My collection of prairie paintings will be in an exhibit at Old Main Gallery in Bozeman, Montana alongside artwork by Monte Dolack and Carol Guzman. A portion of all proceeds will go to benefit the American Prairie Reserve. Opening reception is from 5-7 PM November 4th and will be on view for one month.
Over the past two years, I’ve made three different trips to study and paint on the American Prairie Reserve (APR) in Montana’s northern great plains region. I began this project in 2015 when I was living in New York City and looking for a meaningful story that combined my interests in wilderness conservation, outdoor adventure, and plein-air painting. Located south of Saskatchewan and north of the Missouri River, this zone of eastern Montana has seen very little human impact which makes it feel eerily removed from time. At nearly 3.5 million acres, it is one of only four large-scale intact prairie ecosystems in the world – ninety percent of the ground has never been plowed. The APR is a privately funded conservation organization that is purchasing privately owned land when it comes on the market and then merging it with with leased government parcels. The reserve is currently a patchwork of parcels totaling almost 400,000 acres, and each year it continues to grow.
When complete, the APR will be the largest protected landscape in the continental U.S. and home to all the native animals that once roamed the Great Plains. It will provide visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience the history and heritage of this landscape in all it’s wild, hostile beauty, and it will be proof of nature’s inherent ability to re-establish balance when given the chance. At a time when so many of our wild places are under threat, the story of the APR offers hope and inspiration for us to keep fighting for wilderness conservation.
All of the paintings in my collection were made without the use of photographs, instead I relied on direct observation from life, or memory in the studio. These paintings represent two years of exploration and research, celebrating the beauty I found on the prairie, from the fleeting gumbo primrose to the infinite horizons.
Lately I’ve done a lot of writing to share my story and promote this show, so if you’re curious, below are all the links where I’ve written about this project and what it has meant to me!
September 2017, online: Interview with Wylder Goods
September 2017, online: New Wave Art Palettes Interview
September 2017, online: She Explores: Painting the American Prairie Reserve
May 26 2015: Online Publication: National Geographic Explorer’s blog
May 15 2015: Online Publication: Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation Landmark Blog
April 29 2015: Online Publication: Grand Central Atelier Blog
April 20 2015: Online Publication Telluride Mountainfilm Blog
April 16 2015: Print Publication: RISD XYZ Alumni Magazine
My own blog posts from my first trip to the Prairie: