Horses rein artistic passions

by Brandy McDonnell Published: March 1, 2013
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“Horses came to Peru with the Spanish conquistadors in the 15th century, and the Spanish also brought the horses here in the 15th century. And these two great horse cultures grew up ... so I think it's a really interesting connection,” said Mainsite Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan.

Alejandra Iturrizaga Andrich's work provides an intriguing, close-up look at the Peruvian Paso Horse, while Sandra Cannock Grana's photos convey the grace and strength of the Arabian breed. Both artists, who are horsewomen as well as photographers, attended the opening reception in February and then toured local horse farms with Gavaghan.

“They revere these horses as much as we do here,” she said.

Enrique Villar-Gambetta, Honorary Consul of Peru in Oklahoma, who worked with Gavaghan to coordinate the exhibit, plans to attend the closing reception March 8. The show will be on view until March 16.

“This is an animal that humans have related to very closely for thousands of years,” Gavaghan said. “And it's such a fascinating form for artists to study.”

Circus performers

Diana J. Smith, one of the resident artists at In Your Eye Gallery, invited Vails to join her in the circus-theme “Dog & Pony Show,” which pairs Smith's playful pooch paintings with Vails' elegant equine images.

“I'm kind of focusing on the movement of horses that do performance. I've got like horses bowing and balancing, but it's really still focused on the body of the horse and the muscles,” Vails said.

The show has a vintage vibe, she said, so she's been working from photos of horses in the circus, rodeos and Wild West shows.

“Historically, they've been a part of human story for so long,” Vails said. “For me, I'm trying to put human emotion and human experience kind of into the horse and into the painting so the viewer can feel that.

“The horse is kind of a spiritual animal. You can really see it in their eyes. People can just really connect with them.”

by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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