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Posts from ‘Art History’

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.”

 

 

Feb
03
Erin C. O'Connor - Untitled

Erin C. O’Connor – Untitled

“The mission of the Atlas Cultural Foundation is to help underserved Moroccans, especially women and children, and improve their quality of life through locally determined development projects.” - Cloe Erickson, Founder

“The people are living exactly they way they have for hundreds and hundreds of years. Stone houses, sheep, goats, a very marginal existence. They are agricultural, but it’s extremely sparse terrain. You can’t truly realize how lush and beautiful it is here until you visit places like these.” – Jackson Artist Erin C. O’Connor

Even the briefest of visits to the Morocco-based  Atlas Cultural Foundation will take your breath away. People, music, swirling rainbows of cloth, smiling children, the purity of souls, laughter, donkeys loaded with grains making their way up steep mountainsides on paths as wide as piece of thread, stone houses seemingly impossible to build…African light on high cliffs, solitary townspeople under tents, illuminated by candlelight.

By Erin C. O'Connor

By Erin C. O’Connor

“These villages,” says plein air painter Erin O’Connor, “are in the High Atlas Mountains, in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a dirt road that probably should have ended 60 miles before it does. It’s unimaginable. The area was the last place for the French Foreign Legion to access, it is so remote.”

Recently O’Connor and a colleague landed the chance to go to Morocco, visit the Atlas Mountains and spend time in the ancient city of Medina, as part of an Atlas awareness-raising initiative. A Montana patron with a strong interest in the organization’s mission financed the trip. O’Connor’s paintings and works by other artists will be offered for sale on February 6th, at a private event in Bozeman, Montana.

“I’d always wanted to go to Morocco. EVERYTHING there is art: the wrought iron on the windows, the tile work, the architecture, the doors, I wanted to paint it all,” says O’Connor. “This opportunity came up,  andI had to say ‘yes.’ It was serendipitous. The funny thing is, I have always considered myself a plein air landscape painter, but being in Marrakesh, in the oldest part the Medina, 8,ooo years old, it was all small alley ways, souks (marketplaces), so many people in such a small place. I was forced to paint in really tight corners! I had two jobs every day: one was to go out and prove just how much my French sucks and the other was to get lost! You go through humbly.”

O’Connor began her trek in the Medina, where she spent almost a week on her own, painting. One day she found herself wedged up in a small souk corner, people pushing by her in huge throngs, very intense for a solitary outdoor artist.

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Jan
23
Walter Hood

Walter Hood outlines the Sandbox Project at Jackson’s Center for the Arts. ~ T. Christel

“We’ll talk about its capacity, trees, theaters, animals, water, earth, habitat, the mountains and about the community, all within this setting.”  ~~ Walter Hood

Launching February 14th, 2014: www.sandbox.jhcenterforthearts.org! That’s where the public gets the chance to chime in on how the Center for the Arts’ ambitious back lawn landscape design project might evolve. Nationally noted urban landscape designer Walter Hood, overseeing the project in partnership with Steve Dynia, gave Jacksonites a chance to play in the sand three nights in a row; participants used specially constructed sandboxes and props to define what they envision for the open space.

“We’ll look primarily at the expanded architectural program with Steve Dynia; the sandboxes are about the landscape,” said Hood. “This is a landscape, not a park, or a garden. It’s open. We also understand that the cadence, how you move through Jackson, is a grid. This is a very urban place. We have a lot of houses, a lot of cars, a lot of parking, a lot of these issues. One of the things we hope we can do…is make the space more successful for people moving through the neighborhood. We do think Snow King can come down to us by taking back the streets and the alleys. The alleys are really important. As you move north and south through the alleys, they are beautiful. As you can see here, the alleys have been largely erased. So how can we bring back a lot of this (structural) morphology?”

Hood asked the group to consider a long list of factors as they went about their designs. The first was that this space is NOT Jackson’s Town Square, and duplicating the Square is not on the agenda. But what kind of a landscape can this open space become?

