Tag Archives: Arts

Fresh Lots at J.H. Art Auction; A Kansas Art Tale

Edgar Payne, Navajo Scouting Party, 24×38″ Oil. Estimate: $400,000 – $600,000

Fresh to the art market: no matter how important an artist’s work, if passed around the auction circuit too often, its value tarnishes. Flip city. That’s why the 2017 Jackson Hole Art Auction   elation over works new to the market is understandable: six oils by American illustrator W.H.D. Koerner. The works come straight from a private collection “with direct descent from the artist.”

W.H.D. Koerner (1878–1938) Citizens of the Law (1931) oil on canvas, 30 x 36″  Estimate: $75,000–$125,000

Koerner works include “Citizens of the Law,” shown above, and “New Horizons,” a “classic pioneer scene.” Both works estimate at $75,000 – $125,000. Koerner’s “Fly Fishing,” “The Bullring,” “The Price of the Old Northwest,” and “Indian Territory Demand for Tribute” round out the Koerner lots. Together these works comprise a vivid and compelling profile of the characters, times, challenges and passions of the Old West.

Edgar Payne, Carl Rungius, Robert Bateman, Tucker Smith; you’ll find works by all these iconic Western artists on the Jackson Hole Art Auction website.   No matter where they set up their easels, countless contemporary artists list the great Edgar Payne as a significant influence in their own work. 

The Jackson Hole Art Auction caps Jackson’s annual Fall Arts Festival, and is a co-production of the Gerald Peters and Trailside Galleries. A phenomenal Western Art market success, this will be the auction’s 11th year offering the finest works by living and deceased masters. The auction, now a destination in itself, continues to invite fine art consignments. Once again, the auction takes place over the course of two consecutive days: September 15th and 16th, 2017, at the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For information, contact Auction Coordinator Madison Webb, via Tel: 866-549-9278 | Fax: 307-732-1600 or at www.jacksonholeartauction.com.  

Now, a brief “return from vacation” note. If you read the New York Times  Arts Section, you may have seen March 25th’s article “Arts Without Funding? It Can Be Done, Kansas Says.” 

Courtesy Hays Arts Council

Journalist Mitch Smith’s  article tells the story of Kansas’ Hays Arts Council. Its director, Brenda Meder, cuts corners wherever possible in order to save money and funnel cash into the arts. She scrubs the toilets, she makes the reception appetizers, she’s increased membership and organizes quarterly art walks “in the brick-paved downtown, where storefronts transform into makeshift galleries that draw hundreds of spectators from Hays and beyond.”

In Hays, support comes from Democrats and Republicans. It is, says one politically involved citizen, “part of our DNA here. And that’s hard to replicate in other communities.”

This is a story about a Midwest arts community making concessions, but their arts scene remains strong. It’s a great profile. And, man, look at this art! It’s fantastic! Read the story here.

Courtesy Hays Arts Council

Colter Bay’s American Indian Exhibition & Artists; Big River Ball

One of Grand Teton National Park’s most powerful–yet, I suspect, often overlooked–destinations is the American Indian artists exhibition and demonstrations at the Colter Bay Visitor Center. It’s one of the few places in our immediate region where one can get a sense of the scope and breadth of American Indian artistry and heritage. Demonstrating artists represent tribes from around the country, and exhibit through the summer, Monday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. Crafted items are available for purchase. I’ve not been up yet this year; last year the David T. Vernon collection was taken down for safe keeping and restoration while its space at Colter Bay was upgraded; it was getting pretty damp and ragged in there. But that never lessened the power, the sacred history of this collection. It will give you goosebumps.

Why did we all want to dress up as Indians when we were kids? I did it all the time. Also dressed up as a cowgirl. But wanting to dress up like an Indian I think is some sort of need to feel primal, original energy. To convince yourself you’re not just a white person. I am just a white person, but that childhood desire to not be just a white person was real.

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Snyder Stuffs Poetry Box; “Arts for All” Grants Available

The Poetry Box’s Meg Daly writes she is very excited that The Poetry Box is now stocked with poems by Pulitzer Prize winning Poet Gary Snyder. The Poetry Box, a free source of poetry for locals, by locals and otherwise noted poets, stands outside Jackson’s Valley Bookstore, in Gaslight Alley.

Snyder is this year’s Teton County Library “Page to Podium” speaker; Snyder will give a poetry reading at Jackson’s Center for the Arts Theater on Tuesday, March 13, 6-8:00 pm. His reading will be followed by an interview with local author, Exum mountain guide and Zen practitioner, Jack Turner. At the evening’s end, Snyder will preside over a book signing. Daly notes that the library has produced collectible bookmarks featuring four of Snyder’s poems.

“This is a dream come true for The Poetry Box – that the work of local and regional poets would intermingle with poetry greats like Snyder, Nye and Pinsky,” says Daly. “Thanks to our collaborators and sponsors: Teton County Library, Jackson Hole Review, JH Writer’s Conference, pARTners, and the amazing JH Public Art Initiative. Thanks, also, to you readers! And please send me your poems!”

The Poetry Box is designed and built by John Frechette (www.strappedglass.com). Email Meg Daly at meg@megdaly.com. To learn more about Snyder’s Jackson appearance, visit this link.

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Jackson Hole’s Future: What Will Develop? Support Urban Vibrancy!

Since the Town of Jackson’s wide-reaching DRD (Downtown Redevelopment) plans were voted down via public referendum seven years ago—a true, in-your-hands measure of community sentiment expressing its will that we not over-develop our town, not turn it into a playground for mismatched, overbuilt developments, not speculate that we can match Teton Village’s resort destination allure—-we’ve watched development happen. When citizens said “no” to DRD, development rights were simply granted individually, one project at a time.

