Category Archives: Crafts

At Every Level, Jackson & Wyoming Arts Show & Compete

If you want your art to get noticed and sold here in Jackson, you have to work at it every day, every minute you can. Don’t sit around wasting time watching TV. Your art has to be the best, the highest caliber you can produce, it has to stand out.”  ~ Jackson Hole Artist 


“No animals died in the making of these mounts.” – Jennifer Lee, National Museum of Wildlife Art

Contests and competitions everywhere!  Jackson’s National Museum of Wildlife Art is putting out a national and regional call to artists–including amateurs–to submit “fun faux animal mounts” that will be part of the new Trophy Art Fundraiser. Artists must create fanciful examples of animal trophy heads and deliver them to the museum by February 7, 2014. All works will be on display February 12th – March 15th. All are available for sale on a first come, first serve basis beginning February 22nd, from 11 a.m – 2 p.m., during  “Trophy Art: Fun Forms for All.”


“We were hoping to inspire people’s creativity with this event by letting imaginations run wild,” says Associate Director of Programs and Events Jennifer Lee. “For years the museum has been asked, ‘Where is the taxidermy?’ This event offers a fun way of playing off that theme, including our tagline: “No animals died in the making of these mounts.”

Two works for sale are “Deer #5” by Kelly Vanderveer (above) and “The Lizard” crafted in silver and opal by Jackson Hole silversmith Joni Mack, top of the page.

Participating artists retain 30% of the purchase price they name as a commission for their time and efforts, with the rest of the proceeds going to the museum’s youth education programs. Images already received for the upcoming event include a lizard, mountain lion, elk, pronghorn and deer.

For more information, contact Jennifer Lee at or 307.732.5412.

Joshua Tobey -"Cotton Ball"  Cotton Tail Rabbit. Bronze, edition of 25 7" x 9" x 8"

Tim Cherry -“Cotton Ball” Cotton Tail Rabbit.
Bronze, edition of 25
7″ x 9″ x 8″

New paintings and sculptures are on view at Astoria Fine Art, in Jackson. In particular 2014’s Fall Arts Festival Sculptor Artist Joshua Tobey has some wonderful new wildlife sculptures. At this writing many Fall Arts fans are waiting to see the finished image of Tobey’s winning FAF work, one he hopes will initiate the new FAF tradition memorably.

Tim Cherry and Gerald Balciar also have new sculptures at the gallery; painters Ewoud deGroot, Robert Lougheed (1910 – 1982), Dean Mitchell, Tom Palmore, Al Agnew and Cole Johnson are all represented. Stop by the gallery, on the north side of Jackson’s Town Square. Who said winter was quiet?

Ewoud deGroot - "Snowy Owl"  39.5" x 25.5"  oil

Ewoud deGroot – “Snowy Owl” 39.5″ x 25.5″ oil

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Design Conference Changes Hands; Leine Stikkel’s “Lens to the World”



Seven-year Western Design Conference  (WDC) Events Manager Allison Merritt is now the conference’s owner; she purchased the event from Powder Horn Press and the Jackson Hole News and Guide, owners since the show moved to Jackson in 2007.

Merritt plans to expand 2014’s show and sale, she says. WDC will now include a home and interior design feature and “a larger fashion shopping experience.”  The annual, juried conference and show typically awards close to $16,000 in prize money to artisans working with Western genre works. This year’s conference, the big kickoff for Jackson’s annual Fall Arts Festival, takes place September 4-7, 2014.

“My vision is to build on the history of the show while creating an event that brings together every facet of design in the West, and to appeal to markets ranging from young, new customers to established collectors,” says Merritt. “From documented American craft to home design to fashion, we are expanding the show to encompass all aspects of the best of Western design.”

The Western Design Conference was founded 22 years ago in Cody, Wyoming, as a way to promote contemporary artists working with historical American craft methods. Contact Merritt at or phone  307-690-9719.

Photograph by Leine Stikkel

Photograph by Leine Stikkel

Oh Milky Way, what secrets of our galaxy do you hold in/ your spiraling Orion’s arm of comets and planets/and celestial beings…~Jackson Photographer Leine Stikkel. 

Jackson’s photographers are likely very familiar with Leine Stikkel’s photographs of all things natural, quixotic and wild. I’ve known Leine for a couple of years, but too rarely get to spend time with her. She’s a naturalist, a spotter, an adventurer and devoted to the art. Through her lens, she sees the world so uniquely—and I use “uniquely” in its best sense. Earlier this year she and filmmaker Jeff Hogan began a project filming beavers in Grand Teton National Park, but the project was cut short by the government shut down. The two continue working together; keep your eyes open for a new project.