A detail of Walter Hood's landscape design for the deYoung Museum - photo by T. Christel

A detail of Walter Hood’s landscape design for the deYoung Museum – photo by T. Christel

“The Center really needs to think about its building program, its architecture. It would be great to have artists come here 24/7, to have studios where they can make art. Where would you put the building?  If I put it out there in the landscape, it’s going to have a consequence on the landscape. We’ll see how we can use architecture to make something really powerful. Some ideas are a clubhouse where people can meet, an exhibition space, a multipurpose place. We think this will be a hybrid place, with things nested in one another,” said Hood. “Cafes, other permanent and temporal spaces within the building envelope. [In the West and Jackson] there exist successful pieces of architecture that elucidate the landscape. Steve is very talented — just being down one story, look how that mountain comes out and the middle ground disappears, a beautiful thing.  How can we expand upon that?”

Ideally, artists (who aren’t already) would be inspired to make work here. Sculptural landscape is a “yes.” Programmed landscape, a “no.”  Building upon the idea of an outdoor theater, Greek or Roman, embracing or inscribing, are interesting. Multi-purpose uses that might change with the seasons, be temporary or permanent, should be considered; Hood recalled Candra Day’s constructing yurts on the lawn.

photo-2One could look at a land form and see a lot of things, Hood remarked. A child may see a playhouse, an artist a place to bang steel, a dancer a natural stage. Forms can inspire and begin to say something about the landscape—inspiring, even in mud season.

“Can we do things like add trees, and then take them away, like a clear-cut,” Hood  asked. “Think about when the snow is here, when it’s not here. Can you do something in the wintertime? It might be ice skating, it might be mud wrestling! But whatever it is, it should embrace the landscape. We also know there are residential areas on our perimeter, and when events happen some elements may have to be mitigated, like noise. Do we want to make walls, edges?”

Lastly, said Hood, how do we bring our urban grid into this space? Again, the alleys are important, as they allow possible connections to the nearby church, the mountain, and other points immediately around the Center.

In a brief Q&A, it was confirmed that the Town of Jackson owns the land and is providing the Center a long-term lease; the Town, said one representative, is “very open” to this project. When asked about how the Center might draw people from Jackson’s Town Square to the new Center space, Hood responded that the idea is in the hopper, and brainstorming was the point of these workshops.

“We’re not looking for scheme A, B or C; we simply want to draw on ideas, so we can begin to think about the space and the Center,” emphasized Hood. All ideas are great ideas!”  www.jhcenterforthearts.org

(PS: I hope Mark Berry is smiling!)

Snake River Reverse Project, adjacent to J.H. Center for the Arts Lawn - photo & art courtesy Bland Hoke

Snake River Reverse Project, adjacent to J.H. Center for the Arts Lawn – photo & art courtesy Bland Hoke

ross photo 9

Event: Lindsey Ross’s Traveling Tintype Studio

Place: The Rose/Pink Garter Theatre

Date: Thursday Jan 23, 5-10pm

Bonus: Family portraits: 5-7pm

From Lyndsay McCandless: Lindsey Ross singular, tintype portraits are the real deal: 19th century technology wet plate collodion, a photographic process popular from 1850′s-1880′s, that documented the American Civil War and America’s Western expansion. Ross uses raw materials to create the photographic emulsion on an aluminum plate. While the emulsion is still wet, Ross exposes the plate to the subject using a century old camera and prolonged exposure times. Ross develops the image in a darkroom on site; portraits appear within a minute.

Tintypes are archivally stable, so they create an instant heirloom and art object. Because the exposures are long, subjects are encouraged to relax, be still and be present as their image is made,” says McCandless. “The slow process often brings out subtle, expressive similarities between family members. Come experience this historic and beautiful process!”  For information on print prices, email lyndsayrowan@gmail.com.

ross photo

 

Dec
04
Jennifer Hoffman - Flat Creek Breakdown

Jennifer Hoffman – Flat Creek Breakdown

Bushwhacking through dense underbrush and tangled bunches of new and old-growth forest one afternoon with two of the three Trio Fine Art artists, I finally “got” what determination means when it comes to plain air painting. I’ve loved and been close to plain air for decades, but rarely get a chance to go with painters to protected, coveted painting sites. This day was different, and following the footsteps of Jennifer Hoffman and Bill Sawczuk as they marked a painting spot on protected land can be defined, without hesitation, as adventure.

When bellowing bull elk bear down on you, suggesting you’d be better off moving some yards to the south, you pick up your paint box and move it. Hoffman tells the story of that day much better than I; We ventured out on the Ladd property. You think you know what you’re doing, but this valley is always full of surprises…read the story here.

