Category Archives: Jackson Hole Visual Arts

Nature is That “Nameless Thing”

Jennifer Hoffman Gessler, Morning Glory. 8x10"

Jennifer Hoffman, Morning Glory. 8 x10″ Oil

“There is something beyond explanation when an artist is drawn to a subject,” writes Jackson Hole artist Jennifer Hoffman. “Maybe it’s a bit of light or some familiar memory that is stirred, or some emotion the scene recalls. I’ve heard other artists refer to it as a sense of mystery or magic. My desire to paint the landscape around us (or any subject) goes beyond just copying its visual qualities.”

“That Nameless Thing” is the title of Hoffman’s newest show at Trio Fine Art, located just north of the Town Square in Jackson, Wyoming. She took the title from the writings of the deceased artist Emily Carr, an artist working in the early 1900’s associated with Canada’s “Group of Seven.”  Carr’s book “Hundreds and Thousands: the journals of Emily Carr” is Hoffman’s source.

While a variety of subjects, sizes and mediums fill the show, Hoffman has one ultimate goal: “I hope to catch something of that ‘nameless thing’,” she says. Hoffman was recently quite successful at capturing nature~~her serene, mirror-like painting of Flat Creek won “Honorable Mention” at the recent “Plein Air for the Park” Show and Sale.

“I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstractness of the forms.” ~ Jennifer Hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman, "From Within." 12 x 16" Oil Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “From Within.” 12 x 16″ Oil Pastel

I’ve followed Hoffman closely over the years, and over those years she has consistently demonstrated her great gift for delving ever deeper into a scene. She is able to “translate” a landscape, wild creatures and still lifes into surprising, yet evocative works of art. Her draftsmanship is nothing short of impeccable, but she’s able to keep us from thinking of composition in its most basic terms because we are carried away by the poetry in her paintings.  One 30 x 30″ pastel of a thawing Hoback River is Hoffman’s largest pastel work to date.

Jennifer Hoffman at work.

The artist at Flat Creek

I’d go so far as to say Hoffman is channeling a bit of Abstract Expressionism. Helen Frankenthaler, are you in the air?

Yellowstone’s thermal areas are obviously beautiful.  Of course they draw many, many visitors because of their drama and unique physicality,” Hoffman observes. “I love the patterns, colors, and textures of the mineral deposits, the steam, the reflective quality of the water.  I love the abstraction of form.”

Jennifer Hoffman, "Transition," 16 x 20" Pastel

Jennifer Hoffman, “Transition,” 16 x 20″ Pastel

In this show you’ll find the fantastic, the sweet secrets of nature, a commanding use of color and light, and fall in love.

“That Nameless Thing” opens at Trio Fine Art on July 27th, and remains on exhibition through August 13th. An Opening Reception takes place Thursday, July 28th, 5-8:00 pm. Hoffman will give a talk at 6:00 pm. All work will be viewable online by July 25th. Visit ,  and contact the gallery at 307-734-4444. Email: 




The Red Road: Valkyries and Medicine Men at Altamira Fine Art

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24 inches

R. Tom Gilleon, Valkyrie. Oil, 32 x 24″. At Altamira Fine Art.

Valkyries. Often portrayed as beneficent creatures, their role as the God Odin’s daughters (or female assistants) in Norse mythology is deciding which warriors die and which survive great battles. Those who perish are flown to Odin’s Valhalla by the valkyries, so that he may watch over them.

“Whether in their loving or bloodthirsty modalities, the valkyries are best understood as part of the extensive and dynamic complex of shamanism that permeates pre-Christian Germanic religion,” notes the web page Norse Mythology for Smart People.

R. Tom Gilleon’s “Valkyrie” elicits a tumbling mass of confliciting emotion. Is this a wise and beneficent angel of Odin or a bloodthirsty footman? Is she grounded or hovering? Is she watching over a particualar soldier or pensive? And how does this mythological Norse shaman legend translate to Native American symbols and culture?

