Category Archives: Jackson Hole Visual Arts

Painting For Life: New Book Celebrates Gregory I. McHuron

"Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron," by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” by Susan Hallsten McGarry

“If you are attaining your goals, you’ve set your goals too low. The last painting you do should be the very best.” –Greg McHuron

Words to live by. Words to paint by.

Gregory I. McHuron (1945-2012) is considered by many admirers the sole plein air painter that could stand up to the Tetons’ majestic size and power, as well as their surrounding valley. Indeed, McHuron stood for the majesty of ALL wilderness and wildlife, and he left a permanent legacy when we lost him to cancer.

Four years after his death a seminal book worthy of McHuron’s life, artistry and passion for wilderness has come to fruition: “Plein Air Mentor and Master: Gregory I. McHuron,” lovingly authored by former Southwest Art Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Hallsten McGarry,  will soon to be available through the Grand Teton Association.

McGarry says that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the “WOW” that serenades your soul.”

“Painting has never been a job to me,” McHuron said. “It’s why I live.”

Greg McHuron near Menor's Ferry, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final "Artists in the Environment" demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

Greg McHuron near the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Grand Teton National Park. It would be his final “Artists in the Environment” demonstration. Photo by Tammy Christel

“In the summer of 2013, Linda McHuron, Peter Ward, and I got together to discuss the idea of a book,” says McHuron’s long-time friend and fellow plein air painter Stephen C. Datz. McHuron was a member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, a group painting annually in Grand Teton National Park in support of the Grand Teton Association. Datz served as the group’s president for four years.

“We made contact with as many family, friends, colleagues, and collectors as we could and began collecting stories and remembrances. Peter began the work of gathering, collating, and cataloguing images of Greg’s work,” said Datz.

McGarry feels that this book, a retrospective, “is not only a story of living in the now; it is also a guide to finding what McHuron called the WOW” that serenades your soul.”

Gregory I. McHuron, "Seasonal Differences," Oil, 40" x 30"

Gregory I. McHuron, “Seasonal Differences,” Oil, 40″ x 30″ Photo by Tammy Christel

For the next two years, through emails, phone calls, one-on-one meetings and gatherings hosted by Peter, we accumulated a huge stash of memories of Greg and advice that he had given his students,” recalls Datz. Matt Montagne and Charlie Craighead contributed an invaluable cache of candid photos of Greg out painting and doing AIE (Artists in the Environment, an open-to-the-public plein air painting program McHuron co-founded in 1974 with Connie Schwiering and Chuck McCurdy) demos.”

McGarry notes that “true artists must live their art and paint from the heart.” McHuron’s lifestyle epitomized that philosophy, she says. His paintings expressed what he felt, and he shared those feelings with others willing to listen, including mentoring artists, in workshops or in his own “no bull*@#!” critiques.

Continue reading

Our Majestic Parks: Ziemienski at Altamira Fine Art

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas 40 x 30 "

Dennis Ziemienski, Stone Bridge Over the Merced, Yosemite National Park. Oil on Canvas. 40×30″

In Dennis Ziemienski’s new show “Celebrating Our National Parks” at Altamira Fine Art, our parks are monumental. Man’s presence, for the most part, is small and humbling. In every image, you’ll find homage and acknowledgement that they, the parks, were here before us; and they, not us, are Earth’s great achievements.

DENNIS ZIEMIENSKI: CELEBRATING OUR NATIONAL PARKS, is on exhibit at Altamira Fine Art in Jackson, Wyoming, August 15-27, with an opening reception on Thursday, August 18, 5-8:00 pm. 

Dennis Ziemienski Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Oil on Canvas 48 x 30 inches

Dennis Ziemienski
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Oil on Canvas
48 x 30 “

As I write, 11 works from the show are posted on Altamira’s website; two have already sold. Ziemienski’s painting has always been marked by an appreciation of all things vintage. At times I’ve felt his work can be a little too obvious, but in this show, being obvious about color, scale and our precious parks is the point. These are spectacular tributes to some of America’s greatest treasures: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, Glacier , Yosemite and Devil’s Tower National Monument. This year is the National Park Centennial, and if you are one of the millions whose lives are deeply affected by personal park experience; if these wild and gorgeous places have made their mark on your soul, then you are bound to be transported by this tremendous exhibit.

Works reflect National Parks grandeur and scale. Ziemienski’s smallest painting measures 18 x 24″, and the largest canvas is 36 x 48″.

“The stunning beauty, history and wildlife provides an unlimited source of inspiration and subject matter for my paintings.” ~ Dennis Ziemienski

Growing up near Yosemite, I spent many summers there. Two decades ago I moved to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park; stepping off the plane here for the first time my pulse quickened, stunned by the Tetons’ visual impact. Those halcyon summer months spent at Yosemite’s lakes, beneath the waterfalls, hiking valleys, camping in the pines~~I can smell it. I thought I’d lost that sense memory forever. Thank goodness, I was wrong.

