In addition to the massive Indian Woman that graces the entrance to the Knox Gallery, several of Martha Pettigrew’s pieces are displayed throughout Knox. From 1 – 6 p.m. this holiday weekend, the artist will be on hand demonstrating her craft by creating a work in clay, prior to producing it in bronze. The gallery will also be featuring approximately a dozen new works during this four-day period. It is a rare opportunity to meet, talk to and watch one of the medium’s most widely collected practitioners.Though trained as a scientific illustrator, Pettigrew’s sculptural influences came by way of Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi and Francisco Zuniga. Indeed, some of the massiveness and rounded contours of her figures are evident in the work of those renowned sculptors.
The influence of painter and sculptor Zuniga, known for his images of Mexican peasants, is particularly manifested in Pettigrew’s Water Song series. With a pathos and empathy, Pettigrew seeks to find the beauty of the bodies and souls of the common people. Less interested in idealization of the figure, she achieves a unique style while portraying her subjects as stoic, earthy, and quietly dignified. “I find the everyday tasks of the native people of the Southwest, especially the women, to be an endless source of inspiration. If I have achieved my goal as a sculptor, the viewer will feel an emotional attachment and never tire of seeing the piece. The sculpture may become a source of inspiration in their lives,” Pettigrew said.Now firmly established as a contemporary sculptor, her work is widely collected by individuals, corporations and museums. It has been exhibited in the Annual Exhibition of the American Academy of Equine Artists; Museum of the Horse, Lexington, Kent.; Settlers West’s; The Great American West Show, Tucson, Ariz.; Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s, Birds in Art; and Loveland High Plains Art Council’s, Sculpture in the Park.
As a breeder and owner of horses, Pettigrew is very much at ease with horses as a subject. “I find the horse an endless source of inspiration in my art. I find it challenging to capture the power, grace, and intelligence that has made the horse a favorite subject of artists since early man painted on cave walls,” Pettigrew said.Visiting Knox Gallery and taking in the demonstration, along with the other art on display, is a golden opportunity for anyone who likes to interact with the artist and her art.Art showing
Artist Martha PettigrewKnox Gallery, 123 Beaver Creek Plaza 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.Stew Mosberg is a freelance writer and recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is the author of two books on design and can be reached at WrtrF@aol.com
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