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Mar
17
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

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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

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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.

 

Jan
31
Casy Vogt - American Gothika. House paint, collage, resin on panel 24" x 24"

Casy Vogt – American Gothika.
House paint, collage, resin on panel
24″ x 24″

So many goodies sailing in via snail and email!  Spoiler alert: there’s likely to be a lot of stream of consciousness in this post…

That word, “email,” today reminds me of that childhood rhyme: What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails; and what are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice. Here are a few art snips, laced with sugar n’ spice.

The Diehl Gallery takes pride in presenting the art of Casey Vogt. Vogt is “a kind of photojournalist,” capturing in mixed media works “what the prevalent winds blow.”

My first reactions to the work are very different from what seems to be the artist’s intent. Vogt declares: “I present issues that, if seen from an objective standpoint, seem completely incongruent with that which is preached by those in power. My goal is to neither persuade nor dissuade anyone: rather, I wish to open the gates of discussion surrounding these issues so that meaningful dialogue can replace archaic sound bites.”

I see quilt-like designs rendered using various media, and I sense more is happening in Vogt’s art-soul. Doesn’t matter, it’s all subjective. Like it. www.diehlgallery.com

496“More about film, Tammy!” I hear that a lot. Okay!

Here’s an upcoming film class taking place at the Art Association. “Motion Picture Fundamentals,” with Leigh Regan, Tuesday, February 4 – March 11th, 6-8 pm. Cost:  $150 for A.A. members, $175 for non-members. Description: “The class will start with a hands-on technical run-through of camera operation. Students will view and study film scenes as examples. Whether you want to learn better techniques to shoot a family video, create a YouTube video or have aspirations to make your own film, this course will give the tools and creative inspiration to boost your shooting to the next level.”  Where is she, and what is she filming in this image, I wonder? Can we go there? www.artassociation.org  Phone: (307) 733- 6379.

 

Lee Hall, "Rome Wall Study 11,"  2010. Collage on paper.

Lee Hall, “Rome Wall Study 11,” 2010.
Collage on paper.

An opening reception takes place at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery on Friday, February 7th, 5-8:00 pm for two new exhibitions: Lee Hall’s “Visual Poetry” and Robert Motherwell, “A Collection of Works, 1970 – 1990.”

You know Motherwell’s work, and my hope was to find a snagable image of Piggott’s mailer depicting Hall’s “Italian Fragment,” an abstract acyrlic on paper recalling gorgeous ancient tile work. Hopes dashed. Instead, get an idea of Hall’s style, fine geometrical arrangements and mixes of color from the image above, a collage on paper. Visit www.tayloepiggottgallery.com.

Drove by ITP after dark the other evening. Lights on, painters painting in there. Nice.

 

Oct
18

 For Annie~~Eleven Years. 

Terry Tempest Williams - Courtesy Coyote Clan

Terry Tempest Williams – Courtesy Coyote Clan

“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy.” ~~Terry Tempest Williams

The Wyoming Arts Council’s annual conference came to Jackson Hole this year, and attendees were treated to a closing keynote by Terry Tempest Williams. She was intimately present, and if you were lucky enough to hear her that afternoon you’ll carry the occasion in your heart a long while.

Williams had thought to read from her latest book, “When Women Were Birds.” Instead, she chose to address a question put to her by the Wyoming Art Council’s Karen Stewart: “How have the arts affected your life?” 

"When Women Were Birds" by Terry Tempest Williams

“When Women Were Birds” by Terry Tempest Williams

Our cavernous conference room became an intimate campfire gathering. A place to hear stories, a place to have your heart stirred. Williams’ childhood summers were spent in Wyoming; in remembering those family traditions and travels, Williams said that Wyoming winds, time and the freedom of open spaces that create open minds shaped her. Days and nights spent curled up Mardy Murie’s feet, inhaling the wisdom of ages, breathing in stories, creating memory.

