FRANKFORT, Ky. — Artwork created by students at 30 Kentucky schools will be featured as unique art installations on the grounds of the Old State Capitol during the Governor's Derby Celebration, May 4 in downtown Frankfort.
Students created the works for the Kentucky Arts Council's "Derby Blankets" project by painting canvases to be used as tablecloths on picnic tables at the event. Each table on the Old State Capitol grounds is fitted with a horse head and tail. The painted canvases, or "Derby blankets," are draped across the table to complete the look. This is the fourth year schools have been invited to participate in the celebration.
"The Derby Blankets project quickly became a highly anticipated feature of the annual celebration after we started it four years ago," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "Many of the students travel from across the state just to see their artwork on display. This is an opportunity for the arts council to partner with our schools to create excitement and pride in the arts for the Commonwealth's children."
Students from elementary, middle and high schools created blankets for this year's celebration. The colorful blankets represent each school's unique spirit and creativity among those who work on the project.
Angie Palmer, a special education teacher for Jacob Elementary School, said her students used the project to raise awareness of autism, which affects some members of her class.
"We decided to highlight the work we do every day to tackle the uniqueness of this special gift," said Palmer. "This blanket uses the puzzle pieces to signify autism awareness, and the uniqueness of fitting the pieces together for the children that work every second of their days to combat the difficulties autism presents."
The class's Derby blanket features footprints from each student, which create the heads of horses. The horses' manes signify the colors for autism awareness. The blanket is bordered by puzzle pieces, a well-known symbol of autism awareness.
"My students each have their own unique challenges, but be assured these challenges do not prevent them from living and enjoying their lives," said Palmer. "We work daily to tackle their different abilities and create a life that is amazing."
Schools that created blankets for the project are:
- Cannonsburg Elementary School, Boyd County
- Shepherdsville Elementary School, Bullitt County
- North Bullitt High School, Bullitt County
- Bullitt Central High School, Bullitt County
- Sandersville Elementary, Fayette County
- Garden Springs Elementary School, Fayette County
- Dixie Magnet Elementary School, Fayette County
- Meadowthorpe Elementary School, Fayette County
- Summit Christian Academy, Fayette County
- Good Shepherd School, Franklin County
- Lawler Elementary School, Grayson County
- Worthington Elementary School, Greenup County
- North Hardin High School, Hardin County
- Woodland Elementary, Hardin County
- Memorial Elementary, Hart County
- Chancey Elementary, Jefferson County
- Moore Traditional, Jefferson County
- Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Jefferson County
- Waller-Williams Environmental School, Jefferson County
- Jacob Elementary School, Jefferson County
- Johnson Central High School, Johnson County
- River Ridge Elementary, Kenton County
- Magoffin County High School, Magoffin County
- Hendron Lone Oak Elementary, McCracken County
- Reidland Elementary School, McCracken County
- Reidland Middle School, McCracken County
- Farley Elementary School, McCracken County
- Bremen Elementary, Muhlenberg County
- Hazard Independent Schools, Perry County
- Washington County High School, Washington County
- Walker Elementary, Wayne County
View an album of the blankets and "Like" your favorite blanket on the arts council's Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/11QBORm.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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