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Derby Blankets created for Governor’s Derby Celebration

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By Special to The Sun

FRANKFORT — Artwork created by students at 30 Kentucky schools will be featured as unique art installations on the grounds of the Old State Capitol during the Governor’s Derby Celebration Saturday in downtown Frankfort.

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Students created the works for the Kentucky Arts Council’s “Derby Blankets” project by painting canvases to be used as tablecloths on picnic tables at the event. Each table on the Old State Capitol grounds is fitted with a horse head and tail. The painted canvases, or “Derby blankets,” are draped across the table to complete the look. This is the fourth year schools have been invited to participate in the celebration, according to a news release from the Kentucky Arts Council.

“The Derby Blankets project quickly became a highly anticipated feature of the annual celebration after we started it four years ago,” Lori Meadows, arts council executive director, said in the news release. “Many of the students travel from across the state just to see their artwork on display. This is an opportunity for the arts council to partner with our schools to create excitement and pride in the arts for the Commonwealth’s children.”

Students from elementary, middle and high schools created blankets for this year’s celebration. The colorful blankets represent each school’s unique spirit and creativity among those who work on the project.

Angie Palmer, a special education teacher for Jacob Elementary School, said her students used the project to raise awareness of autism, which affects some members of her class.

“We decided to highlight the work we do every day to tackle the uniqueness of this special gift,” said Palmer. “This blanket uses the puzzle pieces to signify autism awareness, and the uniqueness of fitting the pieces together for the children that work every second of their days to combat the difficulties autism presents.”

The class’s Derby blanket features footprints from each student, which create the heads of horses. The horses’ manes signify the colors for autism awareness. The blanket is bordered by puzzle pieces, a well-known symbol of autism awareness.

“My students each have their own unique challenges, but be assured these challenges do not prevent them from living and enjoying their lives,” said Palmer. “We work daily to tackle their different abilities and create a life that is amazing.”

Schools that created blankets for the project are:
Cannonsburg Elementary School, Boyd County
Shepherdsville Elementary School, Bullitt County
North Bullitt High School, Bullitt County
Bullitt Central High School, Bullitt County
Sandersville Elementary, Fayette County
Garden Springs Elementary School, Fayette County
Dixie Magnet Elementary School, Fayette County
Meadowthorpe Elementary School, Fayette County
Summit Christian Academy, Fayette County
Good Shepherd School, Franklin County
Lawler Elementary School, Grayson County
Worthington Elementary School, Greenup County
North Hardin High School, Hardin County
Woodland Elementary, Hardin County
Memorial Elementary, Hart County
Chancey Elementary, Jefferson County
Moore Traditional, Jefferson County
Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Jefferson County
Waller-Williams Environmental School, Jefferson County
Jacob Elementary School, Jefferson County
Johnson Central High School, Johnson County
River Ridge Elementary, Kenton County
Magoffin County High School, Magoffin County
Hendron Lone Oak Elementary, McCracken County
Reidland Elementary School, McCracken County
Reidland Middle School, McCracken County
Farley Elementary School, McCracken County
Bremen Elementary, Muhlenberg County
Hazard Independent Schools, Perry County
Washington County High School, Washington County
Walker Elementary, Wayne County