Artwork by MSU alumnus Thornsberry on public display in Morehead, Pikeville

Thornsberry's recent art in Morehead and Pikeville is seen by many people every day - she has created large-scale public works that offer art to residents, outsiders and tourists.

Thornsberry Wings MuralWhatever art media she works in, Kaylee Thornsberry (Class of 2021) doesn’t want to keep her job to herself.

“I’m interested in any artistic opportunity that’s shared with me or that I come across,” Thornsberry said. “Every artist is looking for an opportunity to have their work seen.”

Some of Thornsberry’s recent artwork in Morehead and Pikeville is seen by many people every day. She has created large-scale public works that offer art to residents, foreigners and tourists.

Thornsberry is from West Liberty and is a recipient of W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Endowment for the Study of Arts. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art and Arts Education P-12, Bachelor of Arts with certification in December 2021.

Thornsberry said the most beneficial aspects of being an art student at MSU were the atmosphere of the Claypool-Young Art Building, the mentorship she received from faculty, and the smaller class sizes that led to more attention. personalized. She chose to pursue a BFA because of the challenge and opportunities of presenting her work in galleries.

“For me, I like to push myself and if I have to do something I want to do it to the best of my abilities, so for me that’s what BFA was all about,” Thornsberry said.

As Thornsberry grew as an artist, his work sparked the interest of MSU faculty on a committee to select artists to contribute to the “Winged Animals of Kentucky” murals at Peggy’s. Place in Don Greenhill Park in the town of Morehead (the eagle wings are his contribution). She also contributed two panels to the Rotary Club’s 18-panel mural on the side of Pasquale’s Restaurant in Morehead town centre.

Image of Thornsberry BearShe has also submitted work to the Pikeville Main Street program for her artistic bears that appear downtown (the bear is the mascot of Pikeville University).

“I decided to participate, not knowing how lucky I was or how competitive the entry would be. do it, the worst that can happen if you’re not chosen,” she said. “In art, you have to learn to deal with disappointment. When I got the call that I had chosen a bear, I was over the moon. On the phone, I asked what design of mine had been chosen, and that’s when they told me they would actually like to talk to me about the fact that they wanted to pursue both and I was even more blown away. my artistic career was going in the right direction.

Currently, Thornsberry is an art teacher at West Carter High School in Olive Hill and continues to work as a freelance artist. She is working on a new series and making commissioned drawings, paintings and sculptures throughout the year. She will have another public art opportunity after being chosen to paint a fiberglass horse for Horsemania 2022 in Lexington.

“I will always be looking for more public art opportunities. I really enjoyed the mural work and will be looking for more opportunities like this,” she said. “My professional aspirations are quite open. I’m up for anything that comes my way.”

To learn more about the works of Kaylee Thornsberry, visit

For more information on art and design exhibits and programs, please visit, email [email protected], or call 606-783-2766.

Photo, top: Kaylee Thornsberry (Class of 2021) pictured with the two signs she contributed to the Rotary Club of Morehead mural in downtown Morehead.

Photo, right: Kaylee Thornsberry created eagle wings for the ‘Winged Animals of Kentucky’ murals at Peggy’s Place in Don Greenhill Park in the town of Morehead.

Photo, left: The Pikeville Main Street program, which places artistic bears around downtown Pikeville, selected Kaylee Thornsberry’s submission as one of the pieces to be displayed.