Carrie Ballantyne Comes Home
Big Horn, WY
Carrie Ballantyne Comes Home, on view at the Brinton Museum, is a bit like a family reunion for the artist, bringing together portraits of people she’s encountered throughout the last 30 years. “When I was a starving artist, all I did was work and sell. I kept hardly any artwork—it just went out the door and I never expected to see it again, so this is going to be really special for me,” Ballantyne says.
The retrospective exhibition features Ballantyne’s works spanning the 1980s to the present, marking the first time the artist will have such a large exhibition so near the place she calls home. Her works have been collected by the Gilcrease Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Booth Western Art Museum and myriad private collectors, and while Ballantyne has lived between Wyoming and Montana most of her life, she says, “This is the first time I’ve done any sort of exhibition within my community, and a lot of people around here aren’t familiar with my work because it doesn’t remain local!”
Ballantyne began drawing people and horses at a young age, and after discovering the art of James Bama, she says, “Portraying individuals in a realistic manner on paper and canvas became a lifetime pursuit and passion.” She taught herself, first with graphite, then worked on mastering colored pencil, charcoal and conté before eventually moving on to oil paint.
Having been immersed in ranch life for decades, her subject matter reflects the people she encounters in her community. “These people are locals. They’re from this region,” she says. “My subject matter is traditional, contemporary ranching culture. They’re true likenesses, individuals in a specific time and place.”
These passionate portraits of Ballantyne’s community will be on view at the Brinton in Big Horn, Wyoming, through July 15.
Great Basin Buckaroo, 2004, colored pencil, 26 x 17”. Loaned from Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Jessie on the Houlihan Ranch, 2015, oil, 20 x 14½”. Loaned from Gary and Susan Miller.
North Country Cowgirl, 2010, oil, 20 x 16”. Loaned from Wayne Rumley.