Tag Archives: Western Contemporary Art

TCLIB Art Race; Membership with “Bennies”


A Calder stabile would be nice!

If you’re as talented at Calder, as light on your feet and imaginative, you might be the artist whose work the Board of the Teton County Library chooses to create and install a site-specific work for the new library lobby. Qualifications are due February 15, 2012. Many will apply; three finalists will be chosen to study the site, engage in an interview process, and the winner will granted $65,000 to design and complete their work. The winning artist, library and public should see the final results by November, 2012.

“Artwork for the entryway will be intellectually stimulating—like a good book—and invite various levels of understanding on the part of the many different patrons,” says the library.

Artists interested in submitting proposals can visit the Western States Arts Federation CAFÉ site, at www.callforentry.org.

The Art Association has added a new Membership Benefit. With your new membership or annual renewal you will receive a punch card for 5 free open studio sessions. These can be used for “figure night,” a day in the clay studio, or a day in the digital lab. More details can be found here: http://www.artassociation.org/education/painting_drawing/w12-NewMemberBenefit.html




Travis Walker at NMWA; Howell-Sickles & Beardsley’s “Open Range”

Jackson artist Travis Walker (yes, Teton Art Lab’s and Factory Studios’ Travis Walker!) is the next National Museum of Wildlife (NMWA) Art Lanford Monroe Memorial Artist-in-Residence!  I love this.

Friday, August 5, 10:00 am-2:00 pm, Walker will demonstrate his painting techniques and make some fun art at the Museum, setting up in the Museum’s expanisive lobby area, across from the admissions desk. From 2:30-3:00 pm, spend time with Walker as he leads a tour of the Museum’s Rungius Drypoints exhibit.

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.

Walker has moved his studio space into town. He’s painting his giant trailer paintings upstairs from Jackson eatery E Leaven. And he’s the artist-of-choice for Jackson’s newest “Glamping” grounds, Fireside Resort. For information, phone (307) 732-5438.

Altamira Fine Art winds up its summer show series with two “Best of the West” artists—perpetual cowgirl Donna Howell-Sickles and iconic contemporary cowboy artist Duke Beardsley. Open Range is on exhibit August 2-15, with an artists’ reception on Thursday, August 4, 6-8 pm.

Howell-Sickles’ heroic cowgirl images were among the first contemporary Western Art works to catch my eye. What gal wouldn’t want to feel the way her Cowgirl does? Howell-Sickles looks a lot like her muse, a figure inspired by the image on a c. 1935 postcard. “Greetings from a Real Cowgirl from the Ole Southwest,” said the card, which depicted a cowgirl on her horse.

“The image spoke to me and I had no idea why,” says Howell-Sickles. “I surrendered to the attraction, and as I used the Cowgirl in my art I slowly filled in the blanks about my fascination with the imagery.” All manner of Western critter are in love with this Cowgirl, and she returns the affection. Paintings are banners of zestful primary color; this Cowgirl is mythical, often encircled by a Resistol’s round white brim.

I’ll have what she’s having!

Beardsley “has been drawing and painting images of the American West most of his life,” says the gallery. “Duke’s work blends modern artistic elements with the traditional icons of the west. The result has made him a consistently popular favorite among fans of contemporary western art.” Iconic and romantic, Beardsley’s contemporary paintings of cowboys and their horses harken back to the West’s earliest pride-of-place and sense of  purpose. These guys are independent and strong; so are their horses. Trust them, ride with them.

Beardsley also paints landscapes. Check them out. Beautiful.


Diener Workshop; Kid Classes at JHHS; Fish Dish; Grizzly Glass DNA

Jackson photographer Jeff Diener will teach a Fall Photo Workshop in Grand Teton National Park, September 28-October 2, 2011.

“We’ll be using the best light of the day, sunrises and sunsets, and visit some great, and lesser known locations,” notes Diener. “I’ve been exploring and shooting in GTNP for the past 15 yrs. We’ll help participants get comfortable adjusting to changing conditions and sites and create dramatic high-end images. Location scouting, assessing locations and weather, helping participants get to know their cameras, practice with functions and new techniques will be covered. We’ll also spend time each day discussing post-processing computer workflow.”  Cost is $875 per person.

Wild West Photos will sponsor the workshop–check the agency’s website here. Contact Diener for more information. 307-734-4450 jeff@jeffdiener.com

The Jackson Hole Historical Society offers free children’s art classes for kids in grades 1-4, Tuesday mornings, 9:30-11:00 a.m., during August. Classes will include storytelling, museum exploring, craft making, and the all important snack. Class sizes are limited to 15 children. Here’s the calendar:

August 2: “Pots, Paper, and Pouches” has fun with stories of Indians, explorers, and settlers. Build a fort and make pemmican to carry in your own handmade pouch.

