Tag Archives: Native American

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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Woodard and Schenck Win the West at Altamira Fine Art

Greg Woodard Indian Head Penny, Edition of 17 Bronze 36 x 30 x 16 inches

Greg Woodard
Indian Head Penny, Edition of 17
36 x 30 x 16 inches

At Altamira Fine Art, September 1-10th are exhibition days devoted to artists exploring Native American (or “Indian,” as John Byrne Cooke insists we should be writing), culture and themes. Sculptor Greg Woodard has been subtly, and not so subtly creating visions of myths and symbols of a West that flourished before white men destroyed almost every vestige of the Indian nations. His newest show, Breakthrough, gives us more of Woodard’s emotional, heroic sculptures erupting from the earth, and writhing, proud and primal portrayals of Native Americans and Western wildlife.

Woodard, a master falconer, says he allows his sculptures to develop naturally—there are no preconceptions. Each edition reveals its own hue and texture.

“I try to achieve a unique gesture, and use the process that a piece goes through getting cast to my advantage. I’m very involved at the foundry,” says Woodard. “I chase the waxes and do every patina by hand.”

Woodard's Bison Coin sculpture at NMWA. Photo by Tammy Christel

Woodard’s Bison Coin sculpture at NMWA. Photo by Tammy Christel

Woodard was on hand this summer at the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Annual Plein Air Festival. The event highlights true plein air artists, but sculptors and non-traditional artists also take part. Woodard’s open, friendly ways stand in contrast to the intensity of his work. That day, Woodard was shaping a piece for a bronze sculpture depicting a buffalo’s profile turned on its axis within a weathered coin’s diameter. Below Woodard and his sculpture, pacing the sage-covered incline, was sculptor Richard Loffler’s buffalo installation. Two “presents” looking back, foretelling America’s future.

An artist’s reception will be held at Altamira on Friday, September 11, 5-8:00 pm, during the Fall Arts Festival’s “Palettes and Palates”ArtWalk. www.altamiraart.com.

Billy Schenck: Three Minutes from Eternity. Enquire!

Billy Schenck: Three Minutes from Eternity. Enquire!

Congratulations to Billy Schenck and Altamira Fine Art for Schenck’s encore performance as 2015’s Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival Poster Artist. This is his second trip down the Featured Poster Artist aisle, and he’s having a blast. Altamira’s website does not post a price for the original~~that’s because it will be auctioned off at the Fall Arts Annual Quick Draw on the Town Square. Bring the big bucks! The Quick Draw is truly Jackson’s favorite Festival happening~~~I believe it’s outpaced Palates and Palettes. Two completely different events, but there’s purity in the Quick Draw. Family Fun. Sparkling fall mornings. Artists on hand in one place, quick on the painting and sculpting draw.

This Schenck is on Altamira’s site. I have to post it. If this doesn’t leave you smiling….I give up!

Billy Schenck - Columbus Discovered the Tetons. Oil on Canvas 35 x 45 inches.

Billy Schenck. Columbus Discovered the Tetons. Oil on Canvas. 35 x 45″



Schenck + Gilleon + Woodard = Fireworks at Altamira; Sun Dial

Bill Schenck - "Somewhere Beyond the Horizon"

Bill Schenck – “Somewhere Beyond the Horizon”

On Friday, July 5th, 5-7:00 pm, Altamira Fine Art welcomes three of its most electric artists: Bill Schenck, R. Tom Gilleon and Greg Woodard. Each artist has his own new show of works, but you get to experience them all at once, an irresistable prospect. All three artists’ works will be on exhibit through July 13th.

“Technicolor Storm.”  What a brilliant description of Billy Schenck’s Pop Western Art. He’s a hot one! His full name is William Clinton Schenck; ain’t that a kick? Schenck’s show, “How I Won the West: The Return of the Punk Cowgirl” features new oils and dot paintings and his new cowgirls harken back to a series he initiated in the 1980’s featuring, as Julie Sasse said, “confident women living independent lives in the American West,” about a decade before the great genre chick movie “Thelma & Louise” debuted.

With this new show Schenck brings us new oil and dot paintings filled with jolting color, stylizations and, as the gallery says, clashes between wilderness and civilization. The collection draws upon “narrative tensions that have attracted mass audiences to Western fiction and movies.” The artist’s tongue-in-cheek humor and prediliction for social critique are in no way muted.

