LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, Nov. 22, 2021) – Churchill Downs today released the 2022 “Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” by Kentucky artist Aimee Griffith. 

This is the sixth year in a row that Churchill Downs has tapped a Kentucky artist for this honor.

Griffith, who was born and raised in Bardstown and resides in Lexington, utilizes watercolor as her primary medium because of the luminosity, the gradients and unexpected nature of watercolor mixing and layering.  

“The magic is in the mixing and settling of the paint as it dries,” said Griffith, who attended a watercolor workshop while on vacation in 2016.

The paintings she created for Churchill Downs contrast in several ways. The painting for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve is intended to display the energy, motion and excitement of the fastest two minutes in sports with unusual use of color and splashes of paint. The Longines Kentucky Oaks painting, on the other hand, is intended to showcase the fashion, pageantry and anticipation common to the paddock area before a race.

“This commission challenged me to explore and experiment with my perspective of equestrian art like I’ve not done before,” said Griffith, who works out of a home studio in Lexington with her husband Mark and three children Sam (age 8), Lizzie (6) and Beau (3). “Before I began, I visited Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington and left inspired to try something new. Pushing brighter colors, more contrast and high energy in my work has helped me evolve as an artist. While I am primarily self-taught, I study and am inspired by artists such as Leroy Nieman, Peter Williams, Wayne Thiebaud and local artists Jim Cantrell and Tyler Robertson.” 

“Official Art of the Kentucky Derby” will be featured on the 2022 Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks official racing programs and a variety of merchandise, including Derby and Oaks 148 limited edition artist-signed and numbered posters with embossed and metallic ink treatments. Other merchandise featuring the artwork includes apparel, posters and postcards available at select retail outlets including the Kentucky Derby Museum and www.KentuckyDerbyStore.com.

ABOUT CHURCHILL DOWNS RACETRACK

Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”), the world’s most legendary racetrack, has been the home of The Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held annual sporting event in the United States, since 1875. Located in Louisville, CDRT features a series of themed race days during Derby Week, including the Kentucky Oaks, and conducts Thoroughbred horse racing during three race meets in the Spring, September, and the Fall. CDRT is located on 175 acres and has a one-mile dirt track, a 7/8-mile turf track, a stabling area, and provides seating for approximately 60,000 guests. The saddling paddock and the stable area has barns sufficient to accommodate 1,400 horses and a 114-room dormitory for backstretch personnel. CDRT also has a year-round simulcast wagering facility. www.ChurchillDowns.com.