How many battles were waged as white men overtook Indian lands, livelihood and very soul? Too many to count. Gilleon uses an ancient character to make a statement about today’s world crises, too many to count. But I choose to believe Gilleon’s valkyrie is a compassionate, helping spirit, ready to protect. Ready to carry our souls to safety.

Continue reading

Is This Thing On?

Wendell Field. North of Static. Wood Print.

Wendell Field, North of Static. Wood Print.

It is on! Fancy that.

Hello, and welcome back to the Jackson Hole Art Blog, where, this summer, I’ll be working to keep you updated on the arts scene in and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Plein air events will be prominent, particularly in July, when the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters return to Grand Teton National Park to paint for two weeks, interact with wildlife, the visiting public and demonstrate their legendary talents.

Jackson’s new artist community continues to grow despite a raging, excruciating housing shortage. The muse is the message, and extracting yourself from your muse is painful. Jackson arts are exploding, and for the most part have beautified and enhanced the area. Creativity includes murals, installations, public art, and the Western art scene continuing to diversify its genres.

The Greg McHuron Memorial Book Project is complete! Contact the Grand Teton Association to order your copy today!

The Greg McHuron Memorial Book Project is complete! Contact the Grand Teton Association to order your copy today!

There is a “creative conundrum’ in play. To my knowledge the most recent, all-inclusive write-up on issues affecting our artists belongs to Planet Jackson Hole, and you can read it here. I posted a response to the article:

Continue reading

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival Begins

Billy Schenck. 13 Minutes to Eternity. 2015's Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival Poster.

Billy Schenck. 13 Minutes to Eternity. 2015’s Jackson Hole Fall          Arts Festival Poster.

The Circle of Jackson Hole Life has brought us back around to our annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival! Little by little I’ll post information about 2015’s swirl of events~~this Festival is officially epic. Do a rudimentary Google search, and you’ll find references to Fall Arts all around the country. It’s a marathon, it’s a party, it’s a 10-day celebration and proud procession of the best Western arts have to offer. Even some not-so-Western art is creeping in. That’s a good thing. Paintings, parties, sculpture, music, food, dancing, wine, fashion shows, design, auctions and competitions. It’s all here. Enjoy!…and on a personal note: Welcome Home, Jane Lavino! 


Wednesday, September 9

Jane Lavino, Education Director, National Museum of Wildlife Art

Jane Lavino

The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s  grouping of events are ticketed all together or separately. Each posting relating to the museum will affect attendees differently. You’ll know which events you’re scheduled for by the packet you’ve purchased under the Western Visions “umbrella.”

Today, the museum (NMWA) holds its Jewelry and Artisan Luncheon. Wearable art galore! Shop ’til you drop, eat divine food. I think the location is secret to anyone who had NOT bought a ticket to this event. 40% of sales benefit NMWA’s educational programs, overseen by JANE!  11:00am-4:00 pm.

Jenness Cortez at Trailside's Fall Gold Exhibition

Jenness Cortez at Trailside’s Fall Gold Exhibition

Trailside Galleries’ annual en masse exhibition brings out all that’s Western: sporting arts are included, as well as heavy emphasis on wildlife and landscape art. The show runs through September 20th, with an artists’ reception on Saturday, September 9, 5-7:00 pm. Are you a fan of a Trailside artist? This is your chance to meet up with a whole passel of artists, and Kyle Sims showcases a major show of new works.   307.733.3186 or

Thursday, September 10

The first Christmas catalog to arrive every year, without fail, belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The first Fall Arts p.r. to arrive every year, without fail, is the Western Design package.

The Western Design Conference Opening Preview Party takes place at the Snow King Center, 6-10:00 pm.  This is a preview of the annual open-to-the-public show. Tonight’s party includes a tour, a flashy fashion show featuring local models, a live auction. Hot stuff! Always packed. $125 or $50 in advance, on line, and at the door.


