Wyoming Arts Council

"A Thin Place" exhibit opens July 9 at Trio Fine Art in Jackson

“A Thin Place,” an exhibit of the work of artist Kathryn Mapes Turner, will take place at Trio Fine Art in Jackson July 9-26. The gallery will hold a reception on Thursday, July 17, 5-8 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. Gallery hours are noon-6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. The exhibit can be viewed online at www.triofineart.com after July 5.

The title of this exhibition, “A Thin Place,” is derived from a Celtic term referring to a place where the boundary between the material world and the spiritual world is particularly thin. For Turner, the Greater Yellowstone Wilderness is a “thin place.”

Artist Kathryn Mapes Turner has spent the majority of her young life in a majestic mountain valley that has profoundly influenced her work. Her powerful, yet sensitively rendered landscapes communicate the life-long relationship she has developed with this grand scenery. With skilled use of light, harmonious color, and layers of texture, Turner explores her connection with the natural world. The result is enduring imagery that evokes the intensely emotional association she has with this mountain valley since her childhood. Kathryn Turner had the good fortune of being born into a fourth generation ranching family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This ranch, located within what is now Grand Teton National Park, enjoys one of the most direct views of the Teton mountain range.

Turner says, “Each day, for as long as I remember, I was greeted by those mountains.  They are, in a very real way, a part of me.  Early on, I felt the urge to find a way to express my passion for this ecosystem, and imagery became my lexicon for this song of appreciation. Ever since, I have devoted my craft to doing justice to the beauty of this landscape.

“In belonging to a landscape in this way, I feel a rightness, an at-homeness where I am knitted to the world. This rootedness allows me to be present to what is- a practice the Buddhists refer to as mindfulness, and the contemplative Christians call recollection, and the Quakers call centering down. For me this experience is lived tactically where my nerve endings are bare against the land. As I take in the magnificence and scale of this landscape, I am moved beyond myself.  I refer to the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem as my ‘thin place.’

“This collection of paintings is about this relationship with the landscape.  Rather than photo-realistic depictions, they are interpretations and impressions of what I experience when I am in the natural world.  It is my hope that, for the viewer, the paintings are themselves a quiet meeting place between internal emotion and external stimuli, a meeting place of the material and non-material.”

Turner’s work has been recognized nationally by many top awards including “Best of Show” at the American Impressionist Society and the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Association.

Her paintings have been exhibited at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Wyoming State Museum and the Charlie Russell Museum. SouthWest Art recognized Turner as “21 Young Artists with Promising Careers.”

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