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Blog about the studio, life and travels of visual artist Carly Drew.

Filtering by Tag: Picturing the Americas

Thomas Moran & the Hudson River School

Carly Drew

Thomas Moran,  Valley of the Catawissa in Autumn,  1862. 

Thomas Moran, Valley of the Catawissa in Autumn, 1862. 

In the previous posts I discussed my first impressions of the museum and talked about my experience at the Picturing the Americas symposium, but in this one I'm changing it up a bit and talking about one painting in particular, Thomas Moran's Valley of the Catawissa in Autumn. During my four days at the museum I circled back to this piece about 20 times and it was without a doubt one of the works I was drawn to most at Crystal Bridges.

This post got away from me a little bit. I originally set out to talk about the Hudson River painters, but instead found myself contemplating the true power of an image. At first glance Moran's painting seems like just another moutain beautiful view of the Appalachians. A predictably foggy morning that resembles every other painting and photo you find of these mountains, but there was an undeniable magnetism with this work. It's a similar view to what I've seen hundreds, if not thousands of times. In a flash all of those memories and personal history interlaced with a painting loaded with so much context and meaning. It was the most real and sublime experience, I've ever had with a work of art. 

There is something to be said for the simple power of place in a work. Even though this painting is a little over 150 years old, there are so many resemblances to home for me that feel familiar, but also leave me awestruck in a way I hadn't been for a long while. Over the years as an art student you realize that not many people feel the paintings of the Hudson River Valley are relevant today. Part of that is true, as can be said of any artist that made work in the past, because history never lives in the present. Part of that is also false, becuase history still plays a credible role in the way we live our lives everyday and propel ourselves forward. For me I've always admired their work, theres not doubt its technically solid and showcases the beauty of the land, but it also has a strong political connotations, personal history and was a founding movement for American art. Several strong traits that should never be discounted. So why is it that so many people can't seem to get past this nagging feeling that these images are done? That they are trite, over wrought and something that any contemporary artist should shy away from in their own work? This is not to say that in the canon of art history they have been downplayed in any way, but as an influence and lineage for contemporary artists its sometimes hard to link back to that particular movement. It's like there is a gap or they are on a pedestal that is out of reach and can't be touched. 

Obviously this is a lie. If you paint any landscape in North America you reference these painters in some way and link onto a tradition that has defined this country like no other. This is what I was thinking about while sitting on that bench in the museum, coming about as close to some type of meditation as I ever will. It was then I came to the realization that it's not the Hudson River School's paintings that we have a problem with, it's the percieved idealism that feels tired and outdated. The idea of perfection in a place has become so loaded, there are moments we can't get past them. This idealism is what most people associate with the Hudson River School, so its easy to see why they have acheived both canonical status and notoriety in the art world. I mean they are partly to blame for the rise of Thomas Kinkade, someone that unabashedly took what these painters were trying to accomplish and turned it into something without any semblance to reality. Creating a distorted, absurd and sickly sweet idealistic fantasy.


The Hudson River School was more than ideal in their work though and I think that's what a lot of people miss. These painters were depicting the way a nation was growing, spearheaded an entire shift in political symbolism to nature, bolstered the attachment of religion to the natural world, the changes in the landscape due to natural resource consumption, had a strong voice in land politics and were a cause for conservation movement. They took all of those ideas and added to them the strength in depicting places that were also steeped in personal history. You can feel the care and the reverence in the way the works are painted and there is no denying it. The power of place is real in these images, they are testaments to a specific time and intentions. This is what most people grab onto without realizing it and is what makes us feel the work versus just seeing the work.

Beauty in the form of idealism is long gone in contemporary art circles, we are all but numb to it and in some ways that is a good thing. Making work today is much different than it was 150 years ago, audience included. People can get an implied sense of sublime from any image on an iPad, iPhone or what have you. It's been oversensitized and so when we really get hit in the face with an artwork or moment in real life its hard to actually enjoy it, or hell even recognize it. It's something you've seen too times, but havent really paid attention to. As a landscape artist today it's my job to make people stop and take notice. I have chosen to still make beautiful, sublime images reflcting back on what the Hudson River painters set out to do, but my images are almost the reverse in intention. My goal is not nation building, I work with a strong sense of place and personal history at the forefront. It's to show the strength, humor and turmoil of living a rural life in places today. To look at how technology, changes in resource and land politics have deeply personal impacts. It's to bring attention to these forgotten or unnoticed moments of sublime in everyday life. It's linking back to the American landscape tradition, while redefining it at the same time...making it mine and mucking it up a bit. So when I look at the Thomas Moran piece above I see more than the beauty of the landscape, I see a charged image full of intention, one which I graciously nod back in the work I have chosen to make.  

Crystal Bridges Part IV: Curated Favorites

Carly Drew

John James Audubon,  Wild Turkey Cock, Hen and Young,  1826.

John James Audubon, Wild Turkey Cock, Hen and Young, 1826.

The last few blog posts in this series on Crystal Bridges covered my stay in Bentonville, the Picturing the Americas Exhibition and Symposium, a quasi-religious response with a Thomas Moran painting and some thoughts on the museum. While I've covered some of the work in the museum over previous posts, there were still several pieces I wanted to highlight from the permanent collection, starting with Audubon's turkeys.

Anyone that knows me understands my odd fascination with drawing turkeys. There's this grotesque yet sublime beauty mixed up in a bird that can sometimes be genuinely dumb. The northeast corner of South Carolina is one of the prime turkey hunting spots in the southeast and in the spring/fall they are everywhere. My grandparents always had a few wandering around the farm in western Pennsylvania too, so guess you can say I've grown attached to them over the years and in an odd way they symbolize home for me. Knowing this can only explain a little of the sheer excitement when I walked in the first permanent collection gallery only to have Audubon's painting of wild turkeys be the first thing I see.

Martin Johnson Heade,  The   Gems of Brazil,  1863-1864. 

Martin Johnson Heade, The Gems of Brazil, 1863-1864. 

In a similar vein I was also looking forward to seeing so many of Martin Johnson Heade's The Gems of Brazil paintings in one place. There was really something spectacular about the way they were grouped for display by the museum. It felt like they paid close attention to the scope of paintings he did in this series and his intentions to publish them in a book format. One of Heade's slightly larger paintings, Two Hummingbirds with an Orchid, was included in the Picturing the Americas exhibition. 

Alfred Thompson Bricher,  View of Mount Washington , 1864. 

Alfred Thompson Bricher, View of Mount Washington, 1864. 

A painting exhibited in close proximity to Thomas Moran's Valley of the Catawissa  in Autumn was Alfred Bricher's View of Mount Washington. One of the two things that really struck me in this work was the handling of the atmosphere along the back edge of the lake. The dusky purples and blues that faded down into the surface of the water were soft and beautifully rendered. The level of contrast is another thing that stood out for me in this work. Bricher uses a fairly high contrast in his atmospheric perspective and has a more drastic jump (especially from mid to foreground) than several of the other Hudson River School painters I've seen. This way of depicting space in the landscape makes the distant background and foreground fight for the viewer's attention in an interesting way. 

Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait,  The Life of a Hunter,  1856. 

Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, The Life of a Hunter, 1856. 

I was intrigued by this Arthur Tait painting because of the reversal of roles in the interaction between the hunters and hunted. There's also a very strong narrative element that is usually a bit more subtle in other hunting and game paintings from this time period. While there were several things I enjoyed about it, there are definitely some issues. I've never personally been mauled by a bear, but I highly doubt they sit down when doing so. This bothered me a bit in that you can clearly tell it was painted from observation of either a caged, stuffed animal, or possibly even a photo. Although one of these was probably the most accurate (and safe) way to study a bear at the time, it doesn't lend itself to a very plausible painting. The reference for the bear creates an awkwardness to the piece reminiscent of a V8 commercial, with the bear is about to bop him on the head for not eating enough veggies. All humor and problematics aside though, the combination of hunting, narrative and landscape in this work made it one of the most interesting pieces I saw.

I'm a sucker for a good still life of wild game and Alexander Pope's Trophies of the Hunt from 1905 (above left) was a nice surprise. It was a heavy work with a little chiaroscuro, reminding me a bit of a Caravaggio painting. Another piece with heavy historical references was John Taylor's A Wooded Classical Landscape at Evening with Figures in the Foreground from 1772 (above right). The light in this piece was quite beautiful, setting up a nice backdrop for classical ruins and Claude Lorrain inspired feathery trees.

Andrew Wyeth,  Pentecost,  1989. 

Andrew Wyeth, Pentecost, 1989. 

The Andrew Wyeth piece pictured above isn't actually in the Crystal Bridges collection, but from a book I bought in the museum shop called Wyeth: Andrew and Jaime in the Studio. There is a large of Wyeth's work locally at the Greenville Museum of Art, which interestingly enough was acquired with similar controversy to a few of the works at Crystal Bridges. His paintings were some of the first work I ever saw in person and have been fascinated with them ever since. The painting above is new to me though, which is surprising as someone that has studied a bit too much about Wyeth. Maybe in the midst of grad school I was looking for other things in his work and glanced over it, but this has to be one of my favorite Wyeth paintings so far. The linear qualities in the netting, subtle neutral tones and dramatic cast shadows all make this work come to life, in fact it almost seems to breathe right before your eyes. Hopefully one day I'll be able to see this one in person, but for now I'll enjoy it as is.

Richard Estes,  Antarctica (detail) , 2007. 

Richard Estes, Antarctica (detail), 2007. 

A few other pieces that surprised me a bit were by Richard Estes. Honestly I've never studied Estes much outside of art history class so the work above, as well as Provincetown I and Acadia Park I, took me a bit off guard. I admired the sharp clean lines and hyperrealism that bear many similarities to his more famous paintings. After seeing this body of work I'm interested in looking at Estes more depth.

Below is as artist I was already familiar with, Neil Welliver. I was introduced to by a former painting instructor to him several years back. It's a much more frantic type of landscape than those mentioned above, but that's what makes it so exciting to look at. The scale and pattern of his work were two things that stuck with me the most and they've always reminded me a bit of Abbott Thayer's camouflage paintings

Neil G. Welliver,  Snow on Alden Brook,  1983. 

Neil G. Welliver, Snow on Alden Brook, 1983. 

Maya Lin,  Silver Upper White River,  2015. 

Maya Lin, Silver Upper White River, 2015. 

The last and coincidentally most recent work is a sculpture by Maya Lin. This piece is drawn directly from the terrain around the museum. The casting is made of the Upper White River, which runs across northern Arkansas and Missouri. It's suppose to be one of the country's best trout fishing resources, which is what inspired Lin to create this work. Rivers in the Americas used to be known for "running silver" because they had so many fish, which is what inspired her to use silver as a medium. The sculpture is really fascinating to look at and I came back to it several times to watch the light change across it. It was definitely my favorite contemporary work at Crystal Bridges, but to be fair anything that has to do with topography or trout immediately gets my attention. 

Well this concludes a week of posts about my trip to Crystal Bridges and Bentonville, Arkansas. Hope you liked reading about it as much as I enjoyed being there. It's definitely a place I will be back to many times in the future and I'm excited to see the museum grow.

Check out the other posts about the trip here.

Note: Unless otherwise noted all photos were taken by me at the exhibition.

Crystal Bridges III: The Museum

Carly Drew


After glancing over the musuem in the first post I wanted to address it a little more in depth. When I first heard about Crystal Bridges back in 2011, I thought it was too good to be true. The architecture is stunning and the work housed in the permanent collection is a dream, but the thing that really sealed the deal for me is that it's in the middle of nowhere. To be honest I'd rather visit Arkansas over New York any day. After a few days visiting a city I'm done and museums in places like Rome, New York and D.C. provide a much different experience. This isn't to say the museums have done a poor job with thier exhibitions, I just don't have the tolerance to fight crowds. Often by the time you get a clear view of a work it's only a few seconds before you get crowded out of the way or someone walks in front of you to snap a selfie. It's frustrating. Instead of getting inspired and creatively recharged, I often leave tired and angry. It's akin to going to the mall on a Saturday afternoon, you never really find what you're looking for and finally just want to give up and get out. Art requires time to process, which I've rarely been able to achieve in many of the major museum settings of late. Crystal Bridges reminded me how fulfilling museums can really be. Everything had space to breath and people were courteous of others viewing the same work, which is something hard to come by anymore. You weren't being distracted or rushed, which gave adequate time to study, think and pay proper attention to things of interest. Maybe the difference is a bit of good old fashioned Southern hospitality, but it's the first time I haven't felt exhausted after visiting a museum in a long time.


