Winter Across America

December 7, 2002 - March 9, 2003

Los Olivos ~ Right in time for the holiday season, the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos opened an exhibition of paintings, prints, sculpture and photographs featuring America’s wilderness and the “wildlings” that inhabit it, under a blanket of snow. This is the “White Christmas” that most of us in Southern California dream about, a wonderland of icicles, frozen streams and snow-covered trees, and the heroic story of animals, wolves, bison, elk and wildcats, who manage to survive in often brutal conditions.

Opened on December 7, 2002 and continued through March 9, 2003, “Winter Across America,” brought together over three dozen works by prominent American artists. Included among the works borrowed for the exhibition was a New England snow scene by the California Impressionist, Alson Skinner Clark, a painting of Mule Deer by the well-known wild animal artist, Bob Kuhn, a polar bear by Frederick Machetanz, and photographs of Yellowstone in the winter by Ines Roberts. Other artists that were represented were Joe Abbrescia, Edward Bierly, Victor Clyde Forsythe, Sydney Lawrence, Roi Partridge, Manfred Schatz, and Clayton Staples.

While some of these artists spent the winter painting in the comfort of their own studios, others braved the elements to capture just the effect they were looking for, and they faced unusual challenges: photographic chemicals impossible to work with, pigments freezing or not drying, and subjects without much contrast. According to Penny Knowles, the Museum’s Director, “painters, from Breughal’s time on, have been challenged to represent snow, a substance that seems to have no color, but reflects all colors.” As Marlene Miller, curator of the exhibition, said, “the Wildling is very fortunate to be able to borrow these high quality works from dealers and private collectors all over America. Without actually having to ‘brave the elements,’ visitors can see scenes they would never be able to experience themselves through artists’ eyes.”

The public was invited to a reception celebrating the official opening of the exhibition, December 7, 2002, 3-5 p.m.