Tag Archives: Scottsdale

Lee Carlman Riddell’s Winter Wonders; Jivan Lee in Scottsdale

Lee Carlman Riddell, “Cold and Clearing”

“Truth be told, I do not paint outside in the winter. I tried it once, thinking that if Greg McHuron could do it, so could I.” ~ Lee Carlman Riddell 

Greg McHuron, you have no idea the shoes you’ve left to fill. How can we channel your inner snow beast and brave this snarling, ice-jamming winter? There is just one Gregory I. McHuron, and that’s you, dear friend. We miss you, and we are eternally grateful to Susan H. McGarry, who saw the publication of your book through.

Lee Carlman Riddell joyfully participates in countless plein air events in during warmer months. In the winter time she’s a studio girl. Carlman’s work is on constant exhibit at WRJ Associates  (as is her husband’s, photographer Edward Riddell) in downtown Jackson, and her gentle paintings, so elegant in their simplicity and color palette, are immediately identifiable.

Lee Carlman Riddell. “Cottonwoods For Monet.”

WRJ not only understands Riddell’s work; they treasure it. Step through their doors on King Street and her paintings, hung throughout the space, beckon like jewels. Softened jewels~~~colors that understand time and nature’s effects.

“Whenever she ventures outdoors, she sees something new, particularly on routes she knows well; a stand of cottonwoods, passed countless times before, suddenly appears as if plucked from Monet’s Rouen Cathedral paintings,” writes the design group. “Her paintings thus bear witness to her distinctly wide vision, her rare instinct for finding ephemeral beauty.”

As for winter…..after valiant efforts, Riddell prefers the warmth of studio work.

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Take Your Broken Heart and Make it Art


Sue Sommers’ “001-1111-16,” Watercolor pencil and crayon on Magnani Pescia paper, 11 x 11″. From Sommers’ “Sibling” series.

In this week’s Jackson Hole News & Guide, editors ran a short letter about “clowns” demonstrating on Jackson’s Town Square the afternoon of January 15th. The letter could be taken as a thinly veiled threat: get those “clowns” off the streets of Jackson, or we’ll take our business elsewhere. Presenting all points of view is important, but placing that particular letter ahead of all others is astounding.

It’s a new town, a new year. Luckily, we can take our broken hearts and still make art!

Wyoming’s Pipeline Art Project artist Sue Sommers recently wrote a great piece for Wyofile, and she’s also come out with lots of new art and a new website. Her art explores different subjects, all close to home. Two of my favorites are her “Sibling” and “Willows” series. Though Sommers doesn’t specifically say so, these works draw from the same well, a source of roots and connection.

Sue Sommers, “Willow 2.” Intaglio on Rives Cream, plate size 9 x 12″, edition of 6.

Think of a tree’s branches as fingers, reaching to the sky, beckoning sun, rain and wildlife to its limbs. Think of families — most of Sommers’ abstract “Siblings” resemble fingers — as hands connected by fingers.

She could, she says, use a word like “meditation” to describe the “Sibling Series'” origins. But the real origin is terror.

“I call them (the Sibling Series) because they look like related organisms moving around in a confined space – like a family,” writes Sommers. “Thinking about my own siblings while I draw liberates me. I know (but didn’t when I was growing up) that I have to let the shapes be what they want.”

Sue Sommers. A landscape, “Fenceline 0615″ Acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 48 x 48 x 1.5”

Sommers writes about process rather than “content” or “meaning.”

She could, she says, use a word like “meditation” to describe the “Sibling Series'” origins. But the real origin is terror.

“This would be embarrassing if I didn’t know lots of other artists fighting messy tides of dread and self-doubt. Do I have anything interesting to say? Am I any good? Is there any point to the sacrifices I make? After nearly 40 years of valiant battle, I felt like the terror was winning. My way out was to make marks. Any marks.”

Sue Sommers. Stripes sketchbook green yellow. Watercolor and crayon in handmade sketchbook, 4 x 6 inches open. NFS

Sommers started with square pieces of scrap paper and a children’s watercolor set. Working slowly, she pressed her nose almost to the paper, her brush dragging incrementally across the paper’s tooth as pigment soaked in and spread.

