Tag Archives: Artists in the Environment

Lee Riddell at CTDC; Wendell Field Paints at Cunningham; Art is Life; Film

Lee Carlman Riddell

Lee Carlman Riddell

Lee Carlman Riddell has always loved drawing, painting and outdoor adventures. For 23 years she and her husband, photographer Ed Riddell, marketed outdoor adventure and tourism businesses in their former lives as the owners of Riddell Advertising where they produced countless books, trail guides and posters for the Grand Teton Association; they share similar histories with other great American national parks. Now, setting up her easel offers a time of concentration on shapes, textures and colors as Lee paints the landscapes she loves. Join her as she executes her second “Artist in Residency” in Grand Teton National Park, August 12-17 from 1-5 pm each day, at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center.

“I wanted my time there to be interactive with visitors, so we used some ‘How To Draw Animals’ books that the Grand Teton Association (GTA) offers for sale,” says Riddell. “We set up a table with six spaces for people of all ages to draw and paint watercolors in July. It was a huge success, and we plan on doing the same thing this month.” Kids can also sit on boulders outside the Center, she says, and she admires the GTA’s excellent selection of appropriate books and related items reflecting the Park’s beauty.

Grand Teton National Park and my connections to it have profoundly influenced my life. I met Ed because he loved the Park and managed to find a position as the first marketing director of Teton Science School in the fall of 1974. We met there.” says Riddell.

Lee Carlman Riddell - Buck Mountain

Lee Carlman Riddell – Buck Mountain

Spending time at the Visitors Center holds great meaning; board members for 12 years, she and Ed participated in the building’s site selection, the choice of an architect and exhibit design team, and multiple aspects of construction. Ed helped visualize the concept for the in-ground river videos inside the Center. The Riddells now serve on the Resource Council for the Foundation; Lee Riddell’s wish to “give back” to the park she loves so much continues.

A young artist at work - Courtesy Lee Carlman Riddell

A young artist at work – Courtesy Lee Carlman Riddell

“To now have the privilege of being the GTA Artist-in-Residence for two weeks this summer is like coming full circle,” says Riddell. “I have truly enjoyed spending time there, seeing how people engage with the Park staff, move through the exhibits and respond to the ambient sounds of bird calls during quieter moments at the Center. Visitors tell me that the Center is so cool!”

Riddell and visitors never tire of the Center’s streaming light and huge windows affording sweeping views of the Tetons, the tactile animal fur exhibits and quotes by writers, artists and philanthropists deeply connected to place. Riddell is a former partner in Trio Fine Art, teaches painting, and continues her work as one of the finest graphic designers in our region. Her beautiful paintings can be found at the exclusive showroom of WRJ Associates, in downtown Jackson. www.leeriddell.com    

Wendell Field

Wendell Field

When an elderly Laos physician observed painter Wendell Field at work, the doctor remarked: “Ah, an artist. The artist is never a prisoner of society.” The remark echoes Field’s artistic philosophy and path. Saturday, August 10th, Field becomes the latest “Artist in the Environment,” painting en plein air at the historic Cunningham Cabin in Grand Teton National Park. Field will paint 2:00-5:00 pm, and as always, “Artists in the Environment” is free and open to the public.  

Whether he interprets it this way, I’m not certain; but the view has been expressed that Field’s solitary yurt habitat lifestyle is similar to that of the pioneer J.Pierce Cunningham’s. His cabin—slowly sinking into the landscape, living out its natural life—is historically marked, and one of the few remaining homesteads in the valley that date from the 1880’s. Field is inspired by world cultures—he’s painted and created exquisite prints of Himalayan villages;  his views of Snow King and our town resemble his Tibetan paintings. The spirit never deserts him. And all the YOUNG single ladies love Wendell!

“A landscape translated through the painter’s hand may remind us of a stillness lost within ourselves,” says Field. Cunningham Cabin Historic Site is north of Jackson on highways 26/89/191; take the first turnout on the left just beyond Triangle X Ranch. “Artists in the Environment” is presented by the Grand Teton Association, always connecting people, art and the Park.  www.grandtetonpark.org 


Remy Milosky - Couch Man

Remy Milosky – Couch Man

Young Jackson contemporary artist (he’s alive, he’s painting and it’s new!) Remy Milosky hangs his first solo exhibition, featuring over 100 original oil paintings and drawings, at Intencións Gallery, Jackson, WY.  Here’s the catch: Milosky’s exhibition, “Art is Life,” literally showcases ALL the artist’s work created these past five years, and the show runs ONLY one night, August 10th, 6-10:00 pm. 

