The annual Hampton Classic poster is as iconic as the horse show itself, and the 2011 Classic poster is no exception. The original work by award-winning international artist Patrick Reid O’Brien, of Lutherville, Maryland, joins the annals of artwork that have illustrated equestrian scenes from the Bridgehampton show grounds for decades.
O’Brien, who has had a booth at the Hampton Classic for the past two years, has painted since he was a young boy. In college, O’Brien studied oil painting under Professor Thomas Rowe, a student of the realist school of Jaques Maroger from the Maryland Institute College of Art. O’Brien graduated with honors from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he received a BA in Fine Art.
O’Brien’s paintings are not just limited to horse show scenes. Recently, his painting of the U.S. Capitol was selected by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society to be placed on the cover of the official U.S. House and Senate Calendar. This is fitting, as O’Brien is a direct, albeit distant, descendent of Thomas Ustick Walter, architect of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
“I love hearing people say that when they look at my work it speaks to what they care about,” says O’Brien. “They say I include things that really resonate with them and that are a big part of their life. Whether it is equestrian sports, a town that they visit frequently or went to as a kid, or whether it’s a favorite family pet, when I see them smiling and they say ‘wow, that’s cool’ I know that I’ve really connected with them.”