Equine Dreams

At the Exeter Courthouse Gallery we are celebrating the beauty of horses! Equine Dreams opened October 5 and runs until November 30.

We are hosting an Artist Meet & Greet on Saturday October 26, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Please join us and meet the artists featured in this wonderful show!

Our Opening Reception held on Sunday October 13 was a big hit!

Artist Brent Hudspeth talking art to guest Mark Robinson.

During the reception director Chris Brewer unveiled the dedication of the horse hitch, which was donated to museum by the Lentz family. There is more information on the horse hitch in the President’s message.

Hitching Post Dedication 10/13/2019

Happy Trails Riding Academy and Crown Valley Youth Ranch were on the patio with information on their programs. As was Nablia showing her wonderful batik works.

Happy Trails Riding Academy

Crown Valley Youth Ranch

Nablia Marfa and her Batik work.

Equine Dreams will feature paintings by Claudia Fletcher of Clovis, paintings by Brent Hudspeth of Porterville, assemblage works from Myrna Axt of Fresno and Lori Sortino of Paso Robles will be showing her photography. 

“Heading Home”

Claudia Fletcher is a professional artist and muralist. Born and raised on a cotton and alfalfa farm in Madera, California, Claudia possesses an inherent love for the San Joaquin Valley and a natural talent for capturing this essence through art. Following in the footsteps of her artist grandmother, Claudia was only eight years old when she participated in her first art show. Through her long career in art she has gone on to win many art competitions and has had commissions for artwork and portraits, paintings and drawings for clients across the U.S. Claudia created murals for several cities, including the mural, “Golden Harvest” at 158 E. Pine St. in Exeter! Since 1992, she has been the official Clovis Rodeo Poster painter. Referring to her favorite art subject, she says, “The power and magnificence of the horse was my first channel for the expression of my talent in drawing and painting.”

Please check out more about Claudia and her work at http://www.clovisart.com .

“Red Way Home”

Brent Hudspeth is from the rural Tulare County near the Porterville. Brent showed a natural artistic talent from an early age and was encouraged to follow his interests of a career in the arts. In 1989 he received a BFA in illustration from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He was very fortunate to have had the pleasure of learning from such artists as Craig Nelson, Steve Huston, and Richard Bunkall, among other fantastic artists. After graduation from the Art Center Brent began a career in the Los Angeles area as an illustrator and digital artist. His dedication to professionalism and artistic abilities allowed him to work with many of the top agencies, creative minds and companies in the nation. Commercial clients include MCA Universal, Baskin Robbins, Teleflora, The Franklin Mint, Disney and others. 

Trips to remote locations and involvement with several equestrian communities gave Brent the subject matter he loved to use for his fine art ideas. Through the years, Brent was transitioning into devoting more of his life to painting and in recent time began to purse his passion of painting by returning to his hometown of Porterville near the entrance to the Sequoia National Forest. His quiet country studio replaced the commute and pace of Los Angeles with nature’s offerings and the promise of a meaningful connection to his passion of painting.

Brent works predominantly in oils on canvas and wood panel. Each painting concept is an evolution in which sketching and documenting aspects of the natural world are combined such as light, form and space as they relate to the original concept. The natural world is the ultimate truth for guidance in the process of his painting style. Brent believes that painting from life is the ultimate tool to maintain the fidelity of a truth he finds important in his work.

To see more of Brent’s work please visit his website https://www.brenthudspeth.com .


Myrna Axt has always been creative, a trait most likely inherited this from her mother, who took art in high school and college. Her mom showed off her creativity in her job as a florist. Myrna had a love of art from an early age, growing up in a home with large European paintings her grandparents purchased at auctions. Myrna also loved to collect as a child having both doll and glass animal collections.

After a career in advertising based in Kansas City, Myrna was lucky to be able to retire at age 53 and headed back to the Fresno area where she grew up. After traveling extensively, Myrna achieved a lifelong dream of going to Singapore and China. There she collected papers, and objects she loved. This lead her to create 2 collage pieces for her entryway. Her creativity was rekindled and she created her first Assemblage piece, an Asian woman, using ceiling fan blades for background, old wood for painted face, and metal objects to decorate her hair. With encouragement from her friends, Myrna decided to enter these works in the Fresno Fair to see if others liked her work as well. To her surprise, she received a 2nd Place in beginning mixed media for the collages and Honorable Mention for her Assemblage. Of course she was thrilled and made the life changing decision to continue creating art.

Myrna’s first gallery show was “Nudes In November” at Sorensen Gallery. Myrna was surprised during Art Hop to find a Third Place Ribbon on her piece, “Naked Nonsense Willfully Conceived”. The bigger surprise that evening was to find it had been sold to Chris Sorensen! 

Myrna has continued creating Assemblage for approximately 10 years and sees no end to this creative fun!

“Monochrome Rhone”

Lori Sortino is an equine photographer living in Paso Robles. She has been a professional photographer since 2007, and has enjoyed the expressive arts since childhood. Lori received her Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Art and Design from Cal Poly, where she also studied photography. 

So why horses? Lori has been captivated by horses from a young age, drawn to their intelligence, beauty and grace. Lori is driven to capture the freedom and power of the wild Mustangs. Her portfolio is comprised of photographs of mustangs that have been rescued by the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary from  the Bureau of Land Management round ups. These horses have been relocated to the Central Coast and come from several states. 

Some of Lori’s work is pure, unedited photographs and others are enhanced with digital rendering or effects.

After a 25 year career with American Eagle Airlines, where she held many left brain roles, she is letting her creative, expressive side lead and is loving life.

To sign up for Lori’s newsletter and see her other works please visit her website at www.essencecaptured.com .

The show runs until November 30! Please visit us Saturdays 10-4 and Sundays 12-4!

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