Pillars/The Last Monarch Butterfly

by Jerry Ott, 2013

About the art

This large photorealist painting takes viewers on a voyage. It starts with the tall ship at center sailing the open seas, with the words “There is no ship like a book to take us lands away.” That central visual is flanked by two stacks of books—pillars of knowledge including everything from Mark Twain to art tomes. Within and around that, artist Jerry Ott has woven personal touches, odes to his friend Eric Fermstad, whose generous bequest paid for this painting after his death from cancer in 2011. On the left side of the image, you’ll see a young Fermstad reading a book with his father and two brothers. At right, Fermstad’s longtime partner, Lynn Townsend, dons roller skates. And an older Fermstad appears at the top, gazing toward the sun. Altogether, it’s a tribute to books, the voyages they take us on, and our own personal voyages through life.

Funded by the Eric Fermstad bequest