Category Archives: Art History

Painting For Life: New Book Celebrates Gregory I. McHuron

"Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron," by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“If you are attaining your goals, you’ve set your goals too low. The last painting you do should be the very best.” –Greg McHuron

Words to live by. Words to paint by.

Gregory I. McHuron (1945-2012) is considered by many admirers the sole plein air painter that could stand up to the Tetons’ majestic size and power, as well as their surrounding valley. Indeed, McHuron stood for the majesty of ALL wilderness and wildlife, and he left a permanent legacy when we lost him to cancer.

Four years after his death a seminal book worthy of McHuron’s life, artistry and passion for wilderness has come to fruition: “Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” lovingly authored by former Southwest Art Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Hallsten McGarry,  will soon to be available through the Grand Teton Association.

McGarry says that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the “WOW” that serenades your soul.”

“Painting has never been a job to me,” McHuron said. “It’s why I live.”

Greg McHuron near Menor's Ferry, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final "Artists in the Environment" demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

Greg McHuron near the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final “Artists in the Environment” demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

“In the summer of 2013, Linda McHuron, Peter Ward, and I got together to discuss the idea of a book,” says McHuron’s long-time friend and fellow plein air painter Stephen C. Datz. McHuron was a member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, a group painting annually in Grand Teton National Park in support of the Grand Teton Association. Datz served as the group’s president for four years.

“We made contact with as many family, friends, colleagues, and collectors as we could and began collecting stories and remembrances. Peter began the work of gathering, collating, and cataloguing images of Greg’s work,” said Datz.

McGarry feels that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the WOW” that serenades your soul.”

Gregory I. McHuron, "Seasonal Differences," Oil, 40" x 30"

Gregory I. McHuron, “Seasonal Differences,” Oil, 40″ x 30″ Photo by Tammy Christel

For the next two years, through emails, phone calls, one-on-one meetings and gatherings hosted by Peter, we accumulated a huge stash of memories of Greg and advice that he had given his students,” recalls Datz. Matt Montagne and Charlie Craighead contributed an invaluable cache of candid photos of Greg out painting and doing AIE (Artists in the Environment, an open-to-the-public plein air painting program McHuron co-founded in 1974 with Connie Schwiering and Chuck McCurdy) demos.”

McGarry notes that “true artists must live their art and paint from the heart.” McHuron’s lifestyle epitomized that philosophy, she says. His paintings expressed what he felt, and he shared those feelings with others willing to listen, including mentoring artists, in workshops or in his own “no bull*@#!” critiques.

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Our Majestic Parks: Ziemienski at Altamira Fine Art

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 "

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas. 40×30″

In Dennis Ziemienski’s new show “Celebrating Our National Parks” at Altamira Fine Art, our parks are monumental. Man’s presence, for the most part, is small and humbling. In every image, you’ll find homage and acknowledgement that they, the parks, were here before us; and they, not us, are Earth’s great achievements.

DENNIS ZIEMIENSKI: CELEBRATING OUR NATIONAL PARKS, is on exhibit at Altamira Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming, August 15-27, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 18, 5-8:00 pm. 

Dennis Ziemienski Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Oil on Canvas 48 x 30 inches

Dennis Ziemienski
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Oil on Canvas
48 x 30 “

As I write, 11 works from the show are posted on Altamira’s website; two have already sold. Ziemienski’s painting has always been marked by an appreciation of all things vintage. At times I’ve felt his work can be a little too obvious, but in this show, being obvious about color, scale and our precious parks is the point. These are spectacular tributes to some of America’s greatest treasures: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, Glacier , Yosemite and Devil’s Tower National Monument. This year is the National Park Centennial, and if you are one of the millions whose lives are deeply affected by personal park experience; if these wild and gorgeous places have made their mark on your soul, then you are bound to be transported by this tremendous exhibit.

Works reflect National Parks grandeur and scale. Ziemienski’s smallest painting measures 18 x 24″, and the largest canvas is 36 x 48″.

“The stunning beauty, history and wildlife provides an unlimited source of inspiration and subject matter for my paintings.” ~ Dennis Ziemienski

Growing up near Yosemite, I spent many summers there. Two decades ago I moved to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park; stepping off the plane here for the first time my pulse quickened, stunned by the Tetons’ visual impact. Those halcyon summer months spent at Yosemite’s lakes, beneath the waterfalls, hiking valleys, camping in the pines~~I can smell it. I thought I’d lost that sense memory forever. Thank goodness, I was wrong.

