Tag Archives: Teton County

CSA Jackson Hole = Community Supported Art; JHHS Time Off

alissa-davies-pods-02Check a map laying out national densities of community supported agricultural (CSA) gardens, and you’ll see our country’s East and Central regions blanketed in green. The West coast is catching up, as is the Intermountain West. Why are CSAs so in demand? Personal choice; control over what you are eating and the satisfaction of developing a relationship with growers.

Now, Jackson artist Alissa Davies has picked up the concept of communal support and linked it to local art. Community Supported Art (CSA), in its inaugural season, is looking for local (Teton County) artists working in all mediums to apply for CSA Jackson Hole. The project’s goal, says Davies, is to monetarily support artists creating new work AND to build a strong, interwoven community of supporters of art in Teton County. CSA “strives to connect local artists with collectors and to bring more visibility to the creative landscape of our community.”

How will it work?

“Selected artists will receive a commission to create 40 “shares” for the program. Interested collectors will purchase a share and in return receive crates of locally produced artwork at three ‘pick-up parties’ during the summer of 2014,” explains Davies. “Featured works could include anything from a run of screen-prints, a series of small tea cups, photographs, tickets to upcoming intimate performances or events, letterpress editions of a poem or small, original paintings. Each shareholder will receive one piece from each of the nine CSA artists over the course of the summer. Pick-up parties take place at local businesses and organizations and will feature music, food, and the opportunity to meet that evenings’ featured artists and view their work.”


Davies notes that Springboard for the Arts is the original program, affecting both urban and rural economies. A few years ago Davies read about CSA in a food and wine magazine, and the idea stayed in her head. With so many Jackson area artists, Davies imagined this program would be a great fit. Jackson arts peeps Carter Cox and Carrie Richer will help with marketing, producing short videos on the artists and remind the community about the project during off seasons. Davies hopes to schedule a Q&A session later this fall so artists can find out more about the project.

Davies is also a new mom. Her son, Sam, has helped many of Davies’ creative impulses surface.

“Sam is a huge catalyst for so many ideas; I want to the best person possible as an example for him,” says Davies. “I want to be as good a person as I can; as a mother, that’s of the utmost importance.”

Local artists can and should apply immediately. During the summer of 2014, nine artists will be chosen and their names announced in January, 2014. Seasonal member shares are priced at $350. Shares go on sale February 3, 2014. You may purchase shares directly from Alissa Davies. Contact Davies by phoning 307.690.4757 or by emailing csajacksonhole@gmail.com.

Go, Alissa! Something tells me you’ve done your homework on this one! Your idea is beautifully reflective of your own delicate, delightful artwork.

impressionism-vincent-van-gogh-starry-night-paintings-art-689755  Continue reading

Surveying Arts Surveys; Frechette’s “Stocking Bar”

800px-Survey_Research_BooksRecently dozens of Jacksonites responded to an anonymous survey circulated by the organizers of a creative leadership workshop. The survey posed questioned on trends, people we perceived as arts dynamos and current arts initiatives, and was submitted a couple of weeks before the workshop. The workshop was fun. The session had us exploring decision making processes and identifying leadership patterns using PlayDough, string, spaghetti, marshmallows, scissors, crayons, colored paper, tinfoil…..lots of toys, lots of laughter, energy and engagement. There was Powerpoint. I enjoyed the evening, as I think most everyone did.

Survey responders were asked if they were interested in meeting individually  and privately with the workshop’s creator—I was, but ultimately I was not scheduled for an individual meet. I was offered a group meet, but I declined  as I wished to keep my project private.


Survey results—trends, data, perceptions—were not referenced during the workshop. I wondered what happened to the information. I sent a query to the workshop’s leaders, and here is their paraphrased response:

“[We are] planning to compile a report based on the information…gleaned from both the surveys and from…interactions here in Jackson. [We are] also co-authoring a series of essays on creative communities and how to tailor programming for different types of communities, including rural micropolitans like ours. As soon as we have an ETA on all of those, [we’ll] let you know.”

Teton County, in its entirety, is estimated at 21,000. A micropolitan area contains an urban population core of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000. The latest census indicates the Town of Jackson’s population approaches 10,000; it’s safe to say our population fluctuates, can be seasonal and is transient. If a micropolitan area was what was important, and not all of Teton County, then the workshop was applicable. It does assume that Jackson stands apart from the rest of its own county—and our county stands apart from the rest of the state.


Whatever the survey results, in the interest of full disclosure all survey responders should have been notified that their answers may be used in the manner its organizers described to me. Published essays and research potentially raise professional profiles for the authors, and I would have preferred knowing that our input may be partially responsible. I’ve taken part in surveys and focus sessions, and they are rich in content, rewarding and often superb chances to exchange ideas and brainstorm. Until now I’ve always been aware of why I was part of a focus session or the goals of a survey.

Surveys can be an attempt to obtain free consulting services. If an idea is put into practice as a result of a survey, at the very least survey participants should be publicly credited.


Jackson Hole arts purveyor and entrepreneur John Frechette, a person I identify as one of our arts movers and shakers, will expand his hip, Western contemporary shop for the holiday season. Frechette’s MADE will open a holiday-themed store next door to Valley Books in Gaslight Alley.

