Carla Forrest


Award-winning contemporary artist Carla Forrest paints the New West in her spectral luminescent works, inspired by direct observation of nature and life. Forrest attributes her love of painting with a palette knife to her undergraduate study of sculpture and modernism. She's a first-generation Russian American who is inspired by contemporary Russian impressionism and the Pointillists' method of placing two colors side by side to let the eye blend them into another color. 

Honored as a Local Treasure by the Albuquerque Arts Business Association, Forrest’s personal artistic mission integrates awareness of environmental conservation, community connectivity, and creativity. As the first-elected President of the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Forrest expanded the fledging non-profit’s integrated mission into an artistic community dedicated to preserving and promoting painting en plein air – in the open air or outdoors – and an internationally recognized artistic organization that heartens public awareness about the natural, historic, cultural, educational, and recreational aspects of conservation and critical water issues in New Mexico. Forrest obtained her Bachelor in studio art from State University of New York, Master of Science in Teaching Visual Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Learning and Instructional Technologies from University of New Mexico.


University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, Doctor of Philosophy (2006)

Rochester Institute of Technology, Master of Science in Teaching Visual Arts (1974)

State University of New York, Oneonta, Bachelor of Arts (1974)


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