Two Grey Hills A quieter, academic and wondrous opportunity to learn about Navajo weavers and their history. Mark Winters will speak, and a Master Weaver from the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills region will demonstrate this fine cultural, indigenous art. 11:00 am  – 5:00 pm at Two Grey Hills, on the corner of Broadway and King Streets. 307.733.2677 or

Taylor Glenn at WRJ Associates

Taylor Glenn at WRJ Associates

WRJ Associates, “inspired by the natural world, informed by the rest of it,” invites you to enter their exquisite space during P&P. Embracing the group’s fabulous collection of furnishings is equally fabulous art. Taylor Glenn, Lee & Edward Riddell, Heidi Jung and others are spotlighted. It’s gorgeous, darling. On King Street. 

Noted Jackson landscape painter Jim Wilcox opens his galleries for his annual Wildlife and Wildlands (sic) Annual Show; although slated to be on display today, p.r. says the show officially opens tomorrow night during Palates and Palettes, 5-8:00 pm. It remains up through September 30th.  This show opening begins the night of Palates & Palettes (Friday, September 11 from 5:00-8:00pm) and will hang through Wednesday, September 30. Wilcox Gallery, 110 Center Street, 307.733.6450 or

Kay Stratman. Early Season Snowfall. At Horizon Fine Art.

Kay Stratman. Early Season Snowfall. At Horizon Fine Art.

Artists Kay Stratman and Mark Kelso are the guest artists at Horizon Fine Art, giving live demonstrations in the gallery through Festival week. Note: Horizon’s “Farewell to Fall Brunch” takes place Sunday, September 20th, the Festival’s final day….otherwise known as Bloody Mary Sunday.”  Horizon Fine Art, 30 King Street 307.739.1540 or

Friday, September 11 



Happy 90th Birthday, Dad!!!!!!!

Besides my dad’s birthday, two major Festival events comprise the day: the official opening of the Western Design Conference Exhibit Sale and this evening’s famed “Palates and Palettes” city-wide Art Walk. Crazy time! If you make plans to meet someone at a gallery tonight, just forget about it. You’ll never find them. Go it alone and roll, baby, roll!

Over 130 national artists present contemporary and traditional handcrafted, original creations of furniture, fashion, jewelry, and accessories for the home during at the Western Design Show. Plan to spend at least an hour wandering the booths showcasing top designers of fashion, jewelry, sculpture and more. There’s a special interior design in a home environment. “Retail Row” that sounds like a mini-mall set up of retailers. 10:00am – 5:00 pm. $15 at the Snow King Center door.

Palates & Palettes!

So many galleries take part in this favorite evening of fun art and foodie fests; but keep your eye out for artisans who are not officially part of the Chamber list. They’re doing their things, too. Everyone is welcome, visitors criss-cross downtown Jackson, and gallery maps are available almost anywhere you go. 5-8:00 pm….but people tend to start early! Here’s a short list of P&P gallery events:

R. Tom Gilleon - Freudian Sleep. At Altamira Fine Art.

R. Tom Gilleon – Freudian Sleep. At Altamira Fine Art.

I LOVE my Altamira Fine Art! Read write ups on tonight’s guest artists, R. Tom Gilleon and Greg Woodard. Gilleon’s “Confluence of Culture” exhibition will be on display along with Woodard’s show “Break Through.” 5:00-8:00pm. Altamira Fine Art, 172 Center Street. 307.739.4700 or

Inside "RARE."

Inside “RARE.”

It’s embarrassing, but I’ve never ventured up the stairs to RARE Gallery during P&P. The line’s just too long. Maybe you’ll do better than I~~it’s a one-of-a-kind art experience, and, I hear, a good party. I have no clue what they’re exhibiting, but you can bet it’s not like any other art you’re likely to see in Jackson. 5:00-8:00pm. RARE Gallery, 60 E. Broadway, 2nd Floor. 307.733.8726 or

Jeri Eisenberg at Diehl Gallery

Jeri Eisenberg at Diehl Gallery

It’s a Diehl! Enjoy a gallery reception for artist Jeri Eisenberg and (omg, is Jeri a guy or a girl?) the artist’s exhibition “After Equinox.” 5-8:00 pm. Diehl Gallery, 155 West Broadway.

