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“Derby Days” prints commemorate festival debut

A local artist is paying tribute to the debut of Madison Derby Days on May 5 with an original work of art.

"Derby Days" is an original painting by Michele Lee.

Michele Lee, director of 16 Main Gallery and owner of Artistic Finishes Studio, has created a print, aptly titled “Derby Days.” Lee will sign the first 25 prints. Prints cost $25.

Lee describes her painting “as impressionistic with a splash of energy. I wanted to create the feeling of motion and the ambiance of a day at the races.” The painting depicts three horses running at full speed down the course.

The work is first in a series that Lee is producing for the Kentucky Derby.

Following the Run Through the Roses 10K and 5K, the premiere Derby Days festival will bring race-day excitement to downtown Madison from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Weeks ago, Lee learned that Dawn Johnson was spearheading a festival called Derby Days. “It made me think of my Kentucky home,” Lee said. “Even though I have lived in Madison for the past 20 years, I still love Kentucky and the beauty of that state.”

The entire state of Kentucky is fervent about horse racing, Lee said. “But Louisville, spoken ‘Lueevul,’ is the main area for horse racing.” She has attended races.

Lee’s hometown is Owensboro, Ky., similar in size to Huntsville. “The best thing about my ‘Old Kentucky Home’ is the Bar-B-Q. We have a thing called Burgoo stew that is to die for,” she said.

The Run Through the Roses 10K starting line is on Eastview Extension at Bob Jones High School. The 10K starts at 7 a.m., followed by the 5K at 9 a.m. Both courses are USATF-certified (USA Track & Field).

The course takes Hughes Road, Old Madison Pike, Crestview Drive, Briarwood Drive, Steele Drive, Athens Boulevard, Eastview Drive and back to Eastview Extension.

From the sale of prints, Lee will donate half of proceeds to the Madison Historical Preservation Society.

For more information, call Lee at 256-325-0161 or visit 16maingallery.com or MicheleLeeArt.com.

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