“A Show of Horses” concluded a two month display of my work at the Ross Art Museum on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University, my Alma Mater.
The shared exhibit was held in conjunction with the Little Brown Jug harness races, an annual event in Delaware Ohio. The bronze sculptures are by Lynda Sappington while the antique artifacts were from the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame. The show received stellar support from the University and local community, which included two of my x art professors who came to the opening.
September 11, 2016, Peter Tonguette of the Columbus Dispatch wrote “Horse Show Exudes Plenty of Personality”. He found the exhibit “well timed” and was keen to observe facial expression and mood in my subjects.
He may have overlooked, however, an important dimension in my work; an emphasis of portraying not only the joy and beauty and the incredible spirit of the horse, but his character, his condition and his plight. I am unafraid to express horses burdened in leather, straps and gear imposed by his human master. I have traveled to several countries and equestrian cultures-Portugal, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Patagonia, to name a few, as well as in the States, to experience and photograph both good and not so good relationships between man and beast. I have been witness to methods and treatments of the domesticated horse not always kind but dominance based-an animal “broken” for human use.
In stark contrast to my observations, I train and ride horses of my own, wanting to not only provide amnesty and refuge for these vulnerable teachers, but I seek that higher level of pure unspoken partnership. I pursue at length the most gentle and humane equipment and training techniques, befriending my horses, hoping to gain their trust, love and respect. I paint in near realism and present my subjects as sensitive, soulful creatures. What makes my paintings unique is that, beyond their surface beauty and nobility, I have a profound understanding of the human mechanisms which can trap and bind and confuse these extraordinary animals, yet are willing to work with us.
- Nancy B Frank