Tag Archives: Public Art

Brookover’s Cliffhanger Photogravures; Public Art Winners; New Altamira Buys

David Brookover - Kiri and the Veteran, California. Photogravure

David Brookover – Kiri and the Veteran, California. Photogravure

Can you name more than one photographer creating hand-made photogravure prints — or platinum prints — in Jackson other than David Brookover? I can’t. Brookover’s photography intuition is astounding. His dedication to the finest, most painstaking forms of photography continue to pay off. And by “pay off,” I mean Brookover reaps good karma in addition to a solid record of excellent sales. David Brookover refuses to rest on his laurels. When he’s not watching over his Gaslight Alley gallery, he’s out in the field, shooting.

Far afield. Next stop: Iceland.

Brookover prints his images on the finest hand made Japanese gampi paper; back in February printmaker Jon Lybrook and Brookover gave a public presentation on the subject. In the gallery now are samples of gampi and kozo papers; these gampi sheets are likely the last the paper artisan will ever make.

IMG_2889“There’s so much work involved,” says Brookover. “It’s impossible to harvest gampi; it has to be gleaned from the forests of China and Japan.”

Downstairs at Brookover’s gallery visitors may view sensitive, educational videos on the art of paper making; spend 20 minutes watching, and the import of what this photographer has achieved will become clear.

Brookover’s latest works explore California’s tangled, ancient and atmospheric landscapes. Brookover pointed his camera at that state’s storied coastal seascapes, cypress trees, cliffs, cactus and rock formations. We know these images are taken in California, but each sweeps us up into universal chi.

David Brookover - Thermal Glide-California. Photogravure

David Brookover – Thermal Glide, California. Photogravure

It’s impossible to grasp the depth and detail of Brookover’s work here; I strongly encourage collectors and all souls interested in the art of photography to visit. See the intention of these new works for yourself. Allow your eye to peruse a cypress tree’s balance, its roots gripped to a rocky cliff. Thermal sea bird ascents and a cactus’ graphic perfection are palpable. www.brookovergallery.com


“Three artists have been chosen as finalists in the South Cache Complete Streets Paintings & Pavers Project,” writes JH Public Art. Those artists are: Molly Dilworth of Brooklyn, NY, David Klaren of Pinedale, WY and Joshua Wiener of Boulder, CO. They will receive funds to develop creative paver concepts and street paintings on a redesigned South Cache Street.

Close to Jackson’s arts scene, David Klaren has long been a Wyoming contemporary arts activist. Klarens’ mediums range from meticulous graphite and ink drawings to large commissions in wood and concrete.

Dilworth creates outdoor site-specific, researched art. She has partnered with green building community organizations, climate change activities, arts organizations and government agencies, says J.H. Public Art.

Wiener’s large-scale sculptures can incorporate stone, steel, bronze, water, earth, concrete, sand — and asphalt. The artist works to reflect place and time in his art. www.jhpublicart.org.

Billy Schenck - You Want What? - 45x35"

Billy Schenck – You Want What? – 45×35″

Altamira Fine Art has exciting new acquisitions in their Jackson Hole Gallery. And, I’m pleased to report that all is going well at Altamira’s new Scottsdale, AZ gallery, which carries works by many of Altamira’s Jackson artists and serves the secondary contemporary Western Art market.

Ed Mell, John Nieto, Rocky Hawkins and Billy Schenck are names any Western Contemporary Art enthusiast will know; and works by these artists are now available through Altamira. Mell’s jagged, dynamic geometric landscapes, Schenck’s humorous Western Pop, American Expressionist master Nieto channeling Picasso, and Hawkins’ painterly, spiritual paintings are in the house. Click here to see all the gallery’s new works.  www.altamiraart.com 


“Conservation Gallery”; Pipe Up on Public Art; Global Photography at Intencions


Some press materials are simply so perfect and complete, it’s hard to up their message. That’s the case today! Here’s some information on the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s new exhibition, “Conservation Gallery,” which explores conservation themes by comparing and contrasting those themes as explored through artwork created from the 1800’s to today. The show opened November 16th, and will remain on display through April 13, 2014.