The second major thing that drew me to Crystal Bridges is that it's situated in the South. Obviously I'm a little biased, but there are so many great things about this area of the country and its nice to see an institution that can help highlight Southern culture in a positive way. I also have to commend Alice Walton on having the balls to snap up some amazing work and create a place like this. There's a lot Crystal Bridges does right. It merges art and nature, which is a classic combination. The rolling hills of Arkansas, crisp November air and the late fall colors created a stunning backdrop for the Moshe Safdie designed structure, which compliments its rural setting. The landscape also reflects the work housed in the collection. Viewing a Thomas Moran is that much more exciting when you can take a break from the art, cozy up with a cup of tea in the cafe and enjoy some natural beauty.


Finally it's a place that anyone would feel comfortable walking into and talking about art. Which is something a lot of institutions miss and as someone that didn't grow up going to art museums is important to me. The more comfotable people are going to look at art, the more they will interact and get involved. The more people that get involved the more meaning it holds and if the experience is a good one that is something that will stay with them for life. My experience at Crysta Bridges and the work I saw has definitely left a mark and has provided me with insight and inspiration for my own work. Overall I enjoyed my experience at the museum and can't wait for another excuse to visit Arkansas!


Crystal Bridges Part II: Picturing the Americas

Carly Drew

Book Cover for  Picturing the Americas.  

Book Cover for Picturing the Americas. 

In the first post I covered a few highlights of Crystal Bridges and the 21c Hotel, today I'll be talking about my experience at the Picturing the Americas International Symposium and my response to the work in the exhibition. I arrived early that morning to go through and see the work first hand before the symposium started. There is something about seeing a work in person that can never compare to a photo. Reproductions lose any concept of scale, color nuances and the surface quality of a work. Many of the paintings in this exhibition I was seeing for the first time and quite a few, especially the South American artists, were entirely new to me. In true art geek fashion my Moleskine sketchbook and blue Staedtler pencil never left my side, jotting down notes on color, atmosphere and foliage painting techniques. I went through the exhibition about 3-4 other times during my stay and each time marveled at something new, a small passage in a landscape I hadn't noticed or the glow of a pigment on a scene.

The symposium began at 10:00am and ended around 5:00, so took up most of the day. For me the most engaging panel discussion for me was "Land, Icon, Nation," where several art historians discussed the ways artists in the exhibition helped construct national and even regional identities. Edward J. Sullivan, a professor of art history at New York University, had a fascinating and lively discussion about the Carribean landscape that made several very interesting points in relation to Caribbean culture and also the language of trees. Overall I enjoyed hearing about work discussed in a historical light, outside of art school its far too ofen that my only interaction with the history of art is either in books or a static museum setting. Seeing the excitement and energy of the people studying the work in the exhibition helped breathe more life into the paintings. Below are some of my personal favorites and highlights of the Picturing the Americas Exhibition. 

Asher B. Durand,  Kindred Spirits,  1849. Photo Credit:  Ozark Echo

Asher B. Durand, Kindred Spirits, 1849. Photo Credit: Ozark Echo

One of the paintings I was most excited to see was Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits. Durand has always been one of my favorite Hudson River School painters, but more for his drawings and studies than anything else. Not that his paintings are bad, I just have more of an affinity for the quality of line in his drawings. I wasn't interested in Kindred Spirits for the technique as much as I was curious to learn more about the way he constructed his composition. The painting is idealized, made up of multiple places and perspectives that embodied the character of the Catskill Mountains. I work in a similar fashion by combining several images of one or more places into a single image, albeit this multiplicity of viewpoints is a bit more evident (intentionally so) in my drawings. Seeing this painting in person was one of the major highlights of my trip.

Martin Johnson Heade,  Two Hummingbirds with an Orchid , 1875.

Martin Johnson Heade, Two Hummingbirds with an Orchid, 1875.

I got to see plenty of work from Martin Johnson Heade including multiple paintings in the museum's main collection. The thing that most impresses me about his work is the ability to build up a sense of thickness in the trees and receding space. It's almost as if you can feel heaviness of the humid, tropical air when looking at his work. Speaking of atmospheric perspective above are two detail shots from paintings done in 1868. The one on the left is by Otto Reinhold Jacobi, titled Morning on the Upper Ottowa. This was a part of a painting that was just spectacular in person. The way he used subtle but effective color shifts from warm to cool, the softness in the blues, dusks and warm neutrals is simply perfection. On the right is an Albert Bierstadt painting of Yosemite Valley. Instead of softness like Jacobi, there is a bit more crispness and warmth to the way Bierstadt has rendered the landscape. Both of them achieve a nice diffused glow and unity through the use of atmosphere and painted them in similar ways, but with drastically different results. These are things that are hard to pick up on when viewing reproductions of work and I thoroughly enjoyed dissecting these nuances in person. 

