Public health meets public art.
A colorful new mural greets guests, employees, patients and passers-by of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. The department joined artist Jeremey Burch, LexArts, Mayor Linda Gorton and community leaders Thursday afternoon to formally unveil the mural at 650 Newtown Pike.
The mural project began in 2019 but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The department returned to completing the mural project in 2021 after Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.
“Dr. Humbaugh planted the seeds for this mural as a desire to update our building while also highlighting the importance of art and creation,” LFCHD spokesperson Kevin Hall said. “This mural celebrates the people who provide public health services to this community, as our mission says ‘helping Lexington be well.’ It also honors Dr. Humbaugh, not only for his initial idea but for helping lead this department throughout the pandemic. It’s a beautiful way to illustrate our values of caring, accountability, respect, equity and service.”
“Despite some challenges along the way, it’s a real pleasure to see this project come to fruition,” Dr. Humbaugh said. “Special thanks to our Board of Health and the selection committee who chose this outstanding design and to the artist himself for executing this work that embodies our mission and honors public health and the community’s commitment to health.”
The health department selected Burch, a Lexington artist, to paint the mural following public input from the community.
“I have been doing art my whole life, from painting to music and film,” Burch said. “What I love most is creating things that evoke feelings and hearing how my art has made them feel. The piece I have created showcases bright, vibrant representation of Lexington along with its wonderful community and the LFCHD’s values that extend out to the community and not only within the LFCHD itself.”
The health department thanks LexArts for its partnership throughout the project, Marrillia Design and Construction for donating labor to install the mural and Mike Burrell at Flying Armadillo signs for use of studio space and assistance with the project.