Happily, I ran into Leine on the west bank dike, along the Snake River just the other day. She spotted an avalanche, and we looked at it through her binoculars for a while. She’s launched a blog, “Lens to the World,” where you can view her work and read her close-to-the-heart responses to what her camera’s eye captures. It’s beautiful. Stikkel simply wants to get her photographs and thoughts about what she sees out to the world. Hope this helps.

Photograph by Leine Stikkel

Photograph by Leine Stikkel

“The beaver pond is icing up. Their food storage spreads away from the lodge through the pond water, looking as if a small, branchy tree has fallen from atop the lodge. It will be their food throughout the winter,” writes Stikkel. “All they have to do is dive out of the lodge and right there, under the ice, grab a branch and scoot back in, mmm water chilled alder, aspen or cottonwood tree.”

Were we all able to slow ourselves down and match words to image as she does. Thank you, Leine.

Wilson Bazaar; Wyoming Arts Updates

wilson bazaar 2

The much-loved, “only-in-Wilson,Wyoming” annual Wilson Christmas Bazaar takes place at the warm and Tibetan blessed home of Brot and Didi Coburn on Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th, 10am – 4pm each day. Address: 1520 Fish Creek Road, Wilson, WY!  Look for the prayer flags…oh, wait, there are prayer flags everywhere around here, so look for the address. And lots of cars. And the scent of hot cider. Didi works the floor, and Brot mans the snack counter and coffee bar. Sometimes Brot gets pulled away to work the floor as well, and conviviality never lets up.

Didi Coburn’s special Mountain Culture Rugs feature iconic Teton images woven into whimsical patterns; a bright and meaningful match for any mountain home.

Imported from India are cashmere and wool throws, shawls, scarves, pillows, leather goods, Ganesh pendants and hand painted miniature works set in silver. Limited edition ikat print, hand woven silk pillows from Kashgar will be on hand….as well as Martha MacEachern’s jewelry, “Sweet Peony Designs.”

Everyone is welcome!  Bring a friend. For information call Didi at 307.733.4124 or email 



From Wyoming Arts: Updates!

WY Arts Council Board positions are available/open. WY Arts board members “determine grant awards and develop policy for the Council. The Board meets four times per year around the state. Between meetings, board members read grants and sometimes serve on committees as available. Travel expenses are reimbursed.”

To apply, visit the Governor’s Boards & Commissions website by clicking here. You may also contact Rita Basom at 307.733.7473 to find out more about being a board member. There’s a board info website, too —click here.


Governor’s Arts Awards will soon be announced, and this year’s gala takes place in Cheyenne on February 28, 2014. The venue? Little America, of course! …. I believe I’ve mentioned this in an earlier post, but applications for the Artist Roster are available at, under Wyoming Arts Council Artist Roster. Free to register, and to apply. Deadline is December 1, 2013. For more information on the roster, visit





Camellia El-Antably

Deputy Manager/Visual Arts/Special Events


Troxler’s Painted Pages; Scott Christensen’s New Works; Thal’s Glass “Spheres”

Shannon Troxler - Cobalt and Sapphires

Shannon Troxler – Cobalt and Sapphires

Jackson Hole artist Shannon Troxler has new encaustic paintings on display November 7 – December 27, 2013, at the Teton County Library.  The artist will participate in a free opening reception for her show, “Missing Pages,” on Thursday, November 14th, from  5-7 p.m. An artist’s talk takes place at 6 p.m.

“The title of the show came about because my family and friends would complain that books I lent them had missing pages,” says Troxler. “Each of my paintings will have a clue to a literary subject’s identity, such as a quote—the pages are part of the art—and I’ll have a table full of books I’ve used. The idea is to figure out which painting matches which book; some are very easy and some more difficult.”

Troxler’s project began six months ago when she painted a small work depicting Alice and the White Rabbit for the Art Association’s “Whodunnit.” Once under way, Troxler found it hard to stop.

“I have always had a passion for books, but now I was obsessed. I would wake up and think ‘Oh, I should do Jane Eyre!’ I’d find the book, reread it, decide which pages were relevant, and imagine how Jane would look and how I could capture her in paint and encaustic wax. For Jane, I ended up burning page edges, in reference to the book’s fire scenes. Something I like about this show are the paintings’ layers, meant to reflect each book’s layers of meaning. Some will enjoy these paintings as simple portraits or landscapes, and those who have read these books may pick up on more subtleties,” says the artist.

