A new group in town, Global Arts Corps, inaugurates its Jackson Hole annual Summer Institute with an Opening Conference July 8-9, 2011. Perceptual Change: Alternatives for Conflict Resolution is billed as a “conversation between Scientists, Artists, Ex-Combatants, Educators and Activists.” Such a diverse roster of speakers ideally will provide stimulating discussion. Conference events take place at Jackson’s Center for the Arts.
The conference will cover topics ranging from “Empathy, Neurology and Comedy” to “Truth, Uncertainty Principles and Parody” to “Ensemble Phenomena: Unpacking Clichés.” With conflict resolution as its umbrella theme, it will be interesting to see how the conference will attack that theme. Every possible personality and interpretive medium are lined up: ex-combatants representing Northern Ireland’s conflicts, performing artists, journalists, clinical psychologists…the event will be moderated by the BBC’s William Crawley.
Breaking down assumptions that inevitably crop up during conflict is an art form. A key to resolving any issue is to address the “quiet” topics people find most difficult to air. Quell reactivity, and you’ve got a platform for intimacy. I’m not the problem, and neither are you. The problem is the problem. Most arguments are not about the “surface” subject, they are about other issues between two parties that have not been properly addressed. Resolving conflict is largely about rational comprehension of issues at hand.
What is Global Arts Corps? Babs Case is the creative inspiration behind the new initiative. As Dancers’ Workshop’s executive director, her work ranks amongst Jackson’s most consistent and successful. Few non-profit leaders are more admired, and rightfully so. Global Arts Corps believes that “…the population in Jackson is one with the interests, experiences, and resources to actively participate in our discussion and to affect a significant difference in the world beyond our small valley.”
Lecture topics could provide more specifics about the meat and intent of this conference.
What significant differences might this gathering make to the world? What level of conflict will this workshop address? We are not culturally diverse, and we are relatively comfortable. Many of us have tried living out of the valley, only to return. We are a gated community. Who will attend? We have many world leaders in our midst—business, political and academic titans. Will we learn how to move into a larger understanding of the complexities in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan or South Africa? Will we be trained to lobby for legislation with greater finesse? Generate new ideas on combating poverty and predjudice? Discuss immigration or the tensions that arise when we speak about cultural differences? Get a grip on conflicting global economic forces?
Man, I dislike people who don’t like to resolve conflict! They make me want to punch ’em out!
This is a free event; it cannot have been free to produce. May it reap great rewards.
For more information about Global Arts Corps’ Summer Institute, visit www.globalartscorps.org/summer-institute.html, or call 307.733.6398.
The Street ART & Social Justice Workshop takes place July 8 & 9, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm each day, at the Center for the Arts. Attendees can help design and paint a community mural on the walls of the the Garaman underpass. Get your “Street art” techniques down—techniques will taught and utilized. Cultural diversity is the theme and students can become official ambassadors of the pedestrian corridor. Famed street artists Judy Baca, JR, Bansky and others will be reviewed. Local artists will speak and demonstrate: Ricki Arno, Ryan Heyworth, Mike Tierney and Wendell Field are on the list.
A donation of $20 to cover supplies will be charged; space is limited and registration is required. Jackson Public Art Initiative in charge. Info, details: 307.413.1474
“John Nieto, universally recognized as an American Master, continually defines himself within the wide parameters of his trademark brand of expressionism. Nieto, and one name says it all, transcends mere representation with sensitivity and sensibility, utilizing an intrepid stature unequaled by any imitator.” – Dean Munn, Altamira Fine Art
What better way to greet Independence Week than by honoring one of America’s great painters, John Nieto? A new Nieto exhibition, American Icon, will be on display July 1-14 at Altamira Fine Art, with an artist’s reception on Saturday, July 2, 2:00-4:00 pm.
Altamira Director Mark D. Tarrant has remarked that “…the gallery is privileged to represent Nieto….Nieto is widely regarded as one of America’s most accomplished, dynamic and exciting contemporary artists.” Tarrant points out that Nieto’s work concentrates on themes that transcend mere representation. The artist’s intense primary colors and bold use of paint “create both dimension and character on the canvas. “He is truly an American master,” Tarrant affirms.
Nieto’s Fauvist style of assembling electric colors reflects deep knowledge and emotion. The artist’s lineage includes Hispanic and American Indian parents, and NIeto’s family tree is documented back 300 years. His potent paintings are their own documentaries. They are commentaries on a people, on animal and Native American spirits, on landscape and history.
“A species of hope resides in the possibility of seeing one thing, one phenomenon or essence, so clearly and fully that the light of its understanding illuminates the rest of life,” writes Santa Fe author and scholar William deBuys. John Nieto’s paintings are, at once, hope and essence. www.altamiraart.com 307.739.4700