72" x 60" Oil on Canvas, custom framed.
A compilation of vistas on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Virginia, this is the seminal piece of the exhibit, evoking a sense of peace and pathways to explore. The two white stripes on the rock are replicas of a “blaze,” or hiker’s map, found throughout the AT. The names on the rock represent some of the important women in the history of the AT, along with co-hikers of the artist.
“Emma” was also known as “Grandma Gatewood,” who first hiked all 2,200 miles of the AT at the age of 68. She went on to hike it 2 more times. Emma was an abused woman who used her eventual fame to advocate for mistreated women. She also was responsible for bringing attention to the needs of the AT, making it safe to travel.
“Peace Pilgrim” is the nickname for Mildred Lisette Norman, who was the first woman to thru-hike the AT in one season. In her lifetime she walked more than 25,000 on a personal pilgrimage for world peace.
“Mary K.” was the first woman to hike the AT in its entirety. She did this by taking section hikes with her husband and completed her goal in 1939.
Blaze is a tribute to the resiliency of women, the power of achieving what others say you can’t do, and the gift of nature on the Appalachian Trail.
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