Water Is Life

“Water is Life” is an oil on a round topped panel, 48 x 30. It has hand carved wooden stars that run along the upper part of the side return.

When I completed this painting, I contemplated not posting it as it had political implication. Of course it was about Standing Rock, which became a rallying point for both environmental and indigenous civil-rights advocates as thousands of people, many of them Native Americans, gathered on the Standing Rock reservation to protest and physically obstruct the Keystone pipeline’s construction.

While the pipeline did not cross Sioux Reservation land, it was built just north of those lands through what had been Sioux Territory by treaty, land that was later taken from them. By current treaty, the Standing Rock Sioux are assured certain hunting and fishing rights. Many of the tribe’s members rely on fish or hunted game from that area as a steady food source.

The Keystone pipeline is owned by TransCanada, an energy company based in Calgary. It transports oil from western Canada’s tar sands region to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, where the oil is refined and processed into usable gasoline and diesel. Tar sands produce some of the lowest grade, highest carbon, most polluting oil in the world. A 2014 report co-authored by Lazarus found Keystone XL would boost global emissions of carbon dioxide by up tp 100 million tons per year.

A focus of the Standing Rock protest was about the impact of oil spills from this pipeline (owned by a Canadian company that has a notorious reputation for spills and leaks) and what those spills would do to the water aquifer, water of the river, the fish that live in it, and the wildlife that are sustained by it. All those things are critical to the people of the Sioux tribe, and others living in the area.

And in an even larger sense, this protest was about the rights and safety of the people often being “Trumped”, if I may say so, by corporate interest and power. As these pipelines traverse the breadth of our country, through our Heartland, our bread belt, many of us are also at risk, not just the Sioux Nation.

On 11-16-17, TransCanada reported that 210,000 of oil had spilled from the Keystone Pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota. It was the third major spill in the region for the pipeline, which began operations in 2010… As of 11-21, Keystone XL oil pipeline will go ahead despite this last spill.

#keystonepipeline #keystonexl #environmental degradation #oilspill #waterislife

Posted in Figurative, Landscape, Native American

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Laurie Stevens

Current or Recent Events & Shows

National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society “Best of America Small Painting National Exhibition” at the Kirkland Gallery, Nashville, TN., April 30 – May26, 2018

Out West Art Show & Sale, March 14-17, 2018 at the Heritage Inn, Great Falls, Mt. I’m in Room 176!

Portrait Society of America 6×9:Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale, April 20, 2018 at the Art of the Portrait Conference in Washington, DC.

National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society Holiday Small Works Show, Nov. 13 – Dec. 30, 2017

Under a Vast Sky, the 2017 AWA Annual Master and Signature Members Show & National Juried Exhibition, at the Tucson Desert Art Museum, Oct 13 – Dec. 3, 2017

“Dissent” Show at Sparrow Gallery, Sacramento, CA. July 1 – August, 2017

“Gallery Night” at Frame of Reference Fine Art in Whitefish, MT.,July 6, 2017

Iron Horse Summer Art Social, Whitefish, MT. June 25, 2017

“First Strike Auction” March 17, 2017 C.M. Russell Museum https://cmrussell.org/the-russell-event/

2016 – Portrait Society of American Members Only Competition Winner – Landscape Division https://portraitsociety.org/

“Back to Basics” Painting Workshop in Big Sky, MT. – October 28-30, 2016

“2016 Annual AWA Member Show & National Juried Exhibition” – Sept. 23 to Nov. 14, 2016 https://americanwomenartists.org/news//

“Summer Art Social” at Iron Horse, Whitefish, MT. – June 25, 2016 www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/summer-art-social/

“Montana Painters Alliance Show” at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, MT. June 30, 2016 – August 31, 2016. http://www.hockadaymuseum.org/

I’m teaching a workshop called “Back to Basics: Considerations for Every Painter” at the C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT., April 29 – May 1, 2016 https://www.cmrussell.org/content/back-basics-considerations-every-painter-laurie-stevens/

“Auction for the Arts” at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, MT. March 24, 2016 http://www.bigskyarts.org/

“Out West Art Show & Sale” at the Heritage Inn, Great Falls, MT. March 16-19, 2016 http://outwestartshow.com/

Guest Artist at Altamira Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ., 2015 http://www.altamiraart.com

“Traveling the West Art Show & Sale” at Southwest Gallery, Dallas, TX. – October 23-24, 2015 http://www.travelingthewestshow.com

“Boots Required!” at Bella Muse Gallery, Ogden, UT. – July 3 – August 31, 2015 http://www.bellamusegallery.com

“Summer Art Social” at Iron Horse, Whitefish, MT. – June 30, 2015 www.whitefishcommunityfoundation.org/summer-art-social/

The Dana Gallery “Icons of the West” Show, May 15 – June 30,, 2015 http://www.danagallery.com

The Russell Live Auction, Mansfield Convention Center, Great Falls, MT., Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015 http://www.cmrussell.org/the-russell

Booth Western Art Museum “For the Love of Art Gala & Art Auction” – February 21, 2015 www.boothmuseum.org

Altamira Fine Art “Art 2 Art Show”, Jackson, WY. – mid December, 2014 – January 1, 2015 www.altamiraart.com

Tom Gilleon & Laurie Stevens – 2 person show hosted by Altamira Gallery of Jackson, WY. and Creighton Block Gallery of Big Sky, MT., July1 – 18, 2014 http://www.creightonblockgallery.com

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum “Small Works, Great Wonders” Show, Oklahoma City, OK. – Nov. 15 – Dec. 1, 2013 http://nationalcowboymuseum.org/events/swgw/default.aspx

About Me

Stevens’ work reflects the small daily wonders of the land she calls home: the first crocus of spring, the resilient beauty of the plains, or that special sense of hope and possibility that is only found in the West. Stevens is also interested in regional history, particularly the interactions of Native Americans and white settlers during the Reservation Period. Many of her paintings are an exploration of this dynamic and a meditation on the “taming of the West.” From Billings, MT, Laurie began her career as an artist in Los Angeles where she spent 12 years working for the entertainment industry as a scenic artist and muralist for television, theme park, theater and movie productions. She spent time as a member of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, lending her talents to many Disney theme park projects worldwide. She also did some set design, illustration, and matte paintings for several animated childrens’ movies. In the 1980’s Stevens returned to her native Montana, first to the mountains near the Scapegoat Wilderness and then to the ranch near Great Falls where she currently lives and works.

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