Nate Hurst, Visual Artist


For the fifteen years that I’ve been painting, I’ve been interested in the subject of the human figure and more specifically, the ability of the portrait to tell a story. At times, I choose to work abstractly in order to free myself from representation and disengage from the figure. This allows me to loosen my focus and work more intuitively to uncover new approaches to my technique. Inevitably, I find myself returning to the figure with new problems to solve or ideas to experiment with.


A few years ago I traveled with my father to Santa Barbara, California to visit my grandfather just before he passed away. During our visit he gave me an old panoramic photograph taken during his childhood. The photo is of the annual Peach Blossom Festival in Fort Valley, Georgia in the 1920s. I took to the photo with an investigative curiosity and began a series of paintings based on some of the figures in the photograph that I found to be particularly interesting.


What drew me to the photograph were the unique expressions on the individual faces. Like characters in a story, each person seemed to possess their own backstory and potential for

narrative. After enlarging and cropping the photo in several different configurations, I was able to isolate smaller groups of people and focus on more simple compositions for these pieces. In a photograph containing hundreds of people, the expressions are endless and the stories limitless.


Working in watercolor can be unforgiving, but I’ve found that it has the ability to create beautiful results. Its strength lies in the use of transparent layering to achieve complex, yet subtle shifts in value and color that allow the viewer to observe the process of the painting in detail.



Nathan Hurst is an artist and musician from the Black Hills. He received his BA in Painting from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Brian Peck, Furniture Artist


I have lived most of my life in Western South Dakota and began working with wood seriously in the 1980s. Throughout the years I have honed and expanded my technical abilities.


Now I get excited to simply highlight the texture and natural beauty of wood, some of God’s best artwork. It is a special challenge and delight, to take this material and present it in a functioning piece of art.

Eric Sutton, Furniture Artist


Art has been among the evidence that has proven to us the existence of civilizations in the past……

That they had art, convinces us that they were intelligent.

Art will be among the evidence found by future civilizations that proves we were here.

Art spurs a culture’s growth by exposing observers to a view that exists beyond their established boundaries, showing those boundaries to be nothing more than imagined.

Art exists all around us,

an artist can’t help but see it, can’t help but try to reproduce it, can’t help but point it out in this way.

Art is not practical in the same way that food or shelter or money is. It is one of the necessities within and beyond those things.

It is mingled in with how we get those things and what we focus on after we have them. It is bound with our sense of purpose, along with love, and our beliefs of what is possible.

Take a moment to consider what art means to the legacy, and potentially, even the existence of a



My name is Eric Sutton, I have a deep appreciation for  the natural world, especially the mountains and the more remote areas. The world is an absolute work of art, I am reminded of this by living where I live, and by travelling, or by going outside at night and just looking up. In this fast paced society, I take the time to do these things, and that keeps an artful view at the forefront of who I am and what I do. There is so much more to life than anyone ever has imagined. I expect there is more than everyone even can imagine, and that is much of what makes it so worthwhile. I also enjoy movies, and restaurants, books, the convenience of smart phones, and so many other technological aspects of our world. I just refuse to leave what might be considered old fashioned things behind because they bring so much richness to my existence. I strive to keep priorities straight in my life. When I struggle with a decision, I imagine it from the perspective of laying in my deathbed. From there I don’t say things like, ” I should have spent less time with my wife and kids to make more money”. From that bed, I am glad I tried so hard at life, did so much, stayed so curious, did what I could just because I was able to. Being proud of my life at the end of it, is the noblest goal I can imagine reaching. That is how I raise my kids, climb rocks, build furniture, follow my passions………. I will continue to grow and be changed by the world, but I expect to maintain and build on this philosophy in the midst of that. Wish me luck.


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