“American wildlife artists have helped to capture the positive and negative results of humanity’s interactions with wildlife still found today, as well as those that are simply a memory. In some instances, paintings and illustrations are the only record of certain species that we have,” says the museum’s Petersen Curator of Art and Research Adam Duncan Harris. Harris notes that artists’ interpretations of wildlife run the gamut from that of early American artist William Jacob Hays, who, says Harris, depicted the animals he saw on exploratory expeditions to the American West, visually preserving them for future generations—-to more conscious conservation messages, such as Steve Kestrel’s “Silent Messenger” (2005), that, in the artist’s own words, “mourn[s] the destruction and degradation of ecosystems worldwide and the tragic loss of unique animal species.”

Steve Kestrel - Silent Messenger - 2005. Courtesy www.stevekestrel.com

Steve Kestrel – Silent Messenger – 2005. Courtesy www.stevekestrel.com

Natural histories such as the rebound of bison populations lead to “tales of wildlife across the globe.” The tiger is well represented, and displays engage viewers with information that’s often revelatory. For instance, did you know that in the U.S. more tigers are currently owned by private individuals, not zoos, than exist in the wild? Approximately 5,000 tigers are in the U.S., according to the World Wildlife Foundation. 

“Artworks depicting endangered species, whether historical or contemporary, raise pointed questions about humanity’s role in species survival or extinction. We hope that Conservation Gallery will help spark some of those discussions with our visitors,” says Harris.

Images, top of page:  From “Conservation Gallery”: Wilhelm Kuhnert, Resting Tiger, 1912. JKM Collection©, National Museum of Wildlife Art (left), and Gwynn Murrill (United States, b. 1942), Tiger 2, 2012 -2013. Bronze. 42 x 62 x 31 inches. Dr. Lee W. Lenz, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Gwynn Murrill (right)

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I Scream, Arts Scream; Public Art Opportunity

The Scream!!!

The Scream!!!

Jackson’s 2013 Fall Arts Festival is officially behind us; we spend so much time planning for those 10 days in September. When Fall Arts does come ’round, it seems to fly by. The newspapers publish countless pages of special sections focusing on Fall Arts. Everyone advertises, and everyone gets some space. I try to do the same here on the Blog. Spotlighting our truly exceptional arts scene is important for our town and for ourselves. We get a sense that this is what our efforts are all about. The word on the Festival has spread even further; Fall Arts enjoyed more on line publicity than ever before. Google alerts went nuts!

The local paper with the largest circulation and the thickest pile of stories related to Fall Arts also published, the week AFTER their their special Fall Arts sections appeared—in other words, at mid-Festival—an article entitled “Fall Arts effect fades for some. Certain gallery owners no longer count on annual festival to boost summer sales.”


Hmmm. On so many levels! I sent a letter to the editor. In case it doesn’t appear, here’s what I wrote:

Jackson’s art scene has shifted dramatically; as one fine arts consultant commented to me, arts are now a year-round economic industry.

Each Fall Arts Festival culminates a year’s hard work. Fall Arts is a phenomenal marketing opportunity, as the Chamber of Commerce and the relatively new-to-town Design Conference know. Fall Arts is a tourism magnet, a boon for restaurants and lodging. The “Quick Draw” is a swirl of sheer joy, a manifestation of art’s incredible gifts enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.


As wonderful a spotlight as it is, the Festival is not our entire arts season, and banking on it to make or break an arts enterprise has never been a sound plan. Strong annual sales are built upon the number of quality exhibitions a gallery, artist, arts group, museum, or any entity presents over time. Exhibitions and projects establish reputation; reputation is not built on Fall Arts. Fall Arts gets our attention, but collectors and arts enthusiasts keep their eyes peeled all year.

If things aren’t shaking out the way you’d like, don’t cast blame. Innovation and vision, the best artwork and exhibitions, great management, smart budgeting of assets, constancy of ethics, savvy, accountability, outstanding public relations and marketing, knowledge, grace and customer service are success’ building blocks. Those, and the magic of art being created.

Locals, not always comfortable visiting arts venues, feel more comfortable during Fall Arts. They see and enjoy. Word spreads. A friend of mine, highly connected in the arts and otherwise back East, came through Jackson’s galleries for the first time this year. That friend was impressed. Anyone could be walking through your door. Yes, free food attracts people, and you’ll feed them. That’s not news. All sides of a story should be presented—but the assumptions of that article are incorrect. And why place the story when Fall Arts has not concluded?

