Leo Kahl Wins Preakness Art Award

Leo Kahl's First Turn

Leo Kahl's 'First Turn' has been named the winner of Preakness: The Art of Racing, a nationwide art competition celebrating the unique elements of the Preakness S. and Thoroughbred horse racing.

The winning artwork was announced at an honorary ceremony in the Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Senior Advisor of Arts & Culture for the City of Baltimore Tonya Miller Hall was in attendance, representing Mayor Brandon Scott. MICA dignitaries, Park Heights's City Council representatives and 1/ST RACING leadership also attended the announcement alongside participating artists.

The submission deadline for the third annual competition was Mar. 12, at which point the public was encouraged to visit preakness.com/the-art-of-racing to peruse the digital gallery and cast a vote for their favorite work of art. The top 10 vote-getters were then judged by a panel that included elected officials, community leaders and art professionals to select the winner.

“My objective was to capture the colors, excitement and festive mood of Pimlico Race Course and the Preakness S.,” said Kahl. “I chose the loose and romantic medium of watercolor to depict this scene as it best depicts the movement and drama of the day.”

Kahl received a $4,000 prize and two VIP tickets to Preakness 149. His work will be reproduced on a curated collection of Preakness 149 merchandise that will be available for purchase online and onsite during Preakness weekend. Proceeds from the sale of merchandise will be used to advance the activities of Park Heights Renaissance as it pursues affordable housing for families and provides employment opportunities to people of Park Heights.

“The platform given to rising artists, both amateur and professional, who have entered Preakness: The Art of Racing competition over the past three years underscores the vibrancy of the Preakness S. and its unique cultural footprint,” said Audra Madison, Director of Marketing, Maryland Jockey Club. “It brings me joy to see the diverse array of artwork entered into the competition each year, and I hope community members share the same sense of celebration.”

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