Watercolorist Kay Stratman, who describes her work as “Asian influenced,” has posted new work on her newly revamped website. In the letter she sent me, Stratman featured one of her new paintings, Monday Morning Breakfast Group, depicting yellow headed and red winged blackbirds gathered for conversation. Perched on some cattails and set against a liquid blue-green background, these are animated, upbeat birds. It must be Spring; as I write this a flash mob of rosy finches is filling the air with chatter and clamoring around in the trees, while several robins look on, keeping their distance.
“The title came first, before the image, inspired by my husband Paul’s Monday morning breakfast group,” says Stratman. “I think it is lots of fun and hope you do too. [This painting] appears a bit more detailed than many of my looser, more spontaneous paintings. Actually the details are only in the beaks, eyes and feet. The rest is very loosely handled with watery color flowing and blending in the background.”
The artist also plans to teach some art classes later this spring; both involve watercolor technique and one incorporates encaustic wax. Classes take place at the Art Association this May and early June, and to find out more, you should visit the Art Associaton’s website –www.artassociation.org–or call 307.733.6379. Stratman will also take part in the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s June 16th Annual Quickdraw event.
Stratman is also represented by Horizon Fine Art, 30 King Street, in Jackson, Wyoming. Her work is part of a group show there, taking place the week of June 16th. www.horizonfineartgallery.com. Stratman’s website: www.kaystratman.com.
“Business incubators often get established because communities donate empty, excessive space. Business incubators can be industrial, high-tech, medical, artistic, even food growers. The idea, says one expert, is to set up a commercial building capable of housing different operations and industries at low cost. Incubators supply in-house office help to all tenants—copy machines, answering phones, teaching technology skills. Assistance continues until fledgling businesses are developed enough to move out of the space on their own. Cost of doing business is lowered. The vacated incubator space is filled by a new, young enterprise.
Incubators are measured several ways, but Wyoming, as of 2009, had zero incubator presence.
“We funded an incubator with a USDA grant which purchased the building,” says my expert. ”We then set up a non profit corporation with the board being half private and half government. The government board members were mayors and commissioners. It is important to get real business expertise on this board. Activists have the vision but not often the practical skills to make it happen.”
We’re loaded with activists in Jackson, so what we need are business strategists acting in the interest of diversifying (lessening risk) Jackson’s economy. Leaders should look to establish tax breaks for properties that can’t, in the immediate future, realize full value for their space. Risk happens not only when you carry potentially volatile investments; it exists when you invest in mainstream, blue-chip sectors—if that’s your only portfolio presence, you are carrying great risk. Ask anyone loaded with BP stock or too much empty, expensive commercial and residential real estate in Teton County.
My expert councils that the best way to start is to visit established, successful incubators. Many aren’t viable because they are not grounded in solid business basics. To provide a job, a business (or any enterprise) must be successful enough to generate plenty of worthwhile income.
Here’s a link to Inc.’s article on our “Incubation Nation”. It lists 20 business incubators around the country.