By Celine Wright, The Gazette
Out of the corner of her eye, Ginger Kathrens caught a flash of glimmering white. Kathrens was in the Pryor Mountains on the Montana border filming a show for PBS about wild mustangs when she found an unexpected subject for several of her next films. This glimmer of white was a young colt she named Cloud, who was following its mother, a Palomino mare named Phoenix. Kathrens would spend the next 15 years following and documenting Cloud's life.
Kathrens, an Emmy award- winning producer and cinematographer, has filmed and produced three films about Cloud, the latest of which, "Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions," was five years in the making and premiered on PBS in 2009. But for Kathrens, Cloud's influence is most pronounced in the cause he represents - the preservation of wild horses and burros. The Bureau of Land Management often uses violent means to get wild horses off private lands, including helicopter stampedes and bait trapping.
"I started the Cloud Foundation in hopes that the advocacy could be a voice for their preservation," Kathrens said.
"A Celebration of Wild Horses through Art and Music" opens Friday. The exhibition features equine artwork from 27 national and local artists, including Lindsey Bittner Graham, Barbara Meikle, Lani Zlanderen and Tracy Miller. The exhibit runs through Aug. 31.
"Horses are the ideal animal to paint, photograph and write about," Kathrens said. "There is nothing more beautiful than to see a horse family running across the mountains of the Pryor."
Kathrens will talk about her work with Cloud at the reception. She is still following Cloud and hopes his offspring, Cloud Encore, will be a focus of a new project that she is filming.