“Westward”, a new illustration commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad – completed at Promontory Summit in Utah in 1869. Commissioned by Utah Arts & Museums, this image was widely exhibited as part of the Spike150 statewide celebration aiming to inspire, educate, and reflect on the legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad. For this piece I wanted to recreate a scene from the old west, envisioning the grand achievement of the railroad opening up this vast new terrain. My goal with this image was to exhibit the sense of awe and wonder during that time, imagining a landscape of monumental rock formations and broad expanses roamed by buffalo herds. With this project, I was very inspired by early western artists like Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran whose work really encapsulated the idea of “..the West as a promised land, lush with magnificent natural wonders, and ripe for development”. My piece “Westward”, illustrates this concept of Manifest Destiny, paving the way for western civilization into the new world.