Magazine article Southwest Art

Challenger & Coleman

Magazine article Southwest Art

Challenger & Coleman

Article excerpt

THE NATIVE American experience, both past and present, is the subject of Manitou Galleries' show The Western Scene, which features paintings by Nicholas Coleman and J.D. Challenger. "Each [artist] shares his perceptions of Native culture and its impact on our psyche," says gallery director Frank Rose. "We are pleased to be showing these two great artists together." The show opens with an artists' reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on November 7 and closes on November 21. On display are approximately 30 works that express the respect both artists feel for Native people and their cultures.

"I feel very blessed to be a part of the lives of the people I paint," says Challenger, whose portraits are of Native Americans from Canada to Washington and from the Southwest to Florida. "I may have a direction I want to go in mind when models sit in front of me, but I always ask them what they want to see in the painting. When 1 start working I usually feel as if a higher energy is guiding me. My paintings are all about what the Native people want to say about their history and themselves." Native Americans from many different tribes and pueblos seem to find their way to Challenger, either at his studio in Taos, NM, or when he's on the road looking for new portraits to paint.

Among Challenger's 15 or more acrylic works in the show are SPIRIT OF THE FOX and POWER OF THE BEAR, which contain more detail than his works of several years ago. "I'm pleased that people are noticing that my work has become more technical, but that didn't happen overnight," Challenger explains. …

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