Show Preview | Britt Freda

Santa Fe, NM
Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art, July 17-August 2

Britt Freda, Dreaming of Mei, Asian Elephant, acrylic/graphite, 24 x 48.

Britt Freda, Dreaming of Mei, Asian Elephant, acrylic/graphite, 24 x 48.

This story was featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art July 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Humans have always been behind the scenes in Britt Freda’s paintings; after all, her concern about threatened and endangered species—a theme in her work of the past few years—implies the role of human activity in placing these animals at risk. Now the 43-year-old artist has brought people, especially young girls, more directly into the picture. In this way she uses her compelling imagery to expand the conversation about who and what needs to be protected on this Earth. A solo show of new works by Freda, titled Learn, opens July 17 at Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art in Santa Fe and runs through August 2. Traveling from her home on Vashon Island in Washington, the artist will attend the opening reception on July 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The show features a dozen or so new paintings, some in oil with graphite and others in acrylic with graphite. At least one piece incorporates bits of paper, seedpods, and other organic materials, an approach Freda has employed in previous bodies of work. Seen from a distance, her paintings present clear images—often of girls or young women with endangered or threatened animals—while on closer view, layers of paint, surface scratches, and graphite markings emerge. It’s a reflection of the way we frequently look at life, according to the artist. “From afar a thing can seem clear, even simple, but the closer a person gets, the more there is to see, to hear, to feel, to comprehend, the more complex and layered and riddled with stories the world is,” she says.

The theme of learning is woven through Freda’s new work: Young girls who deserve an equal chance at education; the wonder, awe, and lifelong learning that is every human’s birthright; and the critical need for learning new ways of being together and sustaining life on Earth. “We all need to be learning as much as we can. We need as much creative perspective as possible,” she says. Adds gallery director Palin Wiltshire, “We’re really excited about what Britt is doing—it begins a dialogue about the other creatures that inhabit this planet.” —Gussie Fauntleroy

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Featured in the July 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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