Jan Mapes

Jan Mapes

The roots of Mapes' professional art career extend deep into childhood, when her family’s love for the outdoors nurtured curiosity and creativity. Her mother taught her to savor the world and love its creatures. Together they got dirt under their nails, climbed trees, caught fireflies in a jar, and fully enjoyed all the wonder of the changing seasons. A heritage was also handed down by her grandfather, who introduced Mapes to the life of a southern cowman, filling her mind and heart until horses, cattle, and cowboys became a craving as strong as sweets.

When Mapes moved west to Colorado, she discovered that horses were everywhere, just as she’d imagined. The West took up residence inside her. Its shapes, colors, and movements drew her in and fed her growing curiosity.

Although art and science often are two different ends of a spectrum, this powerful combination continues to fuel Mapes' passion for nature and the wonder embedded in the fabric of creation.

As she sought to render the wonder around her through art, Mapes realized that an object is not alone, but is defined by its context. Each element in creation or any work of art is dependent on the rest. Order without randomness is boring—they need each other. Her goal is to weave these components together in each painting and sculpture, resulting in a pleasant visual experience much like a great meal or a beautiful symphony.