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My Kentucky Derby Gig

In the studio with Kimberly Santini, the official artist of the 2015 Kentucky Derby
In the summer of 2014, I received a phone call inviting me to be the official artist of the 2015 Kentucky Derby. I thought it was a prank call. Seriously, I did. But we sorted things out, and I stayed professional during the entire conversation. After we disconnected, I screamed with joy, and the kids and I had a good couple laps outside the house. And then, they had to be sworn to secrecy, because no one in the universe was supposed to know until the formal announcement in November.

That was a LOOOOOOOONNNNG 5 months.

Then, everything after that, was a whirlwind.

I painted all summer in secret and shipped the piece off to Louisville in October. At that time, The Caped Crusader was taking a sports marketing class, and I asked if he would come with me to the reveal at Churchill Downs. We set off, just the two of us, on an early morning flight. Starting at the airport gate, I began posting photos, documenting the entire journey, straight through to Derby Day.

I think the rest of it is history.

Meanwhile, here is a video short of the making of another race painting, that being Grindstone, the previous  year's Kentucky Derby winner. I donated this piece to The Kentucky Derby Museum as part of their spring fundraiser.

It still feels like a dream, but it's a dream I am so delighted to have had. Many thanks to Clare Jett of JettStream Production and Pat Propes the graphic designer, along with their team at Churchill Downs,  for taking care of every single detail along the way. And to my kids, for sharing a most extraordinary secret with me.

Meanwhile, I painted today - but didn't finish the piece, and it's deep in the uglies, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see her!

Thanks as always for following along,
Warmly, Kim

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