Atherton, CA – June 4, 2018
Menlo Charity Horse Show is pleased to announce Rachel Saunders as Artist of the Year for 2018. Rachel is a native Colorado oil painter living and working in Denver. An equestrian herself, Rachel has a keen interest in the horse/human relationship. Rachel works in a variety of styles from carefully rendered subjects to a more recent exploration of expressive shapes and brushwork. Actively engaging with her subject matter, her work always asks, “What is the relationship between the animal and human? And in what way does their harmony, or discord, express itself?”
Rachel originally went to school to earn a degree in Art History at the University of Colorado in Boulder and went on to Hunter College in New York City to receive her Masters Degree in Art History. While in New York she worked at the prestigious Jack Tilton Gallery in SoHo, NY where she expanded her knowledge of modern art. After returning to her home town of Denver she founded a decorative arts company and worked as a decorative artist and muralist for over a decade. Rachel’s decorative paintwork and murals have been featured in New York Magazine, 5280 Magazine, Colorado Homes and Lifestyles, as well as the historic Grant-Humphries Mansion in Denver and the home of Federico Pena, former Secretary of Transportation.
Through the years her original love of horses never left her and eventually she turned to fine art with the horse/human relationship as her primary theme. A previously self-taught artist, the years spent in the decorative painting field helped to prepare Rachel for the switch to painting on canvas. Once deciding to go into fine art Rachel studied under Sandra Kaplan and Jill Soukup at the Art Students League of Denver, and most recently been in a mentorship with master artist, Molly Davis.
The artwork titled ‘Dappled Grey’ in its original format is a 16 x 20 oil on canvas. “The inspiration for this piece came directly from a horse and rider pair I observed at the Colorado Horse Park.” explained Rachael. “Their particular harmony was so dynamic and fluid it was very compelling to watch. I happened to capture in photographs some great moments during their ride and from those photos sprang the idea for the painting. Spending time with horses and the people who love them is a source of great joy in my life and so being chosen as Menlo Charity Horse Show’s Artist of the Year is a huge honor. I have admired the work of past chosen artists so much and feel privileged to be included amongst them.”
Rachel has received the Marilyn Newmark award for painting at the American Academy of Equine Art, and an Honorable Mention award for a piece at the Rocky Mountain Art in the Park show. She has been selected as a finalist in Southwest Art’s Magazine Artistic Excellence contest and been a featured artist in The Chronicle of the Horse magazine.
To learn more about Rachel Saunders Fine Art, please visit www.rsaundersfineart.com
The Menlo Charity Horse Show, a 501(C)(3) organization recognized as a USEF Heritage Competition, benefits Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired by producing a premiere equestrian event while educating the community on the issues of the visually impaired.