Chase DeForest

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Chase DeForest creates collaged and stitched leather artworks broadly exploring themes surrounding cattle, landscapes, and the agricultural industry that shapes the American west. This has included examining things such as invasive and native botanical species, as well as western rangeland birds. In a recent series DeForest investigated the role of boundaries and barriers – literally imbedding various forms of fencing beneath a leather surface as a way to ponder the ongoing struggles with public and private land access issues. She also makes abstract work indulging in the pure materiality of leather – its unexpected color palette, elasticity, and durability.

Chase was raised riding ponies and horses on a small, rural family farm. After two decades making commissioned custom furniture, she came across the idiosyncratic world of custom cowboy boot makers. In becoming one she discovered the many attributes and potential of leather and has now also taken the medium from the foot to the wall.


The “small body of work” I am submitting for New Western Talent focuses on the iconic places surrounding my hometown, Livingston, MT. A historic railroad and ranching town 50 miles north of Yellowstone, Livingston embodies my experience growing up with horses and the values of a small town community – amongst many other things.

With leather as my primary medium, I am always looking to the associations with the material for the conceptual backdrop of my work. Lovingly creating these detailed artworks with hide is a contemplative and sentimental process meant to honor the subject matter.

Works by Chase DeForest

View All Works by Chase DeForest