2009: A Year with HeART? Three Things.


I thought about apologizing for being OTL this holiday, but I’m not.  I will say: the Art Blog is back, we’re takin’ it back with Barack, and we don’t take no pennies from those wackety-PACs!

Here’s a little swing ditty, “Takin’ It Back With Barack, Jack!” Makes me happy; hope it makes you happy!


Following in the footsteps of Terry Tempest Williams’ December reading over at Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary, comes an appearance by Wilson writer Alexandra Fuller at the Muse Gallery.  Artist Mike Piggott’s new collection of paintings, “Objects and Things,” inspired Fuller’s essay “The Emperor of the Red Wheel Barrow,” which Fuller will read at the artist’s reception this Friday, January 16.   Festivities run 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.; Fuller’s reading is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Fuller has authored several non-fiction books, including “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood,” and, most recently, “The Legend of Colton H. Bryant.”

THIRD (quite giant) THING:

Last week’s J.H. News and Guide included missives praising Bland Hoke Jr.’s public art project: portraits of indigenous animals cut from recycled wood and painted by kids.  Mr. Hoke’s role as the Center of Wonder’s Public Art Ambassador was imagined and supported by Wonder’s Executive Director Carrie Geraci, and by that non-profit’s founders, Gary and Veronica Silberberg.  The Public Art Ambassador Program aspires to work with members of the business community in fostering art projects that connect to nature; installations that will serve as new and interactive art media in Jackson.

Public art encourages environmental stewardship through curiosity and creating a sense of ownership, and by enhancing public space. It is a significant community tool that promotes tourism and regional appreciation.

Public art is great marketing. We imagine myriad public art installations in and around the Town of Jackson. I take this opportunity to call upon our Town and County officials to spearhead a public arts installation program. In most urban areas, the quest to design for relevant public art is old hat.  Public art installations define cities, and we are a small city.  Posers, at any rate.  Our planning process needs to include space for public plazas, parks and sculpture.

There are lots of experts out there to consult.  Find them, Town of Jackson,  because claiming to know about the arts, their history and impact when one does not is a bit like claiming to be qualified for the Vice Presidency because you can see Russia from your house.

Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park combines places to eat, shop and walk with nine acres overlooking Puget Sound.  The project “…brings together the best of (the) city: art and recreation….21 sculptures take center stage, representing such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Richard Serra, and Ellsworth Kelly.

Contemporary Seattle mixes traditional Inuit art with contemporary masters. Walkways and ‘paths’ of connected galleries connect sites.   We can conjure a similar urban art potion.

My primary reason for voting against the late “Town as Heart” DRD proposal was not that I didn’t envision growth; it was that its creators had incorporated virtually no landscaping, parks, arts or ‘grace of space.’  Our town’s square chunks smashed up against one another offer no secret spaces, no enticing fountains or gardens.  Without these provocative elements, we forfeit a higher level of urban vibrancy.

Define the Town of Jackson as a business, educational, and cultural center; not as a Teton Village clone.  That’s our opportunity.



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