Editor’s Letter | The Next Generation

Meet another terrific group of young artists

By Kristin Hoerth

Winter Shed by Trey McCarley.

Winter Shed by Trey McCarley.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

For almost two decades now, we’ve been publishing our “21 Under 31” issue every September, and each year I’m blown away by the artwork these twenty-somethings are creating. Whether they are following in the footsteps of master realists or taking a more contemporary view of the world, they’re doing so with great skill and maturity.

The 2017 “class” is no exception. Many of them have studied, or are currently studying, at top schools like the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Brigham Young University in Utah, and the Grand Central Atelier in New York City. Others have created their own programs of study by taking workshops with top-notch artists we know and love, such as Robert Moore, Adrian Gottlieb, Mike Malm, Scott Christensen, Daniel Keys, Mark Boedges, and Jeremy Lipking.

Reading through their answers to our questions, it’s always fun to look for common themes. This year, two things stood out to me: First, there were multiple mentions of the environment and future generations as a concern or an area of interest. The other thing that struck me about this group is their strong dedication to growth and deep aversion to complacency. Several of them spoke of being wary of settling for the status quo rather than always pushing themselves to the next level of artistic growth.

Of course, it’s not all seriousness. Some of the answers that made me smile include Blair Atherholt’s quirkiest trait: “I’ll often hold up potential painting subjects at different angles to see how they look. I’ve gotten some strange looks from people in the produce sections of grocery stores.” And from Richie Carter, when asked to name his second-choice career: “Hands down I would choose to be a professional surfer or possibly a Michelin-starred chef. I’m assuming the talent comes along with the wish.”

With their healthy combination of humor and ambition, I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of these young talents in the years to come.

This story was featured in the September 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  September 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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