Recently Jackson’s Cultural Council awarded its annual Award for Creativity to writer/filmmaker/conservationist Charlie Craighead. Craighead’s modesty and low profile belie his great contributions. Documentaries and books such as “Artic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story,” “I’ll Meet You at the Wort,” and “Who Ate the Backyard?” touch lives, educate, entertain and, most importantly, their messages stay with us.
It’s what Craighead creates that matters; the fact that he does work within his means make his contributions that much more valuable. I’m thrilled he won, and I was also proud to nominate Jill Callaway. Jill’s contributions to Jackson’s community theatre history are extraordinary. I’d love to see the Cultural Council publish all nomination letters, so that the community can know more about the many people working to enrich our cultural scene. Here’s an excerpt from my letter:
“In 2000, Jill took it upon herself to form Jackson Community Theatre (JCT) because she believes deeply that communities need culturally based theatre. Jill does what she does because she knows Jackson is full of talent, and all talent deserves creative outlet. To that end, she insists JCT provide theatre experience for novices and seasoned actors. As the group’s leader, Jill has acted, directed, produced, stage managed, operated lights and sound, created costumes, props and sets. She oversees the company’s marketing and grants writing and manages the group’s accounting. All together, Jill has been involved in over 80 local productions….Her efforts are consistently on behalf of JCT as a whole….She is passionate about Jackson’s Western culture, its history, and family values. Many good people have lent their talents to community theatre, contributing to its longevity, but Jill provides the constant spirit, energy, and motivation propelling JCT….For 27 years, Jill has donated her time. She does not work for a performing arts company and has never received payment for her work in community theatre.”
The wave of the non-profit future must be to work within available means and facilities. Across the country, original missions have been unwittingly supplanted by underfunded real estate speculation, high salaries and high rents. There are instances, of course, of patrons and founders having deep enough pockets to build and maintain new buildings. As a friend on the West coast recently pointed out, at some point many non-profits concluded the best way to accomplish mission is to build grand facilities. Many of us were seduced. With the crash, pledges were not realized, donations slowed, costs accelerated. And although all the plans for beautiful buildings were well-meaning, these days too many original missions play secondary roles to a new mission of maintaining expensive real estate.
Hey, I have a room to rent as workspace! 250 square feet includes a full bath (two sinks!) and walk-in closet! I need help paying expenses, I’m in the same boat, ya’ll! Email me ([email protected]) if you are interested! Seriously!
Wednesday, October 26, at 7:00 pm, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum opens its doors for a special program. The talk, Artist Archie ‘Teton’ Teater will be presented by Dr. Teddy Khteian Keeton, a long-time friend of Teater and his wife. Keeton’s talk will focus on Teater’s early life, passion for painting, and his journey to becoming a successful artist.
Archie Boyd Teater was a painter, and a legend in his own time. His life and times are testament to the independent and eccentric artistic character typical of Wyoming. Though his name doesn’t come immediately to mind when thinking of the Western masters, Teater’s paintings have hung alongside paintings by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Thomas Moran and Thomas Hart Benton. Teater often “worked alongside miners, trappers and lumberjacks who had little patience or understanding for the sensitive artist, and so he would often take his wagon into the mountains, where he enjoyed the solitude, to work for days on his landscapes.”
The landscapes most inspirational to Teater were Wyoming’s mountains. According to his biography, Teater found work as a trail blazer in the newly established Grand Teton National Park. Beginning in 1928, Teater visited the Tetons annually, set up camp at Jenny Lake, and sold paintings right at his campsite. Biographers note that whenever Teater left camp, ” a note requested that art buyers pin their payments to a bed blanket.”
Teater’s log cabin gallery still stands in downtown Jackson; his Jackson Hole Art Gallery is now home to J.C. Jewelers.
Another cool fact about Teater is that he and his wife, Patricia, commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design and build a custom home–that house is situated in Hagerman, Idaho. Boy, would I like to take a tour; if it’s anything like Fallingwater, I’ll swoon…….Wednesday evening, enjoy stories about the artist and view some of his works. Free for members, $3 for non–members. Refreshments served! 307-733-9605. www.jacksonholehistory.org
Legacy Gallery has announced that artits David Mann, Merrill Mahaffey, Richard Hall, and Walt Wooten have joined the gallery. Legacy’s show Western Reflections is currently on display, and the gallery plans a Holiday Small Works Show, opening December 8, 2011. www.LegacyGallery.com