Wagner House Art Series presents:

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Erik Fremstad: Unnatural Selection

February 16 - April 7, 2024

Artist Reception: February 16, 5-7 pm


Erik Fremstad creates art with a message—to educate and inspire people to take action to help protect wildlife and our planet. His wildlife paintings demand attention with their powerful imagery, but it’s upon closer inspection that we see their true meaning.

"From a distance these paintings appear to be your regular old unsuspecting paintings of animals,” says Fremstad. “However, as the viewer is drawn in closer, they reveal in elaborate detail and imagery the human impact on wildlife and the natural world.”

Unnatural Selection comprises six paintings—a bison, wolf, grizzly bear, pollinators, sea turtle, and polar bear—created by Fremstad between 2018 and 2023. In each piece, Fremstad details the devastation to the North American species through a meticulous process. 

“Each of these paintings tells the history of persecution of each species (or group of species) in North America,” says Fremstad. “Thirty million bison were slaughtered to create farms—many of which were not sustainable—and control Indigenous people. Two million wolves were killed letting prey populations explode, and grizzly bears were nearly eliminated from the lower 48 states entirely. Habitat loss, pesticides and climate change stress pollinators and threaten our food supply. All of these stories are unique to each animal, yet they are all intertwined to tell the cost to nature in the name of ‘progress.’”

Canis Lupus final touches
Pollinators Final Touches
First 3 paintings

After months of research and note taking, he writes out the stories in detail, using words and drawings to form the outline of each animal, first in pencil and then in ink. Biological information, sketches of historical photos, maps and graphs provide a full perspective of the issues that threaten each species. Once the outline is complete, Fremstad finishes the artworks with watercolor paint.

“After six years of researching and creating these paintings, I'm so excited for the entire series to be on public display together for the first time at Lakewold Gardens!"

If you are interested in purchasing any of the artwork, please contact Susan Warner at swarner@lakewoldgardens.org or (253) 970-9538.

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Lakewold Gardens | 12317 Gravelly Lake Drive Southwest, Lakewood, WA 98499

Mailing Address | Post Office Box 39780, Lakewood, WA 98496

Phone | 253-584-4106

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