“Despite being a full-time artist in Manhattan for seven years, I never established a meaningful relationship with an art organization. That changed completely when I moved to Victor, connected with Shari Brownfield, Todd Hanna, Chas Marsh, Mark Nowlin and The Art Association of Jackson Hole. They hosted my first show out West in the Summer of 2016, and since, I’ve witnessed the incredible impact they have made on our community. When the wonderful Jill Callahan mentioned the Whodunnit show, I was happy to contribute. I’m excited to see who ends up with my piece, and, from what I’ve heard, it’s one helluva party!”
Moran, Wyoming lies 30 miles north of the Town of Jackson. Last month Moran received almost 40 inches of snow, 10 inches above normal. Jackson has received almost the same amount, but Moran’s isolated location lends itself to days of being no other place than Moran.
It’s a singularly beautiful, remote and a Grand Teton National Park gateway. If you are a plein air painter, Moran offers an infinite number of beautiful locations and constant inspiration.
A Moran resident, Teton Plein Air Painter Bobbi Miller this winter has left her in awe of the Park’s forefathers who battled intense winter conditions without any of the modern conveniences we enjoy today. Confined to painting indoors this winter, Miller’s painting style has veered towards abstraction; quick work and impressions of landscape are intriguing.
“I must admit to putting those foot warmers in my boots when DRIVING to Dubois, Wyoming recently,” Miller confesses. Dubois lies approximately 75 miles east of Moran, and to get there one must travel over the spectacular but potentially very dangerous Togwotee Pass.
“Greg McHuron was known to wrestle sheets of plywood through various Ice Ages just so he could stand on them without sinking into the frozen depths. But Greg was part Woolly Mammoth.” ~ Plein air painter Erin C. O’Connor
This Jackson Hole winter! Folks have mentioned a craving to chew their legs off. But if you’re an artist the show goes on, and being shut in or facing stupendously challenging weather conditions often leads to improvisation, new creative themes and awakenings of a different sort.
Plein air painter Kathy Wipfler is a true veteran of painting outdoors. Solid and sensible, her practices spring from a lifetime of ranching and hard outdoor work. A long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters, she knows a thing or two.
“Having painted on location here in every season for 36 years, I have a few tricks of the trade to stay as warm as possible. Painting a small format is one of them,” writes Wipfler. “Standing on Blue Board keeps the cold from my feet just a little longer than standing directly on the snow, and having the right boots is important. Painting sunlit snow is a passion, but there have been limited sunlit days so far this winter.”
Wipfler says another challenge is simply finding an accessible turnout to set up her easel and park. “Parking on the road’s shoulder is not so smart. I’ve spent time and effort shoveling out spaces whenever it’s feasible.”
Wipfler’s “Deep Winter – Jackson Hole,” pictured above, is so painterly I can almost feel the artist’s rich brushstrokes simply by looking. They convey the weight of this winter, its frigid cold, and a sense of muffled winter beauty. Wipfler’s snowdrifts are a pillow upon which the mountain rests.
Kay Stratman is experimenting with her “alter studio ego.”
Stratman’s “Natural Abstractions,” comprised of watercolor and wax works, focus on what the artist describes as “amazingly colorful natural occurances that scream for exploration/exploitation/ abstraction.”
Stratman’s work (which she says has always favored essence over traditional form) is focused on subjects ranging from Yellowstone’s brilliant hot springs to “the mysteries of stellar nebula or northern lights.”
“People are familiar with watercolor as a medium and perhaps even encaustic wax,” writes Stratman. “But I combine both media in my work to present an interesting dichotomy. Watercolor and wax shouldn’t even be able to mix, should they? However, each medium becomes obvious upon close inspection, and the view from farther away brings the suggested subject matter to light. The pieces themselves are splash and poured watercolors on rice paper, infused with encaustic wax (molten beeswax) that makes the paper translucent, allowing me to fuse layers together to create depth of color.”
Erin C. O’Connor
“I know an artist who used to work for the phone company; he swiped one of those tents that they put over utility boxes so they can work in inclement weather; now he uses it to paint outside. At 17 below zero, I’d need the tent, the Enormo-Heat-Blaster, and the heated brush handles,” reveals painter Erin C. O’Connor.
I imagine O’Connor’s “Uppity Chick” smile.
During winter months O’Connor focuses on studio work and brings unfinished “warmer months” paintings to completion. At this time last year O’Connor was in Nicaragua, and she’s “finding welcome refuge in re-exploring those scenes.”
“It all plays back to me like a tape recording ~ the warmth, the humidity, the lyrical conversations, the people I met, all the things I learned,” she says. “Color upon color upon color. This has been my antidote to grey. This has been my rebellion to the cold.”
O’Connor updates her website during winter months, and she’s just been named as the newest member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters Board of Directors. When Plein Air for the Park ” gorgeously unfolds in July, it’s because we’ve thoroughly scrutinized the acrobatics well before summer.”
Next post, we’ll hear from a few more of Jackson’s ultra-talented women artists! All strive to be the best that they can be. Transcending fads and trends, they are wicked strong rungs on Jackson’s art history ladder, and their art endures.
