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Apr
14
David Grossman - Blossoming Trees - Oil on Linen - 8x10"

David Grossman – Blossoming Trees – Oil on Linen – 8×10″

“No, I said: What kind of bird are YOU?” ~ Sam, to Suzy, upon their first meeting in the film “Moonrise Kingdom.”  

Contemplative, visual poems. Painterly, reminding me of a wistful Childe Hassam; contemporary, like a print; gentle, glowing and linear. Colorado painter David Grossman is one of three new artists signed on to Altamira Fine Art. Grossman is joined by contemporary artists David Michael Slonim and bold trendsetter Thom Ross.

Attribute it to the soft, indecisive changing of our alpine seasons, call it a love of landscape. My heart has been stolen by Grossman’s diminutive oil painting, shown above. He paints, says the gallery, “abstracted visions of forests…melodic in their focus on rhythm and symmetry.” Adds Fine Art Connoisseur: “[Grossman's paintings] effect the comfort and relief of a ‘visual exhale’ while also leading us into meditative contemplation and thought.”

A few brushstrokes and we are eras away in time, lost in a happy composition. 

Thom Ross - Gunman's Walk - Oil on Canvas 48 x 48"

Thom Ross – Gunman’s Walk – Oil on Canvas
48 x 48″

Have you been around Jackson long enough to remember California born artist Thom Ross’ installation at Snow King’s base? “Custer’s Last Stand” was an erected forest of early American soldiers pitted against Native Americans. We walked through and around the battle, and though that battle is one of the West’s most defining moments, Ross’ style is to portray iconic Americans and events in off-beat (gunmen with tiny heads!), sometimes complex and unexpected ways. He can be sensitive and elegiac; friends own an early Thom Ross painting depicting a solitary dead horse, lying on its side. It’s beautiful.

“Indians playing croquet; General Custer riding off while balancing a table on his head; Sheriff Pat Garrett standing with shotgun in hands bracing against the cold of a wintry New Mexico morning – these are a few of the unique images depicted in Ross’s paintings,” says Altamira. In addition to creating his art, Ross runs his own space, “Due West Gallery,” in Santa Fe.

David Michael Slonim - Fire and Ice-Oil on Canvas-48 x 60"

David Michael Slonim – Fire and Ice-Oil on Canvas- 48 x 60″

They are landscapes; landscapes deconstructed to layered, broad color fields, conveying essence. Contemporary painter David Michael Slonim is the third “new bird” to alight at Altamira. Plein air painting and illustration are part of his professional artistic experience.

Prisms, shards of translucent glass, collage — these I see in the artist’s expressionist works. Slonim is influenced by a bevy of masters, including Diebenkorn, Mitchell, Motherwell, de Kooning, and Cezanne.

“Although my paintings are derived from nature, they are really about color, shape, texture and line for their own sake,” says Slonim. “I started out as a plein air painter. The more I painted and studied, the more fascinated I became with abstraction. Now I am more interested in interpreting nature than representing nature.”  www.altamiraart.com 

Kyle Pozin - Mystic Warrior

Kyle Polzin – Mystic Warrior -Oil- 74 x 30″

In case you haven’t heard: April 5th’s Scottsdale Art Auction brought in $12.6 million.

Ecstatic press materials report that Frederic Remington’s “The Thermometer from Ten to Thirty-Three Degrees Below Zero,” an oil estimated between $500,000 – $700,000, sold for $920,000, the top sale of the day. Many deceased and contemporary masters did exceedingly well, but, emphasizes the auction:

“The crowd of almost 500 bidders was stunned when a 40-year-old artist from Texas, Kyle Polzin, took the block with a 74 x 30 inch oil entitled “Mystic Warrior.” Estimated up to $40,000, an extended bidding war ended in a hush, as auctioneer Jason Brooks carefully guided bids to a final total of $287,500.”

The Scottsdale Art Auction has now realized over $100,000,000 in art sales over the course of a decade. For complete results, visit www.scottsdaleartauction.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar
31

Gilbert_Stuart_Williamstown_Portrait_of_George_Washington“Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty.” ~ George Washington

A recent article in the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported that four Art Association board members had resigned due to a lack of transparent leadership, a culture marked by economic emphasis and a muddy sense of creative direction. The fallout, now very public, occurred over a plan to relocate a portion of the Art Association’s operations to an empty Powderhorn Mall retail space. Board Chairman Dave Muskat reportedly attempted to push the move through quickly, without fully consulting board and staff. Though the books have balanced out under the current administration, it hasn’t been enough to stifle frustration.

