invited to view them up close. Downtown Lexington hosted the Horses of Hope during the Fall of 2022.
To help raise funds for storm relief, on December 2nd our Horses of Hope were presented to a crowd at Keeneland during the LexArts’ Fabulous at 50 event. Private donations from community members and corporate sponsors are paired with the funds collected during paddle raises at the charity event. This combined project total of approximately $278,037 netted by Commonwealth Compassion: Horses of Hope is only a portion of the funds raised by the Bank for relief. As of November 28th, Independence Bank has raised an additional $706,148 — bringing the cumulative relief total to $984,185. The horses will make their way home to be displayed in the storm-impacted areas of Graves, Hopkins and Warren Counties as a permanent symbol of resilience.
RESOLUTE Mayfield – Graves County
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 have also been 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 Art Gallery in Mayfield was destroyed in the December tornado. All funds raised from RESOLUTE will directly benefit rebuilding of the gallery.
FABRIC OF LOVE Dawson Springs – Hopkins County
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, one even being dedicated in the memory of a classmate. Many other sections capture Dawson Springs’ natural beauty. The quilt is depicted as unfinished because Dawson Springs’ is not finished rebuilding. All funds raised from FABRIC OF LOVE will directly benefit the Dawson Springs softball and baseball fields in Hopkins County that were damaged by the storm.
IN THE PRESENCE OF INFLORESCENCE Bowling Green – Warren County
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, a symbol of medicine, butterflies and flowers all represent recovery and regeneration. These symbols cover every inch of the horse in a beautiful coordinating color palette. All funds raised from IN THE PRESENCE OF INFLORESCENCE will directly benefit the Family Resource Centers within both local school districts to support families in need.
ABOUT INDEPENDENCE BANK
Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 29 locations in Calloway, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Logan, 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 14 consecutive years, a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 12 years and has assets totaling $3.4 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.
HORSES OF HOPE IN THE NEWS
For additional information please contact Evan Gorman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WBKO: Horses of Hope featuring Warren County artists on display this Friday, November 2022
WNKY: LexArts to showcase ‘Horses of Hope’ Friday; raising tornado relief donations, November 2022
TriState Homepage: Horses of Hope set for auction to benefit Dawson Springs, November 2022
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