The point is, if visitors are here, seeing what our arts have going, that’s good. And more people buzz through during Fall Arts than any other time of year. In two years—even sooner!—you may get a fabulous sale. Approach your entire year with that in mind. You are here in Jackson. Most people can’t be here. It’s a choice.

176An info session happened last night, but Jackson artists still have the chance to submit qualifications to create “a site-specific art intervention (possibly the organizers mean “installation,” but I’m a little behind the times, jargon-wise!) at the Pink Garter Plaza, downtown Jackson. The artist whose work is selected must work with Pink Garter businesses on the design, which will  “enhance public space and increase safety in and around the Pink Garter Theatre.”

Individuals or groups must submit their qualifications by 5:00 pm on October 4th. One to three finalists will be awarded $300 to create a project proposal. Winner gets $8,000 to create the work, due by May, 2014.  

“The Artist-Business Partnership is an incredible opportunity for a local artist (or artist team) on a myriad of levels: it will give the chosen artist and their work exposure to the high volume of visitors to the Pink Garter Plaza; it will guide them through the best-practices process of producing a piece of public art; it will help them build a working relationship with business owners; and most of all, it enables them to make a living locally as an artist,”  says J.H. Public Art’s Carrie Geraci. For information email Geraci at carrie@jhpublicart.org.  www.jhpublicart.org 




Painter Bill Sawczuk’s Heart; Public Art Comings!

Bill Sawczuck - Moran in March

Bill Sawczuk – Moran in March

Bill Sawczuk cuts a great figure—who can miss that man’s towering stance, bright eyes and ever-present Western cowboy hat? Always impeccably dressed, he’s the very picture of Western spirit. When you see Bill, it’s also likely he’ll be carrying his easel, palette, and a host of plein air painting supplies. Well, if they’re not in hand, they’re somewhere quite close by. That’s because painting is Sawczuk’s heart and soul. He is a valley plein air fixture—and much more. Sawczuk’s work is part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s permanent collection.

“Heart and Soul” might be an alternative title for Sawczuk’s next show, opening at Trio Fine Art with an artists’ reception on Thursday, August 1st, 5-8:00 pm; Sawczuk will make remarks at 6:30 pm.  The exhibition is on display July 31st – August 17th. The true title for his new show, “From Heart and Hand,” is a literal description of the kind of art Sawczuk produces. The artist recently took part in the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters “Plein Air for the Park,” and there is one small landscape of his that, using a phrase coined by a friend, I will dream about for a long time.

Bill Sawczuck - Moon Over TV Ranch

Bill Sawczuk – Moon Over TV Ranch

“Everything in the show will be new work painted in and around Jackson Hole and Yellowstone,” says Sawczuk. “I hope to have a few surprises if the work turns out well. The show is titled [as it is] because heart and hand are the sources of these paintings. I have tried to make a connection with folks [through] the variation of subject matter, so I sure hope it works!”

I believe it will work.  A few weeks ago I witnessed a couple visiting Jackson purchase a fully abstract painting Sawczuk had painted. The scene was set near Mt. Moran, but those familiar with Sawczuk’s strong, vigorous representational style and palette would never have recognized the painting as a Sawczuk. It was such a surprising canvas I posted it on Facebook and asked people to guess whose work it was. Nobody succeeded. There are subtle shifts in Sawczuk’s painting style; he is flirting with abstraction, constructing skies, foliage and earth in a more interpretive fashion. He accomplishes these changes with confidence, the sign of a master painter.  www.triofineart.com 

Now may also be a good time to mention that Trio Fine Art has landed a big partnership fish: The Jackson Hole Land Trust. Together these two entities (one for-profit, the other non-profit) will host a series of events highlighting Trio’s artists works and extending a very long tradition of connecting art and landscape.  View22 is the project’s name, and you can see the list of events here

161True to the community ethos of her public art project, artist Bronwyn Minton’s creative process is collaborative.

