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Posts Tagged ‘Teton Art Lab’

Sep
23
Travis Walker - Ski Fence

Travis Walker – Ski Fence

I’ve been rooting for Travis Walker and Altamira Fine Art to find each other on “ArtMatch.com” and now they have!

Walker is the latest Jackson artist to have a show at Altamira. His exhibition of new works, “In Such an Hour: New Views of Jackson Hole,” runs September 23 – October 6, 2013, and an Opening Reception takes place at Altamira on Friday, September 27th, 5-7:00 pm.

Walker not only makes art; he’s an arts force. If Walker had not landed in Jackson a decade ago, it’s my belief many grass roots arts initiatives would not exist. Artists don’t often take on community leadership roles, but Walker has, and now he’s reaping extraordinary rewards.

“A common subject in my work is the road, which represents our journey through life. We start off staring down the lines of a road, and our entire lives we continue to follow the road to new places. My fascination with roads led me to another symbol in my work: the trailer home,” says Walker. “I have found so many trailers scattered throughout the West that I have come to view them as representations of the American Dream, full of hope, uncertainty, and memory.”

Travis Walker - Saddle Butte (Pink)

Travis Walker – Saddle Butte (Pink)

From the moment he arrived in Jackson Walker began painting it. Most on-location artists (I think we can go ahead and list Walker as a plein air painter—he’s in the “Artists in the Environment” hall of fame and was the first truly non-traditional artist to take part in that program) can be found out in Grand Teton National Park, or anywhere out in nature –and Walker can be found there too. But he also spends much of his time painting the Town of Jackson, essentially creating new iconic images of Jackson. All these subjects entice the artist: an old salon (the former Gai Mode), a decaying house with a fence made of skis (so many have lived there!) and a vintage trailer park.

Walker’s work, notes the gallery, is influenced by American regionalists Edward Hopper and Grant Wood (“American Gothic”), and by Japanese printmaking and German Expressionism.

It often takes years of hard, consistent work to make it in the art world; it’s a challenging, competitive and sometimes heartbreaking life pursuit. But, as we’ve said, arts enthusiasts constantly keep their eyes open, and Altamira director Mark Tarrant has been tracking Walker.

Travis Walker

Travis Walker

“Travis creates very interesting interpretations of local scenes, from his views of Snow King to sweeping views of Flat Creek and the Elk Refuge,” Tarrant observes. “He is a sophisticated painter with a fresh, contemporary palette. We are pleased to present an exhibition of Walker’s work here at the gallery.”

Years ago I wrote a forward for a book about his art that Walker published. Revisiting it, it still feels relevant:

“Walker is a satellite, zooming in and out of our landscapes, freezing vast spaces and solitary formations. We’re light years away from a moment just captured. Flaxen parachutes float forever. Still purple evening shadows never give way to night. These landscapes are our ideal; they’re uninhabited, but histories are embedded. Deserted cabins hold the energy and sadness of generations. Blank windows and headlights, eyes of the universe. Beneath Walker’s surfaces is an extraterrestrial glow he never quite paints down, a light peeking out from behind closed doors.”

Born in Tokyo, Japan and a child of the military, Walker is well acquainted with transience. Place is crucial. Now, at age 37, he’s settled in Jackson with a family of his own. He received his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University, and he’s had numerous shows and exhibits over the years. Walker is founder of  Teton Artlab, a non-profit providing studio space for artists. As we’ve reported, Walker was a 2013 panelist for the National Endowment for the Art’ Artists Communities Grant and a 2013 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. In 2012, he won the “Rising Star Award” from the Cultural Council of Jackson Hole.

And risen he has. www.altamiraart.com 

Martin Grelle - Scouts on the Buffalo Fork, 2013

Martin Grelle – Scouts on the Buffalo Fork, 2013

$8.39 million…

…is the official total sales amount of this year’s Jackson Hole Art Auction (produced by Trailside Galleries and Santa Fe’s Gerald Peters Gallery), held September 14th, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 85% of 284 lots were sold, with 200 phone bidders vigorously participating. The estate of James Grisebaum contributed many important works, and all but one of the 32 works from his estate were sold.

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Aug
16

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First, a huge thanks to Teton Art Lab, Culture Front and now “STARTERS,” for their contributions to Jackson’s young contemporary art scene. These groups go it on their own, meaning they begin at a grass roots level, don’t ask us for crazy amounts of money (although generosity is welcome, of course!), and keep their products fun and accessible. A friend in the art world recently remarked that it’s not necessarily social status that makes someone an influential arts agent—often it’s those other enterprising folks, lifting up at least half the sky.

There is no greater joy than a job well done—and that’s Moose medicine power wisdom!

Teton Artlab & Culture Front have joined forces. Their new project, “STARTERS” takes the form of a recurring dinner party to help fund local arts projects. STARTERS kicks off Tuesday, September 10th (making it a Fall Arts Festival player, if not an “official” member) at 6:00 pm.  A $20 minimum donation gets you in, a greater donation is appreciated, and the first dinner location is TBA, once enough dinner tickets are purchased. The first event is limited in size—test run!

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Dinners will be provided by Teton Artlab volunteers, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis; no more than two reservations per person, please. To find out about tix, email Meg Daly at meg@megdaly.com.

At dinner, say STARTERS organizers, patrons will receive a ballot. Five pre-selected creative projects will be presented, and diners spend the evening conversing with project artists. At the end of dinner, patrons vote for the project they would like to see funded. The artist receiving the most votes is awarded a portion of funds collected at the door—ideally $500 or more. The other four receive $50 for creating and offering their proposals.

