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Posts Tagged ‘Art Installations’



Some press materials are simply so perfect and complete, it’s hard to up their message. That’s the case today! Here’s some information on the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s new exhibition, “Conservation Gallery,” which explores conservation themes by comparing and contrasting those themes as explored through artwork created from the 1800’s to today. The show opened November 16th, and will remain on display through April 13, 2014.

“American wildlife artists have helped to capture the positive and negative results of humanity’s interactions with wildlife still found today, as well as those that are simply a memory. In some instances, paintings and illustrations are the only record of certain species that we have,” says the museum’s Petersen Curator of Art and Research Adam Duncan Harris. Harris notes that artists’ interpretations of wildlife run the gamut from that of early American artist William Jacob Hays, who, says Harris, depicted the animals he saw on exploratory expeditions to the American West, visually preserving them for future generations—-to more conscious conservation messages, such as Steve Kestrel’s “Silent Messenger” (2005), that, in the artist’s own words, “mourn[s] the destruction and degradation of ecosystems worldwide and the tragic loss of unique animal species.”

Steve Kestrel - Silent Messenger - 2005. Courtesy

Steve Kestrel – Silent Messenger – 2005. Courtesy

Natural histories such as the rebound of bison populations lead to “tales of wildlife across the globe.” The tiger is well represented, and displays engage viewers with information that’s often revelatory. For instance, did you know that in the U.S. more tigers are currently owned by private individuals, not zoos, than exist in the wild? Approximately 5,000 tigers are in the U.S., according to the World Wildlife Foundation. 

“Artworks depicting endangered species, whether historical or contemporary, raise pointed questions about humanity’s role in species survival or extinction. We hope that Conservation Gallery will help spark some of those discussions with our visitors,” says Harris.

Images, top of page:  From “Conservation Gallery”: Wilhelm Kuhnert, Resting Tiger, 1912. JKM Collection©, National Museum of Wildlife Art (left), and Gwynn Murrill (United States, b. 1942), Tiger 2, 2012 -2013. Bronze. 42 x 62 x 31 inches. Dr. Lee W. Lenz, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Gwynn Murrill (right)

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121By now, many Jackson Hole arts personalities and organizations have heard the news that on March 18th, the Jackson Town Council created a Public Art Task Force. That new entity will have an official relationship with JH Public Art, and Carrie Geraci was named Public Art Coordinator. The step bolsters JH Public Art’s efforts to establish “systematic review of all public art projects proposed in the valley,” providing a “second layer of review” that places community and public safety as top priorities.

Geraci sent out the call to anyone interested in working with the Public Art Task force, an opportunity to be involved in the direction and quality of public art going forward. An interesting prospect, and I sent Geraci some questions about how the Task Force would work and what how JH Public Art, a non-profit, would be incorporated into Town planning for public art.

Geraci says the task force will will consist of approximately seven individuals, and positions are voluntary. Geraci estimates that the number of task force meetings per year could count anywhere from two to 12, depending on need.

John Frechette - Detail from Home Ranch Project, Jackson Hole

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Garth_Claassen-ContendingBorders_GHC2011“Art is knowledge at the service of emotion.” ~ José Clemente Orozco

“Northwest Contemporary,” curated by the Nicolaysen Art Museum’s Lisa Hatchadoorian, the Missoula Art Museum’s Stephen Glueckert, the Aspen Art Museum’s Jacob Proctor and the Boise Art Museum’s Sandy Hawthorn, opens at the Art Association of Jackson Hole on Friday, March 22nd, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. This opening reception is free; the show remains on display through April 21st.

Local artists Suzanne Morlock (“Free Fall,” below) and large-scale installation artist Abbie Miller have, according to the Art Association’s Thomas Macker, transformed the gallery space into ” re-contextualized environments of form and tactile texture.”  All textures are tactile, but these are undoubtedly very enticing to the touch.

And, testifies Macker,  your body will “re-map” as you move through this show. The work “allows you to feel weightless as your eye glides through serpentine forms in a white cube cage.”

Go WITH your eyes, don’t let them wander off by themselves!

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Diehl Gallery sends out announcements by the bushel; wisely, they’re letting the public know about artists new to the gallery as we move towards our busy summer season…YES, we are moving towards summer!

Artist Joe Andoe caught my eye. He paints horses (doesn’t he) among other subject matter, but what’s fascinating is his biography. He’s a wild man! He’s lucky to be alive!  At least his press materials intimate as much.

New York Times columnist Janet Maslin wrote that Andoe lived a life “straight out of Chuck Palahniuk’s twisted imagination (the dude wrote Fight Club.) Mama was a gum-popping cutie. Little Joe was “a big slug of a baby.” Maslin writes Andoe’s mom rarely saw him during his younger years, and Andoe says his only explanation is that he “tried to stay the hell out of the way.” Popeye, the cartoon character, inspired Andoe to draw Popeye-like tattoos on his grandfather, and eventually Andoe became a “cowboy artist”. What an apt addition to Jackson Hole’s arts scene!

NPR’s All Things Considered said Andoe “talks the way he paints–in simple, direct phrases. He’s no horseman. He’s always preferred fast cars and motorcycles.”

There’s a cairn in the world!

When children and free-spirited adults come across interactive public art happenings, it’s magic. It is STRONG medicine. Creating art-on-the-spot, coupled with the sense of leaving your own mark, forms indelible positive memories and connection. With luck, this is exactly what will occur when Jackson artist Bronwyn Minton unveils her Open Air Cairn exhibition project in downtown Jackson this summer.

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“What might it do for Wyoming to have a museum, foundation, or arts council that cultivated our artists the way SFMOMA does for those of the Bay Area? We have amazing artists hiding out all over the state, and their work goes uncelebrated, their potential undeveloped.” ~ Wyoming Artist

“I need to be SECA seen!” ~ Ben Roth

Ben Roth Being Seen

I appreciated Janet Bishops’s enthusiasm and and strong contentions regarding what SFMOMA does for artists in her town. An academic, she was down to earth and eager. Several exceptionally good questions were asked, and Bishop’s hour-long, Art Association January 25th talk was a phenomenal information opportunity. Yes, she had programs to promote, and she made it clear she was not here to cultivate Jackson artists. That is more than okay, and who knows? Some years from now a Jackson artist could be exhibiting at SFMOMA.

“We think of SFMOMA as having a local, national and international focus. So we’re interested in work from all over the world for audiences in San Francisco to see, but I feel like as a curator I have a very different commitment to emerging art being made there than I would emerging art being made anywhere else. One of the greatest aspects of living there is that it’s a tremendously creative place and to be able to offer opportunities for young artists who are part of the cultural life in our region has happened in all kinds of different ways,” said Bishop.

Bishop was especially proud of one of the museum’s major programs, The Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, or SECA. It’s a model Wyoming may consider emulating.  My only caveat would be that this program not only seek out undiscovered “contemporary” or “modern” artists—but that it search for artists working in all traditions.

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