Plain Views: Watercolors by Judy Thompson

Frontier Friends by Judy Thompson

Detail from "Frontier Friends" by Judy Thompson.

Boundless. This word is often used to describe the land of the Northern Plains. From horizon to horizon, we are blessed with 360 degrees of splendor around us at all times.

The majesty that we have been gifted, in the remarkable place that many of us call home, will be on full display in the gallery exhibition, "Plain Views: Watercolors by Judy Thompson." From the simplicity of waves of prairie grass moving in unison, to the complexity of the muscles of a horse midstride, Judy Thompson illuminates all that is in our everyday “plain view” with a palette of surprising colors and brush strokes as bold as the people who live and breathe the grace and dignity of prairie life.

“God’s eternal power and immutable nature pulse through this landscape revealing His love and faithfulness — season upon season — eon upon eon. It is a place to humbly contemplate our humanity and revel in God’s handiwork.” — Judy Thompson

Included in this exhibition is Judy’s Homestead Series, created during an artist residency at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE, and currently part of the Touring Arts roster through the South Dakota Arts Council.

Added to the original 12 paintings in this series are two artworks commissioned by the South Dakota Historical Society Press for their Pioneer Girl Project. The paintings, "Silver Lake Reflections" and "Summer Fields," provide the cover art for "Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder" and "Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder," respectively.

"Plain Views: Watercolors by Judy Thompson" opens October 22, 2018, and runs through February 11, 2018, in the Madsen/Nelson/Elmen Galleries of the Fantle Building. An opening artist reception will be held October 24, 2018, from 5-7 p.m.

About the Artist:

Judy Thompson is an award-winning artist who paints the people and places of the Great Plains. Much of her work is inspired by the vast vistas and rugged expanses of South Dakota. Her vibrant watercolor paintings, described as "beautiful images which capture a sense of place," have toured throughout the Midwest. Born and raised near Chicago, she now calls Orange City, IA, her home. 

Judy’s artwork has received national and regional awards, including first place honors in the annual juried Iowa Watercolor Society Exhibition. In 2010, Judy was selected by the National Park Service as artist-in-residence at the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE. She was invited for a second artist residency at Badlands National Park in Interior, SD, in 2013. 

Judy is a signature member of Artists of the Black Hills, the Iowa Watercolor Society, and is a new member of the Great Plains Watercolor Society in Sioux Falls. She is both a Touring Artist and an Artist-in-Schools-and-Communities with the South Dakota Arts Council. You can find her artwork at Prairie Edge Fine Art in Rapid City, SD; Lanesboro Arts in Lanesboro, MN; and online at