If it seems to you as if a certain subject matter is visibly missing from Jackson Hole’s art scene, you’re correct. Life drawing, the practice of drawing the nude figure, is art’s longest tradition. Many consider it to be art’s purest subject, and the most difficult practice.
Even so, with all the superior artistic talent in and around Jackson Hole, nude portraiture is rarely publicly displayed. That’s changing.
Body & Soul II, a group exhibit displaying life drawings by 13 local artists, opens at Galleries West on August 20, running through September 3. A reception will be held Aug. 20, 5-8:00 pm.
Thirteen participating artists are: Eliza Chrystie, Eliot Goss, Thais Graham, Lane Griffin, Alissa Hartmann, Jennifer L. Hoffman, Greg McHuron, Susan Nowlin, Lee Carlman Riddell, Shannon Troxler, Kathryn Mapes Turner, September Vhay, and A. A. “Sandy” Zvegintzov.
Gallery owner Debbie Bunch provides context for the history of nude drawing.
“The story of this drawing group has its beginnings in the long tradition of life drawing through the ages,” she says. “The skill of drawing, and specifically drawing the human form, was considered a prerequisite for all art students in the 19th and early 20th Century academies. By the mid-20th Century, less emphasis was being placed on the craft and mechanics of art study in favor of expressionism and conceptual issues. As the priorities of the academies changed, life drawing was no longer required study for students. And less and less artists pursued the practice.”
Participating artist September Vhay notes that, “The intent of this show is to share our artwork with the public and to create an understanding and discussion about the roll that drawing skills play in fine art.”
Valley artist Greg McHuron quietly began holding group drawing sessions at his studio about eight years ago, taking a break while he dealt with a serious cancer threat. (McHuron, if possible, is even more productive post-treatment.) As Bunch says, most of these artists are not professionally known for figurative work but they share “…a desire to hone their observational skills while studying the light, form, perspective, and proportion that the human body offers, and a belief that the basic skill of drawing is a vital foundation that is too often skipped over by artists today.”
Artists will be in attendance for August 20th’s reception. For more information, contact Galleries West Fine Art at 307-733-4412 or visit www.gallerieswestjacksonhole.com.
R. Haworth at Full Circle Frameworks!
Ryan Haworth–whose last name is pronounced “Hayworth,” but who never starred in “Gilda,” or married Orson Welles–(Sorry Ryan, I’m in a strange mood this morning! Must be because it’s my day off.) opens a new group show at Full Circle Frameworks this Friday, Aug. 21.
“Us,” as described by Rocky Vertone, is “… a window into his thoughts during the most active time in his life..at least for now. It touches on fears, belief, humor, beauty, and the urge to do what we love.” The show remains up through September 9.
For info, give a call to 307.733.0770, or email Vertone at: [email protected]