MAGNETIC NORTH...at the Foothills Art Center
Magnetic North: paintings by Mai Wyn Schantz
July 26 - October 29, 2018
Foothills Art Center. 809 Fifteenth Street. olden, Colorado
Gallery Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm. $8 admission
Golden leaves dancing across a field of white aspens, a dramatic sunset reflecting over pristine waters, a stoic elk poised at the head of a trail: Denver artist Mai Wyn Schantz is known for her contemporary, nature-based paintings in oil on stainless steel. An unconventional medium, Schantz began experimenting on metal twenty years ago in her quest for a smooth painting surface. Her solo exhibition Magnetic North, on view at the Foothills Art Center July 26th through October 29th, is a celebration of the distinctive painting style she’s developed over these first twenty years and highlights four overlapping bodies of work. Included are Schantz’s beginnings as a representational landscape painter, her contemporary western Trophy and Elements series and a look at her current Extraction paintings. New works from each series are mixed with hallmark pieces hand selected for inclusion by the artist.
An avid hiker and nature enthusiast, Mai Wyn Schantz’s interest in landscape began at an early age while paddling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota with her father. From the bow of the canoe, her focus set firmly on the horizon, Schantz developed a deep love for an untouched wilderness. She moved to Colorado in 1997 to attend Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design. Her art has focussed exclusively on nature ever since. Utilizing exposed areas of her metal substrate, Schantz seeks not only to capture nature but to present it in a contemporary context. In her own words: “Despite our high tech, modern world we are still innately tied to the land. My paintings are about this relationship. They are an exploration of our evolving and often tenuous union with nature as well as our inherent desire to stay connected to it. My paintings seek out beauty and balance in the unification of these two seeming opposites.”