A trail of Wyoming art winds its way through Williams’ life. Each of her books began and ended in Wyoming. “Refuge” took its first breaths at UCross. Williams spoke of discovering works by legendary Wyoming artists like Jackson and Rungius. Her climate-themed collaboration with Jackson artists Ben Roth and Felicia Resor, “Council of Pronghorn,” elicited deep emotion (Roth drove the installation to NYC in a van, arriving just as one of the biggest storms that city has known was preparing to land. Roth had never been to NYC, and he found the streets empty. He was, said Williams, a messenger.) She reminded us that the best literary art is local; Hemingway, Faulkner—it’s all about place. We migrate, but ultimately we are a place-based species. Wyoming artist Neltje’s fluid brushstrokes inspired Williams to sweep her own sumi brushstrokes across blank paper before beginning any book.

Literature will always matter, Williams said, and art has always been waking us up. Early in her writing career, a mentor encouraged Williams to “sharpen her writing pencil,” to boldly speak about the essential nature of beauty and art in our lives.

“My wish for art education is that it continue to be taught. Arts create wholesome citizens, and we should weave art into other education disciplines and institutions. Conversation and the arts can lead to policy, and government should support the arts with no strings attached, no censorship. Trust artists; what they create is part of the roots of free speech,” Williams told the audience.

Neltje - Audible Breath Triptych - Acrylic

Neltje – Audible Breath Triptych – Acrylic

The Wyoming Arts Council blogged on Williams’ “Weather Report” project, a series of meetings Williams took with UW students and students around the state gathering and sharing stories of what it is like to live in Wyoming; to talk, as Williams described it this week, about “What keeps you up at night? What is your own ‘weather report?’ “

As Boomerang reporter Eve Newman wrote: “The energy boom in Wyoming means watching development taking over open spaces. It means jobs that keep families together. It means oil and gas executives feeling vilified. It means dead cottonwoods across ranch land.

Wyoming Arts Logo - Detail

Wyoming Arts Logo – Detail

Every Wyoming resident has a story about living in Wyoming. For many, those stories have to do with the latest boom cycle and the unprecedented change that’s affecting the land and the people. For others, their stories are about displacement, loss, love, racism, isolation, tolerance or opportunity.”

Newman also quoted Williams as saying that she believed students were able to bear witness to the power of stories, and heard the force of their own voices.

At the Aspen Institute, Williams participated in the Story Swap Project, an international interaction of citizens telling one another their stories, swapping roles, and building “bridges of understanding.”

Throughout her WAC keynote, Williams’ voice captured our hearts and minds. Throughout, she remained emotional, excited, open, receiving. We received. I know no other writers as eminent as Williams possessing an instinct to share so unselfishly, or who provide such lasting gifts inside an hour’s lecture. We are grateful.

“Once upon a time, when women were birds….”

Dove

 

Sep
27

1235327_10201862646150037_273817503_n“All art shows….contribute to our creative sides.”  ~ Tom Klingenmeier, General Manager, Sawdust Art Festival

California Roll.

Thanks to good friends, I was recently lucky enough to visit the city of Laguna Beach, CA . It’s a wonderful arts city, crowded with tourists and locals alike, just as Jackson is during our high summer season. We went to an art fair I’ll never forget: the Sawdust Art & Craft Festival on Laguna Canyon Road. Set against a cliff in a eucalyptus grove, Sawdust is a world unto itself, wildly creative, funky and welcoming. A waterfall splashes off the cliff into a rocky pool.

Sawdust is open two full months during the summer, late June through early September. Participating artists must be from Laguna. Close to 200 artists build their own booths each year. Booths must be constructed of wood frame and roofs, built strictly to code, and they can be as imaginative as artists wish, resulting in a fair that feels like a pop-up fantasy art village. Booth spaces differ in size, so Sawdust artists must scale to fit. Artists are responsible for taking booths down and restoring the three acre grove to its original natural state. Booths come down after Sawdust’s Winter Fantasy Show; a holiday-themed show taking place the last two weekends in November and the first two in December. Offices, meeting rooms, a glass-blowing center and arts education “classrooms” remain up year-round.

A very broad array of price points means there’s affordable art for everyone.

Sawdust blew me away! From the moment I walked in (entry fees for adults are in the $7-$8 range) I wondered how Laguna pulls this fair off; it’s 47 years old. I made a note to contact Sawdust, ask pesky questions about its structure and history, and report to you! Tom Klingenmeier, Sawdust’s general manager sent a generous response. I’ve edited my questions and Tom’s replies for length.

