Tag Archives: New York Times

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

As Art and Seasons Turn

"The Connoisseur," by Norman Rockwell.

“The Connoisseur,” by Norman Rockwell. The work appears on American Art Review’s October cover.

Ahhh. It’s Fall. Lovely.

Soon I’ll be returning to Jackson, and for almost everyone this season is a time of reflection. It’s also a time of “buckling down to work” and transition.

When I’m not reading or writing about Jackson Hole’s art scene, I’m often reading about art in other corners of the world, and quite a bit about art across the country. This entry, I’d like to offer up a few stories that recently caught my eye.

The first concerns plein air painting, and a show about a collection of artists, now deceased, whose works were, in their time, considered excellent. But as their lives came to an end, so did their visibility as artists. The show is “Variations on a Theme: American Painters (1850-2000), opening next month at the Rockport Art Association and Museum in Rockport, Massachusetts.

“It is an unfortunate fact that unless an artist has a gallery or family to keep their name in the forefront of the art world, the bulk of their work can be lost in the mists of time,” writes Judith A. Curtis in the latest edition of “American Art Review.” 

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

Alexander Bower (1875-1952), Cottage on the River

This is not currently a big problem for Jackson artists~~(housing is another matter)~~a number of artists who didn’t have representation or were faced with a gallery scene refusing to show their work are now front and center. This is incredible, and perhaps because we, collectively, are the polar opposite of the small New England town’s plight, the article spoke to me.

The Rockport’s mission is to feature local painters who are not only considered excellent, but have been “the mainstay of the Association in its fledgling days.” To sum up Curtis’ point, the museum would never have survived without intense dedication, talent, and a consistent “forward momentum.” Until last year, when the Rockport mounted an all-women’s art show  and expanded its reach, the museum was unable to produce a show like “Variations.” In the article about the show (if you can find a hard copy~~I can’t find the article on line) you can read about a number of New England plein air painters who, despite their great talents and breadth of subjects, faded from view. It’s a touching look from a knowing and careful perspective.

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Stanley George, proprietor, closing a gate decorated by Jessica Blowers at Stanley’s Pharmacy on Ludlow Street. Credit Santiago Mejia/The New York Times

Don’t hurt me, NYT! I loved this article. And I hope that we in Jackson Hole can figure out something like the Lower East Side’s “100 Gates Project.” 

Tamara Best wrote about a street art project that’s transforming a part of Manhattan’s dingy Lower East Side. Although we in Jackson don’t pull down metal doors when we close up for the day, we could paint some fabulous large-scale works and use them as promotion for our local artists. What about that idea for the Public Art Spot, the snaggly “banner” space that juts out over West Broadway? That needs upgrading, up-thinking. 

Or, we could place art on the streets themselves. And create/paint/build/light up huge arrows pointing to the Art Association! Once visitors arrive at the Art Association, they’d find so much affordable local art that they couldn’t help but bring some back home.

Our public art is fabulous, but I feel more thoughtful placement of work is possible. Let’s not crowd small spaces without offering a place to rest, without offering nature and true assimilation of place and object.

I’m in favor of making the Art Association more “public,” a retail operation that draws more tourism dollars. Tourists rarely, if ever, visit and we need a fresh audience. I’m in favor of another project I recently read about, and Jackson has already started: displaying local art, with prices, in every lodging location possible, AND add an artist studio space directly into the lodging structure itself. The artist is always in residence.

Read Best’s article HERE. 

sothebys7-28-16My mom gets newsletters from the Hollis Taggart Gallery in NYC. The gallery sends out an Art Market Report much like our Jackson Hole Real Estate Report. A summation of the latest report says that there has been a “rising tide” of gallery sales and an “ebb in momentum” for auction houses. People are consigning, not selling, in an erratic market. Feels safer, more control.

As the gallery went to press with their newsletter, the SEC reported a 65% reduction in Steve Cohen’s Sotheby’s stockAlmost immediately a Chinese insurer “China Guardian” bought up a 13.5% position in Sotheby’s. And now it’s Sotheby’s largest shareholder…….

“No doubt China Guardian was quietly buying Steve Cohen’s stock position!” exclaims the Report.

Invest in, support and love your local artists. We are a family. An Association.


Because I do not wish to finish on a “corporate” note, I offer some these observations on the passing of time and transition:

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” ~Albert Einstein

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.”~Thich Nhat Hanh

Andoe at Diehl; Cairn Caper; Glass Artists

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.”  www.diehlgallery.com

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.

Continue reading

Nitty Gritty: Cityscapes & Energy Viewpoints

Anne Marie Schultz: Cityscapes, opens at the Art Association’s Artspace Main & Loft galleries Friday, October 7, 2011. An opening reception begins at 5:30 pm that evening.

Schultz’s Cibachrome prints document the city of Chicago’s myriad venues as they are at the turn of this century. As the changes that inevitably affect cities took place, Chicago’s citizens experienced the city’s demolition of racially segregated public housing, structures built in the 1930’s. Now, Millenium Park is a major Chicago landmark and liberated, diverse celebrations such as the city’s annual Gay Pride Parade are the norm. Schultz utilizes double exposures, solarization of old film and a Holga camera to create a provocative collection of enigmatic, moody cityscapes. Urban life is represented as a slice of fleeting cosmic time and space.


Two really good—and by “good” I mean expansive and, to my mind, balanced—articles on sustainable energy recently appeared in print. The first relates to global energy use; the second talks about the layers of possibilities and limitations surrounding Wyoming’s wind energy initiatives.