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May
29

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Jackson Hole artist, entrepreneur and mover-shaker Travis Walker spends as much time searching out opportunities to house artists as he does creating his own art. It’s a driving mission, and now Walker may have been handed, as he says, “the keys to the kingdom.”

Walker is one of only five artists in the country chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) “ARTIST COMMUNITIES: Art Work” program to review, score and make in-depth comments on 56 projects submitted for NEA grant money. He has three weeks.

shot_1313720245080-300x300Walker is the “new kid on the block,” reviewing requests that could receive as much as $250,000 from the NEA, the largest arts funding group in the country.  An incredible opportunity says Walker; these projects are the best applications from the best development teams in the country. It’s a gift to review, understand and learn from them, as well as a starting point for Walker to submit his own requests. If he were ever chosen to receive such a grant, the NEA needs to know, down to the tiniest detail, what Walker’s project would be.

“After we score all the applicants there will be a review panel held in Washington DC in June,” Walker explains. “I’ll be with senior panelists and two NEA specialists work with us. They contacted me; I did not request to be considered. The NEA must have found me on line; they were looking for someone from Wyoming, which is validating, and the NEA picks panelists they want to encourage to apply for grants themselves at a later date. Going through this process will teach me the process, I’ll learn so much about how national organizations like this one work.  If I were successful, it would be an awesome cornerstone to start building something—for the Art Lab to build something.”

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It’s also important, says Walker, that NEA panelists don’t have a whiff of conflict of interest when reviewing projects, ruling out many major artist communities. (There are federal laws about that for non-profits, and you can read them—just click on that link up there.) Walker took part in a conference call with the other panelists so they could introduce themselves to one another. The call gave Walker a chance to ask questions about the system. And away they go!

Walker’s excitement is understandable.

“I have a waiting list of artists that’s so long I can barely keep track of it; and no space to give them. Right now we pay our landlord rent. We have to raise about $20K every year to balance out our rent budget,” says Walker. “Five years ago I didn’t think I’d see people pay $800 to rent studio space, let alone $300; but people are doing better jobs of trying to make their businesses work. I don’t know yet where we’d build a new space, but I know I could raise the money.

"Snow King" - Travis Walker

“Snow King” – Travis Walker

I think what this kind of grant does, it gives people living where studio space is difficult to afford a place to work. That takes significant public funding. Every year I have to go out and ask for grant money to subsidize these projects. What I should be doing is getting money to build something that is rent controlled; we own it. It’s an asset, we’re not paying into it every month.

cherry-birthday-cake-300x450If something cost, say, only a $1,000,000, a plan could go forward. I wouldn’t have to wait for a ton of public approval and appropriations. I’ll start with the cake. I notice that even with the concerts and things we’ve been doing, momentum isn’t building because we still don’t have the cake. We don’t have it built correctly yet. What’s missing is a real artists community. A place that’s only about artists studios, where they work and interact with each other, do the work they want, have time and space to do it.”

The cake. More about Walker’s take on cake soon.  www.nea.gov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jul
10

“Everywhere I’ve ever been, my art has been about that place,” says Walker. “I remember most powerfully the places I’ve painted and drawn. The act of recording them makes me remember.” ~ Travis Walker

Hip, happening Jackson Hole artist and entrepreneur Travis Walker will give a free plein air painting demonstration on Saturday, July 14th, 2012, 9:00 am – Noon, at Grand Teton National Park’s Willow Flats Turnout, overlooking Mt. Moran and the Oxbow Bend vista. Get up early and catch Walker where we rarely get to see him: painting those glowing, transluscent landscapes. Here in Jackson, the arts community has come to know Walker’s work so well. His paintings are unmistakable, and his profile as an artist continues to grow.  For his demonstration Walker has chosen one of the Park’s most scenic spots—the vista overlooking Mount Moran is recognized around the world. Moran’s peak is reflected in the Snake River, winding through the area. Oxbow Bend is also a very good place to view wildlife~~the earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to see blue herons, bears, moose, eagles, ospreys….you get the picture. In fact, take LOTS of pictures.

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Jun
17

Photo Swiped from Cary Tijerina

Travis Walker’s got the local artists’ trumpet sounding again! He’s found a new home for Teton Art Lab, “Big Haus,” and that home is located at 160 South Cache, in Jackson, WY. An opening romp takes place Friday, June 22, 2012,beginning at 6:00 pm. 160 S. Cache is south of Pearl Avenue, and methinks it’s the green-ish building on the street’s east side, near the Center for the Arts. Lots of little businesses have been housed in there, and it’s historically been the meeting place for Teton County Dems.

So there’s space again for Jackson’s young artists! No wonder I see Wendell Field bicycling so happily around town, just smiling away. Private studio space will house the likes of Jackson artists XOWYO, Dedicate, Brooke KemmererField, Mike Piggot, Aaron Wallis, Abbie Paffrath, Travis Walker, Tristan Greszko, Camille Davis, Jenny Francis and Cara Rank. Recent work by Craig Spankie and Scotty Craighead will be on exhibit.

Walker says that spaces for printmaking and exhibitions will enjoy devoted space as well.

Big Haus’ opening reception is free, and there will be refreshments. A fundraising silent art auction will be held—monies raised go to support another Walker project, this summer’s Caldera Festival. Pica’s Taco Truck will be on hand—I wish they’d park their truck permanently in the middle of town somewhere, then I’d get more Pica’s!  http://www.facebook.com/events/295538400540048/

 

 

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