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Update June 21-July 4: Art Grows Rexburg and Salmon ID

These have been the "Weeks of the Bison." After spending a month or so obsessed with painting bison, the payoff has started. The three "contemporary realism" bison that have been in process in the studio have all made their journey to different locations: Frame of Mind Missoula, a collector in Missoula, and Art Grows Rexburg. We had a great time delivering these pieces and seeing their successes these past few weeks.

Shows & Festivals

  • This is Colter's third year submitting to Art Grows Rexburg, and his first year in the "professional" category. It was tempting to submit work to the "amateur" category, but decided in order to show our commitment to taking art seriously, that we would compete with the professionals. We submitted "American Icon" and "Our Shared Symbol." After receiving a promising email, Colter decided the day before the reception to drive up to Rexburg to attend it in person. It was well worth it as he was awarded 3rd place in the professional category for "American Icon." The show will run through July 14th at the Hemming Village Lobby and Atrium.

Colter May at Art Grows Rexburg with American Icon

  • The initial bison study, "Prairie Phantom" is now on display at Frame of Mind Missoula. There will be an opening reception on July 9th from 5:30-8 pm where there will be an awards ceremony. We will not be able to attend, but are grateful to have art on display there.

  • The results for the Art Show International Animals competition came through, and Colter's 2nd bison study received a merit prize. We are excited to be participating in Art Show International for these exhibitions.

  • The next show on our radar is the JKR Business Card Show. Colter spent last week sketching, designing and painting the 10 business card sized landscapes that he will have for sale.


  • We are still waiting and hoping for a first sale through Corwin Galleries. They are picking up business, and we hope to be part of that success.


  • There has been great progress on Timpanogos. The reference is finalized and the blocking in phase is in progress. The warm sunset reflecting off of the snow and clouds is an exciting project!

  • Big Sur has come a long way this week, as well. After going through quite a few iterations of reference photos, Colter used a video and multiple photos to assemble the ideal reference photo. We are thrilled to be working on this project, and Colter is starting a smaller study that will serve as a reference for the final, full-sized piece.


  • Brian Astle, Colter's BYU-I mentor and painting teacher was the keynote speaker at the Art Grows Rexburg reception. His message was about the inherent value of art, whether or not it "wins" the competition. This really resonated, because it consistently feels like there are more losses than wins, but we really believe that as we keep putting ourselves out there, wins will keep coming our way.

  • It was really fun to meet Donnie Tapp and his family. We have admired his work since we have been introduced to it, and are in a similar phase of life, so can really relate with them.

  • It was also great to catch up with Ryan Muldowney, and receive an in person critique. His piece "Man of Sorrows" a striking portrait of Christ, won the competition. Colter received great feedback on how to strengthen the physical paint texture in my work.


  • After a few weeks of lots of driving it was really nice to have a week or so of "normal" life. It didn't last long, though, because we left for an annual extended family gathering in Salmon ID. We spent time with people we loved floating the river, playing lots of corn hole, going on some beautiful (and long) runs, and collecting so much candy at a parade. This was our girls' first tent camping of the season, and for the most part it was a success... until 2 year old molars started coming through. Thank goodness for Tylenol and sleeping in carseats.

Colter May Salmon Idaho

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