Home » Mural in downtown Lexington to honor Man o’ War

Mural in downtown Lexington to honor Man o’ War

Unveiling June 29

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 8, 2017) — The legendary Man o’ War, one of America’s original sporting heroes, will be depicted in larger-than-life fashion via a 30 feet by 30 feet mural painted by Agustin Zarate in downtown Lexington. An unveiling party at The Village Idiot is slated for 4 p.m. on June 29.

Man o' War at the 1920 Belmont Stakes.
Man o’ War at the 1920 Belmont Stakes.

The mural will span the entire side of the two-story Village Idiot building and will commemorate the horse’s victory in the 1920 Belmont Stakes. Based on a historic photograph during his racing years, it will portray Man o’ War parading in front of the Belmont crowd following his historic feat.

This is the first building mural project for Zarate, a native of Mexico City and a longtime Lexington resident. An experienced painter, muralist, graphic designer, and illustrator, Zarate has worked with various medium including oil, acrylic, watercolor, and airbrush. 

Zarate was selected by LexArts and Mt. Brilliant Farm from many local artists that submitted proposals for the Man o’ War project. He was chosen based on his authenticity in capturing the horse in all his racing greatness. 

“There was a lot of interest from the artist community in painting a large scale tribute to the legacy of Man o’ War,” said LexArts Community Art Director Nathan Zamarron. “Dozens of artists from throughout Kentucky submitted talented designs with a wide variety of artist interpretations. Agustin Zarate was selected for his mastery of realism and understanding of the anatomy of the horse. We are confident the finished result will be a lasting icon and a treasured work of art for Lexington.”

A commemorative beer crafted by Alltech to enhance the Man o’ War Celebration will also have its release at the mural unveiling party. Called “The Mostest Wheat Ale” after Man o’ War’s nickname, the celebratory beer will be available at various locations throughout Lexington on tap this summer.