When I read the article and Facebook comments about all this, I admit to reacting strongly. My long-standing respect and affection for the Art Association is real; so is the pain over watching it pass through such troubles. For years the Association has been reformatting its economic model and re-imagining what it wants to be to the community. All non-profits are businesses. They need to make money. But they also need to sustain a viable, dynamic mission. In a community our size, they need to generate authentic good will.

Partnering with another local arts group could make a difference. One prominent organization not only reaches out to Jackson’s community; it reaches out to tourism and a world audience. The University of Wyoming’s museum combines exciting contemporary and historically-themed exhibitions and teaching with programs that energize Laramie’s community.

The worst thing a leader can do to an organization’s image is publicly bad mouth colleagues and essentially tell everyone: “So what?” Once it’s out there, that sentiment can easily boomerang. Artists work mightily to move arts forward, and this latest development makes that effort more difficult. A value is owed to any organization’s supporters, whether those supporters offer hard financial assistance, volunteerism, positive word-of-mouth, or any other form of patronage. The Association has some new, very smart board members. I wish them all the luck in rejuvenating one of Jackson’s most important arts non-profits. With any luck recently department board members will be able to contribute their time and talents to the Association once again.

Submitted with modesty & good will ~~~ TC

528Here’s some support: The Art Association’s “JURIED METALS EXHIBITION: SOLDER, RIVET, WELD”  issued an open call for entries. Opening May 30th, 2014, the show will highlight new metalworks that utilize myriad metal fabrication techniques: casting, lampworking, metal clay, beading, metalsmithing, blacksmithing and welding.

Submission Deadline: Midnight MST, Monday April 28th, 2014 | Exhibition: May 30th – June 27th, 2014. Submission fee is $35. 

John E. Simms & "Bison Bison." Steel. 1992

John E. Simms & “Bison Bison.” Steel. 1992

“All work must be ready for installation. Work may be very small to large, but must be able to fit through a standard door. Work may be pedestal, wall hanging, or ceiling hung. Small jewelry pieces should have their own display form or case,” write the show’s organizers. This juried show will be judged by John Simms, Katherine Donan & Sam Dowd. Three wonderful choices!

Guidelines and instructions are lengthy, but you can find out everything you need to know by contacting Thomas Macker at aajhsubmissions@gmail.com, with the word “Metal Submission” in the subject field.

www.artassociation.org

Mar
25

 

NMWAStaycation-animalsMergedcopy.145648

Vacation, all I ever wanted; Vacation, have to get away~~Love that song, but I can’t find a video of Belinda Carlisle actually sounding GOOD singing that song. Hmm.

“Staycation!” If you’re having one of those, and Hill Climb vroom-vroom reverberates endlessly in your brain, escape. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is a nice place to visit. Friends and I recently enjoyed a terrific gallery talk on art’s “conservation” timeline. How did artists understand the concept of conservation in Darwin’s era, and how do they understand it now? You may be up on the subject, but listening to an excellent talk on the works comprising “Darwin’s Legacy,” all the way to Carl Rungius work and provided fresh knowledge.

Image from January, 2014's NMWA "Mix'd Media" Event

Image from January, 2014′s NMWA “Mix’d Media” Event

One woman, well versed on the topics of wildlife migration, habitat and wildlife art history, kept interrupting our guide. Without bothering to raise her hand she repeatedly cut into the lecture. DON’T do that, people! Despite her static, we thoroughly enjoyed the talk, which was simultaneously informal and informative.

The museum’s next “First Sunday” event takes place April 6, 11am – 5pm. Entry is free, and the public can “can step outside their everyday experience,” watch wildlife-themed films and explore the galleries.

“With exhibitions displaying larger than life depictions of lions, tigers and cheetahs, and films that include cougar tracking in Jackson’s own Tetons backyard, our April ‘First Sundays’ program offers a sort of exotic getaway right here in Jackson Hole,” says Director of Programming and Exhibitions Becky Kimmel. “Films on view include “North America: Born to be Wild,” a journey through some of the exotic wildlife at large in North American backyards; “American Cougar,”  taking a look at Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project and “Animal Odd Couples.”  The latter film delves into entertaining and affecting cross-species relationships. Films are shown courtesy of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. 

