The Greetings from Louisville mural is located right across the street from Churchill Downs. While it’s one of the most iconic and well known venues of the state hosting the Kentucky Derby, the immediate surrounding neighborhood does not get the funding it deserves. Property owners John and Mary Kay Dixon (along with their bulldog Rocco) reached out to us with a goal to brighten up the neighborhood by adding a piece of public art for the community.
We arrived to town on an unseasonably hot and humid October day. Hanging with locals around different neighborhoods that fall under the Ohio River, we gathered it is certainly a southern town considering its culture and hospitality. Louisville (pronounced Lulvul) has an Austin, TX vibe before the traffic and bachelorette parties. It’s a great place where the local coffee shops and family owned delis are more popular than Starbucks.
After celebrating Victor’s birthday in town, we got to work. John and Mary Kay allowed us to conveniently park the RV on their property where we painted. Now, a mural wouldn’t be complete without its first day challenges, would it? The ground where we needed to use the lifts wasn’t perfectly level, so John being a DIY problem solver built us custom ramps on location. We got started on a 3x primed wall, laid out the sketch and began color blocking. With the 90 degree heat and 90% humidity, we checked ourselves into hotels at night. Later during the week, we met Jennifer who graciously donated her historic AirBnB to us for three nights, where we could restore our energy and relax in air conditioning with her two cats.
Staying true to our collaborative efforts with the community, we invited Louisville/Cincinnati based artist collective Often Seen Rarely Spoken to come help paint. Victor’s agency worked with OSRS in the past, but we were so excited to finally meet up with them on the road! They were the ones who connected us with Jennifer’s AirBnB, but also all good things Louisville. The completion of this mural would not have been the same without the four of them.
On our final day in Louisville, we met up with John and Mary Kay one last time in front of the mural. These two had the original idea to make this area a better place and we’re honored they asked us to do so! Being at the wall every day, we really got to know the people that make up this neighborhood. Bar owner Lou across the street and his regular customers, the filling station attendants at Speedway, next door neighbor Larry whose dog that had three chihuahua puppies while we were there. Every mural has a story, but Louisville had many. Thank you to those who stopped by to give us water, Lisa’s mom for flying into town, and especially John and Mary Kay who kept this mural alive after most donors pulled out their funding! We hope to see you all real soon.
L — Kentucky Bourbon / Fleur De Lis
O — Kentucky Bourbon / Fleur De Lis
U — Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
I — Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory
S — Big Four Pedestrian Bridge
V — Big Four Pedestrian Bridge
I — Louisville Cardinals / UofL Sports
L — Louisville Cardinals / UofL Sports
L — Churchill Downs / Kentucky Derby
E — Churchill Downs / Kentucky Derby