Washington Thoroughbred Foundation


Presented by the
Washington Thoroughbred Foundation,
Washington Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association
and Emerald Downs

Meet the Judges

Equine Art 2016 Award Winners


Gary Faigin, co-founder and artistic director of Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, trained at the Art Students League of New York and at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris.
    While living in New York (1976-91), Faigin taught figure drawing upon the retirement of his teacher, Robert Beverly Hale, at the Art Students League, a program he presented continuously over the next decade. Concurrently, he taught perspective and portrait drawing at the newly-founded New York Academy of Art, the National Academy School of Design, the School of Visual Art and Parsons School of Design. He opened his own studio in Hell's Kitchen and began personal work focused on self-portraits and still lifes.
    In the summer of 1984, Faigin began a ten-year summer residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a locale that afforded him exposure to the burgeoning realist painting scene of the Southwest. His works included pastel landscapes and printmaking with shows at the Frank Croft and Realist Art galleries.
    Faigin has exhibited widely with solo exhibitions in Seattle and Santa Fe, including a retrospective of his work at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum and the Coos Museum of Art in Oregon. A master of drawing and painting, his images typically explore his two favorite themes: altering one’s perception of the commonplace and developing mood through intense contrasts of light and dark.
    As a promoter and observer of historic and contemporary art in the Northwest, Faigin serves on the board of directors of the newly-opened Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds and reviews regional museum and gallery exhibits as The Seattle Times guest art critic.
    Visit his website at garyfaigin.com.


Paul Heist has been actively involved in owning racehorses for over 31 years. He is also the owner and CEO of Tacoma Boys markets.
      Heist and his wife Lori live in Auburn and have an extensive collection of art of all genres. They especially enjoy art of the equine nature and believe that the horse is art in motion. They have two commissioned pieces of their Thoroughbred pride and joy, Flamethrowintexan, winner of the 2006 Longacres Mile (G3). "Tex" is part of the family and enjoys the good life with them at their farm.
      Heist has occasionally dabbled in the art of pottery and hopes to make better use of his potter's wheel once he rounds the corner to retirement.


Kari Nanstad achieved a BA degree from the University of Washington. She has been fascinated with all art mediums, including photography. Digital photography and painting are her current her main interests. Nanstad likes to create funny moments, adding her muse into her artwork and her creativity.
    Always an animal and equine lover, Nanstad trained and showed her own Quarter Horses – who won multiple state and breed show championships in the Northwest. After retiring from those activities, she turned her attention to sketching, photographing and painting all equine breeds.
    The artist has won numerous artistic awards, using many different art mediums. Among her awards was the Best Advertising Poster Employee Award, for State Farm Insurance. She has also successfully exhibited at the Morgan Horse annual art shows and sales; the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation and WTBOA's annual Equine Art Shows at Emerald Downs; and the Western Washington State Fair’s annual juried Fine Art Shows.
    Nanstad’s work has been featured in Photoshop Creative Magazine Artist Gallery and Readers Gallery. In addition, her digital art “Frosty Trees” was awarded Pic of the Week on the artist gallery website of Corel Painter Magazine, UK, December 2013; and she was given the Editor’s Choice Award by the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (Photoshop User Magazine) for her Photoshop digital painting “The Boat House” in April 2013.
    Nanstad was honored to have judged the Western Washington State Fair Fine Art Show's digital art division in 2011 and 2014. She is excited and honored for the opportunity to be on the judges' panel for Equine Art 2016.
    Nanstad’s art can be viewed at fantasyimages.vpweb.com.


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