By Bonnie Gangelhoff
What inspired your winning entry? I was on a road trip when I saw this Arabian horse on the side of the highway outside Salt Lake City. The curve of its back caught my eye, so I pulled over and took a photograph of it.
Do you come from an artistic background? My great-grandfather was Gutzon Borglum, the designer and sculptor of Mount Rushmore. I grew up around his paintings and sculpture. My mother is a painter, and my father is an architect.
Where did you study art? I have a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, but I have painted my entire life. I have taken workshops from Scott Christensen and Ted Nuttall.
What is your favorite subject matter, and why? The horse. I grew up with horses and feel like I have an affinity with them. I love their shapes. I spend a lot of time with them, and I ride. There is a unique relationship between humans and the horse, both energetically and historically. By energetically I mean horses have an ability to pick up on human energy. That is why they are so effective therapeutically for children. Horses are always looking for a herd leader and can sense if a human’s energy is focused or scattered. If it’s scattered, they won’t respond to a human as strongly. They are looking for the confidence of a herd leader in a human being.
What is the best advice you have ever received? A line written by Robert Henri: “Don’t worry about originality. You can’t escape it if you try.” He is basically saying, just be yourself.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? A Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Future goals? To get a panting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Representation: Trio Fine Art, Jackson, WY; www.vhay.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” competition in November 2010