Eugenio Landesio and Jose Maria Velasco,  Hacienda de Monte Blanco , 1879.

Eugenio Landesio and Jose Maria Velasco, Hacienda de Monte Blanco, 1879.

Eugenio Landesio, "El Valle de Mexico desde el cerro de Tenayo (The Vallery of Mexico Seen from the Tenayo Hill) , 1870.

Eugenio Landesio,"El Valle de Mexico desde el cerro de Tenayo (The Vallery of Mexico Seen from the Tenayo Hill), 1870.

I also discovered a new painter, Eugenio Landesio, and was immediately struck by the way he handled painting clouds. After traveling to the Carribean this fall and seeing the towering plumes of afternoon storms first hand, I was especially drawn in to these pieces. Landesio uses a blush pinks, royal blues and warm greens to full effect in both works, showcasing how these colors could creates such a stunning atmospheric effect. The last two works are based on industry, the Paul Weingartner painting is about rain forest deforestation and Charles Sheeler's is a celebration of industry. Each are powerful reminder of the ways we change the landscape and use natural resources, which is why I was drawn to them both. Overall I really enjoyed the exhibit and it linked up perfectly with the other Hudson River School landscapes the museum houses in its main collection. 

Pedro Weingartner,  A Derrubada (The Fell) , 1913.

Pedro Weingartner, A Derrubada (The Fell), 1913.

Charles Sheeler,  Classic Landscape , 1931. Photo Credit:  National Gallery of Art

Charles Sheeler, Classic Landscape, 1931. Photo Credit: National Gallery of Art

Note: Unless otherwise noted all photos were taken by me at the exhibition.

Crystal Bridges Part I: Bentonville, AK & 21c Hotel

Carly Drew

Frank Llyod Wright, Bachman-Wilson House @ Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

Frank Llyod Wright, Bachman-Wilson House @ Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

At the beginning of November I posted about the travel grant I recieved from Crystal Bridges Museum of Art and the Terra Foundation. A week later I was on a plane from Charlotte to Bentonville for the Picturing the Americas Exhibit and International Symposium! Why am I posting these blogs a month later? Sometimes I like to give a little space between traveling and posting blogs, its nice to have a little time to reflect and take in everything you've seen. While I always take a lot of photos when travelling, rarely do I post those photos right then and there. Personally I find it to detract from the experience of a place when stopping to take time to Tweet, Facebook or Insta, not to mention the ensuing onslaught of likes and comments that are distracting as hell the rest of the day. My experience at Crystal Bridges really didn't need to be bothered by those things and my purpose for being there was to immerse myself in the American landscape tradition, which for me is a borderline quasi-religious experience that didn't need any of those external distractions. With that in mind here is the first in a week of posts about my trip to Arkansas. Similar to the Puerto Rico trip, I've chosen to break it into a few different posts so I can highlight some of the things I enjoyed most about my time in Bentonville.

After starting out the trip on barely two hourse of sleep (thanks to some chattering coyotes and a loooong 3am drive to Charlotte) it was a relief to find a little inspiration in the air. I'm a bit of a topographic and aerial photography nerd, which is about the only thing I enjoy about flying. Going over the Appalachians and the farms of Ohio and Kentucky was the only thing that kept me sane. Above are a few in-flight shots descending over Arkansas into the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. The descent over rural Arkansas was beautiful in its topographic glory, full of farms and chicken houses about as far as the eye could see. As the home of Tyson Foods, its no wonder that there were so many chicken houses dotting the landscape and the way the silver metal buildings stood out against the November landscape was really striking. Although I'm sure the smell in August would leave a little something to be desired.

I arrived late in the afternoon on Friday and after a long day of travel didn't have much time to explore the museum before the Picturing the Americas opening lecture that evening, but I did get to do a quick walk around the grounds. The first image in the post is a shot of the newly opened Bachman-Wilson House on the property. The Frank Llyod Wright designed home is a great addition to the numerous sculptures that dot the trails around the museum. Off the back side of the house is a deep ravine with a creek, even more walking trails and reflection pond. It fits effortlessly into the grounds and there are moments when it simply felt like someone's home set in the trees. I walked around it several times over the weekend and the way it was situated is absolutely stunning.