Conceptually, Minton’s Cairn Project will engage passersby in the continual reconstruction of larger-than-life cairns inspired by the mounds that serve as trail markers or memorials. But even before the Cairn Project is installed in August on the Center for the Arts campus, many people will have pitched in to help make her vision a reality.  To aid in her construction of the smaller cairns – slated to encircle the central tower – Minton is recruiting local artists and friends to help carve interchangeable components out of balsa wood. Ever-inspired by nature, Minton has designed stackable organic shapes – smooth angles, sculptural surfaces – that ultimately will be finished in red or black stain. Artist Owen Ashley is lending his screenprinting skills and setup to help create limited-edition Cairn Project t-shirts.

Saw the t-shirts!  They’re selling at Skinny Skis—store display window, front n’ center, along with a mock up of Minton’s sculpture. These tees are all over town; keep your eyes open! Of course, this is all part of Jackson Hole Public Art’s ever-growing presence.  www.jhpublicart.org.


spot_r_clip_art_26500Public artist Randy Walker is coming to town, courtesy of the Center of Wonder, to install the new ArtSpot—and you can help him. Group installation hug!  Walker will be here July 29-August 1st. An artist’s reception and chat takes place at The Rose on Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 – 7:00 pm.  Meg Daly hosts!  Free and open to the public!

Walker, says the Center of Wonder, is a Minneapolis award winning public art artist. His installation, Passages, was selected by Americans for the Arts Year in Review as one of the 50 top public artworks in the United States in 2012. To schedule your 30 to 60 minutes of installation fame, contact jen@centerofwonder.org!

Portrait of Artist.Randy Walker




Laramie Mural Project Campaign; Sidewalk Pottery; Raptor Workshop

Dan Toro - "Mural Artists Painting Fish"

Dan Toro – “Mural Artists Painting Fish”

Two weeks ago I traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to spend a day with the University of Wyoming’s Museum Director and Chief Curator Susan Moldenhauer. It’s shameful, but this was my inaugural visit to Laramie. Though I’ve read and heard stellar testimonials about the museum, and perused images that convince anyone of the museum’s scope and dedication to merging contemporary art with cultural arts, a visit is the only way to grasp its stunning collection and mission. A number of Wyoming arts representatives hope Laramie and Jackson’s arts communities will connect our creative cultures. Such an evolution could only enrich both communities; here’s a start. I am deeply grateful to Susan for sharing part of her busy schedule and leading me through the museum’s galleries.

Talal Cockar - "Tierra y Libertad"

Talal Cockar – “Tierra y Libertad”

A visit bonus was a tour of Laramie’s Mural Project, an ongoing arts community public art initiative conceived by the Laramie Main Street Alliance. The project took shape three years ago, during a discussion over coffee, and developed organically says one mural artist. Several murals are already completed, but now the Project needs the public’s help; and it’s helping itself by initiating a Kickstarter Campaign; you may view the project’s Kickstarter video here. This project will only be funded if at least $15,000 is pledged by Sunday July 21st, 2013, 10:00pm EDT. Though the project is underway, the Alliance must raise the Kickstarter funds or this will be the project’s last summer. 

Travis Ivey - detail from  "Hollyhock Haven"

Travis Ivey – detail from “Hollyhock Haven”

The murals reflect aspects of Laramie life the community holds dear, and the Project “utilizes local artists to create large scale murals downtown that reflect [the] area’s cultural assets.” Completed murals are nothing short of miraculous. Each is thoughtful, technically brilliant and enchanting. Connectively they draw visitors through Laramie, giving anyone who views them a powerful picture of what the town is all about. Each work is carefully conceived; each has a story to tell or a wish expressed. These participating artists energetically describe the project on YoutubeMeghan Meier, Travis Ivey, Dan Toro, Talal Cockar and Jeff Hubbell.

Meghan Meir - Detail from "Escape"

Meghan Meir – Detail from “Escape”

The Laramie Mural Project is a collaboration between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, local artists, BHP Imaging and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Social change, cultural heritage, workers, making art of your own design, growing food, indigenous animals, hollyhocks, community roots, art everyone can “own”….these are some of the themes Laramie’s murals explore. In case you didn’t click on the project’s video link above, here’s your second chance: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1187018146/laramie-mural-project  

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