Shannon Troxler - Emma

Shannon Troxler – Emma

Troxler hopes to encourage discussion of the classics and their iconic characters, so much a part of our lexicon. As a subject, narrative is a departure for Troxler; many artists “shy away” from approaching literary stories in their work, she says. Though she studied art in the classical tradition and enjoys painting figures, she has never wanted to paint portraits and each of these works presented a challenge. Here, Troxler imagines how characters look and feel, a liberating experience. The combination of oil and wax creates lovely, translucent layers, allowing her to carve surfaces with subtle detail.

“I feel like I am just getting started, I can imagine so many more characters and series, musicians and sheet music for example. Cookbooks! I’m beginning to explore the concept of this being a traveling exhibit,” says Troxler.

Shannon Troxler - Twinkle, Twinkle

Shannon Troxler – Twinkle, Twinkle

It’s rather wonderful that book pages and journals, and how women manipulate or interpret the written word, are a reoccurring theme in recent weeks. This must mean something!

For information, contact Adult Humanities Coordinator Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135, or email The library notes that pARTners will also celebrate classic literature November 13-30th, with literary-inspired art by local high school students on display at the library.

Scott Christensen - I See a Pale Moon Rising - 24 x 30"

Scott Christensen – I See a Pale Moon Rising – 24 x 30″

Noted plein air painter Scott Christensen will host a November opening for a series of new works at his downtown Victor, Idaho studio. A reception and sale for “A Painter’s Travels”  takes place on Saturday, November 23rd, 3:00 pm, at 10 S. Main Street, in Victor. I will go out on a wintry limb and assume works shall continue to be for sale after that date and into the holidays.

A lovely time of year, and opportunity, to view Christensen’s latest works and meet the artist. For more information contact Casey at 208.787.5851, or email

Crafting glass at Laurie Thal's studio, 2012.

Crafting glass at Laurie Thal’s studio, 2012.

Glass blower Laurie Thal is opening up her studio again this holiday season—come blow your own glass balls! (Sorry, there’s just no getting around that joke!)  It’s a great time, Thal leads participants through each step of the process, and everyone goes home with a beautiful, hand made ornament.

Dates: November 12 – January 12, 2014. Groups of no less than four people can sign up, and the cost is $30/per person–$20 to make a second ornament.  Phone 307.733.5096 or email 





Mark Nowlin’s Masters Studio Forced to Close

Mark Nowlin

Mark Nowlin

A heartbreaker. Masters Studio, long Jackson Hole’s sole artists’ supply store (it’s also a framing shop), is closing its doors. This is the store’s 18th year doing business in Jackson.

Owner Mark Nowlin, an artist himself, has until mid-November to vacate his Powderhorn Mall shop. He’s been in this business a total of  32 years. New owners of the building housing Nowlin’s shop—next door to the former Studio 2000, also kicked out—-have notified him he has to go. Nowlin had hoped to remain in his space; he was willing to pay an affordable rent increase. However, this week Nowlin arrived at his shop to find an envelope stuck to his door containing a hand written letter on blank paper. “Scribbled” is a better description. Nowlin taped the letter to his entrance, alerting friends, customers and supporters of Masters Studio’s status. The letter’s message appears below—underlined and bolded text reflect the same emphasis in the original. It reads:

3 October 2013

Dear Mark,

We are very sorry to tell you that Britt and I have determined that we are going to need the space you currently occupy for our new office. Initially we thought that the salon/spa space was going to work out for us, but after meeting with architects and contractors over the last few weeks we have reached the conclusion that we will also need to occupy your space in order to build the office and medical space to meet our needs. We very much tried to configure an office in the smaller space as we wanted to keep you in the building as a neighbor but we were just unable to do so.  In any case we need to have access to the space as soon as possible after closing (October 16) but understand that you will need time to move out/find new space and will give the formal 30 day notice starting on that date for you to move out no later than 16 NOV. We would prefer to get access before 16 NOV if at all possible but understand if this is not possible for you. Thanks. 

At the bottom of the page are the words “to start the remodel.”  It is signed : Jon and Britt Baker.  (I’ll leave off their phone number, though it is included in the letter.) 

Artwork by Mark Nowlin

Artwork by Mark Nowlin

So there you have it. Another steadfast, beloved and contributing community member displaced (it’s not a business agreement unless an actual choice for both parties exists) and supplanted by a more “lucrative” enterprise…cutting off another slice of Jackson’s “soul.”

Neighborliness, respect, honesty and courage are not marked by stealthily dropped letter bombs; they’re marked by treating people as you would wish to be treated….If, years ago, Walmart had made its way to Jackson, countless local livelihoods would have been eroded. Community disconnect can take the form of a Walmart or it can take the form of individuals taking advantage of others, because they can. The only difference is total elapsed time to accomplish such things.

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