The Hampton Classic Horse Show announced Monday, April 21, that Julie Freund has been selected as its 2014 poster artist. Art fans and equestrians eagerly await the Hampton Classic’s artist announcement each year, as the posters are highly sought-after souvenirs of the historic, end-of-summer horse show.
This year, the Hampton Classic Horse Show will run from August 24–31, for its 39th year of world-class equestrian competition in Bridgehampton. The Classic is the culminating event of the Hamptons summer season, and always brings great fanfare, exciting horse jumping and competition, and a bevy of A-list celebrities along the sidelines.
Freund’s poster, titled “Paseo” (a word describing the formal entrance march of bullfighters into an arena or a leisurely stroll), depicts a horse’s shoed feet, legs and tail as it trots along, kicking up dirt behind it.
“In many of my paintings I like to take the everyday images that equestrians see, and create a work of art that is recognizable and yet done in a way that emphasizes the beauty of the sport, and of the animal,” Freund said, describing her inspiration. “Equestrian sport requires training, precise technique and conditioning, just as the act of painting. Both require a knowledge of the materials and patience that when done right produce a wonderful connection to the human center,” the artist added.
“I enjoy using oils because of the paint’s ability to create vibrancy with colors through the process of layering,” Freund said of her approach and choice of materials. “Each of my paintings, including ‘Paseo,’ is composed of several layers of paint, each layer a vital piece to the painting as a whole,” she continued, noting, “Just as riding is a process of layering precise techniques and moments together, the same can be said for painting.”
Equestrian sport has always been a big part of Freund’s life. She has shown in the hunters, jumpers and equitation at many A-rated competitions along the East Coast, ranging from Lake Placid, New York to Ocala, Florida and multiple shows in between.
She attended Bridgewater College in central Virginia, where she majored in the Fine Arts, before transferring to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she recently graduated with a B.F.A in Painting and a double minor in Equestrian Studies and Art History. Freund was a part of both the Bridgewater College and SCAD intercollegiate equestrian teams, and her passion for horses often inspires her work, capturing unique qualities in different horses through various media.
After graduation, Freund taught riding lessons at Belvoir Terrace Performing Arts and Fine Arts summer camp in Lenox, Massachusetts during the summer of 2013. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she rides and trains sport horses at Vintage View Farm in Theinsville, and works as a freelance artist.
“Paseo” references an original photograph by the artist’s friend Olivia Dodd, of a horse named Bogart at the SCAD equestrian center. “I am fortunate enough to have some friends who are amazing photographers, and who are kind enough to allow me rights to their photos for me to use as inspiration for paintings,” Freund said. “Zooming in or cropping an image creates an intimate view of a scene, something that I often do in my work,” she added.
“Any equestrian would recognize this image from everyday barn life,” Freund continued. “This could be any rider, any horse. Anyone could see himself or herself in this piece. It’s a universal image that stretches all through the equestrian sport, not just hunter-jumpers, but also dressage, western, eventing, etcetera,” she said, noting, “Any horse-person can appreciate the beauty in the quiet moment of the horse walking around in the arena after a ride.”
The Hampton Classic features more than 100 classes of competition for horses and riders of all ages. A wide range of jumper, hunter, equitation, short stirrup and leadline classes are part of the Classic’s schedule, as well as competitions for riders with disabilities.
The Classic features six show rings, a Boutique Garden with more than 70 vendors, and a wide selection of dining options, all on its 60-acre show grounds. The Classic’s world-class equestrian competition attracts many of the nation’s top professional and amateur riders, and its Hamptons charm and schedule of family attractions make it the region’s ultimate end-of-summer event.
For more information on the Hampton Classic Horse Show, and to buy posters from 2001–2013 (along with a few signed posters from earlier years), visit hamptonclassic.com or call 631-537-3177. Julie Freund’s poster should also be available online soon!