Artists / Colorado

Jan Mapes

Kim, CO

The roots of Jan’s professional art career extend deep into childhood, where her family’s love for the outdoors nurtured curiosity and creativity. Her mother taught her to savor the world and love its creatures. Together they got dirt under their nails, climbed trees, caught fireflies in a jar and fully enjoyed all the wonder of the changing seasons. A heritage was also handed down by her grandfather who introduced Jan to the life of a southern cowman, filling her mind and heart until horses, cattle, and cowboys became a craving as strong as sweets!

When Jan moved west to Colorado, she discovered that horses were everywhere, just like she’d imagined. The West took up residence inside of her. Its shapes, colors and movements lured her in, and fed her growing curiosity.

Although art and science often hold up two different ends of a spectrum, this powerful combination continues to fuel a passion in Jan for nature and the wonder tucked into the fabric of creation. As she sought to render the wonder around her through art, Jan began to realize that an object is not alone but is defined by its context: whether it is larger than, brighter than, quicker than … what is next to it. Each element in creation, or any work of art, is dependent on the rest. Order without randomness is boring, they need each other!

Her goal is to weave these components together in each painting and sculpture, resulting in a pleasant visual experience much like a great chef’s meal or a beautiful symphony. This is Jan’s fourteenth year exhibiting at Cowgirl Up! where she has previously won both “Best of Show” and the “Museum Purchase Award.”

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