Heading West: Thayer + Thayer, an exhibition of work by Stamps Lecturer Nancy Thayer and alum Russell Thayer (B.S.Des. 1957), opens on Thursday, July 20 at the Westward Gallery in Denver (4400 Tennyson Street), co-owned by Stamps alum Michelle Courier (BFA ‘87).
The exhibition includes large contemporary mountainscapes by Nancy Thayer and sculpture by Russell Thayer.
Russell Thayer’s small cast bronze figures and large aluminum sculpture in Heading West speaks to a number of strong influences. “My love of architecture, sculpture, dance, poetry and history has influenced and informed my work,” Russell states. “From my student days at the University of Michigan to my most recent pieces, I find pleasure and purpose in creating works that are personal as well as works that are collaborations with various private and public clients.”
Nancy Thayer’s mountainscapes are not site specific, reaching beyond a purely external aspect of landscape to express a fundamental spiritual dimension of the American west’s terrain. “There is a unique spiritual identity or presence of place in each of the many pueblos, reservations, monuments, towns and villages I’ve visited,” Nancy states. “The contrast between these sacred sites and the Detroit communities where I have lived and worked for decades has given me a great appreciation for the land and people who occupy both. I paint not what I see but the spirit and feelings the mountains arouse in me. It is my hope that my paintings will elicit a deep sense of freedom and an awareness of the spiritual nature of mountains that have inspired me to paint them.
The Westward Gallery will host a special U‑M alumni reception on Thursday, July 20 from 6 – 9 pm. The show opens to the general public on Friday, July 21.