August 9:  “Rod, Reel, and Rifle” explores the important roles that hunting and fishing activities have had in the valley. Includes storytelling, the creation of a “story” hide and a hanging three-dimensional fish.

August 16: “Awe Inspiring Art” discovers the role of artists and photographers in preserving the beauty of Jackson Hole. Includes storytelling, plein air painting, cookie decorating activities and more.

August 23:Laughs and Lariats” explores the questions “Does the cowboy wear his tools?” and “Does a rodeo have clowns?”  Kids make their own chaps and ride into history with a real cowboy to discover the answers.

For more information, contact Mindy Barnett at 307.733.9605.  jhhsmeducation@wyom.net

Wyoming Gallery, upstairs at Jack Dennis Sports, holds an artists’ reception for Derek DeYoung, Jeff Currier and Jim Berkenfield on Friday, August 5, 4-7:30 pm.

Berkenfield says he has been fly fishing for eighteen years and guiding in the Greater Yellowstone area for the past twelve. “I have continuously photographed my fishing exploits,” he says. “I have recently begun to focus on new perspectives of trout…fish in hand, and during the moments of release.”

Currier’s work is published in fly fishing magazines, catalogs, brochures, and books. He is the author of Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing and Currier’s Quick and Easy Guide to Warmwater Fly Fishing guide books.

DeYoung’s work has “veered off from the traditional fish illustration style.” His contemporary paintings focus on style and color rather than rendering realistic images of fish.

The store and gallery are noted fortheir fly fishing equipment, guiding and expertise. A.D. Maddox also calls Wyoming Gallery home. www.jdwyominggallery.com 307.733.7548.

What is this? That’s what my Facebook friend Steve Mooney (SVP, Jack Morton Global Brand Experience!) would ask.

Answer is, it’s a detail (I think!) of  one of two walls, each displaying 40 fused glass bricks. The wall is part of the new Home Ranch project, and will be designed and created by Jackson glass artist (and Facebook friend!) John Frechette. The shuffled, stacked stained glass resembles bison and grizzly DNA.

What do you say to that, Facebook friend “Grizzly 399?”

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.


Ringholz & Roberson at Altamira; J.H. Art Auction Highlights

Out West, a two-woman show featuring new works by Mary Roberson and Amy Ringholz, opens at Altamira Fine Art on Thursday, July 21. A reception will be held at the gallery from 5-8 pm, and the exhibition will be on display July 18-31, 2011.

Ringholz rocketed to success. Her bold, mosaic-like paintings of wildlife caught the public’s eye quickly, and she sells like hotcakes. Ringholz is firmly part of a small group of artists credited with establishing new Western Contemporary art genres.  It’s an impressive group and includes the likes of Bill Schenck and John Nieto; as well as the early master painters of the West and Southwest. There is no mistaking Ringholz’s swirling big-love painting style. I’d be remiss to not point out Ringholz’s new black and white paintings, a departure from her use of full, saturated colors. These new paintings recall the elegance of Japanese calligraphy.

Mary Roberson’s fluid and mystical paintings belie the artist’s great drafting talents. Roberson believes creativity is “natural and distinct to every individual,” and she avoided over-exposure to formal teaching. Despite the weight and tone of Roberson’s colors her paintings seem visionary. Great beasts of the earth float towards us, then recede. Her works possess a temporal wisdom, and one might imagine Roberson as a chosen recipient of messages sent from animal spirits. She passes these messages on to us, reminding us of the power of wildlife, of the essential inner knowledge of animals and the lessons they may bring us.


Trailside Galleries and the Gerald Peters Gallery will present the 5th Annual Jackson Hole Art Auction on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. The Auction has released information on several lots likely to spur active bidding battles.

John Clymer’s Marie Dorian-Winter Refuge, a 40 x30 inch oil, lists an estimate of $200,000-$300,000.

Bob Kuhn’s Leopard in a Sausage Tree, a 24 x 36 inch acrylic, estimates at $150,000-$250,000.

Maynard Dixon’s Cowpuncher, a 30 x 25 inch oil, has an estimate of $400,000-$600,000.

Frederic Remington’s Bronco Buster (no.16), bronze, is estimated to sell between $400,000-$600,000.

Olaf C. Seltzer’s Charles Russell on Horseback, 12 x 8 inch watercolor, estimates at $25,000-$35,000.

G. Harvey’s Pigeon’s Corner, a 50 x 40 inch oil, is estimated at $150,000-$250,000.

Many more exciting lots will be announced; the Auction’s catalog will be available in August, 2011.  This auction consistently breaks its own records for attendance and bidder registration and is fast becoming one of the most important great masters Western art auctions.

For more information, contact Auction Coordinator Lucy P. Grogan. Phone: 866 JH WY ART (549-9278).   www.jacksonholeartauction.com