“Every inch of every strip of color I laid down was my choice: I choose to make this now. And this. And this. I made dozens of these stripe pieces. Eventually they started changing, and I started changing.”

You can view Sommers’ new work and new website here

Duke Beardsley, Hangtown. Mixed Media on Collage 40 x 52.”  At Altamira Fine Art, Scottsdale.

Altamira Fine Art’s Scottsdale gallery welcomes a new solo show, “Range Monitor,” by contemporary Western artist Duke Beardsley. 

“A highly anticipated new body of work will be highlighted in this new show, which centers on the idea of transparencies and visual plays on overlapping realities and falsehoods,” writes the gallery.

Artist Reception & Opening: January 26, 6:30 – 9:00 pm, in Scottsdale. 

This appears to be an excellent show. Find out more about it by visiting Altamira’s exhibition description here.

Altamira’s Scottsdale Gallery; Bright Wyoming Arts; New Shows At A.A.

Altamira's Mark Tarrant - Courtesy Southwest Art

Altamira’s Mark Tarrant – Courtesy Southwest Art

Is there any doubt that Altamira Fine Art changes things up as fast as humanly possible?  The gallery is a powerhouse, turning its artists into big stars. This summer Altamira opened a new show every two weeks, and each, save Nieto’s, featured two to three artists.

Now Altamira Fine Art is opening a second gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. A Grand Opening is scheduled for Thursday, November 7th, 7-9:00 pm (taking advantage of Scottsdale’s “Fall for the Arts” ArtWalk). Location: 7038 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ, in the Downtown Arts District. Artists Glenn Dean and R. Tom Gilleon will be featured at the opening.

The new gallery will provide a unique presence in Scottsdale. A boutique gallery, Scottsdale’s Altamira is being designed at a scale of approximately 1800 square feet.

“Our Arizona clients have been asking when we might open a Scottsdale gallery,” Altamira director Mark Tarrant said. “Now we can serve important markets in two locations.” Tarrant founded Jackson’s gallery in 2009, immediately capturing the best of the Western Contemporary art market. Scottsdale’s Altamira Fine Art will focus on the secondary art market—artwork being sold after its initial sale.

Congratulations, Mark! Success breeds success! However: please don’t be a stranger and get to likin’ Scottsdale TOO much!

For more information, phone 307.739.4700. www.altamiraart.com 

Lovell, Wyoming's Hyart Theater

Lovell, Wyoming’s Hyart Theater

A highlight of last week’s Wyoming Arts Council (WAC) annual conference was listening to stories and presentations by artists around the state able to realize projects and gain audiences with the help of WAC. It’s so difficult for us all to be together, and e-communications and conferences offer connectivity and provide perspective. Two WAC state “Bright Spots” are Lovell’s Hyart Film Festival and Wyoming Fiber Trails.

Just over 2,000 people populate Lovell, Wyoming, but that didn’t stop Lovell resident Jason Zeller from founding the Hyart Film Festival. Lovell’s Hyart Theater, the festival’s home, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1950’s, it’s an awesome piece of period architecture, a location scout’s dream. Zeller, a film buff,  has accomplished a feat; he spoke about his festival with infectious passion and humor. Having attended countless film festivals, he found he didn’t like a lot of them. Existing festivals were either overpriced, pretentious, or focused on themes Zeller deemed over-exposed and predictable.

So, he fixed his sights on building his own film festival. Zeller wasn’t interested in exploring other locations; Lovell was it.  There was this really cool theater, after all!  Film-goers love it—-they post testimonials expressing how much the revitalized theater means to them—read those testimonials here. Zeller has shown cultural films produced in Afghanistan and Australia; film categories also include horror, children’s films and dramatic entries. He’d love to see more Wyoming films submit to the Festival, so log on to Hyart’s website here, and get in touch with Zeller.

Lakota Ceremonial Shield, 1880-1900

Lakota Ceremonial Shield, 1880-1900

Everyone enjoy a good trail, but there’s an especially creative, historic trail winding its way around Wyoming. Wyoming’s citizens are mostly separated by big spaces; when you’re alone in a big space creativity reaffirms personal narrative.