In national art news, it was announced earlier this month that the NEA is in dire straits. Our new administration is strongly considering budget cuts that could eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts. If executed, this spells disaster for art interests across the country. Such a step even stands to cancel important exhibitions like SFMOMA’s Matisse-Diebenkorn show. Read a little about this impending legislation here.
I was going to tell you that if I could live on art, I would. Then I realized I already do. And so do we all, in some way or another. Art is, literally, all around us. The keyboard I’m typing on is someone’s imaginiative creation. The lamp on my desk, the paintings on my wall, my books, the clothes I wear (though in my case I have to fall short of calling what I wear “wearable art.” It’s more like “wearable earrings and sweatshirts.”).
Recipes are art, the chairs we sit on. Loving one another and sticking by the Golden Rule is an art. That particular rule is, for some reason so difficult to follow. Why is that? It’s so simple to do the right thing. One of the most obvious “right things” is to respond to friends and colleagues when they reach out. When we don’t respond, the thing we remember IS the non-response. That’s not what you want people to remember, professionally or otherwise.
My wish for us this year is to always try to do the right thing. Think it out. Be honest, but balanced. Who are your mentors? Who do you hold up as a hero amongst us? When trying to decide how to act, what choices to make, how to respond, how to walk this earth, I implore you: Do the right thing.
One “compassion researcher” I know of says this: “We are taught that there is a right and wrong way to behave, to act and to think. Stepping outside this construct is a big shift. Non-judgmental acceptance of what it means to embrace all suffering on the planet takes development.”
I’m not religious, but I try to find the good path, make choices that align my soul and help me towards peace and contentment. So often that effort winds up involving huge, ongoing struggles. Breaking things down to day-to-day triumphs is a better choice. Much of the time our thoughts are of the future, one dream after another. I can be guilty of spending more time dreaming than doing, especially during these challenging winter months.
Today my goal is to break that pattern up a little and re-start this blog! I will begin my book in earnest this year. I will work and produce positively to the benefit of arts here as they are related to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s phenomenal beauty and the wealth of art in our galleries and superb new generation of artists.
I will try to present all forms of Jackson’s visual arts to the best of my ability; none of us relates to EVERY SINGLE work of art, but we can appreciate every effort, love that it exists, discuss art and feel lucky our particular creative vortex is so powerful.
And so this first post of 2017 contains some of my favorite images and moments from 2016’s Jackson Hole art offerings and events. Just a very few~~there were SO many! To see more images from the past year, visit my Art Blog Facebook Page . If you enjoy those posts, please “Like” the page and tell your friends!
As ever, my deepest gratitude to everyone who appreciates and reads The Jackson Hole Art Blog. I’m thankful and proud.
The Jackson Hole Art Blog’s new header image: Detail from David Michael Slonim’s “Bailando,” at Altamira Fine Art.
It’s September again! Time to present what we’ve all come to think of as Fall Arts Festival “gold.” September 7-18, 2016 are the dates for 2016’s Jackson Hole’s annual Fall Arts Festival!
Quite seriously, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival is one of the West’s premier arts events, an arts destination. Everybody gets in on the action, and there is a LOT of action! The Festival has something for everyone~~folks of all ages love “Taking it to the Streets” and the Town Square’s “Quick Draw.” Collectors come out for the Jackson Hole Art Auction. The whole town and then some are out during Palates & Palettes! There are paintings, photography, sculpture, installations, parties, food, design, fashion shows and showcases, jewelry, auctions, home and studio tours. There are prizes, there are reunions. And Jackson’s galleries roll out the red carpet.
Today we present calendar events for September 7 – 9th.
ENERGY. TONS OF ENERGY! ENJOY!
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s “Jewelry and Artisan Luncheon” kicks off Fall Arts! Part of the museum’s FAF Western Visions series of events, the lunch at Four Seasons in Teton Village features a veritable feast of bling and wearable art. Attendees enjoy a luscious lunch. Sales help benefit NMWA’s educational programs.
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Now here’s where I’m a little confused: Press info indicates two locations for this event, the Four Seasons and The Inn at Jackson Hole Conference Center. Check to make sure you’re right! Tickets are $135 each and tables of 10 go for $2,500. I believe that makes those tables official sponsors. For information phone 307.732.5445 or check www.westernvisions.org
WRJ Associates – “Context: The Art of Life”
WRJ Associates is at once a furnishings gallery, art gallery and design destination. During Fall Arts, it will be a gourmet destination! “Context: The Art of Life” offers a sumptuous Open House ALL DAY, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, at WRJ’s showroom, 30 S. King Street, in Jackson. The show features some of Jackson’s most distinguished artists using a variety of media. Persephone Bakery does the food. See “Context’s” artists here. www.wrjdesign.com
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Western Design! Plus Fashion, Plus Preview Party!
The Western Design Conference Opening Preview affords ticket buyers a first look at all things new in Western design, fashion and furnishings. Meet artisans, enjoy a runway fashion show, take a walk through the Designer Show House, and take part in a live auction. Café Genevieve provides cuisine.
