Artist: Mai Wyn Schantz

Mai Wyn Schantz

I’ve been painting on metal, first aluminum and now stainless steel, for over fifteen years. Initially drawn to the material because of its slickness as a painting surface, I soon recognized it as a means to capture nature in a contemporary context. By exposing areas of the raw metal substrate, a unique juxtaposition results between the industrial material and my nature-based subject matter.

Despite our high tech, modern world we are still innately tied to the land. My paintings are about this relationship. They are an exploration of our evolving and often tenuous union with nature as well as our inherent desire to stay connected to it. My paintings seek out beauty and balance in the unification of these two seeming opposites.

My process for painting on stainless has emerged from my own experimentation with the materials. To ensure good adhesion between the oils and stainless, I use an automotive primer as the foundation. I love the look of the brushed finish steel and therefore do not topcoat with any additional sealers. To keep my paintings looking their best, always handle with the cotton gloves provided and dry dust regularly with a microfiber rag.

Mai Wyn Schantz has been exhibiting professionally for over a decade. Her work is included in many private and corporate collections including Northwestern Mutual Life, Kaiser Permanente and Chevron. In 2006 she was included in her first museum exhibition Up North: Imaging Northwoods Culture and Mythology at the Museum of Wisconsin Art and in 2008, was featured in a solo show at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities in Colorado. She graduated with a BFA in 1999 from Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design in Denver.

Drawn back to the West eight years ago, Schantz lives in Denver with her husband and two cats. Last year she firmly rooted herself in the Denver art community with the opening of her own combined studio-gallery space appropriately named Mai Wyn Fine Art. An avid hiker, Schantz’s love of nature comes from early years spent paddling the lake country of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota with her father.