Jared Sanders doesn’t just see the sweeping landscapes of the West. Nor does he focus on the Western lifestyle hinted at by barns and old trucks. Instead the Utah artist sees how they come together. His work is about exploring what we build and where we exist.
Sanders’ newest show, “Earth, Man and Sky,” featuring paintings of old barns and old trucks set against sweeping skies and endless prairie, is set to open with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Altamira Fine Art. It will hang through July 20.
The exhibit showcases all new work that depicts the Western landscape with small human influences like a barn in an open field.
“Artistically, I’m drawn to the juxtaposition of landscape contrasted with the man-made structures,” Sanders said.
He finds his subject matter on road trips from Arizona to Montana and sometimes even into the Midwest. He drives looking for interesting barns in interesting locations. It’s a task and a subject matter that never grow old.
“There is something about the West and where we live and what we see every day,” Sanders said. “It’s a part of me, and there’s always opportunity to see things differently.”
The landscape is changing as dilapidated barns disappear across the West, a shift that changes the scenery as well as his work.
“In some ways I do mourn the loss of these barns that are falling down, but on the other hand I am drawn to the whole evolution,” he said. “Some of the scenes I have are old barns, but I don’t mind the cars in front of it. The modern evolution is interesting to me. I’m not trying to depict a specific time or nostalgia; I’m trying to explore and depict what I see.”
The soft tones Sanders uses in his paintings give them a sense of calmness and, he hopes, convey a feeling of peace to the viewer. He doesn’t study color theory, but instead approaches it intuitively.
Sanders’ latest show features 16 new works. One painting, “Grandpa’s Truck,” shows a massive muted sky and an old truck parked next to a stack of hale bales. The truck reminded the painter of one his grandfather used to drive. He said it also embodies the themes of the show.
“There’s a lot of landscape, mixed with man’s mark on the land, and a lot of sky.” ￼