Abend Gallery, known for its commitment to showcasing a rich variety of representational art, is delighted to present "Space to Breathe: Seeking Solitude Around the World," a solo exhibition by the acclaimed Colorado-based artist Kirsten Savage. This exhibition underscores the gallery's devotion to nurturing and promoting the talents of local artists who excel in this expressive and evocative art form.

Kirsten Savage is a celebrated representational artist based in Colorado. An experienced mountaineer and world traveler, Kirsten's art is a tribute to the natural world's overwhelming beauty, its silence, and its humbling vastness. Her oil paintings are imbued with a sense of contemplation and connection, inviting viewers to engage in critical thinking, personal reflection, and profound observation.

In "Space to Breathe: Seeking Solitude Around the World," Savage draws from her extensive travels and plein air painting experiences to create an array of oil paintings inspired by diverse locales - mountains, deserts, cities, tiny towns, and the isolated figure. Each painting is a testament to the artist's commitment to the preservation of peace and solitude in an increasingly noisy and busy world. It is an invitation to pause and reflect.

Growing up in the Baltimore area surrounded by tall city buildings and towering oak trees, I was easily wrapped up in the noise and drama of my little microcosm. I longed for something different and after graduating from college, I immediately took off on a road trip to explore the southwest. The first stop was Shiprock, the volcanic rock formation in New Mexico. My little Honda hatchback was bouncing erratically along the deeply rutted dirt roads. So, I decided to get out and walk what seemed like a short distance for the remainder of the way. Many hours later, when I finally reached the base of that monolith, I felt humbled. For the first time, I recognized how small I was in this big wide world. The silence was deafening, and I could finally breathe under this new expansive sky.

When I discovered plein air painting, it cracked open a whole new world that married my love of art, outdoor adventure, and international travel. Now an avid backpacker, I began lugging my painting supplies to sparsely populated areas of Colorado, and the most remote regions of Canyonlands National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. As I explored beyond the shores of the U.S., my trusty pochade box was set up for work in tiny rural fishing villages in Mexico, rooftops in Rome, and the wind-whipped Cornish coastline of the United Kingdom. I painted in the endless golden hour of Sweden’s sun, on misty days echoing with cowbells in the Swiss Alps, and amidst the hypnotic tones of Morocco’s call-to-prayer.

This series of oil paintings inspired by my extensive travels includes seascapes, mountains, deserts, major cities, tiny towns, and the solitary figure. Whether it is at home or abroad, I see my artwork as a gift of quiet observation. Recognizing that we must protect ourselves from the psychological effects of the constant barrage of sound, stimulus, and information in a technological world- I paint each scene with a sense of peace and solitude. Ultimately, each creation is an invitation for the viewer to pause for a moment of self-reflection that our hectic lives so desperately need.

(Kirsten Savage)