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Artist Talk: Museum of Big Bend

Inside the Rise of a Modern Master

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

In celebration of the opening of A Feeling of Humanity: The Ken Ratner Collection at The Museum of Big Bend, Erin Hanson gave a lecture and participated in the exhibition's official unveiling on September 16th, 2016. Her piece Canyon de Chelly is a part of this collection of works and has made its way across five art museums over the past two years, including the St. George Art Museum, where she also had a 5-month-long solo exhibition in early 2016. 

Erin's talk covered her key sources of inspiration; she also discussed her rise from discovering the red rock canyons surrounding Las Vegas 10 years ago through to her current status as a forerunner in an impressionistic resurgence.

 "I lived in Vegas for two years, and during that time I diligently created one painting every week, and those paintings were all paintings of rocks.  Rocks and desertscapes." - Erin Hanson

 Erin spent the better part of four years focusing solely on rocks and red sand, the colors and chunky abstract effects morphing over time into paintings with an almost stained glass effect. Later she veered from the familiar vision of desertscapes into rolling hills and California wine country, and most recently she has delved into painting florals and still lifes.


ERIN HANSON is a life-long painter, beginning her study of oils as a young child.  Her passion for natural beauty is seen in her work as she transforms vistas familiar and rare into stunning interpretations of bold color, playful rhythms, and raw emotional impact. Her frequent forays into National Parks and other havens of nature include backpacking expeditions, rock climbing, and photo safaris.  Hanson's unique painting style has become known as Open Impressionism, which is now taught in art schools around the world. With thousands of collectors eagerly anticipating her work and millions of followers online, Hanson has become an iconic, driving force in the rebirth of contemporary impressionism, and she is quickly recognized as a prolific, modern master.

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