David Brookover and Mocha

David Brookover and Mocha

OTHER PEOPLE & PLACES:  The Art Association will be having an overflowing party, one of P&P’s most popular….David Brookover’s Gallery, on the corner of Cache and Deloney, often throws a great fundraising event for the Teton Raptor Center or another deserving non-profit. Oh, and you get to meet David and see his amazing images. There’s none like them…..and somewhere, somehow, Wendell Field is having a show of new prints. His significant other will likely attend, but pay attention to the work! I’d rather find images of YOU, Wendell, than her and her family when I Google you! (HEART.)…Visit MADE, visit the Daly Project, visit Astoria Fine ArtLegacy and Mountain Trails! 

Two Grey Hills continues its program focusing on Navajo weavers and traditions. Fine rugs. NOTE: the shop will close at 5:00 pm. 307.733.2677 or

That’s all for today~~~keep tuning in! Happy Fall Arts Festival, Jackson Hole! 


Woodard and Schenck Win the West at Altamira Fine Art

Greg Woodard Indian Head Penny, Edition of 17 Bronze 36 x 30 x 16 inches

Greg Woodard
Indian Head Penny, Edition of 17
36 x 30 x 16 inches

At Altamira Fine Art, September 1-10th are exhibition days devoted to artists exploring Native American (or “Indian,” as John Byrne Cooke insists we should be writing), culture and themes. Sculptor Greg Woodard has been subtly, and not so subtly creating visions of myths and symbols of a West that flourished before white men destroyed almost every vestige of the Indian nations. His newest show, Breakthrough, gives us more of Woodard’s emotional, heroic sculptures erupting from the earth, and writhing, proud and primal portrayals of Native Americans and Western wildlife.

Woodard, a master falconer, says he allows his sculptures to develop naturally—there are no preconceptions. Each edition reveals its own hue and texture.

“I try to achieve a unique gesture, and use the process that a piece goes through getting cast to my advantage. I’m very involved at the foundry,” says Woodard. “I chase the waxes and do every patina by hand.”

Woodard's Bison Coin sculpture at NMWA. Photo by Tammy Christel

Woodard’s Bison Coin sculpture at NMWA. Photo by Tammy Christel

Woodard was on hand this summer at the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Annual Plein Air Festival. The event highlights true plein air artists, but sculptors and non-traditional artists also take part. Woodard’s open, friendly ways stand in contrast to the intensity of his work. That day, Woodard was shaping a piece for a bronze sculpture depicting a buffalo’s profile turned on its axis within a weathered coin’s diameter. Below Woodard and his sculpture, pacing the sage-covered incline, was sculptor Richard Loffler’s buffalo installation. Two “presents” looking back, foretelling America’s future.

An artist’s reception will be held at Altamira on Friday, September 11, 5-8:00 pm, during the Fall Arts Festival’s “Palettes and Palates”ArtWalk.

Billy Schenck: Three Minutes from Eternity. Enquire!

Billy Schenck: Three Minutes from Eternity. Enquire!

Congratulations to Billy Schenck and Altamira Fine Art for Schenck’s encore performance as 2015’s Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival Poster Artist. This is his second trip down the Featured Poster Artist aisle, and he’s having a blast. Altamira’s website does not post a price for the original~~that’s because it will be auctioned off at the Fall Arts Annual Quick Draw on the Town Square. Bring the big bucks! The Quick Draw is truly Jackson’s favorite Festival happening~~~I believe it’s outpaced Palates and Palettes. Two completely different events, but there’s purity in the Quick Draw. Family Fun. Sparkling fall mornings. Artists on hand in one place, quick on the painting and sculpting draw.

This Schenck is on Altamira’s site. I have to post it. If this doesn’t leave you smiling….I give up!

Billy Schenck - Columbus Discovered the Tetons. Oil on Canvas 35 x 45 inches.

Billy Schenck. Columbus Discovered the Tetons. Oil on Canvas. 35 x 45″