Using the horse as a vehicle for expression, my work captures the spiritual aspects in nature that relate with the human condition. I embrace our innate desire to understand our existence and find it beautiful that our complexities are all so similar. For the viewer, I strive to portray that the horses are able to consider the intricacy of their place in this world. Through layers of paint I hope to capture the movements of the horses, letting them fade in and out to create an element of time and a sense of mystery. Sketched lines remain in these layers, as in our lives the past remains important to our future, while areas of the image disappear mysteriously into the background creating an urgent tension to grasp the image in its entirety.
Kristen Vails was raised in Piedmont, Oklahoma and received her BFA in Painting from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. Her work has been exhibited at Norman Firehouse Art Center, Mainsite Art, Leslie Powell Gallery, Tulsa Artists Coalition, Lovett’s Fine Art, Chisholm Trail Heritage Center and numerous galleries and group exhibitions across the state. Kristen’s artwork is complimented by her passion for the local art community where she has served various roles with Norman Firehouse Art Center, Oklahoma City’s Plaza District Association, and currently as the Director of Community Outreach for Fowler Holding Company, a 2017 Business in the Arts Award recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Fresh Start program, an art studio housed in Oklahoma City’s day shelter for the homeless.