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2016 Featured Artist

2016 Featured Artist

May 2016 will mark the 75th year of Nashville’s rite of spring, the Iroquois Steeplechase, as Music City’s annual celebration of the time-honored traditions surrounding horse racing in Tennessee. Among those traditions is the selection of a Featured Artist by the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the Steeplechase.

The Iroquois Steeplechase has chosen Chattanooga-based artist Hollie Berry to create its official painting for the 75th anniversary, a work that will reflect the iconic race and be available for purchase in the non-profit’s annual online auction.

Berry, a full-time artist who often celebrates horses in her work, is a Steeplechase race-day veteran and has long admired the organization’s work.


“I’ve been fascinated with horses ever since I can remember, and I look forward to the races each year,”  Berry said. “For me, it’s all about the action of the horse, the excitement of the race and the thundering sound of hooves as the horses run past you on the green. I’ve also fallen in love with the vibrant colors of the silks and the fantastic hats and finery of the spectators—I can’t wait to convey all of that in my painting.”

Dwight Hall, chairman of the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation, says the committee selected Berry for her particular passion for equine painting and for her attention to detail in bringing the sport to life on canvas.

“Hollie has a very obvious gift for taking what makes steeplechasing so fascinating, and translating that in her work,” Hall said. “We believe she will be able to capture the magic of the day, and that the viewer will be able to feel the race-day excitement through Hollie’s art.”

Berry says she first heard about the Featured Artist designation through a friend, and has since been working toward the honor. She went so far as to meet with 2014 Featured Artist Christopher Huffman to gain a better understanding of the role, and paid special attention during last year’s races through her camera lens.

“Last year, I brought my camera and began taking photos and making notes of my surroundings in preparation for my submission. I’ve been practicing from those images, until I felt that my portfolio application would be up to the Steeplechase standards,” Berry said. “I’ve been working towards this for two years, and couldn’t be more honored or thrilled to have been selected.”

Berry is currently working with the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation on the composition and direction of the painting, which will be revealed in Winter 2016. To learn more about the artist and her work, visit

For more information about pre-purchasing a limited-edition print, call the Iroquois Steeplechase offices at 615-591-2991.

Tickets to the Iroquois Steeplechase’s 75th anniversary race on May 14, 2016 are now available. For more information, visit


This iconic sporting event has been Nashville’s rite of spring since 1941, attracting more than 25,000 spectators to watch the best horses and riders in the world race over hurdles on a three-mile turf track. Held the second Saturday of each May at Percy Warner Park, the Iroquois Steeplechase is Music City’s annual celebration of time-honored traditions, Tennessee hospitality and Southern fashions.

Those who attend enjoy areas for families, well-appointed tents and individually organized tailgates where the emphasis is on race day pickings, larger-than-life hats, Honey Jack Juleps and crowd-pleasing recipes. More importantly, guests support a cause at the heart of the event: Since being designated as the official charity in 1981, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has received more than $10 million from Iroquois Steeplechase proceeds. For more information, go to

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