Today was a great day for the walls of our museum. Our collection’s newest addition was recently hung. It is a fitting landscape tribute to Wyoming’s winter.
Don Stinson (b. 1956) is a contemporary artist who lives in Evergreen, Colorado. His paintings are panoramas of the American West of today. The magnificent landscapes are beautifully painted, especially the skies that reach into the distance. Stinson typically includes aspects of our built environment of the recent past—an abandoned gas station or drive-in movie theater, for example. In the context of the western land, these human elements seem temporary and fleeting, as if being re-claimed by nature. While there are layers of meaning in the paintings, the images are immediately recognizable and familiar to anyone who has ever driven distances in the American West.
I-80 Energy Romance addresses the state’s interest in and reliance upon energy. Our state’s rich, natural resources jockey for place in Stinson’s landscape. Fossil fuels clearly dominant in the foreground of the painting, as seen in the dilapidated gas sign and overlapping tire treads, while in the background, the future of clean energy turns quietly, the windmills that dot Wyoming’s southern landscape—a constant reminder of the powerful winds that crisscross this state.