Tag Archives: Art Association

As Art and Seasons Turn

"The Connoisseur," by Norman Rockwell.

“The Connoisseur,” by Norman Rockwell. The work appears on American Art Review’s October cover.

Ahhh. It’s Fall. Lovely.

Soon I’ll be returning to Jackson, and for almost everyone this season is a time of reflection. It’s also a time of “buckling down to work” and transition.

When I’m not reading or writing about Jackson Hole’s art scene, I’m often reading about art in other corners of the world, and quite a bit about art across the country. This entry, I’d like to offer up a few stories that recently caught my eye.

The first concerns plein air painting, and a show about a collection of artists, now deceased, whose works were, in their time, considered excellent. But as their lives came to an end, so did their visibility as artists. The show is “Variations on a Theme: American Painters (1850-2000), opening next month at the Rockport Art Association and Museum in Rockport, Massachusetts.

“It is an unfortunate fact that unless an artist has a gallery or family to keep their name in the forefront of the art world, the bulk of their work can be lost in the mists of time,” writes Judith A. Curtis in the latest edition of “American Art Review.” 

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

This is not currently a big problem for Jackson artists~~(housing is another matter)~~a number of artists who didn’t have representation or were faced with a gallery scene refusing to show their work are now front and center. This is incredible, and perhaps because we, collectively, are the polar opposite of the small New England town’s plight, the article spoke to me.

The Rockport’s mission is to feature local painters who are not only considered excellent, but have been “the mainstay of the Association in its fledgling days.” To sum up Curtis’ point, the museum would never have survived without intense dedication, talent, and a consistent “forward momentum.” Until last year, when the Rockport mounted an all-women’s art show  and expanded its reach, the museum was unable to produce a show like “Variations.” In the article about the show (if you can find a hard copy~~I can’t find the article on line) you can read about a number of New England plein air painters who, despite their great talents and breadth of subjects, faded from view. It’s a touching look from a knowing and careful perspective.

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Don’t hurt me, NYT! I loved this article. And I hope that we in Jackson Hole can figure out something like the Lower East Side’s “100 Gates Project.” 

Tamara Best wrote about a street art project that’s transforming a part of Manhattan’s dingy Lower East Side. Although we in Jackson don’t pull down metal doors when we close up for the day, we could paint some fabulous large-scale works and use them as promotion for our local artists. What about that idea for the Public Art Spot, the snaggly “banner” space that juts out over West Broadway? That needs upgrading, up-thinking. 

Or, we could place art on the streets themselves. And create/paint/build/light up huge arrows pointing to the Art Association! Once visitors arrive at the Art Association, they’d find so much affordable local art that they couldn’t help but bring some back home.

Our public art is fabulous, but I feel more thoughtful placement of work is possible. Let’s not crowd small spaces without offering a place to rest, without offering nature and true assimilation of place and object.

I’m in favor of making the Art Association more “public,” a retail operation that draws more tourism dollars. Tourists rarely, if ever, visit and we need a fresh audience. I’m in favor of another project I recently read about, and Jackson has already started: displaying local art, with prices, in every lodging location possible, AND add an artist studio space directly into the lodging structure itself. The artist is always in residence.

Read Best’s article HERE. 

sothebys7-28-16My mom gets newsletters from the Hollis Taggart Gallery in NYC. The gallery sends out an Art Market Report much like our Jackson Hole Real Estate Report. A summation of the latest report says that there has been a “rising tide” of gallery sales and an “ebb in momentum” for auction houses. People are consigning, not selling, in an erratic market. Feels safer, more control.

As the gallery went to press with their newsletter, the SEC reported a 65% reduction in Steve Cohen’s Sotheby’s stockAlmost immediately a Chinese insurer “China Guardian” bought up a 13.5% position in Sotheby’s. And now it’s Sotheby’s largest shareholder…….

“No doubt China Guardian was quietly buying Steve Cohen’s stock position!” exclaims the Report.

Invest in, support and love your local artists. We are a family. An Association.


Because I do not wish to finish on a “corporate” note, I offer some these observations on the passing of time and transition:

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” ~Albert Einstein

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

Borbay Merges Abstraction with Aristotle

Borbay. "Go Out and Get It For Yourself," ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage

Borbay. “Go Out and Get It For Yourself,” ~ Portrait of Don Draper. Collage.

It boils down to what makes an artist tick. Recently I shared an image of Borbay’s portrait of the actor Jon Hamm as Don Draper with a friend. Fascinated by the artist’s collage technique, she wondered why Borbay chose that creative path.

Aristotle said it best,” Borbay answered. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

For Borbay, known outside the art world as Jason Borbet, collage elements embedded within a portrait are a reflection of the subject, their era, issues and, “of course, autobiographical elements of yours truly.” Each piece is a multi-tiered time capsule.

Borbay’s Jackson Hole opening show reception takes place at the Art Association on Thursday, July 7th, 6-8:00pm. Entitled “Painting Light,” the show remains up through July 30th, 2016. The show includes examples of Borbay’s collage works, acrylic and “neon” canvases. To preview the full show, click here

"Painting Light's" signature work: Borbay's "Neon Cowboy.

“Painting Light’s” signature work: Borbay’s “Neon Cowboy. Acrylic, 24×24”

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Testimonies: Teton Photography Group; Jeremy Morgan & CSA

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


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


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.


Laramie Mural Project Campaign; Sidewalk Pottery; Raptor Workshop

Dan Toro - "Mural Artists Painting Fish"

Dan Toro – “Mural Artists Painting Fish”

Two weeks ago I traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to spend a day with the University of Wyoming’s Museum Director and Chief Curator Susan Moldenhauer. It’s shameful, but this was my inaugural visit to Laramie. Though I’ve read and heard stellar testimonials about the museum, and perused images that convince anyone of the museum’s scope and dedication to merging contemporary art with cultural arts, a visit is the only way to grasp its stunning collection and mission. A number of Wyoming arts representatives hope Laramie and Jackson’s arts communities will connect our creative cultures. Such an evolution could only enrich both communities; here’s a start. I am deeply grateful to Susan for sharing part of her busy schedule and leading me through the museum’s galleries.

Talal Cockar - "Tierra y Libertad"

Talal Cockar – “Tierra y Libertad”

A visit bonus was a tour of Laramie’s Mural Project, an ongoing arts community public art initiative conceived by the Laramie Main Street Alliance. The project took shape three years ago, during a discussion over coffee, and developed organically says one mural artist. Several murals are already completed, but now the Project needs the public’s help; and it’s helping itself by initiating a Kickstarter Campaign; you may view the project’s Kickstarter video here. This project will only be funded if at least $15,000 is pledged by Sunday July 21st, 2013, 10:00pm EDT. Though the project is underway, the Alliance must raise the Kickstarter funds or this will be the project’s last summer. 

Travis Ivey - detail from  "Hollyhock Haven"

Travis Ivey – detail from “Hollyhock Haven”

The murals reflect aspects of Laramie life the community holds dear, and the Project “utilizes local artists to create large scale murals downtown that reflect [the] area’s cultural assets.” Completed murals are nothing short of miraculous. Each is thoughtful, technically brilliant and enchanting. Connectively they draw visitors through Laramie, giving anyone who views them a powerful picture of what the town is all about. Each work is carefully conceived; each has a story to tell or a wish expressed. These participating artists energetically describe the project on YoutubeMeghan Meier, Travis Ivey, Dan Toro, Talal Cockar and Jeff Hubbell.

Meghan Meir - Detail from "Escape"

Meghan Meir – Detail from “Escape”

The Laramie Mural Project is a collaboration between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, local artists, BHP Imaging and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Social change, cultural heritage, workers, making art of your own design, growing food, indigenous animals, hollyhocks, community roots, art everyone can “own”….these are some of the themes Laramie’s murals explore. In case you didn’t click on the project’s video link above, here’s your second chance: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1187018146/laramie-mural-project  

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David Mann at Legacy; Minis at Trailside; Art Fair!

Jackson Hole’s Legacy Gallery presents painter David Mann, in a One Man Show, July 19-29th. An opening reception for the artist takes place Thursday, July 19th, 6-8:00 pm. A dozen new works by Mann will be on exhibit. Mann, a chronicler of Native American culture, continues his focus on that subject matter with this show. Mann specifically portrays the lives of the Plains Indians, specifically, says the gallery, in the context of the mid to late 19th century.

Although Mann “does extensive research on the clothing and background objects of his subject matter,” he does not paint historical events. His biography notes that as a child, Mann was captivated by a book illustrated by Alfred Jacob Miller, a painter of Western subjects; Frank McCarthy’s magazine illustrations were another great influence. For a significant period in his life, Mann spent time on Southwest reservations, gaining a familiarity with his subject evident in his paintings today.

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