capitol art

A watercolor of the Old State Capitol painted by Marcheta Sparrow, who took up art after she retired as Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in 2013.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – The hallways of the State Capitol in Frankfort, which for years featured Kentucky Derby posters hanging on the wall, now have a wider variety of art, thanks to Kentuckians from around the state.

Gov. Andy Beshear and first lady Britainy Beshear recently unveiled the first exhibit in what they call the “Team Kentucky Gallery.” The Beshears noted that the Capitol – “the people’s house” – is the best place to showcase the artistic talents of Kentuckians and to provide a voice for them as represented through art.

“Now that the crisis of the pandemic is behind us and Kentuckians are able to visit the Capitol, we want to make sure they see their stories and communities represented,” said Gov. Beshear.  “We want them to be reminded of all the reasons Kentucky is so special, and this art exhibit – by Kentuckians and for Kentuckians – does just that.”

Selected works of art will remain on display for a six-month rotation in the Capitol and, for those who are unable to make it to Frankfort, on the Team Kentucky Digital Art Gallery.  The first rotation opened July 1 and runs until Dec. 31.

“I have seen firsthand the transformative power of art to help young people reflect and heal from trauma,” said Mrs. Beshear. “As a mom, I know how important it is for us to provide our kids with time for them to be creative. And, as a Kentuckian, I’ve been so impressed by the extraordinary artists we have in every region of our state. This exhibit highlights just some of that talent, and it provides such joy after a really tough year.”

Mrs. Beshear has long supported Kentucky artists. She created the Hope Gallery when Andy Beshear served as attorney general, which gave voice to Kentucky children facing adversities and promoted art therapy programs.

Among the four dozen artists whose work is currently on display, is Marcheta Sparrow of Frankfort, a former cabinet secretary who took it up after retiring from state government.

“After retiring from my position as Cabinet Secretary for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in 2013, I found a whole new world opened up for me through art,” she said.  “Watercolor is my preferred medium.  I love the way the paint moves on paper.  With only a pad of paper, paints and brushes, I can expand my horizons every day.”  

Go to the Team Kentucky Digital Art Gallery webpage to find out how you can submit your art to go on display in January.

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