Bill Sawczuk cuts a great figure—who can miss that man’s towering stance, bright eyes and ever-present Western cowboy hat? Always impeccably dressed, he’s the very picture of Western spirit. When you see Bill, it’s also likely he’ll be carrying his easel, palette, and a host of plein air painting supplies. Well, if they’re not in hand, they’re somewhere quite close by. That’s because painting is Sawczuk’s heart and soul. He is a valley plein air fixture—and much more. Sawczuk’s work is part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s permanent collection.
“Heart and Soul” might be an alternative title for Sawczuk’s next show, opening at Trio Fine Art with an artists’ reception on Thursday, August 1st, 5-8:00 pm; Sawczuk will make remarks at 6:30 pm. The exhibition is on display July 31st – August 17th. The true title for his new show, “From Heart and Hand,” is a literal description of the kind of art Sawczuk produces. The artist recently took part in the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters‘ “Plein Air for the Park,” and there is one small landscape of his that, using a phrase coined by a friend, I will dream about for a long time.
“Everything in the show will be new work painted in and around Jackson Hole and Yellowstone,” says Sawczuk. “I hope to have a few surprises if the work turns out well. The show is titled [as it is] because heart and hand are the sources of these paintings. I have tried to make a connection with folks [through] the variation of subject matter, so I sure hope it works!”
I believe it will work. A few weeks ago I witnessed a couple visiting Jackson purchase a fully abstract painting Sawczuk had painted. The scene was set near Mt. Moran, but those familiar with Sawczuk’s strong, vigorous representational style and palette would never have recognized the painting as a Sawczuk. It was such a surprising canvas I posted it on Facebook and asked people to guess whose work it was. Nobody succeeded. There are subtle shifts in Sawczuk’s painting style; he is flirting with abstraction, constructing skies, foliage and earth in a more interpretive fashion. He accomplishes these changes with confidence, the sign of a master painter. www.triofineart.com
Now may also be a good time to mention that Trio Fine Art has landed a big partnership fish: The Jackson Hole Land Trust. Together these two entities (one for-profit, the other non-profit) will host a series of events highlighting Trio’s artists works and extending a very long tradition of connecting art and landscape. View22 is the project’s name, and you can see the list of events here.
True to the community ethos of her public art project, artist Bronwyn Minton’s creative process is collaborative.
Conceptually, Minton’s Cairn Project will engage passersby in the continual reconstruction of larger-than-life cairns inspired by the mounds that serve as trail markers or memorials. But even before the Cairn Project is installed in August on the Center for the Arts campus, many people will have pitched in to help make her vision a reality. To aid in her construction of the smaller cairns – slated to encircle the central tower – Minton is recruiting local artists and friends to help carve interchangeable components out of balsa wood. Ever-inspired by nature, Minton has designed stackable organic shapes – smooth angles, sculptural surfaces – that ultimately will be finished in red or black stain. Artist Owen Ashley is lending his screenprinting skills and setup to help create limited-edition Cairn Project t-shirts.
Saw the t-shirts! They’re selling at Skinny Skis—store display window, front n’ center, along with a mock up of Minton’s sculpture. These tees are all over town; keep your eyes open! Of course, this is all part of Jackson Hole Public Art’s ever-growing presence. www.jhpublicart.org.
Public artist Randy Walker is coming to town, courtesy of the Center of Wonder, to install the new ArtSpot—and you can help him. Group installation hug! Walker will be here July 29-August 1st. An artist’s reception and chat takes place at The Rose on Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Meg Daly hosts! Free and open to the public!
Walker, says the Center of Wonder, is a Minneapolis award winning public art artist. His installation, Passages, was selected by Americans for the Arts Year in Review as one of the 50 top public artworks in the United States in 2012. To schedule your 30 to 60 minutes of installation fame, contact [email protected]!