Lead Artist: Bryce Pettit

Bryce grew up surrounded by the nature of the west. His deep love for the world around him and his desire to create art have always been closely linked. When he entered college, he studied biology and the natural sciences followed by graduate studies in ecology. Eventually his passion for art became undeniable and he focused full time on an art career the moment he left grad school. 
Pettit has 20 years of sculpting under his belt. He chosen subject is, of course, wildlife. He has been selected for several monumental public works including for the Tulsa International Airport, the Maritime Museum in Ludington Michigan, the Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kawai, Hawaii as well as a substantial collection of libraries, schools, and public parks.
Pettit was interviewed by Western Art & Architecture in August of 2017 where he explained, "My art philosophy is: you put good things into your life, good things into all you do, and good things will come out. So I spend a lot of time outside, reading, doing things I love, and it comes out in my art. Sometimes the piece refers to a story or an experience I’ve had while on the river or hiking. I’ll have 20 ideas and maybe only get to two of those. These are the ones I really can’t leave alone.”
When asked what he is looking forward to most about the public art piece for Durango, Pettit answered "Working with the people of Durango. I love this town and see this as an opportunity to give something back. We want to make something really special."
www.brycepettit.com

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"I love this town and see this as an opportunity to give something back. We want to make something really special."

Lead Artist: Allison Leigh Smith

Allison Leigh Smith has been a professional artist for 15 years. The span of her career has touched on many facets in the arts including textile design, education director at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, and art gallery director on the island of Maui for 7 years.
These days however, you will find her surrounding herself with her highest passion: animals. Smith spends much of her time volunteering for wildlife rescues where she befriends the organizations and the animals they seek to rescue and return to the wild. She photographs her subjects and then paints them in painstaking detail in oil.
As a result of this work, Smith says, "I no longer differentiate between my vocation and avocation. The work I do for animals, although difficult, intimidating, and humble, is the most emotional and meaningful of my life. My paintings are an extension of the time and heart I put in with the animals." 
Southwest Art Magazine named Smith an "Artist to Watch" in their June 2018 issue. 
"In the paintings of Allison Leigh Smith, one can’t help but notice the endearing expressions of the animals that star in them. The artist has a knack for capturing the personalities of her furry and feathered subjects with technical dexterity, emotion, and humor." -Kim Agricola
Smith expects some challenges to come up while working to complete the Durango Public Art Project, titled Common Threads. "The aim of this project is to include a whole community. We want to please as many people as possible which is difficult to begin with, but it's important to me that it be surprising and thought provoking, as well. The challenge will be in delivering real artistic achievement while responding to the voices of an entire community."
Then Smith added, "I think we can do it though. In fact, I can't wait."
www.allisonleighsmith.com

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"The challenge will be in delivering real artistic achievement while responding to the voices of an entire community. I think we can do it though.
In fact, I can't wait."