Tag Archives: Mountain Trails Gallery

Painting to Listen; John Potter’s Dream

John Potter “Walking Tall in the Beartooths,” Oil 7×10″

“Painting for me is a form of communication with our Creator, and of gratitude as well; for the life and beauty brought forth on this Earth, especially in our remaining wild places. Because of this, I feel a sense of responsibility for the privilege of painting, for the gift of the craft. Many painters are out there trying to be heard – I paint to listen.” – John Potter

Stay tuned, please, for this important message.

Plein air painter John Potter doesn’t reside in Jackson Holehe’s a Montana man and an Ojibwe. But his presence here is strong. He has many deep friendships, and though he doesn’t like to be the center of attention, his clear spirit, gorgeous paintings, humor, consideration, and deep connection to Nature often make him so. He dedicates his life to celebrating the land and what it provides.

Unfortunately, all too often Nature’s voice falls on deaf ears, even when calling out to us with all its majestic power. We urgently need to practice listening. We need to hear those who Nature has chosen to pass on its messages, and messages often appear as dreams.

Recently, Potter had an apocolyptic dream; a nightmare. He’s graciously given permission to share it with you. Potter’s dream is Mother Earth (She is simply the mother; there is nothing separate from her. All things come from her, return to her, and are her.- Encyclopedia Britannica) calling us to bear witness.

Miigwetch, John.

John Potter, “Walking Among Giants.” Oil 14×48″

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Tale of Bert and Two Tammies

Tammy Callens, "Bert."  Oil, 20" x 18"

Tammy Callens, “Bert.” Oil, 20″ x 18″

Last summer artist Tammy Callens and I went to visit Bert Raynes. I’d posted an image of Bert on Facebook. Bert, a distinctive bird, caught Callens’ eye. Callens paints portraits, and minutes after spying Bert on my Facebook page she contacted me to find out who this extraordinary man might be.

Callens wanted to paint Bert’s portrait.

“Brilliant,” I thought. Why hadn’t I come up with this? Callens and Bert had never met, but as soon as she expressed interest, my mind leapt at the possibilities. Of all Jackson’s special citizens, who was more deserving of a Callens portrait? Nobody. A “Bert” portrait might raise excellent funds for his beloved non-profit, The Meg and Bert Raynes Foundation.

A year later Callens’ portrait is complete. It’s a stunner. And it’s up for sale as of Friday, June 26th, at Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson. An opening reception takes place Saturday, June 27th, 4-6:00 pm at the gallery. Callens is donating a significant portion of “Bert” sales proceeds to his foundation. The exhibition, entitled “Soliloquy,” remains on display through July 2nd. 

“The sad thing is, it looks like me,” says Raynes.

Boy, does it. Witty self-deprecation is pure Bert. In fact, he couldn’t be more thrilled. Callens’ spot-on portrait captures Bert as he was the day they met~~handsome in his signature red sweater and suspenders, Bert posed for Callens. Within minutes she’d sketched a lively impression and began playing with color.

“I love painting Bert as he was exactly on the day we met,” Callens recalls. “His life, compassion, knowledge and contributions extend far beyond those of most folks; most of us can’t imagine doing a fraction of his work. I felt his energy immediately and fell completely in love.”

Tammy Callens. "Foghorn Leghorn," Oil.  8 "X 14" Oil

Tammy Callens. “Foghorn Leghorn,” Oil.
8 “X 14”

Callens’ portrait depicts Bert surrounded with jars, bowls and bottles; symbols of a wellness campaign. Birds, Bert’s life’s work and extended family, are present too. Most importantly, the painting IS Bert. Any “F.O.B.,” (Friend of Bert) sees this immediately. When we’re with Bert, intelligence and sparky conversation are impressed upon us. We learn. He listens. We have a democratic, lifetime experience.

Want to be an F.O.B.? Make a beeline for Mountain Trails Gallery. Get there first. Be the “Bert” buyer. Be the first Jackson Hole “nature mapping” citizen to contribute to Bert’s foundation. Be the first person, as far as I know, to support a worthy cause by bringing home a portrait of a most distinguished bird. www.tammycallens.com , www.mtntrails.net  https://www.facebook.com/JacksonHoleActivities



Ham at Mountain Trails; Hawkins at Altamira; Art Fair; Hammock Paint

July 15-22, check out the bold, illustrative  paintings of Jeff Ham at Mountain Trails Gallery.

Last summer’s personal statement on Native American history will be replaced (I believe) with more celebratory Western imagery.  As has been noted, Ham’s color and composition spring from a background in illustration.

“I do my best to translate emotion and feelings into color and communicate my individual interpretation of each subject,” he explained. ”My goal is to capture spontaneity. As an artist I am learning to express myself in an honest and straightforward manner.”

