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Feb
25

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A new arts venture is in town. Brush Art Ventures has opened softly over the past several months, but last week founder Alison Brush threw a big party. Brush’s new enterprise is housed in a Dynia “Metro Plateau” unit, perched above Broadway, near the intersection of that throughway and Highway 22.

Bonbon 12x6x4 1500 smBrush represents a handful of regional artists, exhibiting their works at 1085 West Broadway, Unit 1123. The concept is similar to that of apartment galleries popular in major arts cities like New York: Set up an exhibition in your own space and open it up to the public. Dynia’s dynamic structures, marked by high ceilings, industrial finishes and big windows are perfect for home/public gallery space.

At Brush’s recent opening for fledgling wildlife and landscape photographer Chuck Schneebeck and sculptor Amy Unfried, the place was packed. And the crowd was new. Schneebeck’s conservation work and Unfried’s connections to Jackson’s art world at large attracted sportsmen, collectors, fishing luminaries, artists, Mr. Dynia and a host of friends. Brush Art Ventures is, in fact, a gallery. Galleries have shows, and here’s hoping Ms. Brush keeps the energy going!  Check out her website: www.brushartventures.com, to see a list of represented artists. With the departure of Culture Front salons, a hole needs to be filled. Maybe it can be filled here?

Many thanks to Ms. Brush for supplying images for this post! I took a few shots; hers are better!

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Brush happens to represent noted California artist Jeremy Morganwho opens a show Friday, Feb 28th, alongside 12 local artists, at the Art Association. Morgan will be there! Thomas Macker relays that the opening reception runs 5:30 – 7:30 pm, and will feature Morgan’s work and the work of  his dedicated students from years past. This year’s workshop, “Realism to Abstraction,” offers a fresh opportunity to study with a master right here in Jackson, says Macker. www.artassociation.org .

Jeremy Morgan - Lost Horizon

Jeremy Morgan – Lost Horizon

Robert Indiana - Love 1967 - Screenprint, 14 x 14"

Robert Indiana – Love
1967 – Screenprint, 14 x 14″

Lots of new work in at Heather James Fine Art’s Jackson gallery. Including this beauty, a classic, our generation’s big art flag: Robert Indiana’s “LOVE.”  The gallery is open this month, stop in and warm to the message!  www.heatherjames.com.

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Behind the eight ball, as they say.

In the weeks leading up to my recent getaway I was so busy putting the finishing touches on freelance assignments, writing this blog and preparing for the trip that I failed to notice Meg Daly’s news about resigning her Culture Front website and its related efforts. Her reasons for doing so are there for anyone to read on Culture Front’s blog, still live.

Daly provided fresh ways for our community to look at and think about art. So many of us vigorously participated in Culture Front’s salons at The Rose. When Daly was preparing to launch her site she had the grace to invite me to tea to talk about her vision. Many would have simply and bluntly launched, without bothering to communicate to me that a new local arts blog was on the horizon.

I won’t forget that, and I’ll miss the collaboration we shared.

Thank you, Meg. Where’s my heart emoticon?

Jan
20

 

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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 allison@westerndesignconference.com 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.

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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.  www.lenstotheworld.com

Dec
12

rocket-launchA Community Supported Arts informational meeting takes place at the Snake River Brewery (Brew Pub!) on Tuesday, December 17th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

“Having launched the Community Supported Art program a couple of weeks ago with a call for artists, CSA Jackson Hole is hosting an informational meeting for artists to learn more about the project,” says CSA founder Alissa Davies.

Currently, says Davies, CSA Jackson Hole is looking for local artists of all disciplines to apply to the new and innovative program. Nine artists will be featured during the summer of 2014, with names being announced in January. The deadline for artists to apply is January 13, 2014.

CSA Jackson Hole is modeled on Community Supported Agriculture programs, programs that are gaining popularity everywhere, every year.

Courtesy Philadelphia Generosity

Courtesy Philadelphia Generosity

Selected artists will receive a commission to create 40 “shares,” and potential collectors may purchase a share. In return they receive crates of locally produced artwork at three “pick-up parties” next summer. Each shareholder receives one piece from each of the nine CSA artists over the course of the summer. Pick-up parties take place at various local venues and will be festive occasions— enjoy music, food, and the chance to meet that evening’s featured artists and their work. For more information, contact Alissa Davies at 307.690.4757 or csajacksonhole@gmail.com.

Sculpture by Kent Ullberg

Sculpture by Kent Ullberg

Remember Tapas Tuesdays?

Now there’s “Wild Wednesdays,” a day of the week to visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art, enjoy the museum’s fine art collection, sit down to delicious food served up by Rising Sage Café and hear a little music. Piano music, to be precise, performed by Francis Koerber. Shop the gift store, open until 7:00 pm. Doors are open 5:30 – 8:00 pm. Reservations are strongly suggested; call (307) 732-5434, and view the winter dinner schedule online at www.WildlifeArt.org

Alex Katz - Yellow Tulips

Alex Katz – Yellow Tulips

On Friday, December 13th, the Tayloe Piggott Gallery opens its new show, an exhibition of works by Alex Katz. An opening reception takes place that evening, 5-8:00 pm, and the exhibition remains up through January 31, 2014.

Associated with the Pop Artists, Katz’s work blossomed once the artist began studying at Manhattan’s Cooper Union Art School. The rest is a long, successful, high-profile history: read Katz’s full bio here. Piggott is noted for her ability to corral internationally renowned artists and draw selections of their work to Jackson Hole.