The Moshe Safdie designed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

The Moshe Safdie designed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

Speaking of the landscape and architecture, my first impression of the Moshe Safdie designed museum was of how seamless it worked with the surrounding landscape. The colors, lines and materials all directly pulled from the rolling hills of northwest Arkansas. At the main entrance to the museum is a sculpture by Roxy Paine that accomplished similar things, but in a much different way. The tree sculpture's metallic surface reflecting the colors and structure of the almost leafless late fall landscape. Those reflections really brought to life something that had the potential to feel cold and mechanical in contrast to its setting. One of the few other pieces I was able to spend some time with on the first day was a Gabriel Dawe string installation. Placed in an off-side stair well, this piece is mesmerizing. I spent a good 10 minutes just walking back and forth underneath it watching the colors shift before my eyes.

Roxy Paine, "Yeild"  (2011).

Roxy Paine, "Yeild"  (2011).

Gabriel Dawe, "Plexus No. 27" (2014). 

Gabriel Dawe, "Plexus No. 27" (2014). 

Only having a short amount of time before the kickoff lecture, that was the extent of what I was able to see the first day. Once the evening's event let out I retreated back to the hotel for some much needed sleep after a very long day of travel. I stayed at the 21c Hotel due to proximity with the museum, which is barely a 5 minute walk via nature trail and even thought its a bit more expensive I did save money by not needing a rental car. Hell I even walked over in the rain two mornings no problem. The hotel was very contemporary on the interior and my room felt a bit like staying in an Ikea. The neatest thing about the hotel is that it also served as a gallery/museum with multiple artists work displayed on each floor and dedicated exhibition spaces on the ground level. It was a nice break to see some ultra-contemporary work after looking at mostly historical pieces all day. They also have these funky green penguins that mysteriously move around the hotel, winding up in unusal places like packed into the elevators, on the roof and stalking you at breakfast (see my experience below). The biggest let down of the trip was that I missed Arnold Schwarzenegger by 20 minutes one morning, apparently he stayed there for a night while in town to do a quick tour of the museum. Should've spent a little less time on my hair that day...oh well.

I got a little lazy with food this trip since most of my time was spent in the museum. Anyone that knows me knows that anytime I actually eat out it has to be something that I can't cook myself or haven't had before. Usually hotel restaurants aren't my favorite go to (looking at you Puerto Rico), but the one at 21c was an exception. The Hive is both conveniently located downstairs and also headed up by James Beard nominated Chef Matthew McClure, which is my book is a winning combination. Over the few days I stayed there I tried a good chunk of the menu and didn't find anything dissapointing. Most everything was cooked perfectly and delivered a solid fresh, but clearly Southern influenced breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some standouts were a scallop dish with peanut sauce (sounds odd but surprisingly good), a chocolate cake and one of the best bourbon cocktails I've ever had. It was the perfect spot to sit at the bar and enjoy a nice meal with a glass of wine after a long day exploring the museum. 

21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas.

21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas.

One of those pesky green penguins came to visit me for brunch.

One of those pesky green penguins came to visit me for brunch.

The light around the bathroom mirror created some serioulsy neat reflections in the shower. Plus you could seriously fit 10 people in that shower.

The light around the bathroom mirror created some serioulsy neat reflections in the shower. Plus you could seriously fit 10 people in that shower.

The lamps had to be my favorite and the bed was super cozy, which is really all that matters.

The lamps had to be my favorite and the bed was super cozy, which is really all that matters.

Crystal Bridges Museum "Picturing the Americas" Travel Grant

Carly Drew

Image via  Amazon .

Image via Amazon.

On Friday I'll be flying out to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas for a few days to explore two things I have devoted a large part of my life to: art and the land. I'm also beyond excited to announce that I was awarded a travel grant by Crystal Bridges (sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art) to attend the Picturing the Americas Exhibit and International Symposium.

The exhibition covers the many definitions of human interaction with the land by showcasing over 100 works of art from North and South America. I will also be attending several panel discussions on how land becomes icon, the intersection of science and art, and how modern artists interpreted the landscape. It will be a nice departure from the process of making work and get out of the studio. Spending a few days immersed in a discussion about the historical representation of the American landscape and its contemporary manifestations is my form of art geekery at its finest. 

If you are interested in either the exhibition or symposium, here is a link to more info on the exhibit via the Crystal Bridges website.  You can also check out the book, Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic.