March 6 – April 18, 2020
Bush Barn Art Center
Tara Choate is the recipient of the People’s Choice Award from 2019’s “Salem Salon” exhibition. The award was an exhibition in SAA’s Focus Gallery. This exhibition features a variety of colorful watercolor and acrylic paintings depicting landscapes and animals.
Featured Artwork: Tara Choate, “Shy”
When I entered my painting in the Salem Salon show, I wasn’t sure how viewers would react. The watercolor painting I entered is called Loss. While on the surface it was a painting about a heron, the deeper truth is that the painting was about the death of my mother. I painted Loss in the last 24 hours of her life. The theme of communicating a story beyond the simple painting is crucial to my work. My images are about an animal or a place, but in every piece, there is a back story that I am trying to express. Animals hold a special place in my life. I work a great deal from photographs, but I often add vivid color or symbols to convey meaning. I enjoy the challenge of trying to make the viewer understand the story that’s in my head. Even my landscapes are about the feel of the wind or the taste of the wine I’m sipping.
When offered a show at the Salem Art Association’s Bush Barn, I thought about what I wanted to do with this opportunity. I wanted to paint a series and I wanted it to be about Salem. My first thought was Minto Brown, the place where I go every chance I get. While I enjoy the trails and the nature watching opportunities, it is the dog park where I feel a soul connection. In this show, the viewer will see several painting sequences. The Dogs of Minto Brown series is my most recent series. The horses’ legs paintings, a loose chain of ideas I have dubbed Hoofprints, is my longest running experiment. The landscapes are all done plein air and express my joy in the landscape, but also an exploration of trying to go beyond the surface.
I’ve flirted with art making my entire life. My dad was an art teacher; he taught me to draw, then refused to allow me coloring books. After taking many art classes in high school, I unfortunately let art drop from my life. In 2006, several things changed in my life, and I had to find a creative outlet again. After taking a watercolor class, I began anew as an artist. I’ve stayed with watercolor, though recently I’ve added some acrylic, collage, and even oil painting to my repertoire.
You can view a gallery of Tara’s works, as well as upcoming events and works in progress at www.tarachoate.com.
Gallery images may be cropped – click each to see in full-size!