Being in awe of something larger than yourself doesn’t go away. ~ DAM Director Christophe Heinrich
January was a quiet and very snowy month here in the Jackson Hole area. Over 110 inches of snow can make arts events difficult to attend, but that’s part of the always surprising and ever-wonderful life of the West. The Canvas, a monthly arts newsletter, likes to say: We hope you enjoy us anyway!
“Truth of Nature” is a seemingly elementary title for a Monet show. He painted nature. But this show drilled into Monet’s head in a remarkable way. DAM took us through Monet’s life as a painter in such an in depth manner that attendees truly felt a part of his world, allowing us to get so very close to Monet’s process and evolution. One viewed Monet’s entire life as a painter, heard his voice. We could SEE his progression as an artist, FEEL his influences, understand in context the artistic turns he took and how daring he was. It’s revelatory how deeply he changed painting with such clarity and purpose. And those brushstrokes! Each canvas is at once excessively complicated and totally free. Every flicker of paint is present on purpose, yet nothing is over-wrought.
DAM Director Christophe Heinrich comments that “being in awe of something larger than yourself doesn’t go away.”
As one reviewer noted, the show also identifies Monet’s love of conservation. After the passing of his wife Camille, people began to disappear from Monet’s paintings. If you want to get a sense of how sensitively this show was composed, we recommend you pop for a copy of the exhibition’s book of the same title.
The day after we visited Monet, we took in Denver’s Coors Western Art Show at the National Western Stock Show . Mind blowing! If you haven’t been, it’s impossible to describe the cacophony, color, movement, smells, the legions of livestock being shown, ridden and awarded, the people, the vast endless sardine-packed colosseum and more just bursting with life and love for all things agriculture. One afternoon’s visit was a tease; we’ll be back to the Stock Show soon! A Jackson Hole Art Blog booth may even happen…
Our impression of the Coors was exactly what the show’s creators want visitors to feel: This is an exhibition of an expert selection of works by traditional and more contemporary Western artists working today. Wind your way past the noise, music and sawdust of the rodeo and stock, and you land in a pristine white-walled gallery space designed to make you want to buy.
Comprised of two committees, the original Coors Western Art Advisory Committee and the younger professional group Young Guns of the National Western, the show’s proceeds support 100 students annually who are focused on veterinary science, agriculture and medicine. It’s a fine show. I believe Kathy Wipfler, of Jackson, was recently juried in….and there were a number of artists represented by Jackson and Yellowstone area galleries this year: George Bumann, Kenneth Bunn, David Grossman, Steve Kestrel, Jivan Lee, Leon Loughridge, Chris Maynard (Western Visions), Howard Post, Tim Shinabarger, Jill Soukup, Skip Whitcomb, Dinah K. Worman, Monte Yellow Bird, Sr. and probably a few others.
Got to say, Quang Ho’s large scale “Autumn Woods” took our breath away. Three art lovers with three distinct aesthetics and lots of arts background all pretty much agreed on that. And the natives? So friendly. SO glad to see you in their gallery. I handed out a lot of cards. Viewing the Coors exhibit wasn’t a whole heck of a lot different than viewing last fall’s Fine Art Fair. It took us out of Jackson, but we were still within the Western art genre. Contemporary and more traditional works residing perfectly together, pleasantly spaced, connected, and fresh.
Almost 708,000 people attended the Stock Show this year over the course of two weeks. If 2% of those folks walked through the exhibit, that’s 14,000 pairs of eyes on the art. The Stock Show’s claim is that you can tell how the economy is doing by how much the first prize steer (Olaf”s the name) sells for. Olaf, as all Stock Show prize-winning steers are, was invited to tea at the Brown Palace Hotel. That evening, Olaf went for a record-breaking $155,000.
And nearly $850,000 worth of art, including photography, was sold, with the Stock Show enjoying its second highest attendance in history.
Would you like to submit your work to the Coors? Then visit http://www.coorswesternart.com/index.php/about-us and hurry! Submissions deadline is April 1, 2020!
Six more weeks of winter and it’ll be springtime in the Rockies. Still in full snow season mode, Jackson’s galleries are rolling out their après ski shows. Coming up this month in downtown Jackson:
Altamira Fine Art welcomes new artist David Frederick Riley. Riley’s first solo exhibition runs February 10 – 22nd, at Altamira in Jackson. An opening artist’s reception takes place Saturday, February 15th, 5:30-7:30 pm at the gallery. Riley’s human portrait subjects seem to carry animal spirits behind their eyes; his wildlife subjects project human attitude. https://www.altamiraart.com/exhibitions/212/works/artworks9122/
Tayloe Piggott Gallery welcomes Tuck Faunterloy and Russell Crotty, February 7 – March 21st. An aerial ice man meets California surfer-astronomer in this dual exhibition event! https://www.tayloepiggottgallery.com/exhibitions
Diehl Gallery opens The Northerners: An Exhibition of Canadian Artists, running February 13 – March 28th. An artists reception takes place February 20th, 5-8 pm, during the downtown Jackson Gallery Art Walk. https://www.diehlgallery.com/exhibition/156/press_release/