I’m still loving the  memory of  Jeff Ham’s large scale works, his  O’Keeffe and Warhol portraits; they once hung in the J.H. Center for the Arts Theater Lobby, and may still be there.

Email:  fineart@mountaintrails.net

Item #2:

“I paint with passion, risk and abbreviated images instead of capturing realism. Set against transit texture and vivid color, images and figures cannot be situated in reality. These painterly expressions challenge our emotions and communicate with our sense of mystery. Mystery is a part of life. Not everything is easily explainable.”  – Rocky Hawkins

Rocky Hawkins: Lost At Last, is the new show at Altamira Fine Art. A reception will be held at the gallery July 15, 5-7:00 pm.

What can’t be ignored in Montana artist Rocky Hawkins’ work is the ghostly quality of his portraits.  Conversely, there is a direct confirmation his Native American subjects demand of viewers.   Confirmation of existence transmitted by apparitions.   Thirty-six expressionistic paintings make up the artist’s roster of images on the Altamira gallery site. All are potent, highly vigorous compositions — an approaching army of ancestry and imminent spirits.

Hawkins is a brave artist, true to his own inspiration. His work sells, appealing to a cache of sophisticated collectors of contemporary Western art.  Inspired in part by Terpning, Hawkins’ works are painterly anti-war messages conveyed through portraits of a culture that fought for its right to exist.

And isn’t a break with “the rules” what we often search out for in great art?   Gallery director Mark Tarrant has said that Hawkins’ work recalls “the primitivism that Gaugin sought, and pays little attention to the classical use of perspective and color.”    To my eye, his work recalls Gaugin’s breakout character combined with Jackson Pollock’s rhythmic use of paint….there may be homage to Motherwell’s sweeping black forms.

Lost At Last (if you meet Hawkins, ask him about the meaning behind the title of this show; then get back to me, please!) remains on display through August 4th.     www.altamiraart.com.

Item #3:

Jackson Hole Art Fair Rap Revisited!

(July 16-18   Miller Park   10am-6pm;  10 am-4pm Sunday. www.artassociation.org )

Hey, it’s July, so it’s time to share / ‘Bout that annual gig, the Jackson Hole Art Fair! / “Art Fair Jackson Hole” it prefers to be called / Nobody asked me.  I’m not involved.

Hey man, don’t be bored! / Sometimes Harrison Ford / Comes to check out the art / And he brings Flockhart. (If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it!)

Buy ceramics, toys, fibers–/  This poem’s the town crier / For Art Fair Weekend / Come rain or come shine-er. / Paintings, baskets, jewels, tents / Sunscreen and some fivers / All make for a day / The whole family could die for!

See the Fair.  Have Fun.  This rap is all done.

Item #4:

Hammock painting helpers needed!  July 15, beginning 5:00 pm,  convene at the Multipurpose Ceramics Studio at the Center for the Arts. Help paint 2,000 feet of hammock that will be used as part of Sunday, July 25th’s Vertical Orchestra concert at the Teewinot lift ( I am enough of a non-skier to not even know if that lift is at Snow King or Teton Village.  But I bet you will know, dear readers!)

If you help paint, you’ll go home with a free hammock.   Bring along any unused paint you might have handy, but most importantly, bring yourself.    You can also sign up to volunteer the day of the concert.   Questions:  Bland Hoke,  307.690.0097.

NMWA Sculpture Trail Funded; Nominate for Creativity; Mountain Trails Gallery Announces Summer Shows

The National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) will build its new sculpture trail, designed by Oakland, California landscape wizard Walter Hood.  In the planning process for several years, funding for completion of the project was secured via a $3.5 million gift from NMWA trustee Debbie Petersen.   The trail will be named for her late husband, Jim Petersen.  Ms. Petersen’s gift funds the trail and supports “future projects.”

Last year, the Jackson Hole Art Blog presented a three-part series on Walter Hood and his vision for the NMWA sculpture trail, and his prophesies and recommendations for future sustainable, artful landscaping in Jackson and Teton County. Those articles are available to read on this site.

The Museum says the trail will provide new ways for visitors to view wildlife art within a landscape; sculptor Richard Loffler’s Buffalo Trail will be part of the project.  An amphitheater will replace the current drive at NMWA’s entrance and an “edge trail” will run along the east ledge of the current visitor’s parking area.   Hood’s hope has always been to meld NMWA’s vantage point and contoured landscapes with views of the Elk Refuge, creating a greater visceral connection between the two sites.

The museum’s new sculpture trail will directly connect to the North Highway 89 Pathway Project, a new branch of the Pathways system planned to lead from the north end of Jackson to Grand Teton National Park.  An underground tunnel will provide access to the museum, creating an inviting opportunity to mix culture and outdoor activity for bicyclers.      www.wildlifeart.org.

