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Lexington's famous painted horses? They're coming back

Josh James

2022 will mark the return of one of Lexington’s most popular – and iconic – public art projects. 

"When are the horses coming back?" It's the question LexArts director Ame Sweetall says she gets most often.

With the 50th anniversary of LexArts on the way, the colorful favorites are making a comeback. The life-size horse statues covered in eye-popping art designs became synonymous with Lexington back in 2000 and 2010. So why trot out them out now? Well, it just makes… horse sense.

"Of course, Horse Capital of the World, Breeders' Cup, Keeneland. You know, it just all fits together," says John Cioci, who is on LexArts board of directors. "Nothing is more recognizable in town. You've got 50 horses on street corners, in front of businesses, in window shops, just all over the place. So I think people really associate and see art coming to life with these horses."

While 10 of those 50 horses are already spoken for, sponsorships are available for the remaining 40. The price tag: $7,500 to sponsor, double that if your business or group wants to retain ownership of the horse.

Artists will be selected by jury with the first sponsors also first in line to choose from the all-new designs.

Expect to the see the horses start popping up around town in April 2022.  

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.