The night we visited, we witnessed at least 50 deer grazing the museum’s dusty, windblown bluffs. Miraculous!  www.wildlifeart.org

Robert Batema -Rocky Wilderness Cougar - Collection National Museum of Wildlife Art

Robert Bateman – Rocky Wilderness Cougar – Collection National Museum of Wildlife Art

The National Museum of Wildlife Art has issued a statement regarding the institution’s adopted strategic plan. Details should be available in a few months, but for now you can plan on the museum continuing to work to build financial stability and a strong endowment, further develop its permanent collection and create high-quality visitor experiences.

Perhaps most interestingly, a reallocation of building space will occur. “Trustees, staff and volunteers have engaged in several planning exercises to address particular elements of the strategic plan, and the Museum has engaged architects and other planning and programming professionals to determine the feasibility of particular elements,” says the museum. “The Board of Trustees will discuss all the current components of the strategic plan at their forthcoming retreat and board meeting in May.”

 

 

Mar
17
Photograph by Nelson

Photograph by Loren Nelson

“Basic Digital Photography: How to Make Better Photographs With Your Digital Camera” is the second public educational symposium being offered by the Teton Photography Group, a group that’s come to include roughly 220 members, a phenomenal membership for an arts group less than a year old or for ANY non-profit group in a town our size! Photography, plentiful as sagebrush and as venerable as plein air, will become an official part of summer arts programs for the first time during the 2014 season.

Photograph by Linsdau

Photograph by Aaron Linsdau

“Education, sharing and networking” are the methods Teton Photography uses to advance the art. The event takes place Saturday, March 22, 2014 in the Black Box Theater at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming. A half-day in length, the session runs 8:30 am  - 1:30 pm.

Photographers (check links for more about each artist) Loren NelsonAaron Linsdau, Michael Cohen and Mike Cavaroc will speak on such topics as basic photography gear, improving focus and sharpness, obtaining the best exposure and composition techniques that work. Beginners and intermediates should enjoy this session, which is open to the public, interactive and hands-on.

I don’t have written testimonies handy, but I could count on four hands the number of times Teton Photography members have described their own positive experiences gained from the group. $25 donation for advance reservations and $30 at the door. Call 307.733.6379 to register. www.tetonphotographygroup.org

Lost-Horizon-15x30-_____-sm-1

We mentioned this event a few weeks ago in a previous post on Alison Brush’s new arts ventures, but as it’s upon us, I’ll remind you all again that on Thursday, March 20th, 5-7 pm, noted San Francisco artist and visiting teacher Jeremy Morgan will give a talk at the Art Association.

Morgan has “created a following of dedicated artists that enjoy absorbing his knowledge and energy,” says the A.A. This public presentation offers an in-depth, personal account of Morganʼs personal artistic development, his influences and experiences.

Several of Morgan’s disciples say that one reason they love studying with him is that Morgan does not teach by insisting students emulate his own style. He encourages every artistic direction, warmly leading students towards their personal bests. For info: 307-733-6379. www.artassociation.org

impressionism-vincent-van-gogh-starry-night-paintings-art-689755

Testimony: Many’s the day I go out in the world and hear how excited folks are about Alissa Davies’ Community Supported Arts project!  That’s revealing, redeeming and couldn’t happen to a better, more balanced and sincere arts contributor. Congratulations, Alissa!  Contact Davies by phoning 307.690.4757 or by emailing csajacksonhole@gmail.com.

 

Mar
12

Yee haw!  The Jackson Hole Center for the Arts and 1391805197_1Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum are putting on “A Western Winter’s Eve,” a night of music, dancing and fun — and Jen Ten filmmaking — at the Center’s lobby and theater this Friday, March 14th. Tix are $15, on sale now at the Center.  Here’s the schedule:

6 – 7:30pm | Two-step to The Stagecoach Band Live in the Lobby with dance instruction by Dancers’ Workshop

7:30 – 8:30pm | See The “The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads” on the BIG SCREEN

8:30pm – 10:30pm | Disco on Center Stage after the film, boogie down with The Spartan from WYOBASS

The night’s festivities is, they say, the FINAL opportunity to see  “The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads” on the big screen in Jackson. Tennican, the woman behind the film, is also debuting a new short film. “The Stagecoach” is going national, to be distributed by American Public Television.

“Creating this film was a community effort with over 200 individuals, foundations and businesses supporting the JHHSM’s project through tax-deductible donations,” say the evening’s producers. The Stagecoach Band, great food, and dancing (for pro and non-pro two-steppers) is all part of the fun. Costumes encouraged, but not required!  Check it out on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/events/389756964493047

Courtesy Wyoming Arts. Photo: David Swift

Courtesy Wyoming Arts. Photo: David Swift