Churchill Downs Unveils Official 2018 Art of the Kentucky Derby by Kentucky Artist Lynn Dunbar

Feb 27, 2018

Officially Licensed Artwork Available on Variety of Merchandise

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, February 27, 2018) – Churchill Downs today released the 2018 “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” by award-winning American and Kentucky painter Lynn Dunbar. Dunbar created oil paintings to capture the excitement and tradition of the 144th running of each the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve and the Longines Kentucky Oaks. Dunbar is the 21st artist commissioned to create Derby’s officially licensed artwork since the tradition began in 1997 and the second Kentucky artist chosen following Jim Cantrell in 2017.

Dunbar’s “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” will be featured on various 2018 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks merchandise, including posters, tickets, t-shirts, post cards and souvenir racing programs. The merchandise is available now at select retail outlets, including the Kentucky Derby Museum. Additional items will be available at soon.

“We are delighted with this year’s official Derby art work and happy that it has been created by a talented Kentucky artist for the second year in a row,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Dunbar’s work highlights strong composition and the colorful use of oil paints. Her paintings frequently feature traditional Kentucky settings, including local and regional landscapes, the Ohio River, the Belle of Louisville and the Kentucky Derby.

“It’s exciting for my work to become part of the Kentucky Derby history,” said Dunbar. “In this year’s paintings, I used color and composition to capture the thrill and glamour of the world’s most famous horse races.”   

Dunbar has received numerous local and national honors, including grand Prize Women’s Club of Louisville, and Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania plein air events. She was featured in the August/September Plein Air Magazine. Her work is displayed in corporate collections including Owensboro Hospital, Verizon, Omni Hotel and Commonwealth Bank.

Dunbar holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a master’s degree from University of Louisville. She worked for advertising agencies and corporate marketing prior to picking up the paintbrush full time.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 5, 2018. The track’s 2018 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 28-June 30. An eight-time host to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Churchill Downs will again be the site of that event on Nov. 2-3, 2018.


  • Ticket Info

    Sign up for race updates and more