HIGH ART: Woodhouse retrospective will evolve

By on January 7, 2014
Self portrait by Tom Woodhouse
Self portrait by Tom Woodhouse

Self portrait by Tom Woodhouse.

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – January offers numerous opportunities to experience the art of Tom Woodhouse in a dynamic and ever-changing retrospective at The Rose.

22 Years of Creating Art in Jackson kicks off with an artist opening on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Just as Woodhouse explores the improvisational aspects of creating through his artwork, this show will also be a work in progress, evolving and changing throughout the month. There is no end vision in mind. It’s all about the process.

Woodhouse and I moved to Jackson within a few months of each other in 1991. He was one of my first friends here, and definitely the first Jackson artist that I knew and started collecting. A printmaker from Portland, he quickly discovered that there was no print studio here, so he started making woodcuts, something he could create on the kitchen table.

A timeless print of the Grand is the first piece Woodhouse created in Jackson. In it are all the beginning elements of the unique Woodhouse style that has emerged over his 22 years of creating here. From that first iconic image, he has gone on to make thousands of pieces of art, including prints, sculptures, mobiles, zipper pulls, abstractions, landscapes, bar scenes, coaster art, art books and installations.

As an art teacher, he has inspired countless Jackson residents of all ages to enjoy and embrace the process of creating. And as an artist, Woodhouse has mastered the artist’s task of creating his own voice, a unique and clearly recognizable style that belongs purely to him. He is constantly pushing the edges of his voice, challenging it to hold true to its word while exploring and urging the possibilities it contains.

Part of Woodhouse’s success comes from his ability to recognize the importance of play while creating, and the willingness to make bad art. Some art is simply an unrealized direction, a bump in the road. Every mistake pushes him to create another work of art, to try a new color combination or use his materials in a new way. He has studied the masters in art history, and recognizes an understandable flow of what artists before him have discovered and created. He has the gift of imparting this deep knowledge to influence his own art, and that of his students.

Visit the gallery at The Rose often in January to meet the artist and to participate in the unfolding of this creative experiment. Notable evenings include Print Night on January 15, Art Under $100 on January 25 and Coaster Night on January 31.

About Lindsay McCandless

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