Category Archives: Arts Funding & Grants

Rural Violence & Baby Ask: Women, Horses, Mountains, Music & More

“A new year is upon us, marking a time for reflection and anticipation. 2016 was a turbulent year, underscoring the important role art plays in encouraging dialogue between people and reflection upon ourselves.” ~  Art Advisor and Producer Camille Obering 

A heads up: Viewer discretion advised. This clip contains images of a live butchering. I want to post this latest in Obering & Friends “Rural Violence”  film-documented performance piece for the reasons Obering gives, and I’ve reached out to Obering with questions. At post time, the Jackson Hole Art Blog hasn’t received a response.

So I’ll put it to you, readers. The filmmakers wish to address many themes, and here’s the list, directly quoted:

– Death and destruction leading to life and enlightenment.

– Creating awareness that the luxuries many thoughtlessly consume often have a backstory (sic) many reproach (food production, electricity, transportation, cheap anything).

– Humanity’s animalistic (sic) instincts such as dominance, submission, struggle, proliferation, and acknowledging the grey area that exists separating humans from beasts.

– Persecution of the innocent.

– Tension created between what one considers natural verses amoral.

– How sanitized and curated our lives are, and how short our attention spans have become.

– Finding beauty in and meditating on what could be considered brutal.

These are themes we examine constantly; we’re a very aware generation or two; in Jackson alone we have two very fine organic food markets. That’s privilege, and we have a multitude of options when it comes to buying our food. We know that even organic meat gets butchered. How animals live their lives before butchering is most important: are they treated humanely or confined to horrific conditions? What were the circumstances for this animal? How did this creature end up as the “Rural Violence” star? Is it the “innocent?”

Camille Obering on set.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I do question my choices and often think about what took place before I pluck the sanitized package of meat I’ve just bought from the rack. Every day tensions between the haves and have-nots become more visible.  We are a community packed with environmentalists, biologists, forestry experts, wildlife biologists, fishermen, ornithologists and  conservation activists. Many hunt to feed their families.

Yet, for the touring public coming to visit Jackson Hole, any reference to how indigenous cultures survived and hunted are pretty smoothed over. Places you might find full-faced references are the J.H. Historical Societythe Yellowstone and Grand Teton Visitor Centers, the Library, the National Museum of Wildlife Art and National Geographic, just to name a few.

So what is new about these messages? I don’t think the themes are surprising; what’s new is how they’ve been treated in this piece of film. Rather than replicating, how about presenting a true indigenous group carrying out a routine life ritual? Would that get the point across? It’s the conversation I’d have. It’s a question, and raising questions is a primary goal here.

There’s beauty, poetry and reverence in this clip. I’m grateful to receive and share it. Thanks to Planet Jackson Hole and Meg Daly for the link!  www.camilleobering.com

Maddy German

A Song Bird’s “Baby Ask” 

A second locally produced video, “Baby Ask,” is in its final week of fundraising on Kickstarter, looking for dollars to offset costs of a ready-to-roll music video starring local songstress Maddy German. The video premiers at Jackson’s Center for the Arts at 6:00 pm, January 27th. 

German and her Band

Inspired by emotional upheaval, personal growth and, as it turns out, upheaval within the film’s production group and the rupture of German’s relationship with a former beau, the flick has two goals: transferring to film the struggles we experience with our “other selves,” and help launch a larger musical career for German and her crew.

You can catch the “Baby Ask” trailer here:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/497811323/baby-ask-a-music-video-from-wyoming

Get Your Art Up and OUT; Cayuse’s Centennial

Borbay and Friend

Borbay and Friend

What percentage of artists working in Jackson Hole have pierced their immediate circle of collectors and taken their art to a new level? Branding happens when you’ve “arrived,” and nobody is a brand before that leap. Jackson’s art market is one of the strongest in the nation, recognized primarily for its historical and contemporary Western Art.

What if you’re not a native Westerner? What if you’ve moved here looking for answers, searching for a supportive venue? Perhaps you’ve been here forever, respected and recognized. Still, the art world at large doesn’t quite know it, and you’re not a household name. You’re selling, but you want to sell more. No sugar daddies (or mommies) around, no private plane connections, no trust fund….Maybe you’re shy.

 Just as an improved diet and better sleep will elevate health… so too can artists empower themselves by embracing necessary entrepreneurial techniques. Competition between artists for collectors is unnecessary. ~ Borbay

Borbay and Friends to the resue!

On Friday, July 29th, 1:30 – 3:00 pm at the Art Association’s Gallery, Borbay, Ben Roth and Claudia Bueno will talk on the topic “How to Get Your Work Beyond Jackson Hole.” The session is free. Heck, I wish I could be there!

 

Claudia Bueno

Claudia Bueno

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Leading the Art Association Way; Metal Work

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

Testimonies: Teton Photography Group; Jeremy Morgan & CSA

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.

 

Erin C. O’Connor Paints for Morocco; Walker at Altamira

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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