Ann Korologos Gallery presents artist Peggy Judy in Artist & Horse: A Perfect Pair, a solo exhibition showcasing a series of work with a strong and simple message: to give ranchers tribute; to show the world that the "Old West" still exists. “Like all things, ranching has evolved. They use modern things—trucks, trailers, four wheelers–but it’s still grounded in the animals, the horses, the dogs, and the partnership between people.” On view at Ann Korologos Gallery in Basalt April 13 to April 30, 2019.
Peggy Judy is a native of Colorado, and has been smitten with its natural beauty her entire life. Finding art at an early age compelled Judy to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in illustration from Colorado State University. Married to an equine veterinarian, Judy finds much of her inspiration from horses and their riders, drawing from her hands-on experience breeding, raising, training, and selling Warmblood Sport horses.
Judy’s style as a painter is reminiscent of her surroundings: sharp edges, dusty colors, strong negative space, and a snapshot of the Old West. She always wanted to be an artist. “That or a lion tamer,” she laughs. “It’s the same thing, really—you have to control them, but also let it go at the same time.” After having bred and raised horses for 35 years, Peggy and her husband said goodbye to the sport horses she trained on their farm, and shifted gears to appreciate the working horses of the ranching world—with her camera and paintbrush in hand.
Judy always has her camera available to take reference photographs for her expressionistic paintings. Outside her back door, open plains are punctuated by rolling silt Adobes, the spire of an ancient volcano, ranches, fences, cattle and, of course, horses. “I love to pull over and capture the way the light hits a horse,” shares Peggy. “It’s usually what catches my eye—the shadows—I love it when the sun works with me. I know it as soon as the shutter closes that that [photograph] is going to be the one.”
Her surroundings are a modern-day reminder of the history of the West. “I am really drawn to Western Art because the Old West still exists,” explains Judy. “It’s not just in the movies. The Western way of life is still here. It’s still real. It’s still important. Without the ranching and the agriculture, where would we be?”
The tight-knit community of Crawford strikes Peggy as part of the beauty of where she lives. Last weekend she went to a branding at a neighbor’s ranch to help and take photographs. “Five ranches pulled together to work on one ranch, and the next day they went to the next ranch, then the third ranch until everyone is done,” shared Judy. “No one got paid, everyone just came together. It takes a community.”
Peggy doesn’t live in the past, although she does admit that Crawford is as Wild West as it gets, with adaptations for the modern day. “My background is in illustration, and I like telling the story,” reflects Judy. “Like all things, ranching has evolved. They use modern things—trucks, trailers, four wheelers– but it’s still grounded in the animals, the horses, the dogs, and the partnership between people.”
Having always been a visual communicator, Peggy’s message with this series of work is strong and simple: to give the ranchers tribute; to show the world that they do exist, they are important, and they deserve a chance to be recognized for their hard work.
Artist & Horse: A Perfect Pair featuring Peggy Judy will remain on view through April 30, 2019. For more information, please visit Ann Korologos Gallery at 211 Midland Avenue in Basalt, call (970) 927-9668 or email [email protected].