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Louisville high schooler wins art contest, seat on Millionaire’s Row for Kentucky Derby

In its 36th annual Horsing Around With Art competition, the Kentucky Derby Museum selected a winner from a pool of over 200 entries from 33 different schools.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 1:47 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - In its 36th annual Horsing Around With Art competition, the Kentucky Derby Museum selected a winner from a pool of over 200 entries from 33 different schools.

Winner Lily Swan, an 11th grade student at Mercy Academy, was surprised at school on Thursday by members of the Kentucky Derby Museum and her parents.

”I feel like I’m going to cry,” she later said.

Her oil painting of Rock Your World getting a bath was selected as the winner of this competition, which means she will receive a lot of prizes, including having a Kentucky Derby race named after her, and presenting a trophy to the winner. She’ll also have a seat on Churchill Downs’ Millionaire’s Row. Her painting will be on display in digital form at the Derby, as well as in the Kentucky Derby Museum for a year.

Swan said that she tried hard to capture the intimacy of the depicted moment in the piece.

”Originally in the picture, the eye was closed, and we wanted to have it open because it furthers that connection and it has a nice perspective,” Swan said. “You feel connected to the horse because it’s very intimate to wash your horse after you’ve won something.”

Mercy Academy had four other entries that were runners-up or honorable mentions in the Horsing Around With Art competition. Combined, they raised $1,300 for Mercy’s art department.

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