CREATIVE PEAKS: Whimsical, candid and bright

By on July 7, 2015

Oil and clay coalesce for Daly Projects’ new show

‘On the Way to Breakfast,’ by Katy Ann Fox.

‘On the Way to Breakfast,’ by Katy Ann Fox.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Meg Daly always loves entering her gallery, Daly Projects, and seeing the contemporary work on its walls. It’s always intriguing, thought provoking and beautiful. But lately, with the oil paintings of Katy Ann Fox and ceramic vases by Eleanor Anderson displayed, it’s been best described as joyful. “It feels very fresh and lively in the gallery,” Daly said.

The two artists display their work in an exhibition “Together or Separate” at Daly Projects. The show hangs through July 25. An opening reception is 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday so folks can still make Mix’d Media at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Daly said.

Daly explored artist pairings for the first shows of the gallery, which opened earlier this year.

The two artists are friends and share studio space together and while they work in different media, there is something similar about their work, Daly said.

Anderson created about 50 pieces for the show. Most are vases and there are a few bowls. The work is funky, Daly said. Anderson plays with different graphic elements like lines, squares and circles.

“Nothing is precise,” Daly explained. “It’s very meticulously made, but kind of feels whimsical and joyful.”

The work explores the line between craft and fine art.

Anderson played with throwing vases on the wheel and then adding different shaped handles and creating new patterns.

Anderson, who grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Jackson about a year ago, studied printmaking at Colorado College.

“It seems like a weird leap to go to clay, but it’s a lot of the same techniques of print making,” she said. “But once it’s fired, it’s a utilitarian form. You can touch it and hold it in your hands. I love the tactile feel of clay.”

Utilitarian ceramics are a great place to explore where fine art and crafts diverge and also come together, she said. The show is designed not as a group of objects, but to be viewed together. The pieces play off each other. As do Anderson and Fox’s work.

“At first glance our work is so different,” Anderson said. “But conceptually we both have a lot of respect for our mediums.”

It is playful and celebrates delight, she said.

Fox is a gregarious and energetic person, but her work has a calming quality to it.

Fox doesn’t try to capture a romanticized version of the world, but instead documents what she sees, Daly said. Instead of focusing on jagged peaks, she paints the sagebrush leading to the base of the mountains. While she uses dashes of vibrant colors, her color palette isn’t saturated. It’s like a landscape photo before adding an Instagram filter on it. Originally from Idaho, Fox knows landscapes intimately and celebrates their natural beauty.

This exhibition features urban and rural landscapes and Fox uses a lot of deeper blues in an almost impressionistic way in her new work, Daly said. It is all oil on panels and features renditions of Jackson, Nevada, San Francisco and other places.

“Katy is great at capturing the palette of any season,” Daly said. “So many artists here are inspired by the landscape because it’s so beautiful. To me, Katy’s art is more in that classical representational style, but there is something really fresh and contemporary about it. It’s her design and her palette.”

The series of paintings is a storybook of what Fox sees in the places the wind takes her, she said in a press release. She wanders the West seeking to paint the soulfulness, compassion and sincerity found in the faces and places of the region.

Both Fox and Anderson craft such well-made art, it is a joy to take in their work, Daly said. The work is pleasing to the eye, as well as intriguing. And like the title of the show, their work can be taken in together or separate, and each piece can be viewed alone or as part of the larger show. Either way, Daly said, it’s a delight.

“Together or Separate,” an exhibition of work by Katy Ann Fox and Eleanor Anderson at Daly Projects, 125 E. Pearl. Show hangs through July 25; opening reception 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday.

About Kelsey Dayton

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