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Tammy Christel: How did Laguna Beach galleries initially respond to Sawdust? Was there trepidation? How do galleries feel about Sawdust today?

Tom Klingenmeier:  When we began only about a third of  the galleries Laguna currently has existed, and there was some resentment. Soon, though, gallery owners, hotels and restaurants realized that Sawdust generated over a half-million visitors in a short time. They quickly adapted and embraced the shows. They now rely heavily on the traffic we generate. Some of our galleries collaborate, featuring local artists in Laguna’s three summer festivals. Some artists conduct co-ops, taking turns being in their space to cut down on sales personnel. It also affords the artists more time to share art experiences with visitors, leading to more affordable art and knowledge for the buyer.

TC: How is Sawdust paid for?

TK: We sell tickets, and if you saw all three shows you had the chance to buy our “Passport to the Arts” ticket for all those shows, all summer long; it includes one-time parking in a large lot served by free tram service that goes all over town. We charge very nominal booth fees, have a retail shop that sells only Sawdust T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, and we charge rent for the five food concessions we lease. We have a saloon, selling wine and beer.

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Aug
25

995898_10201453924609936_325872173_n “It took half a day or longer just to make the plate, and if you have a spot or any kind of blemish on that plate, you’ve got to make a new one,” explained Jackson photographer David Brookover.

A few weeks back, Brookover described his lengthy, painstaking photogravure process to a rapt group of gallery visitors. The photographer is introducing the public to his latest set of photographs, images that include his new Andalusian horses series and fresh wildlife photographs taken in the Yellowstone region. Visitors were awed.

Working with large photographic plates, exposures, rinsing, transfering negatives—it all takes time. Brookover’s newest works have kept him out of his gallery a bit more than usual. He’s traveled extensively to capture the normally reticent breed of horse, and as this is a new direction for Brookover (he’s also created his first new color photograph in years) he’s honing each image to perfection. Consummate tone, color, texture and detail—and the highest archival quality distinguish his work.

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In the old days, Brookover told his audience, copper plates were the norm; those plates were capable of turning out high numbers of editions. But Brookover only makes editions of 10, using metal polymer plates. And besides, he says, there are so many chemicals needed to transfer images onto a copper plate that “it wouldn’t be good for a lot of fish in the rivers, it’s nasty stuff.”  The biggest plate size Brookover is using measures 20 x 30″.

Brookover’s images are bright, yet soft. In the quietest light they are piercingly lovely.

Spanish Andalusians weren’t easy to capture in the way Brookover had imagined they would be—when he wasn’t shooting them galloping across ranch land, he and ranch owners had to find ways to distract the horses. Brookover had to deal with how the horses looked; but also, as he found out, how they moved. Eyes constantly blink, and horses’ ears move back and forth. Lighting conditions were a challenge.. A goat and an Andalusian housed in a 15th Century stable, constant companions, stayed that way for Brookover’s camera. Andalusion stallions don’t mix well with other stallions—too much fighting—so other animals often become Andalusians’ “roomates.”

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“The horses don’t want to be alone or sleep alone, and we brought this one horse into the stable, and of course his goat buddy was there,” recalled Brookover. “Let’s get a shot of the stallion by himself,” he thought; but the task proved difficult. “The goat was not going to leave,” laughed Brookover. “So we put another stallion outside the stable window to get the stabled stallion’s attention, and we got some wonderful shots of the horse and goat looking out the window. I’d called the best image “Harold and Maude,” but I’m thinking of changing the title to “The Inseparables.”

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“Big Gus,” a massive buffalo pumping along in the Yellowstone region’s deep, clinging snows, found itself a Brookover subject last winter. I have said this before, but Brookover’s platinum wildlife images stand apart in their delicate beauty, minimalist composition and spiritual sensibility. Big Gus never let Brookover’s presence disturb the moment.

“I was hiding behind a snowcoach, and this guy was walking down the road,” said Brookover. “He was BIG. I kind of snuck out and got a little close as he walked on by, and luckily he just kept walking.”  www.brookovergallery.com 

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