Wyoming Fiber Trails is “a treasure trove of individuals who do everything from horsehair hitching to rug braiding, spinning, felting, dolls, horse gear, leather work and a host of unusual activities,” says founder Sue Blakely. Blakely and her partners are chronicling fiber artisans around the state; each artisan, gallery and shop they uncover possess distinct Wyoming voices manifested in fiber.

“How many people knew we had a yak farm in Wyoming and that they had gathered yak fiber and had it commercially spun last year? ” asks Blakely. “A lot of us know about the sheep ranchers, even llama, alpaca and buffalo. But not yak!”

Renee Brown "Azure Lichenite Sun Cluster, Margaretite"

Renee Brown “Azure Lichenite Sun Cluster, Margaretite”

Two new Art Association exhibitions open this week. “Rendezvous: Ceramics Contemporary Invitational” and “Printegrated” share an opening reception at the Art Association on Friday, October 25th, 5:30-7:30 pm.  Both shows remain on exhibit through November 29th, 2013.

Ceramicist Sam Dowd is co-curator for “Ceramics Contemporary,” along with University of Montana associate professor Trey Hill. The show hones in on the themes of utilitarian and sculptural ceramics, and is comprised of selected works from around the country. Hill and Dowd will give a talk on November 22nd, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, at the Art Association Gallery, and a clay demonstration on Saturday, November 23rd, 10am – 5pm in the Art Association’s Clay Studio.

For information, email sam@artassociation.org, or phone 307.733.6379.

“Printegrated,” says the Art Association, “is a local survey of artists making handmade 2-D print work. Pieces include: block prints, lithographs, screen prints, intaglio, posters, books, zines and other printed ephemera.”  Contact Thomas Macker, Art Association Gallery Director, at thomas@artassociation.org, or phone (310) 428.4860 for info.  www.artassociation.org 

 Stephen Wolochowicz "Dots Inflation: Orange Over Lime"

Stephen Wolochowicz “Dots Inflation: Orange Over Lime”








Interacting with UW.’s Arts; Illustration Awards; Legacy’s 25th!


Susan Moldenhauer

“In essence, the heightened level of credibility we might gain as a town/ arts group by affiliating ourselves with a major university is huge. The types of programs, events, associations that could be brought to Jackson – or that we might find a way of attending en masse in Laramie, are also considerable.” – Mariam Diehl

Not long ago I was fortunate to meet the University of Wyoming’s Art Museum Director Susan Moldenhauer, a familiar figure to many Wyoming artists and to other museum staff and associates in our state. Moldenhauer was accompanied by university Foundation Relations representative Katrina Woods McGee. Soft-spoken, finely academic, curious, creative and warm, Moldenhauer is also an accomplished photographer. We spoke of the challenges of juggling multiple responsibilities. When she organizes museum exhibits, she “does it with an artist’s eye,” accomplishing the task with an equally strong administrative sense. Some of you may have seen Susan at this past weekend’s three-day “CLICK!: A Weekend for Wyoming Visual Artists,” held at UW.

CLICK! provides opportunity for otherwise isolated Wyoming artists to network; they also have the opportunity to meet regional and national artists such as Eminent Visiting Artist Judy Pfaff, a McArthur Fellowship Genius Award recipient. Pfaff’s show, I Dwell in Possibility, exhibited in Jackson during the summer of 2010 at the Tayloe Piggott Gallery.

Susan’s brief visit here ideally sparks greater interaction between Jackson’s arts and UW. Pushing through our wintry “fourth wall” can be a challenge, but imagining a richer conversation is so exciting. Exhibits expected to be in place at UW later this spring include:

Redefining the Edition: 13 Japanese Printmakers

Haitian Art from the permanent collection

Judy Pfaff: running between hot and cold (working title)

Teaching Gallery: History of Mexico, Islamic Art History, Printmaking, Photography (all permanent collection)

Carol Prusa: Emergent Worlds


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A Sculptor’s Migration; Giacometti; Town Gags Galleries; Legacy Show

Excellent news that Teton County commissioners approved a contract with Wisconsin sculptor Don Rambadt to design and install a pathways public art project. The work will be part of the pathways system on North Highway 89, adjacent to the National Elk Refuge and National Museum of Wildlife Art. Local sculptor Ben Roth’s design for a series of bicycle racks will complement Rambadt’s installation.

