LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – A Lexington woman and University of Kentucky graduate was named the official artist of the upcoming Kentucky Derby.
Aimee Griffith is originally from Bardstown, Ky. Her art will be on full display this upcoming May during the Run for the Roses.
Five years ago Sunday will be the day she took her first art class. She’s now preparing to be a big part of her home state’s grandest tradition.
“It almost feels very surreal,” Griffith said.
The artist said this opportunity wasn’t something she grew up thinking about, or expecting. She said her artwork started as a hobby, and has recently turned into a fulltime job.
“Someone reached out to me at the beginning of the year about submitting some of my work for it and I honestly didn’t think that anything would come of it,” Griffith said.
Her journey with art started just five years ago on a family vacation.
“They had one of those art classes where they show you how to paint a painting,” she said. “I did it just for fun, and I just loved it.”
She picked up some cheap watercolors and brushes. Now, her work will be a part of history.
“The poster for the Derby: the horses have different colors amongst them,” Griffith said. “I wanted to try different things in terms of experimenting with light and shadow and different colors to see if we could make something more interesting.”
She said her Kentucky Oaks poster is focused on the fillies.
“The Oaks painting is more inspired by fashion and it’s about the fillies,” Griffith said. “I wanted to have a scene that told the story of the anticipation leading up to the races.”
Griffith said she hopes her posters convey hope.
“At the time when I was trying to figure out what to do, it was when the vaccine had just came out, the kids were back in school and it felt very exciting,” she said.
The 148th Kentucky Derby will be her first.
“I’ve actually already got a headpiece I’m having made!” she said.
It’s a run the stay at home mom wouldn’t have done without giving it a shot.
“If you love something or are interested in it, just to try, do it even if it’s not for money,” Griffith said. “Just try it. If it makes you happy then that’s all that matters.”
Griffith’s artwork for the Kentucky Derby can be found here.
Her other work can be found on her website.
Griffith said she’ll have poster signings in Louisville and Lexington ahead of the Kentucky Derby.