R. Tom Gilleon - "Triage"

R. Tom Gilleon – “Triage”

“Tom Gilleon is a master of composition and palette. A Gilleon painting commands a room; there is an energy that is projected, like the sun in the sky.”Mark Tarrant, Director, Altamira Fine Art 

Gilleon is exploring new territory too—his new show, “Ménage á Trois,” has an addendum title “Eternal Triangles.” The French expression translates most often as a romantic relationship between three people, but it can also infer a relationship between any three entities, each of those entities having a connection with the other two. Gilleon’s tipis are triangles, with each side having a relationship with the other two; and one of this show’s centerpieces is a “mesmerizing” triptych of tipis against skies that change in hue from dawn to dusk.

Gilleon will have a consummate nine-panel grid painting of Native American portraits and a massive 5’ x 10’ translucent tipi painting on view. Gilleon is re-inventing himself; and later this summer he will be the first living artist to have a solo show (“Let Icons Be Icons: The Art of R. Tom Gilleon) at the C.M. Russell Museum. Gilleon’s work is hypnotic, his ability to depict tipis and other subjects in an infinity of glowing color combinations forever astounding.

Greg Woodard - "Eagle Medicine Man"

Greg Woodard – “Eagle Medicine Man”

I brought a friend unfamiliar with Altamira to the gallery’s last opening. We looked at many of gallery’s works, but she gasped when she saw sculptor Greg Woodard’s emotional, heroic sculptures that seem to erupt from the earth. His portrayals of Native Americans are writhing and torqued—proud, worshipful and primal.

“I MUST meet this artist!” she exclaimed. I hope she gets the chance, because that chance is here! Woodard’s new show, “Organic,” is an illustration of “the interaction of humans and wildlife, and the collision of the natural world with human inventions.” The show’s works call out to us with their tumultuous textures and rich patinas that set Woodard’s singular, non-conformist bronzes apart.

Woodard, a master falconer, says he allows his sculptures to develop naturally—there are no preconceptions. Each edition reveals its own hue and texture.

“I try to achieve a unique gesture, and use the process that a piece goes through getting cast to my advantage. I’m very involved at the foundry,” says Woodard. “I chase the waxes and do every patina by hand.”

Woodard depicts the interactions between human and animal, and their inevitable affect. As Woodard’s admirers know, railroad tracks are featured in many of his pieces; they symbolize man’s introduction to the West, and also, says the gallery, “the line of sight humans or animals can take to look ahead for food or guidance.”    www.altamiraart.com 

Tyler Aiello- "Radiolarian"

Tyler Aiello- “Radiolarian”

“Art Across the Universe,” an art and science festival, includes various events taking place at Jackson’s Center for the Arts beginning July 10th. From 5-10:oo pm that day, take part in a Family Public Art “build a giant sundial” project with artist Tyler Aiello and Dr. Tyler Nordgren, attend an exhibit reception, presentation and salon-style chat, and wind it all up with a little star gazing!  All events are free.   www.artassociation.org  


Smithsonian Catlins & Auction News

George Catlin, Buffalo Bull, Grazing on the Prairie, 1832-1833, oil on canvas.

George Catlin, Buffalo Bull, Grazing on the Prairie, 1832-1833, oil on canvas. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.


The National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Curator of Art, Adam Harris, is the guest curator for an exhibition opening May 18th, 2013 at the museum. This remarkable exhibition, assembled in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, continues a new theme direction for the museum: exploration and examination of the American West. As a region, we’re shifting towards emphasizing the American West timeline, and along that timeline the overlapping, interconnected movements of art, conservation and exploration are continuous.

George Catlin’s American Buffalo is “entirely drawn from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s collection,” and will remain on display through August 18th, 2013. The show looks at Catlin’s work and feelings about the West via his representation of buffalo and their “integration into the lives of Native Americans.” Forty works are featured.

“Catlin’s paintings illuminate in great detail the close ties between Native American tribes and bison in the 1830s, and his writings about the land and its native inhabitants have informed generations of conservationists as they wrestle with sustainable ways to manage America’s Great Plains,” says Harris, who also contributed an essay for the show’s illustrated catalogue, to be published by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Having the chance to work with the Smithsonian American Art Museum to interpret Catlin’s words and images was a great honor,” Harris says. “The resulting exhibit and catalog will help contemporary audiences see Catlin in a new light.”

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase with Bows and Lances, 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

George Catlin, Buffalo Chase with Bows and Lances, 1832-1833, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Joseph Harrison, Jr.

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Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival 2012!

Dreamers Don't Sleep - Amy Ringholz

Why is the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival (FAF) so important? Every year the 10-day arts extravaganza confirms Jackson’s status as an important arts destination–Western Art, Wildlife Art, Cowboy Art, Western Contemporary, Contemporary, Sculpture, Photography, Paintings, Quick Draws, Art Walks, Galas, Studio Tours, Music, Western Memorabilia, Fashion, Furniture Design….during these 10 days, the breadth and depth of Jackson Hole’s art scene is stupendously apparent. And, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival fills our hotels, restaurants and retails shops more than any other single event of the year!  The arts are a growing economic force in our valley, connected to town, county and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Come to Jackson, and you get it all in one big bite: spectacular scenery, wildlife and a bustling, exploding arts and culture experience!

