Landscape painter Erin C. O’Connor, of Wilson, has been awarded the coveted three week Artist-in-Residency post at Joshua Tree National Park. O’Connor is represented locally by Galleries West Fine Art, in Jackson. Her residency runs April 6-26, 2009. The following information was released by the artist:
“I’m truly honored,” O’Connor says. “Having the time and artistic freedom to explore Joshua Tree is an incredible opportunity. My goal is to show the inherent beauty within a very harsh environment.” She plans on creating upward of forty paintings during the Residency, one of which she will donate to the Park’s permanent collection.
Promoting a deeper understanding of the region’s deserts is the aim of Joshua Tree’s Artist-In-Residency Program. The Park, in partnership with the Riverside Art Museum (Riverside, CA), oversees the selection process. “Dozens of nationally acclaimed artists submitted proposals,” states Daniel Foster, Executive Director of the Riverside Art Museum. “The jury was quite impressed with the quality. We’re proud to extend our congratulations to Erin, and we look forward to the work she’ll create here.”
O’Connor’s motivation behind the Residency stems from witnessing the pressure for industrial development on public lands. “Many people perceive undeveloped areas as valueless and inhospitable. In no place is this more true than our nation’s deserts. I’ve seen gorgeous, untouched expanses lost due to simple apathy in the public comment process. Art has the power to reawaken our perception of these places – even for those folks who’ll never venture past the pavement, art can make all the difference in inspiring preservation. By portraying the unique fragility and strength of a seemingly forbidding environment, I hope my paintings can make an impact on behalf of our desert lands across the West.”
Curt Sauer, Superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park, adds, “We’re seeking ways to reach broader audiences and more diverse user groups. The Artist-In-Residency Program is designed to inspire people through creative values.”
O’Connor’s style is highly recognizable. Color and graphic line form compositions that are bold, yet sensitive. By painting on location, the qualities within in her landscapes are heightened; shadows deepen, light radiates, and the connection she feels with her subject matter is evident. She is a familiar artist at many prestigious plein air events across the West, and her strong following includes collectors throughout the U.S.
Adding to her strict painting schedule at Joshua Tree, O’Connor will be available for public presentations, including outings with the 29 Palms Art Guild and the Plein Air Artists of Riverside. From August 6-19, a one-person show at Galleries West Fine Art in Jackson will showcase her work as Artist-In-Residence.
Erin C. O’Connor
Galleries West Fine Art
70 S. Glenwood 307.733.4412
PO Box 3905, Jackson, WY 83001