I do love this bit, pulled from Katz’s bio:

“During his years at Cooper Union, Katz had been exposed primarily to modern art and was taught to paint from drawings. Skowhegan exposed him to painting from life, which would prove pivotal in his development as a painter and remains a staple of his practices today. Katz explains that Skowhegan’s plein air painting gave him ‘a reason to devote my life to painting.’ ”  www.tayloepiggottgallery.com 

 

Oct
31

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“A crucial part of a healthy community is having a sense of belonging to that community and experiencing a sense of control over your own life.”  ~ Toolbox.

Joseph Artero-Cameron, President of Chamorro Affairs, leads that island’s initiatives to preserve and promote its root culture, heritage and language. I met Artero-Cameron at 2013′s National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) Leadership Institute that took place earlier this month in Jackson, Wyoming. Whenever I observed Artero-Cameron he confidently offered up insights regarding strategy, arts and cultural tradition. He has a knack for getting to the heart of a matter, providing fresh perspective with a twinkle in his eyes.

Artero-Cameron was attending his first NASAA meeting, but he runs several government agencies in Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States. Artero-Cameron oversees conservation of corals, fisheries and other ocean matters; he runs the island’s television station, is actively involved with building a new $30 million museum and a new 15,000 square foot art gallery. And those, says Artero-Cameron, are just a few of his duties.

Rendering of Guam's Chamorro Educational Facility & Museum

Rendering of Guam’s Chamorro Educational Facility & Museum

We spoke of the role of women have traditionally taken in forming Guam’s culture; Artero-Cameron had made an observation about plenary speaker Terry Tempest Williams’ mother’s legacy of dozens of blank journals.

“We’ve noticed over the years that it’s not so much what is written or spoken, but the unspoken,” said Artero-Cameron. “And we define the soul on what is NOT said. It’s a very active voice, the soul.”

Historically, women are Guam’s heart and soul.

“My mother and grandmother live with me. This meeting is a wonderful experience, and it’s often said that it’s not what people say, but what they don’t say that matters most. What they do. Coming from a matrilineal society 4,000 years old the Chammurans (Guam’s indigenous people) were basically non-verbal until the Americans came in; then, writing things down was encouraged,” recounted the President of Chamorro Affairs.

How does the unspoken manifest itself?

Guam's Joseph Artero-Cameron

Guam’s Joseph Artero-Cameron

It manifests via non-verbal cues. Artero-Cameron practiced psychotherapy for years and found that it was not so much what his patients said, but their physical cues, movements and words left unsaid that proved most revealing. Non-verbal cues divulge human behavior, why any behavior exists or doesn’t exist.

“It’s not so much what a community as a group thinks of as “normal,” says Artero-Cameron. “It’s quite okay to be neurotic, as long as you know that 2 + 2 = 4!  You may not like the answer, but nonetheless it’s real.”

And what could shelves of blank journals have to tell us? Or any blank surface? Everything has the potential to be a canvas for words or imagery. Women, said Artero-Cameron, hold the key, even though Guam’s male population is attempting to “diversify” culture by defining womens’ roles for them and “making a mess of it.”

In our culture, a matrilineal society, the women have a lot of voice, simply through their actions. Through their actions, they  keep our language, culture and families together. Our spoken language is only one or two words, and those few words create just a phrase, but they communicate volumes.

My grandmother and mother were always communicating silently when I was growing up; the unspoken. But those were the white pages—-they were the most important pages in my life. They are what a woman is truly trying to say.  A woman’s voice, her greatest asset, is her soul.”  www.dca.guam.gov

Jonathan Katz presents a Shakespeare doll to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. Courtesy NEA.

Jonathan Katz presents a Shakespeare doll to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. Courtesy National Endowment for the Arts.

My conversation NASAA’s Jonathan Katz extended a bit further. I was curious as to how an entire country of states’ arts representatives stay connected…how they interact out of session, throughout any given year. How do they influence each other, if at all?

“They connect in a number of ways. There are networks used quite often by the executive directors, the chair and council members, the arts education managers; we have webinars and get suggestions from the members about topics they are interested in,” responded Katz.

images“We discuss different aspects of grant making, different kinds of partnerships with the military, programming, policy issues; somebody has a great project that they want to share—-we have three states doing that—-or someone’s great advocacy success, we talk about how we can see that success replicated. In essence, we’re a year-round learning network; that’s just one thing an association does. I really am an association executive, even though my members are government agencies, and we’re in the arts. What an association does is make leadership and learning possible. The website is an important focus of communication, a lot of our resources go there. Most of our staff are researchers, so it’s really about collecting answers to the questions that our members have.”

Katz went on to explain that if there’s a success in one state, it’s a success for all because the organization learns from it. On the flip side, if a state experiences a challenge or failure, the whole field advances because something is learned from the experience NOT to do, a particular strategy doesn’t work. That conversation, Katz said, will go on all year.  www.nasaa-arts.org.

Landscape - Mixed Media on Paper by Mark Nowlin

Landscape – Mixed Media on Paper by Mark Nowlin

Speaking of “connections,” though last weekend’s closure of Master’s Studio felt surreal, the number of people turning out to help was reaffirming. What love and support! What acknowledgement! Despite the day’s circumstances I felt such closeness, community and solidarity; everyone performed a public service. The art gods willing, one day a beautiful new arts supply shop will open in Jackson, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if Master’s Studio’s master was at the helm?

Happily, we can still avail ourselves of Nowlin’s custom framing and matting services. His present East Jackson location is 85 McKean Lane. Phone: 307.733.9387.  

 

 

Oct
06
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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