A Newmarket trainer will be adding a splash of colour to May’s Guineas weekend with an art exhibition in her own yard.

Ilka Gansera-Leveque (pictured top) will be displaying work from 10 artists, including international names, alongside the thoroughbred racehorses in her Hamilton Road stables.

The ‘Art & Horse Racing’ exhibition will be open to the public free of charge at her Saint Wendred’s yard from 10am-6pm on Sunday 7 May, 1,000 Guineas Day. It follows private viewings for racehorse owners, Vantage Point Racing Club members and invited guests during 2,000 Guineas Day on Saturday 6 May.

Emily Johnson, artist in residence at Cheltenham racecourse, is one of the exhibitors and can be seen painting during the exhibition. She is also donating a sketch for visitors or social media followers to win.

“I love art and I want to exhibit some of my favourite artists alongside the real thing, the horses we have here,” said Ilka. “This will be art that makes you feel good!

“Our artists have never exhibited together before. Staging it here in the stable will bring to life all that’s beautiful about the horses that we are lucky enough to handle on a daily basis.

“There will be a range of art on display and for sale from horses to dogs, nature, seascapes and cycling. I would like to think that this might become a regular feature on big racing days.”

Exceptional work

Saint Wendred’s will host artists in residence at many of the UK’s most popular racecourses alongside international names, including:

  • French artist Benedicte Gele’s award-winning abstract pieces have a worldwide following for expression and emotion from horses, dogs and hens.
  • Emily Johnson is a fine art equestrian artist specialising in oil portraits and is resident artist at Cheltenham racecourse.
  • American artist Peggy Judy brings the Wild West to life with her cow ponies, cowboys, cattle and wildlife.
  • Terry Lindsey is another artist from the States, whose Tilting at Windmills Gallery in Vermont is one of the premier fine art galleries in New England. Her own artwork showcases her eclectic interests.
  • Cambridge artist Clive Dawson will contribute some of his popular paintings of the city and textural palette knife work.
  • Mandy Dearsley, whose work is owned in America, New Zealand, the Falkland Islands and Spain, will exhibit sculptures of hares and a cockerel.
  • Liz Armstrong, artist-in-residence at Windsor racecourse works with mixed media, her contemporary, abstract images makes her one of favourite artists of the national hunt fraternity.
  • Jackie Hardman was formerly Beverley racecourse artist and her detailed work covers racing, dressage and showjumping, with seascapes another speciality.
  • Garth Bayley’s contemporary pieces capture a bold moment in time ranging from cycling and horse racing and nature.
  • Diana Cook is an American painter, who includes equestrian art along with experimenting with new materials and techniques including copper, gold leaf, oil and resin.
  • Deborah Burt’s love of horses and dogs in particular shows in the bronze sculptures that she creates.
  • Rachel Constantine is a classical – realist oil painter, she is a graduate of The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Harry Gray is known nationally for his public art and place-making projects such as “Codebreaker” in Newmarket.

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