A mural of four pictures painted onto the side of the, now closed, George’s Deli. The pictures are of Sweet Evening Breeze, a Lexington Drag scene icon.
Faulkner Morgan Archive, a local organization that preserves and promotes Kentucky’s LGBTQ+ history, partnered with PRHBTN to bring the mural to life.
“She queered the streets of Lexington from at least 1920 till her death in 1983. Often feminizing her clothing, sometimes going out in full drag, she is considered to be the mother of us all when it comes to the drag culture of Lexington” Dr. Jonathan Coleman, President of Faulkner Morgan Archive, said.
According to Coleman, Sweet Evening Breeze was born in Georgetown, Ky.
“If Sweets was alive today, Sweets might identify as someone who is transgender, or genderqueer. Born from parents who were former slaves”
Coleman said she worked as an orderly at Good Samaritan Hospital and was an icon outside of the LGBTQ+ community.
“In fact, there was a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who once wrote the most famous person in Lexington is not a politician, it’s not a socialite, it’s not a horse person, it’s not even Adolf Rupp, the most popular person in Lexington, KY, was Sweet Evening Breeze,” Coleman said.
PRHBTN is an organization bringing international street artists to Lexington to add more art throughout the city. Co-founder, John Winters, painting Sweet Evening Breeze was the artist’s, Boston-based artist Gaia, idea.
“A lot of our artists we give them free rein to paint whatever they want. We choose to give them the ability to choose their subject matter. His focus for a lot of his recent pieces has been highlighting local unsung heroes. It might not be your Kentucky jockey, or whatever you may think in Lexington”
“In 2011 we started the project to highlight the street artists and graffiti artists that weren’t getting into galleries. We drove around downtown Lexington. We live here, It’s our home, we were like there are some really big walls that need art on them” Winters said.
In the last ten years, PRHBTN has brought over 40 murals to Lexington. Winters said they will continue painting until there are no more walls left in the city.