Don Stinson is known for painting vistas that explore the physical and cultural landscapes of the west. Stinson is drawn to the emerging forms of 21st century energy and communication industries such as wind turbines and cell towers as well as the modern ruins of abandoned gas station canopies and drive-in theatre screens. Don speaks for the importance of painting these realities of the Western Landscape through his work and in public lectures, panels and publications such as the panel discussion “Hudson River Contemporary: Landscape in New American Art at the Art Students League New York, New York and in lectures for the patrons of the Denver Art Museum, the Joslyn Art Museum and the Coors Western Art Advisory Committee. In addition, he has written on the importance of contemporary landscape for Denver Art Museum’s “Elevating Western American Art” published in the spring of 2012.
Stinson’s work does more than simply embody a romantic vision of untouched wilderness areas or put forward evidence of our environmental destruction in the context of a once pristine natural environment. Rather, the power of nature in Don’s work resides in the slow steady erosion of a steel post, the influx of grasses over taking gravel-parking areas or even in the return home of a small house behind a tractor on an isolated piece of decaying road. Stinson states, “I strive to paint with eloquence and grace, a clear-eyed and balanced view of what we make of the landscape and what the landscape eventually makes of us.”
Stinson was born in Amarillo, Texas. He received a BFA in 1978 from the Colorado State University and a MFA in 1982 from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Tufts University.
His solo and group exhibitions in the United States include prominent showings at the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; the Phoenix Art Museum, Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, Wyoming, as a mid-career survey; and, Masterpieces of Colorado a traveling museum show, the Coors Western Art Exhibit, Denver, Colorado, where he was selected as the Featured Artist in 2012, and won Best of Show in 2011.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado featured Don’s work in the exhibit, “Energy Effects Art and Artifacts from the Landscape of Glorious Excess” in 2010.
His work was exhibited at Gerald Peters Gallery in a “Culture and Repose”, a solo show in 2012.
Don also took part in exhibits at Tina Goodwin Fine Art, Denver, David B Smith Gallery, Denver and an earlier Gerald Peters Gallery exhibit, Land Use / Misuse, the celebration and exploitation of the American Landscape, Santa Fe.
Stinson has received the Colorado Council on the Arts Director’s Grant, and is part of the collections of the Denver Art Museum, The Coors Western Art Exhibit Permanent Collection and the Art in Embassies Program in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At Artist Space, New York, Don created a special project with Herbert Muschamp, the late Architecture Critic from the New York Times.
Don currently lives and works in Evergreen Colorado with his wife, Public and Environmental Policy Planner, Barbara Stinson and their three children, Will, Marissa, and Emmett.