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The Art of the Horse
By Amy Herzog
he horse is many things: the state animal of New
Jersey, a symbol of the Wild West, a loyal partner
to Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger and a subject
of art. In 1980, with equine art in mind, 10 creative minds
began feverishly working on a revolutionary idea. In order
to promote equine fne art and maintain a certain degree
of excellence in the work, why not gather the fnest artists
currently creating works for a meeting of the minds. A forum
if you will, to learn and bounce ideas off of colleagues.
This idea eventually blossomed into The American Academy of
Equine Art, Inc, or AAEA, a non-proft organization loosely based
on the Royal Academy of Arts London, working to maintain a
degree of excellence in the genre while promoting the equine form
in academic representation in drawing, painting and sculpture,
according to the organizations website.
“The AAEA is a unique organization. There is nowhere else in
this country to fnd the level of art training, via our workshops, which
is specifcally aimed toward equine art. The Founding Members
created the AAEA in 1980 with the intent of continuing the legacy
of the masters of the Equine art genre and maintaining the high
quality of the art form. The idea was to pass the knowledge down
by way of the workshops”, said Xochitl (Sheila) Barnes, artist and
President of AAEA.
Lady in Red, 24 x 20, oil
AAEA began offering workshops in 1992, offering a path
continuing education through new techniques or maybe a new
subject such as horseracing for a painter who has previously
focused on horses in paddocks at play or in felds at work. They
also serve as valuable critique sessions. For Sheila, the workshops
offered by the AAEA hold a special place in her heart for it was
Hunting Girl, Oil, 20 x 16, oil
Xochitl (Sheila) Barnes, artist and President of AAEA