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Jul
19

Excellent news that Teton County commissioners approved a contract with Wisconsin sculptor Don Rambadt to design and install a pathways public art project. The work will be part of the pathways system on North Highway 89, adjacent to the National Elk Refuge and National Museum of Wildlife Art. Local sculptor Ben Roth’s design for a series of bicycle racks will complement Rambadt’s installation.

Roth and Rambadt’s styles are similar and should mix extremely well. Both artists are minimalists, both use crisp geometric forms in their portrayals of wildlife and other creatures. Clean, contemporary and realistic enough to be recognizable by all, the art should be broadly appealing.

I visited Rambadt’s website and discovered another one of his projects: Magnetic Migration. Rambadt is placing a series of magnetic nuthatch sculptures on various steel structures he finds around the country. He’s asking the public to keep their eyes peeled for these little metal birds. If you find one, Rambadt asks you to move the sculpture to another steel building or site and take a photo. Post your photo, along with place, time and date.  If Rambadt likes your site and story, he’ll send you your own little bird. Some folks decide to keep the birds they find–which would be tempting–and that’s o.k. with Rambadt. Check out the project here.

A batch of new works at Heather James Fine Art includes new sculptures by Diego Giacometti. The gallery is a little secretive with its art collection backstories; the Giacometti name is world famous, but most people think of Diego’s brother Alberto. Diego and his brother were very close, and for much of his career Diego served as Alberto’s senior assistant. Diego’s artistry manifested as furniture and artful objects and he established himself as a noted artist in his own right. Diego designed the Picasso Museum’s interior, but did not live to see the museum open. It’s a privilege to have Diego Giacometti’s work in Jackson Hole.

www.heatherjames.com

The sub-headline in July 13th’s Jackson Hole News & Guide read: “Town mulls restrictions on ground-floor businesses as method to revitalize, generate revenue.”

“Restrictions” and “revitalize.” Opposites. See the problem? It’s not the paper’s fault. Town government thinks a prohibition strategy will help transform our economy. Targeting art galleries, in order to solve Jackson’s dearth of tax revenue is, to put it politely, very poor judgement.

Hello! How many non-profits do we have in Jackson?  Snow King Resort, financed by wealthy, shrewd business leaders, courted being bailed out by a non-profit; the owners have since rejected the non-profit’s offer. I don’t know the mountain’s chances of ever becoming a viable business, but the last thing we should do is bypass testing the market and hurtle towards providing non-profit status to what SHOULD be one of the biggest retail operations in the valley! How will we ever know what the market can bear? Instead of renovating its main facility, Snow King built too many spec units and failed. So put it up for sale. That’s what failed businesses do!  Snow King may sit on the block a long time, but it’s in good company.

Raise the Town’s sales tax. Continue to lobby for a real estate transfer tax. Use some of the revenue to help Wyomingites who are isolated, impoverished, abused, mentally ill, and/or hungry. Use the rest to boost town revenues.

I value and respect the missions of our non-profits, and I support (to the extent of my ability) those I feel are most crucial to the valley. We need them, and so many good people give their hearts 24/7 to causes that make our valley a better place. But we simply cannot figure out our unemployment and sales tax revenue issues in a pro-active way. We give the hospital $11,000,000 without reviewing their accounts! SPET tax rules should be overhauled; I don’t believe the population at large truly understands what they are voting for. We’re economically co-dependent. At the very least, non-profits should have to provide a full accounting of their expenditures to prove they deserve public money.

The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival spikes Jackson’s lodging stats every year. That means the event brings more visitors, spending money, every year. I’m sure Santa Fe or Scottsdale would welcome our best galleries, if Jackson’s business environment becomes too hostile. This is a grasping-at-straws measure. Shipping works out of state has always been integral to the gallery business. Art is international, and we are a tourist town, counting heavily on out-of-state buyers. We’re damn lucky that Jackson is, truly, becoming an arts destination. It could all change on a dime.

Good to hear from Legacy!

Legacy Gallery in Jackson Hole (there is also a Scottsdale, AZ branch) presents artist Kenny McKenna, in a One Man Show, July 21-August 11, 2011. An opening reception takes place Thursday, July 21, 6-8 pm, at the Jackson gallery.

McKenna is a landscapist. His striking, traditional works present views of some of our most memorable panoramas: Mt. Moran, Taggart Lake, Cascade Canyon, the Cathedral Group, Mormon Row, Sleeping Indian and more.  McKenna also paints the smaller landscapes—check out his gentle portrayals of lily pads, meadows and willows. Summer and Fall views prevail.

www.legacygallery.com

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