Kendall Bickett, a senior at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Louisville’s south-end, was named the grand prize winner of the Kentucky Derby Museum’s Horsing Around with Art contest earlier this year. The contest was divided into five divisions and was open to Louisville metro public, private, and parochial students in grades 1 – 12. Schools were allowed to enter up to five entries in each division. Bickett’s piece, which depicts the lower legs and hooves of a running horse amidst flying dirt, was judged to best capture the spirit of the Kentucky Derby.
"I was really shocked,” said Bickett. “I've never won anything, especially in art. It was definitely a confidence boost."
When recalling the day she heard that her daughter had won the grand prize, Lea Ann Bickett said, “I just remember feeling just that rush of overwhelming pride, you know, for her.”
As the grand prize recipient, Bickett received six box-seat tickets to this year’s Kentucky Derby. Her school art department received $500. Bickett chose to take her parents, Greg and Lea Ann Bickett, her brothers, Ben and Jeremy Bickett, and her grandmother, Marietta Bickett, along with her to the Derby. This was the first Derby for all. The day included a buffet lunch at the museum, hat contest, and plenty of wagering. The family even cashed win tickets on 21-1 shot Animal Kingdom!
“It was an experience we’ll all remember the rest of our lives,” said Greg Bickett. “We’re all real proud of Kendall.”
After the Derby, the family attended the winner’s party at the Derby Museum. Bickett presented her original artwork to the connections of Derby winner Animal Kingdom, owners Team Valor and Barry Irwin.
"It was hard because it was my favorite piece,” Bickett responded when asked how she felt about giving away her original artwork. “At least I got a copy,” she continued. “He said he loved it, which made me feel good and glad to give it to him."
The Derby Museum created a print of the artwork for Bickett and she retains all copyrights to the piece. The museum received several requests for reprints of the piece and is currently in talks with Bickett to offer the prints for sale in the museum gift shop.
Although Bickett didn’t take a strong interest in art until she reached high school, she now plans to pursue an education in art.
“I want to become an Art Teacher. I absolutely love kids and art, so why not combine them?”
To order a print of the piece, contact the artist at [email protected]. The print retails for $50.
Photo: Courtesy Kendall Bickett