Senior Thesis Exhibitions (2021-2022) > Heather Simpson

Artist Statement

Forgotten Stories: Through the Rural Lens

Rural living is commonly associated with the drive-by small towns that are forgotten footprints of past thriving industries. This body of work contradicts those associations by forcing the viewer to take a closer look at the beauty underneath. Small towns are home to some of the best communities to call family, storytellers that share the once rich history, and contain some of the most peaceful land to surround oneself. All these elements are present in rural living; one must simply alter their perspective. These paintings highlight stories, moments, and people that are found within county lines. Some of them may be closer than you think.

Every element within this body of work is intentional. The canvases are the remains of an old work truck, cast aside due to modern desires and left to the elements: the perfect analogy of rural communities. Small towns were once a staple across America, however, due to industrialization and the appeal of large cities, many saw a fast decline in industry and population. Throughout the years many were forgotten and left in the dust. By taking physically cast-aside pieces and painting the forgotten beauty/history of rural life upon their surfaces, one is guided to look at the discarded with new life and new perspective.

Acrylic on Metal
31 x 32 ¾ in.