Article #1 is Fareed Zakaria’s review of Daniel Yergin’s new book, “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.” The review appeared in the New York Times Sunday Book Review section. Zakaria opens with a mention of Bill Gates’ TED Conference remarks on energy. At that conference Gates stated that if he had one wish that would improve the world’s prospects in the next 50 years, he’d wish for an “ ‘energy miracle’”: a new technology that produced energy at half the price of coal with no carbon dioxide emissions.” Yergin’s book, 804 pages, covers the history of oil beginning at the Persian War, going forward to today. The review is fabulous.

Zakaria sums up the book’s purpose. “This book is really trying to answer a question: What will the future of energy look like over the next 50 years?” Zakaria says. “In addressing that issue, Yergin takes on a myriad of other topical questions: Are we running out of oil? Is natural gas the answer? What about shale gas? Is global warming a real danger? Is solar power the answer? He addresses each one of these in a chapter or series of chapters that mix recent history and fair-minded analysis.”

A core assertion is that the United States should spend much more money on energy research, and much less on existing technologies. Al Gore is politely admonished for advancing the view that current technologies are close to pulling us out of the hole.

They are not, Yergin says. Zakaria sums up: “The reason Bill Gates wishes for a technology that creates energy at half the price of coal with no carbon dioxide emissions is that he wants a technology so compelling that it is adopted by poor countries as well as rich ones. Coal is plentiful worldwide, and unless the new technology is much cheaper, China and India will never adopt it. And if these two countries — which together are building four coal-fired power plants a week — don’t get off coal, nothing that happens in the West matters, since the levels of carbon dioxide they will pump into the atmosphere will be well above the danger mark. Half the price of coal and no carbon: That’s a tall order, which is why Gates is looking for a miracle. But what he means is a technological miracle of the kind that happens from time to time. The steam engine, the automobile, the computer, the Internet are all miracles. We need something on that order in energy — and fast.”

A few days after reading this review I had a really nice dream about Bill Gates!

To read Zakaria’s full review, click here. I’ll tell you about article #2 in my next post.

Filmmaker Rempen Visits Jackson; Christo’s Colorado Project Divides Community

Once in a while we post news about arts other than those that are spatial.  This is one of those times.  Local writer and activist Cate Cabot, sponsor to visiting filmmaker Malachi Rempen, wrote the following piece on Rempen’s work; he will make an appearance and present selected films at the Jackson Hole Community School on December 1.  Rempen will speak at 11:30 am, and again at 5:30 pm.

“Malachi Rempen is a young up and coming talent in the film world. In 2009 he took 1st in the shorts film division at the Santa Fe Film Festival after racking up an impressive series of awards with his thesis film, “La Nina del Desierto” which claimed Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography at Chapman University’s 2009 awards ceremony for the Dodge College of Film. “La Nina del Desierto” went on to receive a Student Emmy in the spring of 2010 and in June of 2010 the film received 1st in the film shorts division at the Reno Film Festival.

Born in Switzerland, Malachi Rempen moved with his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico when he was a baby. There he started making movies at an early age. In high school he directed a film that claimed both 1st and 2nd place in a college festival. We are very lucky to have this talented young man visiting and teaching in our community at this early point in the arc of a most promising career. The Jackson Hole Community School will host a single showing of the award winning film, “La Nina del Desierto” on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1 at 5:30 P.M. The time will include a selection of other film shorts produced by this fine artist. Mr. Rempen will be present to discuss the inspiration of film in his life and the multi-disciplinary aspects of film production. This is free event with an open welcome to community members. Please join us for an evening that will stir the senses, engage the heart, stimulate the mind and inspire for months to come.”

Although the public is welcome to attend the 11:30 am session, Rempen will screen “La Nina del Desierto” only at  5:30 pm.

For information contact Sarah Walter at 307.733.5427,  or email swalter@jhcommunityschool.org

Item #2:

On November 26, 2010 the New York Times carried a story on a small Colorado mining community’s division over a proposed Christo installation that, if allowed, would span 42 miles of the Arkansas River in that state. The region, located in south central Colorado, has an economy based primarily on mining–although artists and tourists are beginning to discover it.

Christo’s “Running Fence,” an installation of 25 miles of connected white nylon panels, ran across California’s Sonoma and Marin Counties, terminating on the sea coast.   In 2005, Christo’s “The Gates” was mounted in New York’s Central Park. The New York Times called that project a joy and a “gift” to New York City. The installation was a huge success; Christo’s flowing, fluttering installations tend to hold specators spellbound. People experience profound change in the presense of Christo’s art. The Times wrote: “People preened under the unfurled gates, watching the fabric sway. Now one no longer ambles through the park, but rather saunters below the flapping nylon. Paths have become like processionals, boulevards decked out as if with flags for a holiday. Everyone is suddenly a dignitary on parade.”

The Colorado project, “Over the River,” is to be built in ecologically sensitive territory. The land is habitat for bighorn sheep, and the installation would span almost 6 miles along Colorado’s Arkansas River. Years in the making, “Over the River”  would remain up only two weeks.

That’s a lot of territorial invasion to see what will no doubt be a visually spectacular but quite temporary public art installation. Any Christo project brings tourism, money to the community, and world-wide recognition. Right now, residents of Salida, Colorado enjoy a certain peace, low rents and an abundance of natural inspiration. If “Over the River” brings torrents of change, will that change be for the long term good?

It depends on what any of us consider “good,” and the fear that many residents have, as the Times reported, that nothing will be the same again.

Good, expertly envisioned and executed public art–on any scale, but particularly a grand scale— is huge for any urban entity. Well concieved projects draw tourism and become immediately identifiable. They are logos, of sorts. But this project as described should not go forward, no matter how visually spectacular.  The ratio of excavation/installation time to time up-and-visible is not, in this case, acceptable.