As a child the artist promised himself to create one piece of art a day—-I don’t know Milosky’s age, but if a life retrospective were at hand it would fill every nook and corner of Jackson! Enough work exists from the past five years for a very big show.

The artist’s goal is simple and straightforward: to give everyone who visits the opportunity to own original art. Reasonable prices, diversity of subject and style should mean that there is something for everyone. “I have always dreamt of [my first] solo show, and by allowing me my own terms, Intencións is helping me fulfill this dream,” says Milosky. For more information, email madelinef.ashley@gmail.com OR remymilosky@gmail.com.  Phone contacts:  307-690-2409 and 307-690-6545. Website:  www.remysart.com

Through December, filmmaker Valerie Schramm hosts “Movie Night at the Library,” 7-9:00 pm every second Friday of the month. Each film showcases a new release from the Film Movement, a curator and distributer for award-winning films from festivals around the world. Post-film discussions. Friday, August 9th, “Shun Li and the Poet,” a drama directed by Andrea Segre, will screen. Italian and Mandarin; not sure about subtitles!  Free.  www.tclib.org




Photography, Climbing, Books & Painting ~ We’re Back Outdoors!

Image by Taylor Glenn

Image by Taylor Glenn

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

On Sunday, May 12th, National Geographic photographer Wade Davis makes an appearance at Jackson’s first annual Mountain Story Festival, courtesy of the Murie Center. There’s no getting away from the fact that climbing treacherous, challenging peaks here—and anywhere in the world—is a huge part of our culture. Climbers take in the outdoors in a mind-bending way. The closest I’ve come to being that high, with a few thousand feet between me and flat ground is the year I skydived, on a dare, at college. I’d do that again before I’d climb the Grand or any other giant, jagged, craggy mountain!

Others have infinitely more guts. These extreme personalities can’t keep themselves from climbing; they climb in their sleep. Which is why Davis’ talk on his new book “Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest” should be packed. Mothers, be warned! Content may be nerve racking!  7:00 pm start, Pink Garter Theater, downtown Jackson.

Wednesday, May 15th, the Murie Center’s Mardy’s Conservation Collection Book Club meets to discuss the Murie’s book, Wapiti Wilderness.

“In this autobiographical tale…Olaus and Mardy describe their life together, raising a family in the mountainous wilderness of the Tetons, while Olaus worked for the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey,” says the Center. The gathering takes place at the the Murie’s original home, Murie Ranch, in Moose, WY, at 6:30 pm. Lively discussion, reflection and inspiration are a promise.  www.muriecenter.org.

Tammy Callens, AIE 2012

The Grand Teton Association (GTA) has announced its line-up of plein air artists for this summer’s “Artists in the Environment”  (AIE) series, taking place the second Saturday of every month, June – September, in Grand Teton National Park(GTNP). Each of those weekends, regional plein air painters provide free painting demonstrations at locations throughout GTNP.  Founded by the late, great plein air artists Greg McHuron and Conrad Schwiering, the program has offered countless visitors and art lovers a free chance to see artists capturing the beauty surrounding us.

I have a personal passion for this program~~I believe the history of plein air painting in this valley, and in the Greater Yellowstone Region, is one of America’s most important art history stories. Its tradition is unbreakable; the artists’ bonds are like steel.

For fifty years, the GTA has celebrated GTNP via the arts. All proceeds realized by the GTA serve to broaden education, research and interpretation of GTNP.

Times and locations are TBA, but participating artists for 2013 are:  Dwayne Harty – June 15th;  Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters & Co., – July 13th; Wendell Field – August 10th;  and Fred Kingwill – September 14th.  More on all these artists as summer progresses!

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Plein Air for the Park 2013!

PAftP logo 180dpi RGB v2013.4 blue

Cross my heart and can’t wait to do it again, one of the great highlights of my 2012 arts summer was the culmination of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters’ (RMPAP) “Plein Air for the Park” National Paint-Out & Show. Last July, approximately 40 plein air artists converged in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) and the Jackson Hole area, painting their hearts out for two weeks.  All paintings completed were exhibited and sold in a three-day event at GTNP’s Craig Thomas Discovery Center (CTDC), in Moose, Wyoming.