Continue reading

Turner Lightens Up at Trio Fine Art; Trailside’s Western Spirit

2016 Light on the Land

Kathryn Mapes Turner, "Grace," 40 x 30" oil on linen.

Kathryn Mapes Turner, “Grace,” 40 x 30″ oil on linen.

“I believe that humans can learn from the example set by animals to live sustainably on the planet. In this way, they live life ‘light on the land.’” ~ Kathryn M. Turner 

Transluscent light plays a big role in the artist’s upcoming exhibition “Light on the Land,” going on exhibit August 17th at Trio Fine Art, in Jackson, Wyoming. An opening reception will be be held August 18th, 5-8:00 pm at the gallery.

Plein air painter Kathryn Mapes Turner’s work has taken on a sheer, misty quality. Subject matter is not quite attached to this earth. It floats. Turner wields her brush to create an airy, misty atmosphere, quite in contrast to this region’s massive solidity and sheer tonnage.

It’s a style of painting the artist has embraced for some time. Often, Turner’s brushstrokes are diluted, and canvas texture becomes part of a painting; oils are so sparingly used they can be mistaken for watercolors.

Continue reading

Seeing Double at Tayloe Piggott Gallery: Travagli & Katz

Patrizio Travagli, Mirror Image

Patrizio Travagli, Mirror Image, a work from “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery.

Recalculating! What is reality? Who am I?

You’ll have to wait for the new show at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery to find out. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,” a group of works by Italian artist Patrizio Travagli, is so new that, with the exception of the work shown above, it hasn’t yet been photographed. The exhibit runs  August 16 – September 30th. Join the gallery for an opening reception on Tuesday, August 16th, 6-8:00 pm.

“My intention is to guide spectators on a journey in which their knowledge of space is put to the test, revealing the imperceptible and disclosing new dimensions that stretch towards the infinite.” ~  Patrizio Travagli

This may be the ultimate selfie moment. Travagli is fascinated by light’s power to shift perception. You will become part of this exhibit~~your reflection in any of six large mirrors, each with their own reflective and color properties, change and shift and with you, the viewer.

From "In-Lusionem (Patrizio Travagli and Marco De Vincenzo) | Teatro Niccolini - Florence | 2016"

From In-Lusionem (Patrizio Travagli and Marco De Vincenzo) | Teatro Niccolini – Florence | 2016″. Taken from a previous exhibition in Italy; research on the artist and the descriptions of his upcoming show at Tayloe Piggott prompted me to share this photo example of an earlier Travagli project.

Travagli aims to lead viewers in rethinking their perception of space, regardless of a wide variety of techniques, such as painting, sculpting, video, photography and installation.

“I frequently collaborate with scientists and professionals of other fields, such as architects and designers, in order to achieve a complete result….my intention is to guide spectators on a journey in which their knowledge of space is put to the test, revealing the imperceptible and disclosing new dimensions that stretch towards the infinite,” says the artist.

“Stretch?” I hope those mirrors don’t make me look fat!

Alex Katz. Ariel (Red), ed. 26/56, 2016, 26-color silkscreen.

Alex Katz. Ariel (Red), ed. 26/56, 2016, 26-color silkscreen.

Continue reading

Wildlife, Outside In

KOLLABS, Jake, 2016 Mixed Media, 12 x 12 in.

KOLLABS, Jake, 2016
Mixed Media, 12 x 12 in.

What if wildlife entered our homes, our environment and, well, got comfortable?

How would we react?

That’s the question artists Luis Garcia-Nerey and Anke Schofield, working together as “KOLLABS,” ask.

KOLLABS’ art, represented by Diehl Gallery  in a new show of KOLLABS (col’-lab-or-a-tive?) mixed media works depict wildlife in unnatural settings. These images bring fairytales and literary anthropomorphism to mind: Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, Mr. Popper’s Penguins and Harvey. 

I’m “translating” here, but my reading is that KOLLABS believes society intentionally assigns objects to certain spaces because society is programmed to believe that’s where any given object belongs. KOLLABS hopes their art succeeds in helping us “flip the traditional way we view wildlife [by] placing them [in human] environments.”

KOLLABS: NEW WORKS’ opening reception takes place August 9th, 5-8:00 pm, at the Tram Club, base of the Teton Club, next to Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village In this Diehl satellite show, exhibition sales in part support the Grand Teton Music Festival.  From August 10 – September 6, viewings are by appointment only. 

Senses, surrounded.

Continue reading