Kent Christensen’s recent botanical paintings are based on photographs he has taken of native wildflowers on regular hikes in the Wasatch mountains. “Most people don’t know that I considered becoming a botanist when I was deciding on a major back in the late 1970’s.” Ultimately he chose to study Art, Art History and Asian Studies. Since the 1990’s, with the establishment of a studio and home here at Sundance, he has indulged his passion for plants, becoming intimately familiar with the many native flowers (and weeds). “My neighbor, Mary Ireland, helped me identify the handful of noxious weeds that grow in this area and we spent many days out on the trail battling problem areas. Over the course of many years it was very gratifying to see previously weed-infested areas return to native flowers and grasses.” Christensen considers native Wasatch flowers to be some of the most beautiful and interesting in the world, from the fragile Glacier Lilies that bloom through patches of snow and quickly fade in early spring to the sturdy Stonecrop, which grows in seemingly inhospitable gravel, to edible plants like Thimbleberry and Serviceberry. “
During the recent pandemic, those of us who lived in the mountains were very lucky to be able to spend time in nature. These botanicals are a reminder of how important the forest was to maintaining my perspective during that stressful period. My level of appreciation for living in such a beautiful place reached its apex during the past couple of years.” Along with these recent paintings, Christensen’s more recognizable still life and landscape work (which usually incorporate dessert foods and cultural commentary) are also included with these botanical still life paintings, as well as an expanded selection of prints of his most popular images. He will be working in the Sundance Art Studio on opening day, August 6, from 12:30 – 4:30pm. The exhibition will be on display until Friday, Sept. 2nd. Gallery hours are 10:00-5:00 daily.
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