Two weeks ago I traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to spend a day with the University of Wyoming’s Museum Director and Chief Curator Susan Moldenhauer. It’s shameful, but this was my inaugural visit to Laramie. Though I’ve read and heard stellar testimonials about the museum, and perused images that convince anyone of the museum’s scope and dedication to merging contemporary art with cultural arts, a visit is the only way to grasp its stunning collection and mission. A number of Wyoming arts representatives hope Laramie and Jackson’s arts communities will connect our creative cultures. Such an evolution could only enrich both communities; here’s a start. I am deeply grateful to Susan for sharing part of her busy schedule and leading me through the museum’s galleries.
A visit bonus was a tour of Laramie’s Mural Project, an ongoing arts community public art initiative conceived by the Laramie Main Street Alliance. The project took shape three years ago, during a discussion over coffee, and developed organically says one mural artist. Several murals are already completed, but now the Project needs the public’s help; and it’s helping itself by initiating a Kickstarter Campaign; you may view the project’s Kickstarter video here. This project will only be funded if at least $15,000 is pledged by Sunday July 21st, 2013, 10:00pm EDT. Though the project is underway, the Alliance must raise the Kickstarter funds or this will be the project’s last summer.
The murals reflect aspects of Laramie life the community holds dear, and the Project “utilizes local artists to create large scale murals downtown that reflect [the] area’s cultural assets.” Completed murals are nothing short of miraculous. Each is thoughtful, technically brilliant and enchanting. Connectively they draw visitors through Laramie, giving anyone who views them a powerful picture of what the town is all about. Each work is carefully conceived; each has a story to tell or a wish expressed. These participating artists energetically describe the project on Youtube: Meghan Meier, Travis Ivey, Dan Toro, Talal Cockar and Jeff Hubbell.
The Laramie Mural Project is a collaboration between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, local artists, BHP Imaging and the Laramie Main Street Alliance. Social change, cultural heritage, workers, making art of your own design, growing food, indigenous animals, hollyhocks, community roots, art everyone can “own”….these are some of the themes Laramie’s murals explore. In case you didn’t click on the project’s video link above, here’s your second chance: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1187018146/laramie-mural-project
Join Art Association ceramicists for this summer’s annual Mudpots Sidewalk Pottery Sale on Friday, June 28,10am – 7pm, and Saturday June 29, 10am – 5pm.
This summer even more local potters will sell their wares, which come in a variety of styles. Plates, platters, pitchers, bowls, mugs and other thrown, coiled or othewise fashioned clay works are sold at affordable (as low as $4!) prices. The popular sale usually takes place outside the ceramics studio, in front of the Center for the Arts, on Glenwood. Look for locally made jewelry, too.
This event coincides with The Best of Wyoming exhibition, opening on Friday, June 28th. www.artassociation.org
Teton Raptor Center holds a wildlife photography skills workshop on Thursday, June 27th, from 3-5 pm, with renowned nature photographer Drew Wright. The two-hour workshop costs $55 per person, and enables participants to work with live birds of prey. Please bring your own camera. Time is very short, so check to see if there’s still space by calling 307-203-2551.