The Jackson Hole Art Blog lists FAF events in two separate calendars. This year’s FAF takes place Sept. 6-16th.  This post covers events happening Sept. 6-9th. Calendar No. 2 will cover FAF’s second week. 

 THURSDAY, September 6

Western Design Conference Lecture

Cowboy boot maker  &  Western clothing designer Lisa Sorrell talks about finding her craft, a journey that took her from sewing clothing to learning boot making. Lisa was featured on PBS’s program “Craft in America.” FREE, Open to the Public!  Place: Center for the Arts.  Time:  12:00 Noon.  www.westerndesignconference.com 

Western Design Conference Gala Event: Fashion Jewelry Show

A live-model jewelry show and champagne blow-out, with a “Winners Circle Art Auction.” Past award winners donate new works of art to be auctioned off. All proceeds benefit the annual WDC artist awards fund. Then, a runway fashion show struts western-genre couture collections from the best Western fashion designers. $22,000 in cash prizes to the exhibitors whose work best exemplifies the traditions and evolution of western design. Gala reception with food by Dining In Catering to follow.   Place: Center for the Arts / Doors open at 6pm. Fashion Show at 7:15pm   Tix:  $125 box seats, $100 main floor, $35 balcony.  Reserved. Book your tix at 307-733-4900 or via www.jhcenterforthearts.com.  

Grand Teton Gallery

Deb Penk is the gallery’s Artist in Residence 11am-3pm. An artists’ reception, featuring the work of  Shawndell Oliver, Chuck Middlekauff , Sam Thiewes & Penk will take place.  (307) 201-1172   www.grandtetongallery.com

FRIDAY, September 7

20th Annual Western Design Conference Exhibit Sale

A giant exhibition of western furniture, home accessories, and fashion, hosted by Teton Home and Living magazine. Brings together artists, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects, and fashion designers with a passion for the West. Over 100 artisans display handcrafted functional art in leather, metal, accents, woodworking, jewelry, and fashion during the 3-day exhibit sale.

Place: Pavilion at Snow King Resort, 10am–5pm    Tix: At the Door. $15.   www.westerndesignconference.com 

Palates & Palettes Gallery Walk!!!!  Hit the Streets at 5:00 pm! Go home by 8:00 pm! 

Maybe the wildest, craziest FAF night!  A no-can-miss!  More than 30 art galleries open their doors to showcase magnificent art with food, wine and music! Takes place at galleries ALL OVER TOWN. Park your car away from town center, if you can. Walk it out. Free, open to the public! Please don’t spill your drink on any expensive art!  Here are a few P&P highlights:

The David Brookover Photography Gallery always gives back during P&P. This year’s Mocha’s (David’s beloved dog) Bash For the Birds will be catered by the Four Seasons Resort and Amangani, and ALL PROCEEDS benefit the Teton Raptor Center.  A $5 entrance fee is “for the birds!”  Live raptors will be in the gallery; for a small fee you can have your Polaroid Camera picture taken with one of the birds. No digital images allowed inside the gallery, please!  Above is Brookover’s newest image, “The Vale,” a spectacular silver gelatin panoramic of Yosemite Valley. Brookover took the shot during a January storm, noting that “it took quite a while for the storm to clear up; I may never have gotten the shot if my friend hadn’t forgotten a tripod. We had to rush up from the valley floor in hopes of finding it~~~and got this!” A platinum palladium (limited edition of 7) version of the shot will be on display.  Check out the event at  http://www.tetonraptorcenter.org/mochas-bash-for-the-birds.html

Amy Ringholz, featured artist for the 28th annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, has her new works on display at her home gallery, Altamira Fine Art, during Palates and Palettes tonight! Over the last few years Amy has taken the Jackson Hole fine art scene by storm, establishing herself as a “must have” artist. Her energetic canvases and vivid imagination combine to create an inspired array of animals, each with their own playful personalities. www.altamiraart.com   Ringholz’s signature poster, “Dreamers Don’t Sleep,” appears at the top of this page. 

