Tomorrow is the first day of the NJ Equine Artist’s Association art show! It runs though November 29. Nancy Wiemer Belden is going to be exhibiting her two sculptures , “Wounded Soldier” and “Surprise Attack “! Since this event is starting this weekend, I thought it would be great to feature Nancy and her sculptures!
New Jersey Equine Artists’ Association (NJEAA)
Founded In: 1999
The New Jersey Equine Artists’ Association (NJEAA) was founded in 1999 with the purpose of promoting Equine Art and Artists in the state of New Jersey. Through exhibiting the state’s finest examples of painting and sculpture depicting the horse in its many forms and occupations, activities, relationships with man through history and in the present, the organization is generating increased interest in the field of equine art among art lovers, horse enthusiasts and the general public.
By providing information, education, networking and additional opportunities for exhibition in New Jersey, the NJEAA strives to serve the Equine Artist, from beginner to professional. Not only is the horse New Jersey’s state animal, but also one of its major industries. Equine Artists create a well defined presence, and are an additional arm of this industry, an accessible resource with greater visibility.
National Juried exhibitions are held biennially, and invitational shows on alternate years. The first several exhibits were at the Purnell School’s gallery in Pottersville. After outgrowing this venue the organization moved to Somerset Art Association (now Center for Contemporary Art), Bedminster from 2002-2010. Other venues have included North Branch of the Hunterdon County Library, Clinton and Prallsville Mills, Stockton.
This year NJEAA director Sheila Barnes is proud to announce the opening of the latest juried group event “ NJEAA Art of the Horse,” at the bucolic Friends of the Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The show will be on display from Saturday, October 18 –Saturday November 29. Opening reception is Sunday, October 19 2:00-4:00 p.m. There is no charge and all are invited to attend~
Nancy Wiemer Belden~ Artist
Location: Newton, N.J, USA
I first started drawing horses as a child in my hometown of Dunkirk, New York. My love of art comes from my love of horses. During my childhood, I never owned a horse, so I had to look for horses in pastures to pet, or hang out at the county fairgrounds barn where Standardbreds and riding horses were boarded. At this time, I lived with my grandparents. Their home was across the street from the fairgrounds. In the mornings, I could watch the race horses training on the track, and after school, I would be at the barns to either hand graze a horse or draw my favorite horses. After showing some interest in art, my Grandfather bought me my first oil paints and made me canvases from cardboard covered with cheesecloth soaked in a plaster-like solution.
During my time on Long Island, New York, I did oil portraits of horses, raised four children, many pets, several horses and, when my husband, an equine veterinarian needed an extra hand, I would help him on farm calls with children in tow!
After moving to Newton, New Jersey in 1980, I made my art a profession, first oil painting portraits of horses, then teaching myself to sculpt. I love to sculpt all breeds; it becomes a constant learning experience. A sculpture should also tell a story. The “Lost Hound” bronze is a real story. While on a hunt in northwestern, New Jersey, a hound wandered into a swamp area and couldn’t get out. We could not see him, only hear his howls. One of the hunt followers waded into the cold water and was able to get the hound to follow him out. I took the picture of the huntsman looking for his hound and, therefore, the idea for the sculpture, “The Lost Hound.”
Lately, I’ve become interested in historical work and have sculpt a Civil War piece (Going Home), Joan of Arc, and a Russian Troika. I have the center horse finished, but need to do more research to finish it with the two outside horses, and a sleigh with Borzois hounds in it. Like I said before, it’s a constant learning experience. I research every piece I do, and I went to a carriage museum in Pennsylvania to take pictures and notes on a real Troika harness.
Besides doing my own limited edition work, I’ve done trophies for horse shows. For example, Fair Hill International, Festival of Champions, Gladstone Driving, a memorial on Long Island, also the World Championship Singles Driving Trophy for Gladstone Driving, but unfortunately the show was cancelled because of the West Nile Virus. I’ve done commissioned bronze portraits and freelance sculpture for companies who produce and market it in porcelains or resins; The Franklin Mint, Brielle Gallery, Austin Productions, Stallions U.S.A., Sam’s Celestial Treasures, All Things Equine, Bow River Jewelry and Oklahoma Casting. I have exhibited my work at many art shows and have several awards including the AAEA Founders Award 1997.
I still have my horses on my property which is surrounded by State land and plenty of trails. I feel so lucky to be able to ride my horse out in the woods, which gives me peace of mind and helps me to think of a new sculpture. My horses are also my models, and it’s wonderful to be able to watch them from my worktable. There is nothing as good as the real thing. I’ve ridden my Thoroughbred dressage, and my Quarter Horse in pleasure and trail horse classes, but to see them playing and running at liberty in the pasture is a beautiful picture.
I Asked Nancy A Few Questions….Here Are Her Answers!
Q:What do you find as the most challenging to do when working with bronze?
A: The hardest part of sculpture is getting all your information correct because sculpture is 3D and you have to be correct on all sides.
Q: If you had the chance to do any discipline/horse in bronze, what/who would you do?
A: I like doing all disciplines of the horse world,from a standing foal, to a charging band of Native Americans, to Historical events. It keeps you learning new things since you need to research the discipline you are doing. I think I would love to sculpt Chief Joesph on the trail of tears!
And here are some of Nancy’s Painted Sculpeys…..
Hope you enjoyed today’s post!! Come back this Tuesday for a very SWEET post!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !