40 Prominent People | Clyde Aspevig

Clyde Aspevig
Painter • Billings, MT

Clyde Aspevig

Distinction: Aspevig is a prominent landscape painter who also promotes wilderness preservation.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the art world during your career? The invention of the Internet has been the biggest change I have seen in the art world. People buy online now. That is a huge thing compared to the way galleries and markets worked in the 1970s and 1980s.
Where do you find inspiration? Land-snorkeling [Aspevig’s term for exploring the natural world]; painting with my wife, artist Carol Guzman; wondering; wandering. Also, listening to music and reading a lot of books play a huge role.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years? I hope to have a nice long life so I can continue to learn as much as I can.
Any regrets? Plenty. But that’s in the past, and hopefully I’ve learned from my miscalculations and mistakes. Regrets are helpful, if you don’t combine them with guilt.
How do you define success? George Bernard Shaw described it best: “I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one’s business on earth, like a male spider who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like a state of continued becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.”
What do you do with the American Prairie Foundation, and why is this organization important to you? I have been on the board of the American Prairie Foundation for about nine years and help with fundraising and management oversight. Its mission is to create and manage a prairie-based wildlife reserve that, when combined with public lands already devoted to wildlife, will protect a unique natural habitat, provide lasting economic benefits, and improve public access to and enjoyment of the prairie landscape. The grasslands worldwide provide some of the most important diversity on the planet, but they remain the least protected. The American Prairie Reserve would be the largest conservation effort in the United States. Unlike smaller islands of conservation, this project would sustain an entire prairie ecosystem so that future generations will always have a benchmark from which to gauge the health of the planet. I am proud to be a part of this historically important conservation effort.
People would be surprised to learn that … I streaked the Wednesday night women’s bowling league in my hometown back in 1971. The story made it to the Paul Harvey news broadcast nationwide.
Describe yourself in one word. Pretend this is one word: Curiously-passionately-open-to-possibilities.
How has Southwest Art magazine contributed to your career? Southwest Art has always done a good job of keeping collectors informed about artists’ careers. I’m sure those early articles about my art helped collectors to become more familiar with my work. It’s always nice for artists to get exposure.
How would you like to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as someone who enjoyed the benefits of being part of the natural world.

Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.