CULTURE KLASH: State of the Art

By on October 4, 2016

Northwest Wyoming bustles with contemporary art and WILD science this week and next.

This weekend head to Pinedale for no frills contemporary art or stay in Jackson for the WILD Festival, a celebration of wildlife, nature and science. Then on Wednesday CES holds its first art-focused fundraiser.

This weekend head to Pinedale for no frills contemporary art or stay in Jackson for the WILD Festival, a celebration of wildlife, nature and science. Then on Wednesday CES holds its first art-focused fundraiser.

JACKSON HOLE, WY – As Jackson streets teem ever fuller with Beemers and Lexi (pl. Lexus), and art gallery walks increasingly cater to those in patent penny loafers and upturned collars (or stiletto heels and augmented breasts) it’s a relief to the plebian among us that a town still exists where a gallery stroll can be attended in dusty jeans and all their Western implications.

This Friday, Pinedale celebrates Art Night, a multi-venue extravaganza of contemporary Wyoming artists. Helpfully staged in two-hour chunks, the evening will take you on a brief tour of downtown Pinedale. Start your adventure at Isabel Jewelry & Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Proprietor Isabel Rucker is holding a reception for a show by Wyoming photographers Bailey Russel and Ryan Keith Parker.

“Bailey has been using the wet-plate collodion process in the studio to capture bleached animal skulls and bones,” Rucker said. “The work is all the original plates, so it’s one of a kind.”

Parker also uses the tintype process, taking photos of industrial facilities and barren manufactured landscapes. Together the artists’ work probes the shadows of history that lie underfoot and under the skin in our contemporary Western lives.

From Isabel’s, saunter over to the Sublette County Library at 7 p.m. to see Laramie-based painter June Glasson’s latest work. Glasson will be on hand for a conversation. Combining splashes of bright color in otherwise black and white minimalist compositions, Glasson’s paintings explore themes of women and the natural world. Her work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London and other esteemed galleries and museums.

Sponsored by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council, Glasson spent the week working with students in Pinedale schools.

“Her work is stunningly beautiful,” Rucker said. “It’s always great to get a chance to listen to an artist, hear about her process and see a slideshow portfolio. This creative idea sharing opportunity is pretty rare in Pinedale.”

Once filled with inspiration, gallery goers can fill their bellies with food and drink at Boondocks Pizza at 9 p.m., featuring local musicians Jason Burton and Terry Hill. “The after party musicians operate in a similar fashion to us visual artists,” Rucker said. “They get together and sing and write and support each other’s careers.”

A small but determined group of people work tirelessly to make Pinedale a mini arts hub, Rucker noted. An artist herself, she admits that her remote location can be difficult, but she finds many rewards as well.

“A fun thing comes of the remoteness,” she said. “That is a freedom from entrenched legacy. We are able to experiment.”

Pinedale Art Night locations include: Isabel Jewelry & Gallery, 21 N. Franklin Ave.; Sublette Co. Library, 155 S. Tyler St.; and Boondocks Pizza, 23 W. Pine St.

Wild science

The rugged, iconic West is not known for its science geeks, but luckily they do exist and will be gathering en masse at the Center for the Arts this weekend for the Jackson Hole WILD Festival.

Each year the WILD Festival chooses a theme. This year it’s science, which, hey, has a thing or two to do with wild animals and wilderness. Highlights include a presentation by Gregg Treinish and Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld.

Treinish is the founder and executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. That organization does cool things like track wolverines with the help of ultra-runners. It has also enlisted climbers in Greenland to collect wildlife scat. Often referred to as citizen science, this kind of nonprofessional contribution to research is a growing field.

Lichtenfeld is the executive director of the African People & Wildlife Fund, a citizen science organization based in Tanzania. They enlist locals to collect and analyze valuable information about human-wildlife conflicts, diffuse and work on anti-poaching patrols. Lichtenfeld is a big cat specialist and has received six grants from the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative.

Treinish and Lichtenfeld will be joined by Topher White, founder of the Rainforest Connection and a 2015 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and Rebecca Martin, director of NatGeo’s Expedition Council and Young Explorers Grants.

“There has never been a more important time for people to engage with science and the same technology that connects us instantly to virtually any place on the globe,” said festival director Lisa Samford. “It has opened the door for massive citizen science engagement.” Another highlight of the festival is Saturday’s Science Fair. Workshops include “Organ Dissections” (gross!), Minecraft Magic (cool!), the Science of Music (trippy!) and many more. Preregistration for some workshops is required.

The festival closes with a screening of a film by everyone’s favorite British naturalist and broadcaster, Sir David Attenborough. Light on Earth delves into the weird world of glowworms, fireflies, luminous plankton and other purveyors of bioluminescence.

“This groundbreaking film will venture into the soil beneath our feet, into mysterious tropical forests, and the twilight zone, the world of the deep ocean, the inimitable,” Attenborough says in the films’ trailer. Looking a little worse for wear—he happens to be 90—Attenborough conveys the same kind of kid-like enthusiasm for his subject matter as ever.

“This is quite simply a brilliant and beautiful film,” Samford said.

The film won the festival’s Grand Helix (Best of Science Media Festival) Award, and was praised by the jury as “a reflection of great filmmaking that shines a light on science big and small with youthful charm and energy.”

For the most up to date information about the WILD Festival and to register for workshops, visit

When art equals love

Save the date for Community Entry Services’ first annual benefit auction, The Art of Love on Wednesday, October 12.

Community Entry Services (CES) facilitates empowering activities and learning for adults with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injuries so they can further their independence.

The Art of Love plate auction features designs by many who’s who of Jackson artists, including Amy Ringholz, Anika Youcha, Carrie Wild, Brian Iguchi, Bill Sawczuk, Jenny Dowd, Travis Walker, Katy Fox, Nicole Gaitan, Kathryn Mapes Turner, Jason Borbay, Shannon Troxler, Ben Roth, Liz Park, Tenley Thompson, Boughton Walden, Jennifer L. Hoffman, Amanda Martin, Deb Penk, Grace Davis, Bobbi Miller, Sarah Webber, Walter Gerald and Valerie Seaberg.

All plates were crafted and fired by ceramist Sam Dowd and all the artists donated their work.

In addition to the plate auction, the evening event features cocktails, bountiful hors d‘oeuvres, and live entertainment by Crazy Tom, who will also act as emcee and DJ. Wyoming senator Leland Christensen will be the auctioneer.

Additional work by Jackson Hole High School students will be on display, as well as pieces by several CES participants. PJH

“The Art of Love,” CES’ first annual plate auction is 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 12 at The Center for the Arts. Tickets are $47 and available through the Center Box Office.

About Meg Daly

Meg Daly is a freelance writer and arts instigator. She grew up in Jackson in the 1970s and 80s, when there were fewer fences, but less culture. Follow Meg on Twitter @MegDaly1

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