Dorset photographer Lisa Cueman dates her never ending love affair with horses from that event, and carries that interest through today in her photography.
"I basically grew up on the back of a horse," she said, adding that today she calls herself an "equine photographer." All of her photographs in one way or another involve horses, she said.
Cueman will be one of about 13 artists who will be contributing pieces of art for a special exhibit opening at Tilting at Windmills Gallery Friday, July 27. Called "Spirit of the Horse," the show will feature about 45 artworks, mostly paintings and photographs. Eight of them will be very large black-and -white photographs taken by Cueman and made into remarkably detailed digitally generated chromogenic prints.
The show is a tribute both to horses and to the Vermont Summer Festival, better known in some quarters as the Dorset Horse Show, which is currently in progress in East Dorset at the Beebe Farm.
An opening reception will be held Friday, July 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. Gallery director Lisa Helmholtz-Adams said the show and its opening reception were ways of not only pulling together several well-known artists with ties to the area who have produced some original art for the show, but as a way to say thanks to the horse riders, trainers owners and fans who attended the Dorset Horse Show and who
"It's really about appreciating the horse festival," she said. "A lot of the people who ride here and jump at the festival for six weeks are a lot of the people who come here."
In addition to the horse show making a major impact on the area's economy, she had also gotten to know many of the horse show participants as friends, and wanted to do something keyed towards them, she said.
That led to recruiting several of the artists represented at Tilting at Windmills to produce an original piece of art that had some kind of horse theme. In addition to Cueman's close up photographs, there's one painting by Frank Magsino of a Wild West scene involving a stage coach wing pursued by Indians on horseback, titled "Fight for Life."
Another is a painting by Oscar Durand of a former championship race horse now peacefully living out his days in a pasture. The picture is based on a horse owned by the artist's daughter, Helmholtz-Adams said.
"I find this a very tender painting," she said. "It's special, because it was a chance (for Durand) to get close to a horse and see how his daughter sees the horse in the post-competition phase of its life."
There are many more, as well as some equine-themed jewelry made by Terry Lindsy.
Like Cueman, Helmholtz-Adams was a fan of horses from an early age.
She grew up riding horses in Africa as a youngster, and can appreciate the amount of work that goes into caring for them, she said.
The reception this Friday will also feature entertainment by the Patti Smith Trio, as well as a selection of local foods and cheeses. The show will be on display for the next two weeks.
Artists taking part in the show, besides Cueman, Durand, Lindsy and Magsino, include Douglas Flackman, Timothy Barr, Elizabeth Torak, Steven Stroud, Michael Fratrich, Gerald Lubeck, Mark Wilson-Meunier, Lefu Gu and Louis Guarnaccia. For more information about the exhibit and the opening reception, call Tilting at Windmills Gallery at 802-362-3022.