It’s often said that bourbon brings people together. Layer art on top of that art and you have something special. Bourbon with HeART is Kentucky’s first arts-focused bourbon charity that brings the two art forms together with Barrels of HeART.
Barrels of HeART is an art exhibit taking for eight weeks beginning February 2, 2023 at the Frazier History Museum on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The museum also happens to be the official starting point of the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The mission of Bourbon with HeART is to leverage the influence and popularity of Kentucky’s most iconic spirit – bourbon – to raise funds, awareness, and education around the local art community. The organization is committed to providing better access and delivering first-class arts experiences to every person in Kentucky regardless of age, race, class, gender, or ability.
“Art is like a good glass of bourbon, it brings people together and encourages self-expression,” said Founder of Bourbon with HeART Morgan Hancock. “I started Barrels of HeART with the goal of creating a space for local artists to showcase their work, particularly those artists who may not always have that opportunity. Our artists come from all walks of life, perspectives, and experiences, but the one thing they have in common is a love for Kentucky. And each one has poured that love into their piece.”
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20 Local Artists Paint 20 Bourbon Barrels
Twenty local artists were provided a barrel and a supply budget to bring their bourbon barrel art to life. Exhibit attendees will vote on their favorite barrel design and the artist of the winning barrel design will be awarded a cash prize along with a donation to the charity of their choice. The remaining proceeds will be donated to area nonprofits.
Each barrel in the exhibit is also sponsored by local companies and bourbon brands who are committed to supporting Bourbon with HeART and Louisville’s arts community. Sponsors include Buzzard’s Roost Sipping Whiskeys, Mercedes-Benz of Louisville, Heaven’s Door Whiskey, Humana, Old Louisville Whiskey Co., Barrell Craft Spirits, BIGGBY Coffee, CaskX, and many others.
The Bourbon with HeART exhibit is included with the standard admission to the Frazier History Museum.
Bourbon with Heart, Inc. is a charitable 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
Meet the ‘Barrels with HeART’ Artists
Andy Perez: Andy is a visual artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. Originally from Kentuckiana, he received a BFA from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in 2004. His work has been featured in publications, galleries, and commercials across the US and internationally. He has partnered with many organizations in Louisville. In 2021, he was the official poster artist for the Kentucky Derby Festival. Andy is currently represented at Kore Gallery in Louisville.
Charity: Backside Learning Center
April Eryn Jeffreys: “I draw and paint all the time, but I never did anything with it,” says April Jeffreys, who has expressed herself through art since age two. “This is my big chance to show everybody that I can do anything.” April is currently disabled but recently received certification as an Adult Peer Support Specialist and interviewed with a local mental health center “striving to help people with mental health struggles live full lives.” Without hesitation, April would choose Bridgehaven Mental Health Services as her charitable donation recipient.
Charity: Bridgehaven Mental Services
April Schweiss: April is a self-proclaimed “big kid who adores animals, being outside (preferably on my Onewheel), and hanging with friends.” She finds inspiration most often in nature and literature. She says, “Art, to me, is an escape, a place I can visit after the world has been too dark. It’s a place where the sun is always shining, and I can hear my mom’s voice cheering me on.”
Charity: I Would Rather Be Reading
Ashley Brossart: Art is vital to Ashley because “it can drive communication and thought on an individual and community level” and can potentially be a catalyst for cultural and social change. Ashley believes art and creativity are essential to Louisville because they have the potential to break down cultural barriers and build connections when they are easily accessible for anyone to experience. Ashley supports Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign for its “grass-roots, non-violent approach that empowers individuals and builds a social justice movement to create lasting change.”
Charity: Fairness Campaign of Kentucky
Chimel Ford: Chimel is excited about the opportunity and challenge of displaying his art on a barrel for Bourbon with HeART. “I’ve painted art on wine bottles, ornaments, and ceramics, but never on a barrel,” he said. Inspired by everyday things, he loves combining different colors to make art come to life. “He has autism, but that doesn’t define him. His art does,” said Chimel’s mother Helena.
Charity: The Lord’s Kitchen /The Hope Village
Clay Mata: Clay Mata is, in her words, “a self-taught Chicana artist who loves to paint, eat, and travel.” She enjoys life with her wife and pets and works full-time as a Geek Squad repair agent. Her Mexican culture and her Chicago birthplace’s street art and graffiti inspire Clay. “Also, being raised in Louisville gave me another vision, which is why my work is a little mix of everything and is usually bright.”
Charity: La Casita Center
Darryl Montez Tucker: Born and raised in Louisville, Darryl Montez Tucker is a Wellbeing Consultant for Humana and is married with four kids, three of whom have autism. Darryl discovered his talent while attending a “paint and sip” with his wife and is excited by the challenge of creating his art piece on a bourbon barrel. His passion is finger painting, and he hopes to pursue a full-time art career one day. If the public should vote for Darryl’s design as their favorite, he plans to support Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Louisville.
Charity: Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT) of Louisville
David & Terri Sierra: David and Terri find inspiration in people, society, nature, and animals. They believe the arts build community, bringing Louisvillians together to “connect, learn, empathize, and grow together.” The Sierras’ charity of choice is Refuge for Women, providing a safe place for victims of sex trafficking.
Charity: Refuge for Women
David Green (Starvin’ Artist): David has been a local freelance artist and decor designer in Louisville for over 20 years. Kentucky, Bourbon, and art are in his blood! He finds inspiration from the past and present and has an old-school vibe and loves the Old Glamour Hollywood days!
Charity: I Would Rather Be Reading
Down Syndrome of Louisville’s Adult Academy Class Artists: Mrs. Willow’s Art Class is full of talented artists. The art class is part of Louisville’s Adult Development Academy, “The Academy” for short. The Academy is a high-quality lifelong learning experience, unlike any other program in the area. The Academy offers a full educational curriculum for adults with Down syndrome that have completed high school.
Charity: Down Syndrome of Louisville
Gail Corso: Gail is a wife, a mother to three grown children, and an artist. She finds inspiration in all things including nature, people, animals, and even common items like a bottle of bourbon. Something as simple as a bottle can be beautiful as the light hits a surface and creates highlights, shadows, and depth. Kentucky has such a large and diverse pool of talent. She feels honored to be selected!
Charity: Kentucky Humane Society
Janet Hoard: After 35 years with FedEx®, retirement allows Janet to pursue art full-time. “Oil painting is my passion, illustration is my dream.” She is married with two children and was the first woman in Kentucky to win the State Truck Driving Championship representing FedEx®. “Challenges inspire me. The research involved in a new project brings out the motivation to create. My inspiration also comes from all things in nature, all the colors, textures, and even sounds everywhere I look,” she said.
Charity: Honor Flight Bluegrass
Jon Cecil: The Card Catalog Speakeasy, Jon Cecil’s bourbon tasting room, was voted one of the top eight home bars in the world by bourbon expert and spirits writer Fred Minnick in 2020 and featured in Louisville Homes & Gardens in July 2021. Jon is excited to share his passion for bourbon and love for Kentucky through his Bourbon with HeART barrel design. Jon takes his inspiration from the rolling Kentucky countryside of horse farms and distilleries, downtown Louisville’s Whiskey Row cityscape, and the red velvet curtains of his basement speakeasy, which represent a portal to a different time.
Charity: KID’S Pediatric Center
Keith Anderson: From the bottle to the barrel, Keith Anderson is taking on yet another bourbon-related artistic challenge. The Louisville native is the first artist with the distinction of designing the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby bottle for two consecutive years, in 2018 and 2019. Keith is also the first Brown-Forman employee and the first African-American to hold the honor of his artwork appearing on the Limited Edition bottle.
Charity: Blanket Louisville
Latora Schmidt: Whether creating or simply admiring the works of others, art allows Latora to enter a world that can be defined however I want. She says art is her safe space. If my design wins, I’d like to donate to the Home of the Innocents Organization. I spent quite a bit of my youth in the foster care system, the Home of the Innocents, and what they provide for children in need during very difficult times makes them an organization very close to my heart.
Charity: Home of the Innocents
Lianne Alcon: Originally from Madrid, Spain, Lianne lived in New York City for twenty years before moving to Louisville several months ago. The artist and textile designer find inspiration through everyday life – the vibrant colors of flowers or the tone of the sky, the way the light hits objects, prints, and textures. “I find the motivation to create moods and feelings, sometimes experiencing a burst of creativity and a need to purge emotions,” says Lianne.
Charity: Blanket Louisville
Mahalia Xiaoqi: “I love taking different elements from my mind or environment and fusing them into a cohesive piece. I am often motivated to create when I am going through a period of intense emotion,” says Mahalia. Her mother was also an artist, so art has been integral to Mahalia’s life since childhood. Should Mahalia’s barrel design come out on top, she plans to support Governor’s School for the Arts, which she attended as a visual artist in 2014.
Charity: KY Governor’s School for the Arts
Marti Osbourn O’Daniel: Marty finds inspiration everywhere and is motivated to paint to escape life’s stresses and find much-needed balance. According to Marty, “Art is essential to Louisville. It bridges a gap between people with different backgrounds and of different generations. Art is all-inclusive, allowing anyone to express themselves regardless of age, race, sex, religion, or socioeconomic status. It breaks down barriers.” She signs her art with her nickname, Martimar.
Charity: Hope’s Scarves
Rickelle Nelson: An equine artist and photographer based here in Louisville, Rickelle Nelson has drawn and painted horses since she was a child. “The horses have always been a part of my art, having grown up with them. Capturing their beauty and personalities motivates me to strive to become a better artist.” Rickelle is now the Horseman’s Relations and Reservations Manager at the Kentucky Derby Museum on the grounds of the historic Churchill Downs racetrack.
Charity: GRACE Kids
Sebastian Duverge: Sebastian Duverge has expressed himself through art since his boyhood and is on the autism spectrum. “I do not speak much with my voice. But I’ve found that I can say a lot with my art, and one of the main things I want to say is that welcoming and including everyone is great. Let’s do that more.” If Sebastian’s barrel design wins, he plans to name Mattingly Edge as the beneficiary.
Charity: Mattingly Edge
How to Vote for Your Favorite Barrel of HeART Barrel and Artist
Visit the Bourbon with Heart website to vote. Find your favorite artists barrel and place your vote on Instagram or Facebook by liking the photo. One “like” equals one vote.
The winning barrel design will be determined by its total number of combined Facebook & Instagram with total “votes” being calculated on March 23, 2023. The winner will be announced the following week.
The winning barrel artist will receive a $1000 cash prize plus an additional $1000 donated to their favorite charity which is named under each barrel photo.
Learn more about the Frazier History Museum.
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Photos Courtesy of Dick Arnspiger Photography.
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