Within the tradition of still life painting there is a sub-genre called vanitas or memento mori, meaning “reminder of death”. The idea is that these paintings remind us of the impermanence of life and that we should take advantage of our time. That sentiment takes on new meaning in the current zeitgeist. We live in a time of great upheaval and could use a reminder of what we love and what gives us life, memento vivere.
After the Marshall Fire, we look at our belongings through a new lense, through a lense of potential loss and impermanence. We ask ourselves what objects are important to us? What would we take with us if we needed to leave our homes suddenly? What objects remind us about the most important aspects of our lives?
Through this exhibition I’m suggesting that we re-contextualize the still life genre within the realm of the spiritual, so that still lives become altars, altars that remind us to live, memento vivere.
Jono Wright is a Colorado painter who creates art that explores ideas about spirituality and the creative process. He believes in discovering the meaning in his work during the creative process rather than illustrating a preconceived idea. Portraying subject matter such as plant life, people and objects, he intertwines Buddhist philosophy, Western psychology and ritual theory, fusing traditional genres of landscape, figure, still life and abstraction into unique contemporary forms.



Firehouse artist talks give the community a chance to delve deeper into the artist’s creative process. They offer the artist an opportunity to share background information allowing viewers to gain a better understanding of the art on the gallery walls. Attendees are welcome to ask questions at the end of the talk, as well as tour the new exhibit with the artist at the end of the talk.


Artist Talk with Jono Wright, Trine Bumiller and Melissa Furness