The place was PACKED. And there are those who missed last year’s event still notifying me they wish they’d been there. Recently, a senior Park employee confided to me that the Park, as a collective, loved the event. It all went off so beautifully that RMPAP is returning this summer, July 8 – 21st, 2013. The event benefits GTNP and is hosted by the Park and the Grand Teton Association (GTA). This year’s opening reception, at the CTDC, takes place Thursday, July 18th, beginning at 7pm.  Awards will be presented at 7:45 by this year’s Judge, Chris Moran. 

A Quick Draw takes place Saturday, July 20th, beginning at 9:00am, at Menor’s Ferry in GTNP. The public can watch paintings being created from start to finish; they then may purchase paintings right off the easel at the fixed-price sale immediately following, 11am – 12 noon. Approximately 44 professional, recognized artists will participate in this, RMPAP’s 12th Annual National Show. 

The GTA began collecting works of art on behalf of the Park over 50 years ago; the collection has become a valuable part of GTNP’s legacy. Last year, two works were purchased by GTA for the Park’s permanent collection; two more were purchased by patrons and donated to the Park. AND, last year’s event raised close to $21,000 for GTA!

“It is a thrill and a pleasure to be back in GTNP and working with Grand Teton Association again this year,” says RMPAP President (and participating artist) Stephen C. Datz. “We welcome the opportunity to continue the artistic tradition at the Park, expand public awareness and appreciation of plein-air painting, and in so doing benefit the exceptional efforts of the GTA on behalf of the Park.”


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Sharon Thomas Paints at Menor’s Ferry; Swan Story

“I am a different sort of landscape painter,” says Jackson painter Sharon Thomas. “I notice what’s going on, what’s alive, around my feet—these days I observe what’s happening from eye-to-ground level. There is so much life happening there. Our tiny creatures are foraging, preparing for changes of seasons, reproducing, just as larger species do. We have these huge vistas, but we also have an infinity of tiny landscapes to observe.”

The Grand Teton Association’s “Artists in the Environment” series presents this summer’s final program artist, Sharon Thomas. Thomas will be on location Saturday, September 8, 2012, at historic Menor’s Ferry in Grand Teton National Park, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. As always, this plein air painting demonstration is free and open to the public, and a wonderful way to celebrate our own art history during Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival week! Menor’s Ferry, built in the early 1900’s, was the site of the first mechanized river crossing and had a general store. The store is in operation today, and visitors may browse vingtage-style Western goods, similar to what would have been sold in the original store. The white washed log buildings sit just next to the Snake River, close to the Chapel of the Transfiguration.

Born and raised in California, Thomas gained her art degree at California State University at Long Beach. For many years she has painted the wildlife, Snake River scenes and national forest just outside her door in the Hoback area, south of Jackson, Wyoming. Wyoming’s nature, its life cycles and the region’s vivid light and colors influence the artist.

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Dusty, Pecking Birds; Jackson Art Gallery Happenings

Pecking Bird - Jill Auerbach

Lately, I’ve talked quite a bit about “showing up.” I’ve been a no-show for recent scheduled events—though I have been out interviewing and working. Sometimes an event like the passing of Greg McHuron can just take over. You know it’s comin’ but finality is a new reality.  While I’m thinking about it, I’ll mention that the NEXT “Artist in the Environment” is Tammy Callens, that jumping sprite of a painter–she is a delight! Callens will be painting at Sawmill Pond, GTNP, on August 11th, 2:00-5:00 pm. 

Summer is busy; summer is compressed; summer is full of possibility!

Today I looked on Facebook and spotted John Frechette’s post about having artist Jill Auerbach and her bird paintings alight at MADE. Bird art speaks to our tribal selves—not in a drum-thumping way, but definitely in a spiritual, “reminding” way. In cultural “medicines,” most bird species represent some kind of human state of being or emotion. Auerbach relates her paintings of birds and other critters to petroglyphs. That word is derived from the Greek words “petro-,” a variation of the word “petra,” which means “stone.”  And the back part of the word, “glyphein,” means “to carve.” The original French word was “pétroglyphe.”

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