Horse Mania 2010: Public art project hits streets of Lexington

By Shannon Frazer

Lexington residents may notice some new additions to the city’s landscape.

Horse Mania 2010, organized by LexArts, features 89 full-sized fiberglass horses located at various locations in Lexington.

LexArts and event spokesman Tony Aros said that while Horse Mania does not have a set rotational schedule for when the event will continue in the future, the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was a major influence in the decision to hold the 2010 edition.

“We decided to do it this year because it coincides with the World Equestrian Games,” Aros said.

The horse designs showcased in Horse Mania underwent an extensive selection process. Finalists included artists from the Lexington area and surrounding states.

“We released an open call to artists. Over 450 designs were submitted by the February deadline, a large majority of which were local artists.  From those designs a jury selected 200, and those were narrowed down to the finalists,” Aros said.

One of the added components to this year’s Horse Mania is the Horse Play project, which displays Fayette County elementary, middle and high school students’ original designs. There are 50 foals designed by the schoolchildren, all of which are located at the respective schools’ libraries.

“Horse Play is new. Each elementary and middle school (in Fayette County) gets a foal and each middle and high school gets a full-sized horse,” Aros said.

The university community is excited and supportive of Horse Mania 2010.

“It’s really neat. I love all the horses,” said biology junior Katie Brandewie.

According to the Horse Mania website, horses will remain in their current locations across the city from July 15 to October 15.  After that, they will be part of the Southern Lights Exhibition at Kentucky Horse Park from November 19 to December 4.

Ultimately, the horses will be auctioned off at Keeneland on December 11.  The foals will be auctioned off in February. All proceeds will benefit the Lexington public art program and other local charities.