Camille Obering’s Pop-Up Gallery Features Kiki Smith and Lee Ufan –  PLUS  works by Bronwyn Minton and Linda Broadfoot! Cocktail reception from 5 – 8pm. Live music by Ben Musser. Stop by Obering’s temporary gallery on the corner of Pearl and King Streets. Tel: (917) 617-1207 camille@camilleobering.com

Trio Fine Art  artists (Hoffman, Sawczuck & Turner)  will give drawing and painting demonstrations at the gallery. Free! NOTE SPECIAL TIME: Demonstrations begin at 3:00 pm and end at 5:00 pm. I believe the gallery remains open until 7pm or so.   (307) 734-4444, www.triofineart.com

Cayuse Western Americana’s special show on Native American childrens’ items–“Little Owls.” Included are childrens’ special belongings such as clothing, toys, dolls and other personal items. Special objects include a Sioux saddle, Cheyenne saddle bags, a child-size pictorial tipi bag with American flags, and a fabulous collection of dolls. Several toy tipis, dating from 1870, will be on exhibition. Susan Adams, an award winning master metalsmith who creates jewelry, buckles, hollow-ware and occasionally, spurs will also be on hand. Her current passion is repousse, a difficult but beautiful format for jewelry and accents. www.cayusewa.com  

Tayloe Piggott Gallery  presents NYC artist Paul Villinski , “and the show will be incredible!”  He’s the butterfly man!  “I am drawn to humble, yet evocative materials; in this case, crushed beer cans from the streets of New York – every one of them once raised to someone’s lips. My process of “recycling” them into images of butterflies is a quiet physical meditation, a yoga of tin snips and files and fingers,” says Villinski. www.tayloepiggottgallery.com 

Diehl Gallery’s Chen: New Works  Indonesia-based artist Master Chen has been designing and constructing extraordinary stainless steel sculptures for nearly 30 years. His works have a sense of mathematical poetry. This show is Chen’s debut of his magnificent, lyrical steel works. The show runs from September 7th thru November 15th.  (307) 733-0905, www.diehlgallery.com

Wilcox Gallery’s “Wildlife and Wildlands Annual Show” kicks off during P&P, and the show hangs through September 30th. Zillions of works! Visit the 110 Center Street gallery location for this show!  (307) 733-6450. www.wilcoxgallery.com

Legacy Gallery presents Kyle Polzin in a One Man Show. Polzin is bringing in 15-20 new works!  Legacy Gallery, on the Town Square!  (307) 733-2353, www.legacygallery.com

RARE Gallery  A showcase of art from around the world, jewelry—and catering by Jackson’s famed Snake River Grill.  (307) 733-8726, www.raregalleryjacksonhole.com

Wyoming Gallery, upstairs at Jack Dennis, hosts painter Anika Youcha, painting out on the gallery’s deck, 5pm – 8pm. Youcha is colorblind; colorblindness has a one in a million chance of occuring in women. www.wyominggallery.com 

The Art Association presents “Jackson Rising,” a show of works by local, unrespresented artists–the “first annual selective index of local artists,” says the gallery.  At least 17 local artists will be on hand—Todd Kosharek, Peggy Prugh, Camille Davis, Tony Birkholz, Amy Unfried and more!  www.artassociation.org  

Heather James Fine Art presents new paintings and photographs by artist Timothy Tompkins. Tompkins’s new paintings and photographs present a re-imagined western landscape inspired by the fantasy landscape paintings of eighteenth century Venetian artist Canaletto. Titled Capriccios, the exhibition is based upon photo studies the artist created over two years of the surrounding western Wyoming topography. This show remains up through Fall Arts.  www.heatherjames.com 

Travis Walker presents his new collection of paintings, “American Dreams,” at Cowboy Coffee, on North Cache Street. See new paintings and original prints by Walker—many featuring his signature trailers, a symbol of the West’s modern day pioneers–and what they might find or experience as they make their way towards the dream. 5-7:00 pm.

WRJ Associates invites you to stop by their sumptuous new space on King Street for a glass of wine. “We are featuring work by masters Pablo Picasso and Francisco Zúñiga, sculptures by Van Breda, a rare image by Curtis Sanders, extraordinary paintings by Jared Sanders, hand carved vessels by Ted Knight, an iconic oil by R. Tom Gilleon and striking photographs of Marilyn Monroe by Lawrence Schiller,” says WRJ. Yummm. www.wrjassociates.com 

Ben Roth will be showing artwork at the Pink Garter Plaza—including a giant hammered bronze shark jaw, rattlesnakes with working copper rattlers and a jade tree made with teaspoons. Roth will be on hand until 9pm, and hold an art talk next Tuesday, September 11. www.benrothdesign.com 

SATURDAY, September 8

20th Annual Western Design Conference Exhibit Sale  The world’s “preeminent exhibition of western furniture, home accessories, and fashion, hosted by Teton Home and Living magazine” continues!  Place: Pavilion at Snow King Resort, 10am–5pm  Tix: At the door, $15.  WesternDesignConference.com

