Jeanne LaRae’s paintings are at home in the library |

Jeanne LaRae’s paintings are at home in the library

Plein air, studio artist’s works will hang through August

Painter Jeanne LaRae works outside and in her studio to create images of nature. Some of her works are on display at Park City Library.

Jeanne LaRae paints something just about every day. In fact, her home in Midway is filled with images of the Wasatch Back, still lifes of organic fruits and portraits of Park City chefs.

Now many of the paintings that are usually in her house are on display at the Park City Library, and Kate Mapp said they will hang on the second floor through Aug. 26.

"A lot of stuff you can see here are local settings," said Mapp, adult services librarian for the library. "A lot of stuff depicts places in Summit County and Wasatch County."

In March, the library sent out a call for artists, hoping to show work by local or regional creatives.

"Oftentimes, it's difficult to get work in a gallery on Main Street in Park City," Mapp said. "For example, if you're a new artist or trying to bite your teeth into the profession, finding a place to show is tough. This is a really neat way for artists to get exposure in the community."

Mapp added that LaRae fit the bill for what the library's art committee wanted. The committee, made up of Mapp and two other members, felt the artist's work was perfect for a summer show.

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"Jeanne had really great summer themes with lots of greens and natural, warm tones," Mapp said.

The majority of LaRae's work on display in the library's reading room are her plein air paintings, or works she fashioned in the open air.

"If you can get out and paint on location, you start understanding how the camera affects your photos," said LaRae, who is spending the week at a plein air festival in Driggs, Idaho. On Monday, she painted three canvases of the majestic Teton Mountain Range.

"Your lens in your eyes are way better than a camera," she added. "You can pick up subtleties and just really sweet colors your eyes see that the camera doesn't pick up."

LaRae, who is an instructor at the Kimball Art Center, is pleased to have the chance to show off her skills at the library. She is also happy to expose people to her portraits of local chefs. Most of them she doesn't know by name, since she snapped photos of them while they were at work. She said she attempted to stay out of their way.

"I love the kitchen," she said. "I like the whole feeling of it. There is a lot of movement. It's kind of like a symphony."

In addition to being an artist who paints other artists at work, LaRae also dabbles in abstracts and still lifes.

She said she enjoys working in the studio as well, adding that she created a studio piece specifically for the library's Park City room, which is filled with movies, books and magazines about the old mining town.

"I painted the entrance to the mine where it leads up to the mine and it says explosives," LaRae said. "I did that one mostly in palette knife."

LaRae is the first artist to show who responded to the library's call for artists. Mapp said the library will continue to display regional and local art each season. For instance, in Autumn, photographs of fall foliage will hang there.

"For this year, the shows run in the summer, fall and winter," Mapp said. "We'll also have a spring show in 2018. It's fairly common for libraries to host visual arts in their empty spaces and on their walls to make it more of a living room setting.

"That is our vision here at the Park City Library: to become the community's living room."