From the Tetons to the Serengeti–that’s where Altamira Fine Art painter Mary Roberson has been lately. Her new show of works, “From the Tetons to the Serengeti,” opens with an artist’s reception on Thursday, August 16th, 5:30 – 7:30 pm. The exhibition remains up through August 28th.
Roberson’s a free spirit, inspired by the “critters” that teach life’s greatest values. She doesn’t want color getting in the way of composition, because nature’s colors cannot be improved upon. Yet, Roberson plays with color. She uses it to emphasize her earthier tones, adding a little music to dusky backgrounds that range from nut-brown to tawny. She knows how to warm up a scene. Take “Egrets and the Elephants,” pictured above. Roberson’s huge, mystical elephants emerge from the recesses into a cloud of orange-golden dust. Shadows, dark points of elephant eyes, and negative space beneath the elephants’ girth all play across the painting; white tusks and egrets accompanying the herd move us around the piece. Despite their great size, these ethereal elephants are like a mirage.
Roberson accompanied Jackson wildlife photographer Tom Mangelsen to Africa.
“Everyday was the best day she ever had,” says Mangelsen’s partner Sue Cedarholm. “She was madly sketching, said she had more material than she could ever paint in a lifetime. Each animal she saw was her new favorite. She was especially taken with the elephants. Eveything was fair game for the sketch pad.”
This new show delivers the power Roberson felt; the trip stirred up her palette. Another elephant painting, “From Dawn to Tusk,” is a symphony in yellow gold.
Roberson’s mighty bison (my favorite Roberson critter) are back, too. “No Words Can Tell His Spirit,” a 52 x 52″ mixed media work, floats a bison “god” above a small herd; the space is horizontally divided, like a horizon or the division between earth and the heavens. Roberson mixes in violets, reds and oranges into her muddied, textured walls of earth.
Roberson’s flock of small bird paintings are part of this show, too. Sized 8 x 8″ to 6 x 6″, these portraits of jays, chickadees, cardinals and other song birds feel so alive! I can hear the “trill” of our valley’s winged friends. www.altamiraart.com
Thursday, August 16th, join Jackson Hole Public Art at the Home Ranch Welcome Center, 5:30 – 8:00 pm, to celebrate “2 Years, 5 Projects, 10 Artists & 12 Works of Art!” A suggested donation of $20 gets you in to the party, which will feature music by Victor Pokorny. Artemis Institute artists Carey Clouse and Zachary Lamb’s “Toss Project” will be previewed. The Artemis Institute “provides educational programs, forums and activities that help us explore and understand the relationship that exists between nature and culture.”
The Home Ranch Center is the new visitor’s public facility building adjacent to the Home Ranch Parking Lot, downtown Jackson. John Frechette’s glass “Strands” walls surround the building. www.jhpublicart.org
I missed (meaning I didn’t receive it) the press release for this show, but have the opportunity now to get a word in now about Astoria Fine Art’s smashing duo show of works by Mark Eberhard & Ewoud De Groot. Twenty-eight works comprise this exhibition, on display through August 18th. Eberhard and DeGroot were early contemporary wildlife artists on the Jackson scene. When their artwork appeared at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the museum’s collection was energized, re-defined. Both artists were formerly represented at Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary, another sign their work cut into new nature-based art territory.
If I recall correctly, Astoria featured Dutch painter DeGroot at last year’s Fall Arts Festival. The artist told me his collector base lies solidly in the States; and not in Europe, as one might assume. So get on over to Astoria! Astoria is also, I notice, agressively searching out new artists–artists not necessarily from our immediate area but who paint or otherwise interpret our landscapes and wildlife. www.astoriafineart.com