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Jackson Hole Art Auction: The Menu

Charles M. Russell (1864–1926) Menu (Cafe Noir) (ca. 1896) watercolor and pencil on paper 6 x 4 (sight) in  Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

Charles M. Russell (1864–1926)
Menu (Cafe Noir) (ca. 1896) watercolor and pencil on paper 6 x 4 (sight) in
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

This year’s Jackson Hole Art Auction is two months away; time flies. After all, it’s summer and high art season in Jackson, Wyoming. Stay on your toes, keep a daily eye out for new auction lots! Get your consignments in on time~~2015’s deadline opportunity has likely evaporated. So many impressive consignments arrive at auction headquarters, upstairs at Trailside Gallery, that some must be put forward for your consideration.

Whether it’s market confidence or simply a new method of expanding their buying audience, the auction spreads itself over two days this year, with two separate buying events. The auction, a premier venue for Western masterworks, begins September 18th, 2015.

“The ninth annual Jackson Hole Art Auction will begin with Session I held on Friday, September 18th at Trailside Galleries in Jackson, WY. Session I will be a small well-curated sale of lots by highly desirable contemporary and deceased artists. Session II will be held on Saturday, September 19th at the Center for the Arts,” notes the auction. Both events include free, open-to-the-public preview opportunities.

E. Martin Hennings, Untitled. 18.5 x 15 1/4".  Oil $40,000 -$60,000

E. Martin Hennings, Untitled. 18.5 x 15 1/4″. Oil $40,000 -$60,000

So, what’s on the auction menu? It’s impossible to provide a full list in this space, but highlights include historic and contemporary works by Bierstadt, C.M. Russell, Bob Kuhn, Carl Rungius, Howard Terpning, Z.S. Liang, Remington, E. Martin Hennings, Clyde Aspevig, Richard Schmid, Harry JacksonEanger Irving Couse, T. Allen LawsonStanley Meltzoff and William Acheff.

Bob Kuhn (1920–2007) Winter Browse - Mule Deer (1995)

Bob Kuhn (1920–2007) Winter Browse – Mule Deer (1995) Acrylic on Board  14×18″ Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000

Lot estimates range anywhere from four digits to seven.

Though not an official part of Jackson Hole’s famed Fall Arts Festival, the auction is a heady and highly anticipated conclusion to Jackson’s official arts season. Live Western auctions cause attendees and staff to break out in goosebumps. This thing is full of adrenaline~~the auction has become one of the country’s top Western art auctions, each year offering up exquisite paintings, sculptures and artifacts. A co-production of Jackson’s Trailside Galleries and Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery, the auction is an upscale, professionally organized and thrilling event.

Visit www.jacksonholeartauction.com for information, or phone Auction Coordinator Jill Callahan at (866)-549-9276.

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) Wind River Country Wyoming (ca. 1860) oil on canvas 28 1/4 x 39 1/2 in Estimate: $1,000,000–$2,000,000

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902)
Wind River Country Wyoming (ca. 1860)
oil on canvas
28 1/4 x 39 1/2 in
Estimate: $1,000,000–$2,000,000

 

 

 

Art is Fine!

Howdy! I’m back. The Jackson Hole Art Blog is up again! We’ll be writing brief (up to 500 words) weekly posts about Jackson Hole Arts. Summer traffic is turning up early this year, so let’s get going! Send me your news! Email me at tammy@jacksonholearttours.com OR tammychristel@gmail.com.  

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One of Jackson’s most eclectic, sophisticated galleries, Heather James Fine Art, has two locations. Their home gallery is in Palm Springs, California, and its second gallery is here in Jackson. Currently featured is “Arts of Asia,” a stunning artifacts collection.

“Antiquities loaded with historical, ritual, and cultural richness weave an intricate story of centuries of dynasties and eras in Arts of Asia,” says the gallery. “Spanning 2,000 years, the objects in the show are organized by geography: China, Japan, and India & Southeast Asia.”

Heather James’ new series of online catalogs are beautifully composed. View catalogs of this and other Heather James collections at www.heatherjames.com 

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Brent Cotton VALLEY EVENING oil on linen 20 x 24 in

Brent Cotton
VALLEY EVENING
oil on linen
20 x 24 in

Jackson’s Trailside Galleries presents “Fleeting Effects of Light,” a show of new works by Brent Cotton. Light is the thing in our valley. Our light wears infinite guises, an artist’s eternal muse.

“Raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Idaho, Brent’s first lessons in art were taught by his grandmother, a talented watercolorist. He grew up sketching the cowboys and horses he observed every day. In high school an influential instructor encouraged him to pursue a career in art,” says Trailside. “Cotton attended workshops and studied with some of the best known names in wildlife and Western art, including world-renowned Western artist Howard Terpning.”

“Fleeting Effects of Light” runs June 1 – June 30, 2015 at Trailside. An Open House and ArtWalk (which includes many galleries around town) takes place June 18, 5-7 pm.  www.trailsidegalleries.com 

A Wildlife Art “Staycation” & Big Strategic Plans

 

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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.”