Commonwealth of Kindness: Artist revitalizing Versailles, one mural at a time

VERSAILLES, Ky. (WKYT) – An artist in Versailles is revitalizing the city one mural at a time.

If you’ve driven through Versailles, you’ve definitely seen some of Steve Sawyer’s work. The Kentucky native has spent a lot of time on his scaffold, making the city beautiful.

“The first mural I did was in 1992. It was called “Versailles 1792.” It was their bicentennial,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer learned at an early age he had a gift.

“So they came to me in kindergarten to tell them who was better. So, apparently, my stick figures, unbeknownst to me, were a little bit better than theirs,” said Sawyer.

It was a gift that quickly grew into a passion.

“I did art all my life. Volunteered to do art for every school I’ve ever been in. Did a lot of beautiful art for University of Kentucky,” said Sawyer.

Sawyer estimates he’s completed well over 100 murals in Versailles.

“Got three murals right at the corner of Main and Lexington for the jockey silks, the winery and Woodford Reserve. I’m equally proud of all of them,” said Sawyer. “They’re completely different. Recently, I got to redo the Coca-Cola mural in downtown Versailles.

His artwork isn’t limited to Versailles. It’s gone worldwide, being featured in over 400 newspapers including the New York Times.

His line “Art 4 God” is something he’s especially proud of.

“Several paintings are really really world famous, have been used by folks in prison ministry, jails, drug rehab. A lot of my paintings have been used by ministries,” Sawyer said.

The idea for his most famous painting was inspired by drug addicts.

To let those folks know that God never did leave them or forsake, and that God has went through everything that they were going through, and still does,” Sawyer said.

Every piece tells a story and aims to make a difference.

“The opportunity to make your contribution. It’s, like, it’s so important for people to do,” said Sawyer. “I’m just fortunate that I have something that allows me to do that in a way that that the public gets to enjoy it.”

Sawyer’s next mural is one he says is really important to him. He will be doing a war memorial mural for the American Legion.

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