Where: Snow King Center. Time: 6-10pm. Tix: $125 VIP and $50 General Admission. In advance on line, or at the door. westerndesignconference.com
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale opens to the public. Open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. $15 at the door. westerndesignconference.com
PALATES & PALETTES GALLERY WALK! 5:00-8:00 pm, Town of Jackson.
Walk, don’t run! Plan your route. 30 + galleries open their doors to one and all! The evening is one of FAF’s most anticipated events. Each gallery provides yummy munchies from local eateries, wine and buckets of fine, fun art! A great way to get familiar with Jackson’s gallery scene if you’ve not been acquainted. A great reason to go see those artists and spaces you’ve been meaning to see! You can get a P&P map at Jackson’s Chamber of Commerce and participating galleries. Here’s a sampling. FREE!!!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Altamira Fine Art – Fritz Scholder.
“I’m interested in someone reacting to the work. And I don’t much care if they react negatively or positively, as long as they react. I felt it to be a compliment when I was told that I had destroyed the traditional style of Indian art.” – Fritz Scholder
The show features over a dozen original paintings, including iconic, published works as well as never-before- shown paintings, which span the artists career from 1964-2004. The exhibition will also include lithographs, monotypes and bronze. Published works include important paintings from the 2008 Smithsonian retrospective, “Indian/Not Indian,” an unprecedented solo exhibition of Scholder’s work, shown at both the museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as well as the George Gustav Heye Center in New York City, a first for the National Museum of the American Indian, who had not previously had a show of that magnitude for any other native artist. www.altamiraart.com
Diehl Gallery – Claire Brewster: A Conference of Birds
Using primarily old maps and atlases as her canvas, Claire Brewster carves remarkably intricate images into the landscapes of years passed, breathing movement and life into the two dimensional relics. Of her work, Brewster says: “My birds, insects and flowers transcend borders and pass freely between countries with scant regard for rules of immigration or the effects of biodiversity.” This exhibition will support the Teton Raptor Center. 307.733.0905 or www.diehlgallery.com
Jackson Hole Art Association – Center for the Arts: Tad Anderson
“Tad Anderson: A Journey.” This young man is an artistic genius; he also has schizophrenia. He’s an “outsider artist” who should be an “insider.” Art Association Director Mark Nowlin has known Tad all his life.
Of Tad’s work Nowlin says: “Tad has been on and off medicines. Either situation, on or off, he has drawn. Continuously, for hours on any surface he could find, inside or out, towns or mountains, portraits or dumpsters, he made images. His vision is his own, of whatever strikes his eye, but always true to his vision of the world. A refreshing observation of [Western landscapes’ beauty,] life and truth.”
Trio Fine Art: “In Our Valley”
Three of Jackson’s best-loved plein air artists, Kathryn Mapes Turner, Jennifer L. Hoffman and Bill Sawczuk explore Jackson Hole’s extraordinary outdoor beauty and history in their very fine ways. Trio Fine Art is located four blocks north of the Town Square, at 545 N. Cache. www.triofineart.com
Legacy Gallery – Luke Frazier, One Man Show
Sporting art is popular with outdoor enthusiasts coast-to-coast, and artist Luke Frazier is one of the most recognized names in the genre. Legacy Gallery presents a reception for the artist and his new work, emphasizing hunting dog paintings and wildlife. The Legacy Gallery is located on the southwest corner of Jackson’s Town Square. www.legacygallery.com
Is this a photo or what??? Cayuse Western Americana welcomes Master Metalsmith and jeweler Susan Adams during Palates & Palettes. Adams designs Western-themed vessels hand-raised from sterling, and spurs! She’s won Best in Show at the FAF Western Design Conference. It’s always a good time at Cayuse! www.cayusewa.com
Trailside Galleries and the Jackson Hole Art Auction
Your wildest Western Art dreams come true when it comes to Trailside and Gerald Peters’ Gallery co-production, the Jackson Hole Art Auction. Trailside Gallery, on East Broadway, is showcasing the best of their artist roster during FAF, and upstairs you can preview works from this year’s auction, happening next week! www.trailsidegalleries.com www.gpgallery.com www.jacksonholeartauction.com
Here’s all you need to know about Amy Ringholz and what she’s up to this year, including Palates and Palettes! She’s got it all on a board: www.ringholzstudios.com
Astoria Fine Art – Featured Artist Greg Wilson
Much of wildlife artist Greg Wilson’s time is spent in the mountains in pursuit of the animals around his home in Utah. It is not unusual for Greg to set off for days, with camera and sketchpad in hand, in search of that picturesque scene that he can bring to life in an oil painting. www.astoriafineart.com
Thal Glass Studio – Open Studio
Thal Glass Studio is open by appointment September 7-18, 2016. Please call or email Laurie at email@example.com to schedule your visit! Thal Glass Studio is located at 2800 Linn Drive, Wilson, Wyoming. www.thalglass.com
Other galleries to visit during Palates & Palettes: Heather James Fine Art, Mountain Trails, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, David Brookover Gallery, MADE, Wild By Nature, Images of Nature and The West Lives On.
MORE FALL ARTS FESTIVAL CALENDAR IN THE NEXT JACKSON HOLE ART BLOG! COMING SOON.