Showcasing the Arts

Business Award

Independence Bank

Graves County

Independence Bank is a regional community bank with 29 locations in Calloway, Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Graves, Hancock, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Logan, McCracken, McLean, Shelby, Warren and Webster counties. With assets totaling $3.4 billion, Independence Bank has been recognized in multiple categories by the American Bankers Association, including being named a Top Performing Bank and Best Bank to Work For, for 14 consecutive years, and a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 12 years.

In December 2021 the town of Mayfield was hit by a historic tornado, with the most devastation centered at the heart of the downtown where the bank is located. Although the location only received slight damage, many other businesses and families lost everything. For the last year the Graves County bank has been on a mission to help Mayfield get through its worst natural disaster, with one of those ways being through art. The Horses of Hope project brought attention to the need for relief efforts and contributed funds to the Mayfield Graves County Art Guild, which had lost its location at the historic Ice House gallery.

What does this distinction mean to your organization?

Independence Bank is here for good. In the communities we call home, we want to do more than just business. Our goal is to make where we live a better place. This recognition is humbling for our staff and leadership in Graves County. The last year has caused us, more than ever, to come together. We've always known it to be true, but this year we've leaned on the fact that we're all better together. Our community has a long way to go and many people will never be the same. Art has helped us in the last 12 months and we expect it to continue to play a big role in the recovery of Mayfield.

How does Independence Bank contribute to Kentucky art and creativity?

Horses of Hope was built on the belief that there is healing through art. We connected four high school students in Graves County who were impacted by the storm with a professional artist in Lexington, with the goal of collaborating to paint a life-size fiberglass horse. After weeks of planning, the group did just that, bringing Resolute to life. Now with a name, and covered in symbols of Mayfield, the horse has become a vessel to rebuild the home of the Mayfield Graves County Art Guild. The organization’s former home was damaged and ultimately destroyed by the Dec. 10, 2021, tornado. Sharing their stories and putting brush to canvas is not only meant to help the student artists heal, but the entire community of Mayfield. Now with tens of thousands of dollars raised, money will be used to help create a new home for art in Graves County.

Why does Independence Bank believe the arts are important?

The home of the Mayfield Graves County Art Guild was known as the Ice House Gallery. It was more than just a place where one-of-a-kind paintings from renowned artist Helen LaFrance were on display. It was also where kindness, creativity and culture lived. The history of the city was built inside those walls, and it was a major gathering spot for artists. No matter your level of skill, it was a common place for all. The art we create can last a very long time but it's not the only valuable thing that comes from the process. The finished product many times is a fantastic memory or a strengthened friendship. Our Horses of Hope project had a horse painted for Mayfield, Bowling Green and Dawson Springs, each by high school art students. Their legacy will live on through tornado relief and their pieces, but also through a bond with their hometown.