By: Jacob Hawthorne
Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery
Home, home on the range. Where John Deere and Lady Antebellum play. Life on the farm in rural America has been romanticized in music, art and photography for countless generations. From country music to an extremely famous painting of a farmer and his wife, the tropes of humble living and earning your keep exude through these images and resonate with a large crowd.
Farmers live an interesting life. They live in near isolation on enormous plots of land, providing for entire populations with sustenance. They rarely have the opportunity to venture into the urban centers which they feed and as such may feel out of touch with the modern cultural advancements of urban society. While city environments are seen as hotbeds of cultural progression, the rural environments are mostly a recipient to the discussions of urban folk, with little chance to provide input. In recent years, this idea seems to be spinning on its head; with the election in 2016 and the upcoming election of 2020, it seems that those living in rural Midwest America are flexing their newfound voice and opinion. Farm culture, also known as agriculture (kidding), is once again becoming more notable and established, as seen in its reemergence in music, film and art. Famous vintage farm art in the United States dates back to early 1600s with iconic pieces by Flemish artists, Dutch artists like Peter Paul Rubens, Italian artists, French artists, as well as German artists like Jean-Francois Millet. Artists from all over the globe have taken the opportunity to memorialize the American farm landscape, even the likes of Claude Monet.
There is no more of a popularized trope than that of a farmer and his tractor, as captured here in Missouri Rusting Truck by Lowe. The earth tones found in the rusted orange truck exterior with the brown wheat grass humbly amplify the bright sky and light-emitting headlights, which act as a sort of time capsule to remind the audience that this is still modern day, with modern day technology. The sun-beaten exterior of the truck pays subtle homage to the sun-weathered skin of the farmer that rises with the sun to start a long day of hard work. The truck is seen as the workhorse, aiding and abetting the farm workers to complete their daily tasks.
The classic trucks of the day like the Ford truck or Chevy truck may still appear on the lots of many worksites. These are vintage trucks that are highly desirable when cared for and in near-mint condition. But left uncared for, they by now have collected a fair amount of surface rust, the telltale sign of aging. Rust occurs when there is a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen, also known as iron oxide; basically, rust occurs when iron is exposed to air or water for prolonged periods of time, a symbol for the degradation of time. Preventing rust is easy through regular cleaning and waxing, while treating rust is a time consuming process that requires the hands of an expert auto-mechanic. So as the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.”
Lowe’s affinity towards capturing vehicles stems from the fact that her family ran an auto glass business when she was growing up, and she notes that she “went from working on cars to driving a semi.” This love for driving has clearly come full-circle in her life as she currently travels across the United States as a truck driver with her fiancé, and while doing so, is constantly inspired to capture the picturesque scenes they pass by each day.
The almost daily travel as a truck driver is ideal for Lowe because the roadside scenery is rich with inspiration for a talented photographer with a keen eye: “We’ve been so many different places, California to Florida, Colorado and Maine, South Texas…we drive about 9,000 miles a month…we never really go to the same place twice.” From rusted trucks to rusted bridges, to beaches from coast to coast, to architectural accents and amazing sunsets, she and her handy-dandy camera captures them all and puts them to canvas or digital print. Lowe carries a deep appreciation for nature and her surroundings, which translates to her artistic expression and is evident in her prints and images. Her photographic themes include “a lot of nature…landscapes and flowers, trees, certain seasons, the clouds and the sunsets, the weather.”
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an art collector in search of inspiring works to fill your home, Schmidt Fine Art Gallery is here to service you. We are a gallery for the artist by the artist. Our mission is to serve as the place for artists to simply sell art, without the overburdening of promotion, marketing and running a start-up business. We are committed to producing high-quality, museum grade products and timeless works of art on canvases or print that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Schmidt Gallery was founded by Kurt Schmidt with the vision to establish a photo-centric gallery in the heart of Montgomery county, Texas. Although it is all run online at the moment, Schmidt Gallery has dreams of opening up a brick and mortar gallery in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Schmidt Fine Art Gallery was founded in March 2020 as a startup funded by All ARK LLC.