Walter Hood’s name is now familiar in Jackson; the Oakland, California landscape architect is the creative visionary man-with-a-sculpture-trail-plan. And that plan will soon materialize at the National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA).
Hood will materialize July 26 and 27; Tuesday, July 26, 7:00-8:00 pm, Hood will talk about design projects he considers his best (count public spaces at San Francisco’s De Young Museum among them), share his philosophy and ideas about art in public spaces, and generally electrify the audience. Hood is a professor of architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. The talk is free and takes place in the museum’s Cook Auditorium.
Wednesday, July 27, Hood will lead museum members on a hard-hat trail tour. Two years ago Hood discussed the idea of the trail with NMWA, but it was not clear the project would happen.
“The Museum is doing the project, the funding came through and it’s taken hold,” Hood says. He describes NMWA’s landscape as “emerging,” taking precedence over what had been a a parking space focused expanse.
“This is a divine process, it took place slowly—but the we are transforming the landscape, making it more useful. I refer to the idea of sociability of space. Society has been building for cars, we are used to getting in our cars. That’s the antithesis of nature, and Jackson is all about nature! So taking the trail is a no-brainer. We’re a ways from finishing the trail, but I’ve already seen so many people walking the area and using those bike paths.”
Hood knows that change can be hard. But once we’ve changed, we embrace and adapt to better systems put into place. “We think things are more complex than they are. Even New York City is implementing Portland-like planning. You can now bike on Broadway, it’s so much more pedestrian friendly! The same thing is happening in Jackson.”
“As the trail takes shape it is very exciting to see what a great space it is going to be for people and for sculpture,” says NMWA Curator of Education Jane Lavino. “Walter has given us a fabulous design. Because this feature will be free and open to the public it will be a great way for the Museum to reach out. We’ve already seen ways in which this project has paved the way for new partnerships. Plans are underway for an artist-in-residence who will work with community members to create a sculptural piece for the trail. There are also plans for some “behind the scenes” sculpture installation viewing opportunities.”
Edward Riddell & Lee Carlman Riddell’s joint show, Gratitude, is on exhibit July 27-August 13, 2011 at Trio Fine Art, in Jackson. The show features paintings and black & white photographs depicting Tuscany. An opening reception takes place Thursday, July 28 from 5-8 pm. The Riddells will talk about their work from 6:30-7:00 pm.
A few years ago, the couple began a love affair with Italy, a country known for its romantic cities, landscapes, art and people. As they tell it, Ed Riddell took Lee to see Florence, Italy where he’d studied as a Stanford University art student. They have returned every year since, and earlier this year Ed’s photographs of the Tuscany region were featured in a show at Montalcino, Italy’s Caffe Alla Loggia.
When such an offer is extended to Americans, it’s a great honor. Tuscany has embraced the couple, and they consider Tuscany a spiritual home.
Tuscan doorways, flowers’ shadows cast against simple white windowsills, city skylines, wheat fields and wildflowers, laundry hung out to dry; these are the subjects of Lee’s sunwashed and delicate oil paintings. Lee composes her paintings—ranging in size from 6″ square to 12″ x 24″—from memory, field sketches and photographs. She has fashioned her own painterly combination of oil and watercolor techniques.
Ed Riddell’s new photographic process eliminates glare by eliminating glass. His 21”x28” black and white prints are laminate coated, staving off moisture and adding image longevity by protecting the photographs from ultra-violet light. The photographer frames his images of Italy’s cultural and pastoral beauty with contemporary, hand-rubbed aluminum panels.
The artists’ work is also included in Wyoming’s Ucross Foundation Art Gallery’s exhibit, In The Presence Of Trees, June 30 – September 6, 2011.