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Posts from ‘Workshops’

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.

 

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?

Nov
13

800px-Survey_Research_BooksRecently dozens of Jacksonites responded to an anonymous survey circulated by the organizers of a creative leadership workshop. The survey posed questioned on trends, people we perceived as arts dynamos and current arts initiatives, and was submitted a couple of weeks before the workshop. The workshop was fun. The session had us exploring decision making processes and identifying leadership patterns using PlayDough, string, spaghetti, marshmallows, scissors, crayons, colored paper, tinfoil…..lots of toys, lots of laughter, energy and engagement. There was Powerpoint. I enjoyed the evening, as I think most everyone did.

Survey responders were asked if they were interested in meeting individually  and privately with the workshop’s creator—I was, but ultimately I was not scheduled for an individual meet. I was offered a group meet, but I declined  as I wished to keep my project private.

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Survey results—trends, data, perceptions—were not referenced during the workshop. I wondered what happened to the information. I sent a query to the workshop’s leaders, and here is their paraphrased response:

“[We are] planning to compile a report based on the information…gleaned from both the surveys and from…interactions here in Jackson. [We are] also co-authoring a series of essays on creative communities and how to tailor programming for different types of communities, including rural micropolitans like ours. As soon as we have an ETA on all of those, [we'll] let you know.”

Teton County, in its entirety, is estimated at 21,000. A micropolitan area contains an urban population core of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000. The latest census indicates the Town of Jackson’s population approaches 10,000; it’s safe to say our population fluctuates, can be seasonal and is transient. If a micropolitan area was what was important, and not all of Teton County, then the workshop was applicable. It does assume that Jackson stands apart from the rest of its own county—and our county stands apart from the rest of the state.

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Whatever the survey results, in the interest of full disclosure all survey responders should have been notified that their answers may be used in the manner its organizers described to me. Published essays and research potentially raise professional profiles for the authors, and I would have preferred knowing that our input may be partially responsible. I’ve taken part in surveys and focus sessions, and they are rich in content, rewarding and often superb chances to exchange ideas and brainstorm. Until now I’ve always been aware of why I was part of a focus session or the goals of a survey.

Surveys can be an attempt to obtain free consulting services. If an idea is put into practice as a result of a survey, at the very least survey participants should be publicly credited.

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Jackson Hole arts purveyor and entrepreneur John Frechette, a person I identify as one of our arts movers and shakers, will expand his hip, Western contemporary shop for the holiday season. Frechette’s MADE will open a holiday-themed store next door to Valley Books in Gaslight Alley.

The Stocking Bar will feature some fan favorite MADE artists in a new light, as well as carry over 30 new artists’ handmade work, with a focus on the holidays and the stocking!” says Frechette. The Stocking Bar is scheduled to be open this December. www.madejacksonhole.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
28

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This year Jackson Hole, Wyoming was the setting for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ (NASAA) 2013 Leadership Institute. Top level executives and leaders from all 56 state and juristictional arts agencies attended. NASAA CEO Jonathan Katz, PhD, noted that this year’s meeting focused on optimizing state arts agency public value; to that end, agency leaders must keep abreast of societal trends and sentiments.

For the second time in a week author-activist Terry Tempest Williams presented a keynote speech to arts advocates and representatives here in Jackson, and Wyoming’s Alan K. Simpson delivered a passionate talk at an evening celebration highlighting Wyoming’s arts at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. For several days Jackson received a diverse cultural injections and multiple opportunities to widen our scope of knowledge with regard to strategies and mission.

In an interview, Katz noted that despite Jackson’s geographical isolation, choosing it as this year’s meeting destination wasn’t an extravagant decision. As the organization is an arm of state government, it’s mindful of expense; per-diem costs matter. Jackson’s season had wound down, group rates were attractive and coming to such a beautiful place proved an excellent return on investment.

Jonathan Katz and Terry Tempest Williams at NASAA's Leadership Institute

Jonathan Katz and Terry Tempest Williams at NASAA’s Leadership Institute

We tend to think of Wyoming as a stand-apart state when it comes to a low percentage of people residing in urban areas; but a quick look at 2010′s government census urbanized population map reveals that a massive portion of our county has NO urbanized population. States, with a few exceptions, are primarily rural. I spoke to Katz about the theory that when urban hubs become especially creatively revitalized, rural communities can be emptied out, making it difficult for rural communities to create their own “vibrancy.”

Tammy Christel: One the topics for this year’s conference is “Rural Myths, Realities and Opportunities,” a conversation about rural America’s being shaped by “numerous social, demographic, economic and technological forces, many of which affect the success of state arts agency programs and policies.” When larger cities become especially revitalized, with a lot of great city planning going on, a lot of public art installed, all kinds of initiatives—what happens to rural communities? Are they sucked into an economic black hole?

Jonathan Katz: I directed the Kansas Art Commission for several years, and mine was a rural state. The challenges of rural life are that there are plenty of things to do to take up your time, but there’s not a lot of diversity of resources because there aren’t that many people in any one concentrated area. There aren’t that many industries in the area, so it’s fragile.

But there are offsetting values. Because when something happens in a rural community, you can get a group of people involved—and it can be a small number—who can really make a difference. It’s not uncommon to have an arts event with more people attending than live in the community. They come from other places. They’ll drive. So they think of their community as a wider space.

UA2010_UA_Pop_MapPart of the challenge of rural living is when kids go away to college and immerse themselves in a learning and cultural experience, and their expectations change. They expect that where they’re going to live will be the kind of place with the plentiful resources they’ve now become familiar with. So as they often do, they go to the theater, opera, the symphony, they see foreign movies with independent presses and they get involved themselves in these creative activities, and they want to live in a place and have a career, raise a family and be in business with these amenities.

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