In this Theodore Waddell painting I sense the Great Mystery’s arms embracing this herd; if these are the pastures of heaven, as Waddell suggests, that heaven’s arms gently form this grouping of cattle to the shape of an hourglass. A sprinkling of ranch animals are black sands of time.
Altamira Fine Art presents Theodore Waddell’s The Pastures of Heaven: One Man Show, with an artist’s reception Thursday, August 19, 5-7:00 p.m. And, as Altamira’s Dean Munn has opened the Steinbeck door, I will go through it.
If you are of a certain age, and a reader, you may know what Munn has mentioned; the phrase “Pastures of Heaven” is taken from the title of a John Steinbeck story set in California–in valleys not far from Monterey—before mass development swallowed swaths of open land. The book is actually a collection of interconnected stories, just as this Altamira show is comprised of connected stories told by Waddell. Not being familiar with this Steinbeck book, I Googled. Wikipedia’s short synopsis says that those California valleys were discovered by a Spanish corporal, who named the valley area Las Pasturas del Cielo.
When we encounter scenes of superlative beauty and power, we want to dissolve into them and become the Juniper tree, that hillside, all the fields of flowers, the ocean, the mountain. In every way we try to merge so that we may keep living. Waddell’s animals look like Morse code symbols, marking changes in time and information the artist receives from the land. These cows, horses and buffalo reflect clusters of stars in the sky.
Being quiet with the land, living off the land. Waddell examines these themes and his symbolic abstract animals stand before us like charred trees–life leaving us but promising to return.
As a bonus, all of the original art from the children’s book “Tucker Gets Tuckered” will be on exhibit. Written by Ted Beckstead and illustrated by Waddell, the book tells the story of the daily adventures of a lively dog.
A few days after returning to Jackson I ventured to a few of its galleries. More than ever, it hit home that our galleries are marketing and selling very sophisticated art. Masterworks. Price Upon Request. If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,….etc. I told a friend about some of the works I’d seen, and we discussed where they might have come from. Art can show up in a gallery for any number of reasons, and from any number of places. Artwork can be sold by individuals or corporations or museums — and galleries that are closing their doors sometimes consign works to other galleries.
But what ultimately determines whether someone owning a significant work will sell it at auction or through a gallery?
Sarah Shinn Pratt is a former Vice President and Auctioneer for Sotheby’s New York. An Expert Appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow for 10 years she is currently President of LeBaron Antiques Trading, based in Woodbury, Connecticut (www.sarahshinnpratt.com).
“Some people consign to a dealer because they want the certain cash NOW and don’t want to wait for a sale and then the usual 35 business days payout afterwards. If it does not sell, they might end up owing the auction house money and then the property can be considered a bit “burned.” Also, they may not want their ex-wife or relatives, for example, knowing their business. Auction results for high-end art are readily accessible on the Internet and end up in art data bases, sometimes even in the newspapers.
Pratt says that dealers like to buy from private individuals as opposed to auction because they can often buy cheaper and also because then the public doesn’t know what they paid for it. After auction commission and fees for insurance and photographs in the catalogue, the consignor at auction can end up with less than what they could have gotten from a dealer, so it can be a win-win situation for both the seller and the dealer.
“Some reasons to go for auction as a sales venue include that one has exciting fresh (never been on the market or only a long time ago) merchandise,” says Pratt. “And it will benefit from international exposure, or that there are several owners involved and a transparent transaction is necessary.”
Perhaps the new owners of Teton Valley Ranch will fill the place with art bought in Jackson.
The show doesn’t happen until September 12th, but now is the time to submit work to CIAO if you wish to be considered for its Third Annual Wildlife (Juried) Exhibit. Deadline comes up soon — August 20th. If you’ve got a wolf at the door or on canvas, submit up to five images electronically. Visit firstname.lastname@example.org (Okay, as I write that I sense a hybrid email and website snafu so please experiment a bit if need be!) to get the lowdown on how to send your work. You may also call 307.733.7833.
Quick list of MADE’s remaining summer list of artists exhibiting their work, getting their goods pumped up via John Frechette’s dynamite new-artist-by-the-week rotation concept. Artists, if you want images of your work posted on this site, please send them to me. Or, send them to John and ask him to forward the info here. Be glad to preview it!
Artists with openings and week-long exhibits at MADE (in Gaslight Alley) through September:
Aug 19th Amanda Sullivan
Aug 26 Padgett Hoke
Sept 2 Jesse Gestal
Sept 9 Travis Walker
Spet 16th Susan Madrey
Sept 23rd Raskoll Inc
Sept 30th Diana Eden