And here we are, with a fist full of empty commercial space, large quantities of unsold real estate units, and a community that feels ever more transient. Too many citizens wonder if they should stay in the valley or leave it.

Town planners and community have been, for  years, giving their lives over to creating an acceptable plan for this special place. We have been asked to trust our comments are truly heard by our leaders, charged with representing the public’s interest. As a community, we cannot afford to know we’ve all been whistling dixie. We want a logical process of implementation.

Otherwise, for all these years, our community has merely engaged in an exercise.

Preserving environment and quality of place, managing growth, and creating a viable, broad-based economy are Jackson’s great challenges. We need a certain critical population mass to achieve that balance, but most crucial is ensuring we promote and protect our wildlife, its habitat and other environmentally sensitive areas.

We must continue moving towards making the arts a part of the Town of Jackson’s future. We can remind all visitors of our history by including beautiful and lasting public places in our Comprehensive Plan. That sort of planning aids in building tourism and helps us towards finding out what level of economic success we can expect to reach. We should, as Candra Day has said, be strengthening sustainable tourism practices, using cultural assets as tools. Growth should incorporate landscaping, parks, and grace of space. Let’s create space both sacred and fundamental. Without these provocative elements, we forfeit a higher level of urban vibrancy.

Officials must strategize to attract new businesses–businesses offering solid, long-term employment—to Jackson. Attract and establish products and services desired and supported by locals and visitors. Strive to fill all this empty commercial space, rather than plan for more building.

It still appears that developers are feeling encumbered by wildlife.  Our core economic stability lies in protecting and preserving the power of this place. All new projects should be primarily concerned with that goal.  Geography and wildlife are our golden eggs–they will only become more precious.

Keep downtown vibrant, give it an identity separate from Teton Village’s—we cannot match that profile—and use it as a place where families who can’t afford $400 a night lodgings may stay. We want to keep those “families of five from Toledo.”  We want them to be able to come hereand experience the wonders of this place–we want to educate them.  If we do not, why will anyone want to protect this place?

Former Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance Director Franz Camenzind has said, “We come home, there’s a moose in the yard.  We pick up the phone, call our friend in Atlanta, and get them to guess what’s outside our window. It’s not just going to the parks to see these animals, it’s having them right there with us.  Living with them. Nobody has the diversity of wildlife we do, let alone have it as visible as it is, interwoven with community.”

American Association of Museums Rallies Against Coburn Amendment

As is painfully apparent around Jackson Hole, indeed across Wyoming, the arts are taking an economic blow to the belly.  Local arts  entrepreneurs are pulling together, a healthy and overdue development.

What follows is an exerpt from a letter written by Ford W. Bell, of the American Association of Museums, calling for museum advocates to rally and contribute in response to the recently passed Coburn Amendment (See “Gambling with the Arts,” posted 2/8/2009). The amendment bans stimulus package funding to museums and other entities tied, erroneously or not, to the arts.  The letter goes on to ask for contributions, but doing such will be left to the reader.
February 24, 2009

Dear Advocate,

I write to you having just returned to my office from Capitol Hill, where I enjoyed breakfast with 310 AAM friends and advocates from 45 states, all gathered here in Washington, DC for AAM’s Museums Advocacy Day. Following the networking breakfast, we were honored to hear poignant and motivational remarks by Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), followed by heartfelt welcomes and personal museum stories by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Congressman Lacy Clay (MO-1) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN). Having spent the majority of yesterday refreshing their collective “Advocacy 101” skills with a remarkable group of teachers, Hill-insiders and even an “Advocacy Guru,” today the assembled group of advocates appeared eager and well-prepared to carry our unified message that MUSEUMS MATTER to their elected officials.

We have real strength in numbers and, after the Coburn amendment in the Senate, it is more important than ever for us to use our voices and to use them well. For those of you who have not heard, an amendment was passed – overwhelmingly – by the Senate on February 6 prohibiting any economic stimulus funding from going to museums. In that amendment, museums were joined by casinos, stadiums, golf courses and swimming pools, among others, in being barred from stimulus funding.  The fact that museums would even be considered in a list like this illustrates how critical it is for us to educate our legislators on our mission and contributions to our communities. Museums are a vital part of our economy and of our nation’s educational infrastructure.  They employ more than a half million Americans and partner with schools to educate our children.

And while the passage of this amendment was initially a setback for our community, our collaborative action in response to that misguided provision was a watershed moment for our field.

Together we have started a movement, and with our field-wide response to the recent developments in Congress, our Museums Advocacy Day and your engagement in e-advocacy activities,  we now take that movement to Capitol Hill. We all should be quite proud that we were able to mobilize a massive field-wide effort to prevent a funding ban on museums in this bill. Through nearly 4,000 letters and emails and untold numbers of additional calls directly into legislators’ offices, our consternation was heard! The troubling fact is that Congress – and specifically the U.S. Senate in its February 6 vote – initially saw fit to exclude museums from funding. Further, the truly disheartening fact is that zoos and aquaria will be prohibited from competing for most economic stimulus funds made available through this bill. You and I both know that zoos and aquaria have tremendous public benefit for environmental education and wildlife conservation, while contributing greatly to our nation’s economy by spurring tourism. The omission of zoos and aquaria magnifies the need for our field to resoundingly make the case for all museums in all communities.

The presence of AAM’s Government Relations team at a number of regional and state association meetings, along with the direct cost for our advocacy alert systems and the service that allows you to look up your legislator on our site, www.speakupformuseums.org, are not insignificant….


Ford W. Bell