Tom Mangelsen – Images of Nature Gallery  The renowned wildlife photographer’s Annual Fall Reception at MANGELSEN – Images of Nature Gallery takes place 6:00 – 9:00 pm. Mangelsen will share his latest images, visit with collectors, tell stories about his photographic journeys and sign books and limited edition prints. An excellent party!   (307) 733-9752, www.mangelsen.com

 Artist Studio Tours  Seven artists open their studios. Come, observe and ask questions!  Pick up a post card with details and map to all seven studios at the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce; check for times.  Artists include: 

Susan Thulin, Painting: 400 North Bar Y Road, 307.690.6266

Charlie Thomas, Fine Woodworking: 800 Wenzel Lane in Wilson, 307.733.6121

Margie Odell, Painting: 5445 Cottonwood Canyon Road, Wilson, 307.733.4360

Amy Bright Unfried, Bronze Sculpture: 6245 West Wooded Hills Lane, Wilson, 307.733.4243

Terry Chambers, Custom Iron Design: 2155 north Fish Creek Road, Wilson, 307.413.2289

Meredith Campbell, Oil Painting: 2075 North Rendezvous Drive, Wilson, 307.690.1515

Laurie Thal & Lia Kas, Glass Blowing Demonstrations: 3800 Linn Drive Wilson 307.733.5096

The Big Haus’ Studio Tour includes Teton Art Lab artists Wendell Field, Travis Walker and Mike Piggot. Third Floor, Big Haus Studios. 

Artists in the Environment Join Jackson painter Sharon Thomas at historic Menor’s Ferry, Grand Teton National Park! Thomas will give a free plein air painting demonstration, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. The public is invited, and this family-friendly event is free! Bring your own art materials if you want to join in the fun!  Presented by the Grand Teton Association. www.grandtetonpark.org

Historic Ranch Tours  I just might have to take this tour this year!  Visit historic valley ranches, where Jackson Hole’s cowboy heritage still thrives. Start out at the Walton Ranch and then head to the Snake River Ranch. The tour is complete with cowboys, Western entertainment, and a good ol’ fashion barbeque. $50, and you bus out from Jackson’s downtown Home Ranch Parking Lot at 3:00 pm.  307.733.3316 or 307.699.3868 for info.

“The Stagecoach Bar: An American Crossroads” Film Screening – Doors open at 7:30 pm for this insanely popular 60-minute documentary of a Jackson Hole roadhouse that’s been serving up music, beer, and barbecue for over 70 years. Produced by JenTen Productions. Sponsors for the event include Grand Teton Music Festival and the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum. A 15-minute Q & A with the producer/director Jen Tennican will follow the screening. Tickets are available at the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Stagecoach Bar for $10. The film shows at Walk Festival Hall, Teton Village. (307) 733-2414, www.thestagecoachbarfilm.com

Grand Teton Gallery Gary Keimig, Tom Lucas, Les LeFever, Rip Caswell, and Evan Davies “in residence”, 11am-5pm  Reception from 4:00-8:00 pm.  (307) 201-1172, www.grandtetongallery.com

Legacy Gallery  Enjoy a traditional Cowboy Art Association show featuring Bit & Spur Makers, Rawhide Braiders, Saddlemakers, and Silversmiths. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.  This show repeats tomorrow, same time!!  (307) 733-2353, www.legacygallery.com

RARE Gallery Artist Michael Swearngin. Worked stamped with museum provenance approval, says RARE. Swearngin will be on hand Sunday, Sept. 9, for the same hours. 4-8:00 pm  (307) 733-8726, www.raregalleryjacksonhole.com

SUNDAY, September 9

20th Annual Western Design Conference Exhibit Sale – Third and final day. Place: The Pavilion at Snow King Resort, 10am–5pm; tickets at the door, $15. WesternDesignConference.com

13th Annual Takin’ It to the Streets The Jackson Hole Art Association’s open-air, juried art fair featuring 40 local artists selling an array of fine artwork. Booths galore!  Place: Jackson Town Square, 10am – 4pm. Looking at art is free, but Taste of the Tetons, below, charges for their fare. Contact Amy Fradley at 307.733.8792 or artistinfo@jhartfair.org

Taste of the Tetons  Valley chefs, restaurants and caterers cook up their best culinary work for sampling. Wine tasting, silent auction, and the Howdy Pardners “Pickin’ in the Park” – musical entertainment by The Jackson Hole Cowboy Jubilee. Each taste ticket is $1.  Jackson Town Square, 11am – 4pm