December 15, 2014. Louisville, KY.  It doesn’t feel much like spring outside, but planning for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival is well underway.  Today the Festival named Louisville native, Karen Boone, the artist for the Official Poster of the 2015 Festival.

“I love being the Kentucky Derby poster artist,” said Karen Boone. “Growing up in Louisville, I have always enjoyed the community aspect of the Festival. It’s an honor to have my artwork represent KDF once more.”

Karen is a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and University of Louisville. She received her Master’s degree from Basel School of Design in Switzerland. She has worked in Amsterdam, for Pentagram in New York and San Francisco, and in Tokyo, Japan. Karen’s current painting work is about exploring nature with all natural paints. The 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival poster art was painted traditionally with organic oil paint, created by mixing real earth pigments with organic walnut oil.

“I live very simply, and with as low a carbon footprint as possible,” said Boone.  “I wanted to bring an aspect of that to the Festival art. I am a very green artist and have had recent art shows using natural milk paint.”

This is the third time Boone has been bestowed the honor.  She also designed KDF’s official poster in 1996 and 1999. She owns her own business, Karen Boone Design in Louisville, and has clients locally, as well as in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York and the Midwest. She has paintings in private collections and corporations across the country.

Boone’s poster will be released at KDF’s first event of 2015  – “Festival Unveiled” Presented by Citizens Union Bank and Four Roses Bourbon. The event is set for Thursday, February 26, at The Ice House on East Washington Street.  In addition to unveiling the official poster, other exciting elements of the 2015 Festival will also be announced.  Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door and go on sale January 9. Sponsors: Citizens Union Bank and Four Roses Bourbon. Contributing Sponsors: Ale-8-One, Clark and Riggs and Crushed Ice Events. Media Sponsors: LEO Weekly and New Country Q103.

Over the years, the Derby Festival’s Official Poster Series has become a unique symbol of the community. Past designs decorate offices and homes throughout the city. 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. The signed collector editions continue to significantly increase in value, and the quality of the Poster Series has been recognized worldwide.

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation.  It entertains more than 1.5 million people in a two- week period and has a local economic impact of more than $127 million.  This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

June 21 - June 21