“Life Lessons” | Rachel Larson Long

In this series of acrylic and mixed media paintings, Rachel Larson Long uses a colorful palette to explore and express the deeper ongoing themes beyond everyday experience. It expresses the “coming to terms” with the challenges and rewards of the middle-age years as a parent, daughter, partner, teacher, and citizen of our changing planet. Combining abstraction and symbolic images, Rachel offers a metaphorical reflection on meaning in life.

A Bozeman, Montana native, Rachel Larson-Long lives in Billings and currently teaches art in the public schools, as well as offering classes for adults. She attended Montana State University for her undergraduate degree, earning a B.A. in Fine Arts and Art Education, with an emphasis in printmaking. She earned her master’s degree in Art Therapy from Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon. Rachel has worked in the fields of art education and art therapy in various Montana communities, including Miles City, Great Falls, and the Mission Valley. She and her husband, Jeff Long, spent four years in the Territory of Guam in the early ‘90’s, where Rachel implemented an art therapy program for children in the public schools. The birth of their daughter, Jenni, and a longing for Montana led them to their current life, where they enjoy contributing to the musical and artistic community.

Rachel’s art reflects her philosophy and emotional life, often using mixed media to develop her personal symbolism. Themes include the unity and flow of all of life and nature, and an elemental spiritualism. She enjoys taking an experimental, sometimes humorous approach, and exploring new realms of imagery and ideas.

“Life Lessons” in the Apple Gallery will be exhibited through March 29, 2012.