Artist chosen to create permanent artwork at entrance to Lexington Detention Center

Louisville artist Dave Caudill has been chosen to create an original sculpture for the green space located at the entrance to the Lexington Detention Center. 

Caudill was selected, in part, because his proposal, “The Birth of Hope,” will reflect and recognize the human growth, dignity, and value of individuals incarcerated at the detention center, Mayor Linda Gorton said. The proposal is also a tribute to the spirit of the public servants who work at the facility, their family members, and the family members of the inmates. 

Mayor Linda Gorton said that the sculpture will represent the Detention Center in a positive light. “This work of art will be a beacon of hope and renewal to those who come and go from the Detention Center, and will add to the rich history of our arts community,” she said. It is expected to be installed in late 2024.

The sculpture will be located in the Old Frankfort Pike corridor. Old Frankfort Pike serves the Detention Center, Lexington businesses, and hundreds of tourists, who enjoy the world-class scenery along the road. Old Frankfort Pike is a National Scenic Byway.

The selection committee for the sculpture included detention center employees, public art commission members, and Lexington artists.

Heather Lyons, Director of Arts and Cultural Affairs in the Mayor’s Office, said, “This inspiring sculpture is the direct result of Lexington’s Percent for Art Program that was established to support the creation of new works of art that are accessible to the public at no charge.” 

Caudill attended the University of Kentucky and the Louisville School of Art. He creates artworks for public, corporate, and private collections. His larger public works in America are found in Louisiana’s Rip Van Winkle Gardens, East Tennessee’s Horizon Center Park, and the University Kentucky’s Singletary Center for the Arts. Caudill also developed the “Spirit of Peace” Award, which has been presented to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and others in recognition of their efforts to support mental health.

“This sculpture and its theme will become an icon for the facility, and will help further the recognition of the Detention Center as a positive force in Lexington,” Caudill said. “With ‘The Birth of Hope,’ I want to honor the profoundly important hopes of all who are connected to the Lexington Detention Center.” 

For more information about Lexington’s Public Arts Commission go to An illustrated map of public art in Lexington is available.


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