Kathryn Turner - Mead Ranch

Kathryn Turner – Mead Ranch

View22: Painting Jackson Hole’s Open Spaces is a collaboration and fundraiser art exhibition featuring the works of artists Kathryn Turner, Hoffman and Sawczuk. The exhibition’s opening reception takes place Friday, December 6th, at Trio Fine Art on North Cache. Time is 5-8 pm, with artists’ remarks beginning at 6pm. The exhibition remains up through December 21st. A portion of exhibition sales benefit the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Drawing inspiration from Thomas Moran, the painter responsible for capturing Yellowstone’s rugged beauty so magnificently that Congress declared it and Grand Teton as national parks, View 22 celebrates the Jackson Hole Land Trust’s conservation efforts that have so dramatically affected our open spaces, and works to further cement the eternal bond between art and nature.

Bill Sawczuk - Hardeman Barn

Bill Sawczuk – Hardeman Barn

This past summer and early fall saw Turner, Hoffman and Sawczuk visiting an array of preserved open spaces, often not available to the public, and painting their landscapes, wildlife and historic valley structures. Besides benefitting the Land Trust, this show shines a light on special land tracts many of us don’t get a chance to see. Or, if you have had the luck to visit them, you may view each of these places anew. Eighteen protected properties were captured en plein air for the project; 23,000 acres have been protected by the Land Trust.

“As full-time landscape painters in Jackson Hole, we have a vital interest in the preservation of open space within our valley. It is the natural beauty found in wide open spaces that inspires our creativity. Through sharing our interpretations of the landscape, we hope to shine a spotlight on the importance of conservation efforts made possible by the Jackson Hole Land Trust,” said Turner, Hoffman, and Sawczuk.

A View 22 produced video of the artists, their activities and several locations they visited can be viewed here.

Land Trust Executive Director Laurie Andrews is thrilled with Trio Fine Art’s commitment. “Through Trio’s artists’ deep understanding of how the valley’s protected open spaces affect their daily lives, and [through] their talent and creativity, they’ve shown us all a very special view of [the Land Trust's] work.”

For more information contact Trio Fine Art at 307.734.4444, or phone the Land Trust’s Leslie Steen at 307.733.4707. Email: leslie@jhlandtrust.org   www.triofineart.com  www.jhlandtrust.org  

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Nov
21

Tigers.122124

Some press materials are simply so perfect and complete, it’s hard to up their message. That’s the case today! Here’s some information on the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s new exhibition, “Conservation Gallery,” which explores conservation themes by comparing and contrasting those themes as explored through artwork created from the 1800′s to today. The show opened November 16th, and will remain on display through April 13, 2014.

“American wildlife artists have helped to capture the positive and negative results of humanity’s interactions with wildlife still found today, as well as those that are simply a memory. In some instances, paintings and illustrations are the only record of certain species that we have,” says the museum’s Petersen Curator of Art and Research Adam Duncan Harris. Harris notes that artists’ interpretations of wildlife run the gamut from that of early American artist William Jacob Hays, who, says Harris, depicted the animals he saw on exploratory expeditions to the American West, visually preserving them for future generations—-to more conscious conservation messages, such as Steve Kestrel’s “Silent Messenger” (2005), that, in the artist’s own words, “mourn[s] the destruction and degradation of ecosystems worldwide and the tragic loss of unique animal species.”

Steve Kestrel - Silent Messenger - 2005. Courtesy www.stevekestrel.com

Steve Kestrel – Silent Messenger – 2005. Courtesy www.stevekestrel.com

Natural histories such as the rebound of bison populations lead to “tales of wildlife across the globe.” The tiger is well represented, and displays engage viewers with information that’s often revelatory. For instance, did you know that in the U.S. more tigers are currently owned by private individuals, not zoos, than exist in the wild? Approximately 5,000 tigers are in the U.S., according to the World Wildlife Foundation. 

“Artworks depicting endangered species, whether historical or contemporary, raise pointed questions about humanity’s role in species survival or extinction. We hope that Conservation Gallery will help spark some of those discussions with our visitors,” says Harris.

Images, top of page:  From “Conservation Gallery”: Wilhelm Kuhnert, Resting Tiger, 1912. JKM Collection©, National Museum of Wildlife Art (left), and Gwynn Murrill (United States, b. 1942), Tiger 2, 2012 -2013. Bronze. 42 x 62 x 31 inches. Dr. Lee W. Lenz, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Gwynn Murrill (right)

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