Phyllis Shafer: I only went out for a walk…opens February 8 at the Nevada Museum of Art, Donald W. Reynolds Center for the Visual Arts, E. L. Wiegand Gallery. The exhibition celebrates the iconic landscape paintings of Phyllis Shafer while also carefully examining her early artistic influences shaped by time spent in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The largest presentation of Shafer’s work to date, the exhibition includes nearly 100 paintings, gouaches, and drawings.
Shafer, a plein air painter based in South Lake Tahoe, frequently finds inspiration in the breathtaking landscapes of the Sierra Nevada. A nod to the creative impetus behind her work, the exhibition title I only went out for a walk… stems from a phrase written by nineteenth century naturalist and conservationist John Muir: “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
“Even when I was living in urban areas, I was using nature to find a way in, and that’s why John Muir’s quote resonates so much for me,” said Shafer. “Nature is a catalyst, and I see it as a metaphor for the human condition. It brings out something deep inside oneself.”
Ann M. Wolfe, Senior Curator and Deputy Director for the Nevada Museum of Art, says Muir’s quote aptly suits both the exhibition and accompanying full-color book of the artist’s work.
“His words not only underscore Shafer’s creative philosophy, but also capture the spirit of the Sierra Nevada that has served as Shafer’s inspiration for so many years,” Wolfe said. She curated I only went out for a walk…, an exhibition assembled from numerous private collections on the West Coast.
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