Spade Cards Bios & Artist Statements

Morena Garcia has been making things with her hands for years; always putting odd pieces together. It is a Montanan trait to restructure the wild into a vision that has a story to tell.

As I started to research the ace of spades, two things became apparent. The first is that we have long associated it with the greatest triumph: life. The original shape mimics the tree of life. While many associations with the ace are bright and strong, many are cursed. The ace has been used as a symbol of ultimate destruction: in Vietnam, US soldiers would place it in the helmets, mouths, or on the bodies of dead Vietcong. Saddam Hussein’s code name was the ace of spades until his murder. So my piece reflects the human choice to adopt triumph. Dull this tree’s colors until it is nothing more than black. While this is what we can do, the tree’s roots still go deep and have a chance to touch its former brilliant life filled glory.

Lyn StClair is a Montana artist who finds inspiration in the creatures that live in the Northern Rockies and in the views seen between her horse’s ears.

“Double Pounce of Spades” began with a twist on the rotational symmetry of classic playing card design. It finished with a pair of pouncing foxes for a touch of wild Montana.

Kaitlin Kaiser is an enthusiastic adventurist, yogi, and creator. She loves to explore different mediums from charcoal to acrylic on surfboards and has recently began dabbling in watercolor. She uses nature for inspiration and often incorporates ambiguous and ironic situations into her work in attempt to lighten the mood and the heart.

When I picked the three of spades I knew that I wanted to use watercolor and originally envisioned a black and white snowy scene with Ponderosa Pine trees representing three spades. As I began painting a few drafts though the piece took on a punny direction that so often speaks to me, and voilà I dug the three black spades.

Blynne Froke is a retired English teacher living in Northern California. She possesses an ever-growing passion for birds, but the raven has always been her favorite. She has enjoyed making friends with the from California to Alaska.

Ravens are the most intelligent of birds displaying a wide variety of moods from serious to playful. They communicate generously and remember individual peoples faces for years; sometimes sharing them beyond their own generation.

Bonnie Lynn Watton is a professional landscape designer and enjoys working in various mediums. She enjoys painting, working with markers, botanical artwork (pressed flowers), floral arranging, photography, hand applique and drywall carvings. Bonnie has been teaching creative arts and landscaping classes for community education programs since 1999.

I grew up in a family that played card games for entertainment. Although I loved the games, I never understood why the cards were so boring in design and color. I wanted to create a whimsical, colorful card that people would enjoy looking at.

Buff Brown graduated from Philadelphia College of Art in 1979, with an MFA in Photography. He is a musician, having played electric blues harmonica for the last 40 years.

Sam Spade came almost simultaneously with choice of the six of spades. I used colored pencils on the black and white print and sandpaper to distress the overall look of the card.

Parker Beckley is a multi-media artist from Missoula, Montana. From murals and graphic design to weird, performance art-esque events and more, he’s constantly trying to learn and grow as an artist/person.

Seven of Space, get it? I went to Art School.

Beth Gregory is a metalsmith and owner of b gregory jewelry. She creates original designs in silver, gemstones, and enameled copper, using primarily recycled metals.

My goal with this piece was to create an image with a vintage look and a whimsical tone, using recycled materials and found objects

Jo Newhall has been a long-time educator, in the classroom and outdoors. When she is not in the classroom or in the mountains she can be found creating in her studio. Her medium is clay, which she uses to hand-build playful pots inspired by nature and children.

As a clay artist I look to the natural world for inspiration. With the 9 of spades I found my muse in a murder of crows and aspen trees.

Sarah Faye was born in Livingston and encouraged from a young age to follow her heart. She has a vision and color palette full of passion and vibrancy. She creates art through invoking emotion and painting in a moving meditation.

I strive to inspire and create a space for meditation and reflection.

Linda Barnsley felt the call of the west a decade ago and relocated from Maryland to Montana.  She now enjoys working in both oils and acrylics, capturing the expressions and textures of the wildlife and natural world surrounding her.

Upon hearing of this project, a jackalope just popped into my head.
Note: A “jackalope” is a combination of a “jackrabbit” and an “antelope,” though a jackrabbit is not a rabbit and a pronghorn is not an antelope and antelopes don’t have antlers they have horns, my apologies.

Trish Wild is a Montana native. She paints visions of colorful images inspired by nature and the beauty of life in the west. In addition to being a full-time artist, Trish is the founder and leader of Montana Horse Archers, a Livingston-based affiliate of Horse Archery USA.

The Queen of Spades in Tarot represents female intelligence and independence. I have painted this Horse Archer Queen to represent a powerful feminine agent of change.

Storrs Bishop has lived in Livingston since the mid-nineties and has shown his work in many of Livingston’s galleries since 2002. He searches for meaning to life’s great questions through the creative process using a variety of media, including photography, printmaking and mixed media.

On a project where we are combining functionality with interpretation I wanted to stay fairly literal to the assigned subject. By interpreting the King of spades through a pun and inverting the royal status of the face card to a gravedigger, I hope to give the poker player a moment’s pause before she bets the farm on a king-high hand.

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