Two things tend to happen when I’m away from Jackson and checking out cultural venues in other cities: I compare our arts scene to those of the places I’m visiting, and I talk a lot about our arts scene to the people I’m with.
I talk a lot about Jackson’s arts because my friends and family ask me about them. Many of them have never been to Jackson Hole or either of our neighboring parks, and they want to understand more about what an arts culture in a town our size, in a magnificent and relatively remote region is like. It’s not easy to describe, but when I finish trying to paint a picture (as it were) of all Jackson’s energy, initiatives, venues and artists, listeners seem impressed Jackson’s art scene is as vibrant as it is.
I’ve just returned from St. Louis. I attended my high school’s reunion, and we had a blast. I and my friends spent an afternoon exploring the Best of Missouri Art Fair, at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens. Nori Obata, a classmate and a member of one of St. Louis’ most prominent arts and architecture family legacies, had a booth. St. Louis has a bit of a stodgy rep, but let me tell you: that city’s arts scene is ripping. Over the past couple of decades millions of dollars have been poured into building the city’s public arts and gardens. And the city’s public has responded enthusiastically. They are engaged, and the Best of Missouri was mobbed. It was such a big venue, we literally could not find the end of the thing. And people weren’t just milling, they were spending. Money was changing hands all over the place.
We weren’t just happy to see a successful art fair, though. We were all enchanted by the setting, the Botanical Gardens, a bit of Paris in the heart of the Midwest. Acres of landscaped gardens are made even more magical with the addition of Dale Chihuly glass sculpture installations. Rather than detract from the traditional and contemporary gardens and plantings, these bubbly, fantastic sculptures enhance. They are unforgettable. We didn’t want to leave.
Just thought I’d mention it.
So what happened here in Jackson? Good stuff!
Results came in from the third annual Jackson Hole Art Auction, for one. Because I was asked about the auction so much (its reputation is growing, growing!), I’m posting that info. Seventy-six percent of the 235 lots sold, and the auction–which features Western Art and is jointly hosted by Trailside and Gerald Peters galleries–realized just under $6,000,000 total. The auction says collectors represented more than 30 states and several foreign countries. Highlight sale: Bob Kuhn’s painting, “Like the Down of a Thistle,” estimated at $75 – $100K, sold for $299,000.
You can view all the results on the J.H. Art Auction website, www.jacksonholeartauction.com.
Lynday McCandless SLAM update: More artists needed! Send the word out to your peeps, she says. Use the Facebook, use the email, Twitter. Time slot will change to afternoons, 1-5 pm. Additionally, LMC gallery will host artfilm screenings every weekend this month. PBS’s Art 21 series has a new season, and LMC will screen them Fridays at 6 pm, and Saturdays at 2 and 4 pm. The series features interviews with contemporary artists working in all mediums. Themes include: compassion, fantasy, transformation and systems.
And, artists, you have homework: Watch at least one of the videos, then create a work in response. Next month’s First Friday will feature your creations. For information, email [email protected]
National Museum of Wildlife Art Chief Preparator Ron Gessler sends this arts related spoof from “The Onion.” Anything to jump start the arts economy…now, it’s o.k. to touch, scratch and smell the art at the Met. Read the article here.