Item #2:

The Cultural Council of Jackson Hole, with a mission to ” bring the arts and cultural organizations in our community together for the purpose of communication, collaboration, coordination and promotion of cultural life in Jackson Hole,”  has opened nominations for this year’s “Award for Creativity.” The honorarium

acknowledges those whose contributions to the arts—visual, musical, written and performing—have impact and meaning to Jackson’s cultural base.  2009’s winners were Dancer’s Workshop Executive Director Babs Case and Center for the Arts major patron John Tozzi.   Other past winners include Lyndsay McCandless, Joffa & Bill Kerr, Evie Lewis, Ken Thomasma, David Kornblum and more.

Submit your nominations by Monday, June 21st, to the Cultural Council.  Nominations may be mailed to the Council at P.O. Box 3706, Jackson, Wyoming 83001.   Or, email your choice to:  culturalcouncil@gmail.com. The Council’s Alissa Davies notes that submissions must include ” your name, address, phone number and/or email, 500 words about the individual and their impact on the cultural fabric of our community, and two additional references with contact information. Consider the significant achievements of the individual; the broad and lasting impact of their work; and qualities that contribute to their artistic excellence.

May I add that there are a number of folks whose contributions to the arts, though highly significant, are grass roots and community-oriented in nature. Often subtle, they are no less crucial.  Please nominate anyone you believe helps support the arts;  supporting the arts can mean a nominee provides significant financial support and boosterism, or it may mean that a shop owner dedicates continuous space and time to young artists.  A person can be artistically innovative, build diversity, provide a service, teach, or actualize physical venues for the arts.   The sky is the limit!

Each year winners are celebrated at a festive gathering, usually at the Center for the Arts.  This year’s party and will be held Wednesday, September 8, 2010, a great kick-off to Jackson Hole’s Fall Arts Festival season.

For more information contact Alissa Davies at 307.690.4757 or email culturalcounciljh@gmail.com.

Item #2:

No details yet, but here’s a handy list of shows scheduled to take place this Summer and Fall, at Mountain Trails Gallery in glorious Jackson Hole, Wyoming! If a detail you need isn’t here, it’s because that info is TBA.

Show #1 :

Western Artists of America – Western Heritage Show – July 2 – July 10 Opening Reception:  Saturday, July 3.

_mg_1699Show #2:

Jeff Ham – One Man Show –  July 15 – July 22 Opening Reception:  Saturday,  July 17

Show #3:

Edward Aldrich – One Man Show –  Aug.6 – Aug. 13 Opening Reception: Sat. Aug. 7

Show #4:

Landscape Show (Andrzej Skorut / Shanna Kunz) – Aug. 19 – Aug. 26 Opening skorut-26x26Reception:  Sat. Aug.21

Show #5:

Robert Hagan – One Man Show  – Sept. 2 – Sept. 9 Opening Reception:  Sat. Sept. 4

Show #6:

Ty Barhaug & Tom Saubert – Sept. 15 – Sept. 22 Opening Reception:  Wed. Sept.15

Show #7:

Oil Painters of America Regional Show –  Oct. 9 – Nov. 10 Opening Reception:  Sat. Oct. 9

Information: 307.734.8150.

Mountain Trails Hosts Artist Carrie Fell

“I’d like to feel that viewers will see my art and sense a secret self… where the lightning wrestles with the sky and where the stars open the darkened night, where one can feel the cowboys ride.”- Carrie Fell

Jackson’s Mountain Trails Gallery hosts an artist’s reception for Colorado artist Carrie Fell, the gallery’s February featured artist.  The gallery reports that Fell will make a personal appearance at that reception, happening Saturday, February 28, 4-7:00 pm.

Some years ago I wrote about another show of Fell’s, one that also took place at Mountain Trails.  It’s always interesting to revisit previous thoughts on an artist’s style and subject matter, but as I’ve been unable to find that Planet/Arts Observatory column, I’ll tell you what I remember of Fell’s work then, and what I see now.

I remember, above all, the color.  Fell favors bright pastels: rose, violet, pale yellow.  Those colors project a great deal of joy; her works are contemporary translations of traditional western themes.   That hasn’t changed, but what I think has changed is her use of detail; now, there’s more of it.  I’m drawn to “Yellow Tail” because it is an explicit and strong portrait. Here is his face, his spirit, in detail. Yellowtail, born around 1855, was a member of the Big Lodge Clan.  His son, Tom Yellowtail, was a Crow medicine man.  Fell’s portrait includes a yellow feather headdress, the feather of a yellowtail hawk.

Fell’s quotation about her own art suggests she is working with dreams, and she may be inspired by Native American spirituality and totems.   Fell’s gaily colored horses, riders, long horned steers and now, “Yellow Tail,” are electric.   An “anything can happen” optimism hallmarks her work.

Call Mountain Trails Gallery at 307-734-8150.  Email fineart@mtntrails.net.