If it flies, swims, hops, stalks, screeches, growls, or chirps, you’ll likely find it captured at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC, in mid February — not in a cage or stuffed on a wall, but on the canvases of the country’s preeminent painters of wild animals. (The prestigious art show also features many sculptors.) Among them is Jen Starwalt, represented in Brevard by The Lucy Clark Gallery and known for her large-scale pastel portraits of bison, ducks, fish, fox, and other creatures from the local mountains and from across the dramatic reaches of the U.S. (Death Valley, Yellowstone, etc.). Starwalt depicts a raven with as much awed tenderness as a barn owl, and in I’m All Ears, her wild hare exudes a kind of ancient dignity. Upon her return from the big industry show in Charleston, Starwalt told Bold Life, “it was another wonderful year, filled with amazing artists from around the world. The show was a-buzz with so much appreciation for conservation.” Now that she’s back home, she’s preparing her studio for the warm months and getting ready to take a few informative hikes to inspire new work. “Spring is one of my favorite seasons — the forest bursts into song,” says Starwalt. “I’m excited and ready to paint all the joy spring brings.”
Jen Starwalt Contemporary Wildlife Artist, represented by The Lucy Clark Gallery (51 West Main St., Brevard, lucyclarkgallery.com) and by Whiteside Art Gallery in Cashiers (whitesideartgallery.com). For more information, see jenstarwalt.com.