Painting

Q&A with Lynn Dunbar, 2018 Kentucky Derby Poster Artist

Lynn Dunbar is a nationally recognized painter who has participated in, and won awards for plein air competitions all over the U.S. Her artwork is featured on the 2018 Kentucky Derby and Oaks Posters available at Churchill Downs, and will be featured on the 2018 Holiday Edition of Woodford Reserve Bourbon.  She has received the Award of Merit 2016, Owensboro Museum of Art, Science and History, Grand Prize Portland Heritage Arts Show 2014, honorable mention at the Salon International 2013, the 2012 Purchase Prize from the Owensboro Museum of Art, and the 2011 Grand Prize from the Louisville Women’s Club. Dunbar’s work has been featured most recently in the September 2017 Plein Air Magazine, and in American Art Review.

In the upcoming weeks there are multiple opportunities to meet the artist and acquire a signed copy of the artist’s Derby poster. A full schedule follows the Q&A.

How did you come to be chosen to paint the official 2018 Derby poster?

I was contacted spring of 2017. I was in New Orleans visiting my daughter when I got the phone call. Needless to say I was surprised. Churchill Downs liked my expressions of Kentucky, especially the riverboats, and asked me if I could send them a few images. I said, give me a couple hours and I will paint a race house too, so that's what I did. I sent them Belle and horse paintings. They were pleased and asked me if I would paint the images for the poster.

How much time did you spend at Churchill Downs?

I visited Churchill Downs to collect information and photograph scenes. I probably worked with Churchill Downs a good 6 months.

You are renowned for your landscapes, but none of your recent work had featured horses. Had you painted them earlier in your career?

I have painted animals including horses, cows and dogs. Now I am really getting into racehorses!

There is an element of the working life on the Ohio River in many of your paintings. Did you see your time at Churchill Downs as documenting another working environment that defines Kentucky?

Yes I do! And I am happy to be “Capturing the Spirit of Kentucky!” I hope to paint more racetrack scenes along with some more of our state’s Bourbon Industry.

 "Horse Shoe Bend" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 24x72in, POR

"Horse Shoe Bend" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 24x72in, POR

A few years ago, you started painting aerial views, taking in the landscape in a particularly expansive way that really highlighted the Ohio River. Do you plan on returning to that approach?

Yes. I have some new aerials in the works. Craft(s) Gallery will be featuring a show for me of aerials of Kentucky and the Ohio River June 2018.

How has this experience inspired you?

I am so happy to call Kentucky my home! I have so many more paintings to paint on the land and activities in Kentucky. I am proud of the products from our beautiful state.

 "Number 4" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x9in, 2017, POR

"Number 4" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x9in, 2017, POR

Lynn Dunbar will be signing copies of the Derby poster at the following:

March 23, 12:00 - 2:00pm: Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital. 
4001 Dutchmans Ln, St. Matthews KY. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Breast Cancer Resource Center.

April 12, 12:00 - 2:00pm: Middletown City Hall. 11803 Old Shelbyville Rd. Middletown KY.

April 19, 6:30 - 9:00pm: Derby Divas event at Rodes For Him and For Her. 
4938 Brownsboro Rd, Louisville KY. Proceeds benefit the Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program.

 

April 28 & 29, 10:00am - 6:00pm: Cherokee Triangle Art Fair. Louisville KY

May 4 & 5: Kentucky Oaks & Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. 
700 Central Avenue, Louisville KY. Dunbar will be signing posters in a booth on the main level near Grandstand and in Millionaire’s Row.

 "In The Lead" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 36x24in, 2018, POR

"In The Lead" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 36x24in, 2018, POR

 "1964 Derby Glass" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x8in, 2017, POR

"1964 Derby Glass" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x8in, 2017, POR

 "Oaks Preliminary Skecth" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x8in, 2017, POR

"Oaks Preliminary Skecth" by Lynn Dunbar, Oil on canvas, 12x8in, 2017, POR


Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.