POSTER AND MERCHANDISE LINE TO BE UNVEILED NEXT WEEK
January 24, 2024. Louisville, KY. – The Kentucky Derby Festival has hit a home run with its 2024 Official Poster Artist! Louisville artist and former professional baseball player for the Atlanta Braves, Richard Sullivan, has been selected as the Festival’s Official Poster artist for the 2024 season. Sullivan’s image will also be featured on the Festival’s 2024 Official Merchandise Line, which includes colorful t-shirts, sweatshirts, glassware, mugs, and more. The artwork will be unveiled next week.
“For more than 40 years, the Derby Festival’s Official Poster has been an iconic symbol that celebrates our favorite time of year,” said Matt Gibson, Kentucky Derby Festival President & CEO. “Throughout the years, it has become a collector’s piece, and we look forward to sharing the 2024 design with our Festival fans.”
Raised in Louisville, Sullivan attended the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). While there, he played baseball, and in 2008, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round as a junior and played six years of minor league baseball. In 2014, he returned to SCAD to finish his studies and received a BFA in Illustration. Sullivan’s artwork has been accepted into the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center and has been exhibited at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Kentucky Derby Museum.
“Art has always been a way for me to transcend boundaries and merge with the creative spirit,” Sullivan said. “I believe the Kentucky Derby Festival is a great example of how our own community transcends its boundaries and for a brief moment in the spring we all get to feel lighter and more connected to our amazing city.”
Sullivan’s art has also been featured nationally on MiLB.com, Fox Sports and Fox Sports South. More than a dozen Major League Baseball players collect his work, including Tom Glavine, a former professional baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. He has created paintings for the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons, and collaborated with Topps to create paintings for its Momentum Rising card set. In 2020 and 2021, Woodford Reserve commissioned Sullivan to create artwork for the commemorative Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bottle.
Over the years, the Derby Festival’s Official Poster Series has become a unique symbol of the community. Peter Max’s expressionistic “Bluegrass Pegasus” launched the series in 1981, and a stylistic and geographical mix of artists have been showcased over the years. Fans can still purchase most of the previous artwork at KDF.org.