The Stocking Bar will feature some fan favorite MADE artists in a new light, as well as carry over 30 new artists’ handmade work, with a focus on the holidays and the stocking!” says Frechette. The Stocking Bar is scheduled to be open this December. www.madejacksonhole.com

The View From From Here


Travis Walker, Abbie Miller, Tony Birkholz, Kelly Halpin and Todd Williams (who divides his time between NYC and Jackson Hole) presented their work and perspectives at March 27th’s Culture Front, hosted by Meg Daly. The evening was fascinating not only because of the art we viewed, but because of the ensuing conversation.

The evening’s topic was interpreting the West. How did  young contemporary Jackson artists experience what it is to live here? How are their observations and emotions materializing in their art? I, in my relatively elder-generation way, expected context—a discussion and comparisons. I wondered how the artists made the leap from absorbing Western representational history to transmitting in a contemporary manner. After Walker, Miller, Birkholz, Halpin and Williams made their presentations, Q&A commenced.

“I’d like the artists to talk about the West,” said one audience member.

westI remember thinking the same thing, but I recognize that “talking about the West,” for this generation entails a different vernacular. As all new art generations do. Culture Front’s format is liquid; discussions can and do “fan out.” In more formal settings a presentation’s format is set, the program specific. Two different flows, both enriching.

Abbie Miller’s art is greatly influenced by her east coast and mid-western art schools; her talk focused on those early projects. Perhaps her most “Western” art product is her giant red vinyl piece, “Squeezed Arch,” which resembles Utah’s desert landscape. But Abbie’s roots here run deep; she is a product of our West.

For some, the West is a little short on milk and honey. It can be frightening and unexpected; buffalo are slaughtered, forests succumb to fire and invasive insects, wolves are shot and moose run over. Wildlife collides with mankind, people plummet from the peaks. Ultimately, this place is indescribably beautiful. Our involvement and caring about injustices and environmental imbalance is part of that. The West is “free” in spirit–we come here to throw off  the shackles from our early lives, from the city, from wherever. We have unmatched space, but overcoming the inevitable struggle to survive is difficult. We’re trying everything we can think of. Three local artists with arts day jobs have opened their own space elsewhere in order to bring messages from non-Western cultural centers to Jackson Hole. Artists share space and split up again.

Continue reading

Leadership at Teton County’s Non-Profits; A Resource for Arts Strategies

Some 158 connections make up my Linkedin network. If you’re on Linkedin, your connections probably come from all walks of life, do all sorts of jobs,reached various of levels of success, or work solo. My connections are a split of long-time friends, and friends I’ve made through work. I’ve worked for non-profits with missions connected to arts, education and media. I worked with one of my connections during my years at WGBH, Boston’s flagship public broadcasting station. In those years, he was the station’s V.P.; now he’s President and CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting. Recently he posted his intention to attend the National Arts Strategies’ (NAS) Chief Executive Program, “The New Nature of Money.” The program “will challenge participants to be as creative about their business models as they are about their programs. The capital market for nonprofits is rapidly and dramatically changing. This event will explore what a thriving financial model looks like tomorrow for a mission-driven organization and will help participants rethink their own financing strategies.”  

An upcoming NAS workshop, taking place this fall at Harvard, is titled “The New Nature of Relevance.” How is value defined today? “The event,” says NAS,”will give participants access to the latest, most useful thinking about societal dynamics, getting beyond the noise of the 24-hour news cycle to gain insight through meaningful research and models. Participants will look at critical currents in U.S. social structure and context, and explore effective frameworks for designing organizations and programs to thrive in this new context.”

Continue reading

New Stratmans at Horizon Fine Art; Business Incubators

Happy Equinox!

Watercolorist Kay Stratman, who describes her work as “Asian influenced,” has posted new work on her newly revamped website. In the letter she sent me, Stratman featured one of her new paintings, Monday Morning Breakfast Group, depicting yellow headed and red winged blackbirds gathered for conversation. Perched on some cattails and set against a liquid blue-green background, these are animated, upbeat birds. It must be Spring; as I write this a flash mob of rosy finches is filling the air with chatter and clamoring around in the trees, while several robins look on, keeping their distance.

“The title came first, before the image, inspired by my husband Paul’s Monday morning breakfast group,” says Stratman. “I think it is lots of fun and hope you do too. [This painting] appears a bit more detailed than many of my looser, more spontaneous paintings. Actually the details are only in the beaks, eyes and feet. The rest is very loosely handled with watery color flowing and blending in the background.”

The artist also plans to teach some art classes later this spring; both involve watercolor technique and one incorporates encaustic wax. Classes take place at the Art Association this May and early June, and to find out more, you should visit the Art Associaton’s website –www.artassociation.org–or call 307.733.6379. Stratman will also take part in the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s June 16th Annual Quickdraw event.

Stratman is also represented by Horizon Fine Art, 30 King Street, in Jackson, Wyoming. Her work is part of a group show there, taking place the week of June 16th. www.horizonfineartgallery.com. Stratman’s website: www.kaystratman.com.

Continue reading