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World Premiere of Pony Expressionism Opens at KHP



Lexington, KY - The Kentucky Horse Park continues its mission to celebrate mankind’s long relationship with the horse by partnering with The Trail of Painted Ponies in the world premiere of: Pony Expressionism: The Horse as Art,” Apr 20-Sep 9.  This first-ever exhibition dramatically showcases the inspirational power of the horse as expressed in a new art form: horse sculptures imaginatively transformed by painters into dazzling works of art.


“This will be a groundbreaking opportunity to introduce horse lovers and art collectors to a totally new way of appreciating the horse in art,” says Rod Barker, President of The Trail of Painted Ponies.


The Trail of Painted Ponies began as a 2001 public art project based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when premiere artists from around the Southwest were invited to creatively embellish life-size fiberglass horses. The stunning results received acclaim from art collectors and national media, before they were auctioned and sold to benefit philanthropic organizations.  Several cities around the country have had similar projects since that time, including “Horse Mania” in Lexington, Kentucky.


The Trail has since moved its headquarters to Arizona, and expanded its range nationally and internationally, attracting artists from around the country and generating a sensationally varied body of work that has found an audience “from Museums to Main Street.” Painted Pony originals have been purchased and exhibited by multiple museums, and Painted Pony figurines – miniature reproductions – have become one of the best-selling collectibles in America.


Featured in the five-month exhibition will be four life-size Painted Ponies, including “Year of the Horse,” a gorgeous celebration of ten different horse breeds by painter Lori Musil; and “Ceremonial Pony,” a bronze horse sculpture elaborately adorned with beaded leather tack fashioned by Cathy Smith, the Academy Award costume designer from “Dances With Wolves.”


Also featured will be:


1)  Ten finalists in the 2006 national competition, “The Native Art of Horse Painting,” which honored the American Indian tradition of painting and dressing their horses before battle and ceremony.


2) Ten winners of the 2007 national competition, “America the Beautiful.”


A series of special events, artist lectures and signings will take place throughout the summer-long exhibition.


For more information click on or call Karlynn Keyes, Vice-President, Trail of Painted Ponies, 480-459-5700, Ext 2.  You may also contact the International Museum of the Horse at 859-259-4232 or click on

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