LexArts horses to visit tornado-affected areas

The hand-painted horses will be used to raise money for disaster relief

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A spin-off of the popular Horse Mania project is bringing hope and some color to communities devastated by tornadoes in western Kentucky last December.

Three large painted horses were created to be used as an instrument to raise money for storm victims.

Senior Elma Kalabic is one of the students who had a hand in painting parts of the Commonwealth of Compassion: Horses of Hope. Each horse represents a different area affected by tornadoes including Mayfield, Madisonville, and Kalabic’s hometown of Bowling Green.

On Friday, she recalled her experience from December 10th, 2021.

“One minute we were all crying then the next minute the lights were out and we didn’t know what was happening until morning. A lot of people assume it’s a quick thing, but it’s not. It was days after the devastation that was just like isolating,” Kalabic explains.

After seeing the devastation, western Kentucky-based Independence Bank says it wanted to do something to help, collaborating with LexArts.  Independence Bank purchased three horses for Horse Mania and we had them decorated by Lexington artists.

LexArts enlisted three local artists to help with the project, including 10 students from western Kentucky communities.

The three painted horses will go to each of the three affected towns for a one-day showing.

From mid-June through November, the horses will be displayed in downtown Lexington, including during the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.  Each painted horse will be auctioned at Keeneland on December 10, 2022, the one-year anniversary of the destructive tornadoes.

Money raised from the painted horses will be donated back to the communities to help rebuild Bowling Green, Madisonville, and Mayfield.

After the auction, the three horses, which are named Resolute, Fabric of Love, and Presence of Inflorescence, will return permanently to Graves, Hopkins, and Warren counties, bringing some bright color to areas that have seen so much darkness since the deadly storms hit.

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