Show Preview | Hartshorn, Santillanes & Spooner

Evergreen, CO
Evergreen Fine Art, April 2-30

Stephanie Hartshorn, Rail Car Patina, oil, 30 x 30.

Stephanie Hartshorn, Rail Car Patina, oil, 30 x 30.

This story was featured in the April 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

This month Evergreen Fine Art spotlights a trio of award-winning Colorado artists in a show that pays tribute to the spirit of the West—its people, places, and history. A Three Point Perspective opens with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 2, and features more than 20 paintings by Stephanie Hartshorn, Dave Santillanes, and Robert Spooner. “We chose these three artists to exhibit together because of their unique individual perspectives on the West,” says gallery director Doug Kacena. “When taken as a group, their works powerfully speak to each other, creating an amazing visual dialogue about western culture and heritage.”

Both urban and rural landscapes are the subject matter of choice for Stephanie Hartshorn. A former architect, Hartshorn is naturally drawn to structures and forms, whether they are linear networks of utility poles in a big city or cylindrical grain elevators on a backcountry road in Nebraska. Her works often evoke a sense of nostalgia, such as in her series of neon signs advertising motels and cafés, remnants from another era.

For RAIL CAR PATINA, which is on view in the show, Hartshorn says she was first attracted to the weathered railroad car because the old relic spoke of many miles traveled and many sunbaked days endured. But she also enjoys meshing the old with the new: The graphic color-block patterns splashed on the rail car also caught her creative eye because they added a contemporary touch. “The huge mass of faded black and gray is punctuated with hits of yellow, red, and blue—like a nod to Mondrian,” Hartshorn says.

Dave Santillanes, Through the Rising Mist, Study, oil, 12 x 16.

Dave Santillanes, Through the Rising Mist, Study, oil, 12 x 16.

For landscape painter Dave Santillanes, nature most often inspires him when it offers subtle views, as he captured in THROUGH THE RISING MIST. In this tonalist scene he depicts Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River on a moody, misty winter morning. The piece also displays the artist’s penchant for walking the delicate line between realism and abstraction. “In this scene I wanted to capture the quiet poetry of the rising mist and the sun straining to shine,” Santillanes says.

Throughout his career, Robert Spooner has proved an adventurous artist—tackling a variety of subjects, examining various themes, and exploring a range of styles. In Spooner’s most recent works, he shares his long-standing interest in history with viewers. His new series focuses on the early 20th century in the West. Spooner spent several years reading historical accounts and studying photographs from the era. In one painting presented in the show, UTES AT IGNACIO, his mission was to paint the Native American figures authentically, being careful not to impose a modern interpretation on the scene. “I didn’t want the Native Americans to have dreamlike stares or look like they are dressed in Gucci leather clothes,” he says. “That was not the way it was. I want to capture the way things really were.” With this series, Spooner says he hopes not only to convey his love of history but also to pass on to viewers an appreciation for their country and heritage. —Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the April 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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