Community Newsletter | April 2024

April 2024


The Kentucky Derby Festival proudly presents The Commonwealth Credit Union WineFest, returning to the Mellwood Art Center in our Da Vinci and Van Gogh Room’s on April 30th, 2024. The event highlights local wines from over 100 local wineries across Kentucky. For just $75, a general admission ticket includes decadent wine tasting, light appetizers, etched souvenir wine glass, a WineFest event pin and an opportunity to shop the Kentucky Derby vendors and sponsors display. If you are wanting an even more elevated experience they also offer a $125 VIP ticket that gets you in the door one hour earlier starting at 5pm, exclusive access to the VIP private area, a perfectly curated Kentucky inspired Cuisine Sampling, a VIP gift, AND an exclusive barrel Wine Tasting from Kentucky Derby Festival Official Wine Old 502 Winery! Run for the Roses and make the most out of your Derby week! We hope to see you there!!

Learn more & get tickets!


Payton Thomas is a Louisville native who started his painting journey in high school. He started off painting with a pallet knife just for fun. He then went on to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. In 2018, Payton started to get serious about painting and started working towards perfecting his style using a palette knife and thick texture. He is now a full time painter who captures the essence of each subject with a blend of nostalgia and contemporary flair.

Payton’s exhibition “Sole, Saddle, and Spirits: A Journey through Kentucky” is being featured all month in the Mellwood Art Center’s Pigment Gallery where he pays homage to the quintessential elements of Kentucky’s identity; horses, bourbon, and his personal love for sneakers. His fascination with tennis shoes, symbolic of urban culture and personal expression is juxtaposed with the timeless elegance of Kentucky’s equine heritage, embodied in majestic horses rendered with grace and reverence. Meanwhile, the allure of bourbon, a cornerstone of Kentucky’s heritage, is celebrated through meticulously crafted depictions of iconic bottles, each one telling a story of tradition and craftsmanship. 

Join us for ‘Sole, Saddle, and Spirits’ opening night April 5th in the Pigment Gallery from 6:30-9pm to embark on a visual journey through the heart of Kentucky, where artistry meets heritage, and tradition intertwines with modernity. If you can’t make it to opening night, don’t worry, you will have the opportunity to view this captivating exhibition all month long in the Pigment Gallery during operating hours.

To stay up to date on all of Payton’s new pieces, follow him on instagram @payton.thomas_art and his website:


Kevin Norris began his journey as an artist in 7th grade. From there, he continued to learn and create more pieces using different mediums. He is well versed in many disciplines and his current passion is creating things using his hands. He believes that art is about storytelling and that anyone can be an artist.

He is a skilled illustrator and was featured in The Poster Noster book that was nominated with the artist work for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. Back in 2006, he built a Saloon from the ground up and called it ‘King’s Saloon’.

Since then he has been working on many projects for friends and family that appreciate the craftsmanship for his work. Kevin has been at Mellwood for 5 years and enjoys that community and character that the building offers.


Looking for something fun to keep coming back for? Come to Butchertown Brewing for their constantly rotating taps. Located right across from Danny Mac’s Pizza, this small brewery has something for everyone. Along with their “Beer Flavored Beer,” this local gem offers plenty of… not beer flavored beer? Bring in the summer with a 9% Piña Colada, a foamy Vietnamese Ice Coffee shake, or one of the nation’s finest barrel-aged stouts. Come sit inside and watch a movie, sit outside and enjoy the weather, or don’t sit at all and take your beer in plastic on a tour around the Mellwood Art Center. It’s always a good time to have a good time at Butchertown Brewing!


Join the community at Mellwood Art Center! We have studio spaces available for artists and small business owners.

  • 121 (780 sf.) $1085/month*
  • 163 (350 sf.) $445/month
  • 179 (1015 sf.) $1560/month
  • 232 (1440 sf.) $2090/month
  • 247 (175 sf.) $225/month
  • 252 (200 sf.) $255/month
  • 278 (760 sf.) $1055/month

*Retail hours required.

Learn more about renting studio space here.

Originally the Fisher Meat Packing Company, Mellwood Art Center turned a factory from 1904 into a small business incubator housing over 170 local artists and entrepreneurs, each one with their own amazing story.

Mellwood Art Center is located in the Clifton Heights Neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. Learn more about their organization online at or check them out on Social Media! Follow them on Facebook here and Instagram at @cliftonheightslou