Showcasing the Arts

Award Artist

Sebastian Duverge

Jefferson County

Sebastian Duverge was born in New York City and has lived in Louisville for most of his three decades. A child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Sebastian grew up bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. He is on the autism spectrum and does not communicate much with his words. Sebastian speaks through his artwork. He has always been surrounded by creative people, from his mother to art teachers, from mentors to his studio team now. He found his voice in art as a child and has used it to shout joyfully ever since!

In 2020, he started his independent business, Sebastian Duverge Studios, and in 2021, he was accepted as an official Kentucky Crafted artist, a juried program of the Kentucky Arts Council. Sebastian enjoys the entire process of creating art, from the first idea to the very last touch on his canvases. The happiness his subjects bring him is contagious to anyone who experiences his work. Drawing is his favorite medium. But in recent years, he has also become renowned for his vibrant mosaics, delicate paper weavings and saturated paintings.

To commission Sebastian or browse his online shop, please visit

Artist's statement

I am inspired by the world around me. Especially the little things that not everyone notices. I'm always happy to see a bird soaring and a flower blooming. I pay attention to them because they matter. It should come as no surprise, then, that the strongest theme in my artwork is flora and fauna. I enjoy capturing the movement and spirit of living creatures.

When I was chosen to create this year's Governor's Awards for the Arts, I had to honor Kentucky in the way I experience it: through its natural beauty. As I researched our local foliage, I kept noticing viceroy butterflies flocking to goldenrod flowers. I realized that they would be the perfect subject for these ten pieces: Kentucky's state flower with its state butterfly perched on top. I envisioned the background in my signature ombre mosaic style, saturated colors blending toward the edges of the canvas. Nature is my connection to the world at large and to the heart of Kentucky. And these homegrown butterflies are my connection with the award-winning artists of Kentucky.

Congratulations, 2023 Governor's Awards in the Arts recipients!