Roth and Rambadt’s styles are similar and should mix extremely well. Both artists are minimalists, both use crisp geometric forms in their portrayals of wildlife and other creatures. Clean, contemporary and realistic enough to be recognizable by all, the art should be broadly appealing.

I visited Rambadt’s website and discovered another one of his projects: Magnetic Migration. Rambadt is placing a series of magnetic nuthatch sculptures on various steel structures he finds around the country. He’s asking the public to keep their eyes peeled for these little metal birds. If you find one, Rambadt asks you to move the sculpture to another steel building or site and take a photo. Post your photo, along with place, time and date.  If Rambadt likes your site and story, he’ll send you your own little bird. Some folks decide to keep the birds they find–which would be tempting–and that’s o.k. with Rambadt. Check out the project here.

A batch of new works at Heather James Fine Art includes new sculptures by Diego Giacometti. The gallery is a little secretive with its art collection backstories; the Giacometti name is world famous, but most people think of Diego’s brother Alberto. Diego and his brother were very close, and for much of his career Diego served as Alberto’s senior assistant. Diego’s artistry manifested as furniture and artful objects and he established himself as a noted artist in his own right. Diego designed the Picasso Museum’s interior, but did not live to see the museum open. It’s a privilege to have Diego Giacometti’s work in Jackson Hole.


The sub-headline in July 13th’s Jackson Hole News & Guide read: “Town mulls restrictions on ground-floor businesses as method to revitalize, generate revenue.”

“Restrictions” and “revitalize.” Opposites. See the problem? It’s not the paper’s fault. Town government thinks a prohibition strategy will help transform our economy. Targeting art galleries, in order to solve Jackson’s dearth of tax revenue is, to put it politely, very poor judgement.

Hello! How many non-profits do we have in Jackson?  Snow King Resort, financed by wealthy, shrewd business leaders, courted being bailed out by a non-profit; the owners have since rejected the non-profit’s offer. I don’t know the mountain’s chances of ever becoming a viable business, but the last thing we should do is bypass testing the market and hurtle towards providing non-profit status to what SHOULD be one of the biggest retail operations in the valley! How will we ever know what the market can bear? Instead of renovating its main facility, Snow King built too many spec units and failed. So put it up for sale. That’s what failed businesses do!  Snow King may sit on the block a long time, but it’s in good company.

Raise the Town’s sales tax. Continue to lobby for a real estate transfer tax. Use some of the revenue to help Wyomingites who are isolated, impoverished, abused, mentally ill, and/or hungry. Use the rest to boost town revenues.

I value and respect the missions of our non-profits, and I support (to the extent of my ability) those I feel are most crucial to the valley. We need them, and so many good people give their hearts 24/7 to causes that make our valley a better place. But we simply cannot figure out our unemployment and sales tax revenue issues in a pro-active way. We give the hospital $11,000,000 without reviewing their accounts! SPET tax rules should be overhauled; I don’t believe the population at large truly understands what they are voting for. We’re economically co-dependent. At the very least, non-profits should have to provide a full accounting of their expenditures to prove they deserve public money.

The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival spikes Jackson’s lodging stats every year. That means the event brings more visitors, spending money, every year. I’m sure Santa Fe or Scottsdale would welcome our best galleries, if Jackson’s business environment becomes too hostile. This is a grasping-at-straws measure. Shipping works out of state has always been integral to the gallery business. Art is international, and we are a tourist town, counting heavily on out-of-state buyers. We’re damn lucky that Jackson is, truly, becoming an arts destination. It could all change on a dime.

Good to hear from Legacy!

Legacy Gallery in Jackson Hole (there is also a Scottsdale, AZ branch) presents artist Kenny McKenna, in a One Man Show, July 21-August 11, 2011. An opening reception takes place Thursday, July 21, 6-8 pm, at the Jackson gallery.

McKenna is a landscapist. His striking, traditional works present views of some of our most memorable panoramas: Mt. Moran, Taggart Lake, Cascade Canyon, the Cathedral Group, Mormon Row, Sleeping Indian and more.  McKenna also paints the smaller landscapes—check out his gentle portrayals of lily pads, meadows and willows. Summer and Fall views prevail.