On the evening of September 22, 2023, the Art Association of Jackson Hole celebrated 60 years of being the oldest visual arts nonprofit organization in Jackson, Wyoming. The guests entered through a festive archway made of balloons that of course followed the identifiable hot pink color scheme. The theme was the 60s, so many adorned bell bottom pants and nostalgic jewelry. DJ Crayon played era music, and as the night progressed, more folks congregated on the dance floor. Delicious 60s themed hors d’oeuvres from Knotty Apron were shared throughout the evening, and the champagne sparkled like the sequins dotting the tablecloths. Conversation flowed throughout the night among guests. Attendees included artists, board members, parents of art students, staff, art lovers, long time residents of the community, and so many more. What joined everyone together was an immense appreciation for the arts and more specifically a shared excitement in celebrating the legacy and future of the Art Association of Jackson Hole.
Thank you to everyone who made this night possible, especially our largest sponsor Jackson Hole Jewelry Company. Also special thanks to our additional sponsors including Taylor Piggott Gallery, First Interstate Bank, National Museum of Wildlife Art, Graze Garden and Home (for their beautiful floral arrangements), and of course the beautiful venue of the Virginian Lodge. To continue supporting the Art Association and get your holiday shopping done at the same time, shop at Jackson Hole Jewelry Company this October and 10% of your purchase will be donated to our nonprofit if you choose the Art Association online or in-person at checkout.
Thank you to our event attendees, many of whom fill our classrooms, use our studio spaces, and most importantly – make art with us! The Art Association thrives because of our supportive and incredibly creative community that we have worked to serve for the past 60 years. Together we can continue this legacy so that the Art Association of Jackson Hole remains a place where everyone can feel at home. Making art makes Jackson whole!
Jackson Hole is a town that draws countless outdoor recreation enthusiasts, naturalists, sight-seers, and artists! Some may be surprised to find that Jackson is a hub for the arts community, but many folks who have experienced this place know of the special power of both the environment and the community that makes Jackson a place of bountiful creation.
This is the 58th year of the Art Fair Jackson Hole, and we’re incredibly excited about the artisans we have gathered to share and sell their work. In July we had the first Art Fair of the Summer, and we have our second and last Art Fair this weekend, August 18th-20th, where returning and new artists will share their work. Our staff at the Art Association of Jackson Hole has worked hard to curate a talented and diverse group of artists that residents and visitors of Jackson Hole will love. During the last Art Fair, we spoke with various artists about their work as well as their motives behind coming to our town of Jackson to share their craft.
The Alpine Studio was created by Ariel Rodriguez from Gardiner, Montana. This is her first time at Art Fair Jackson Hole. Rodriguez creates detailed scratchboard works of various animals found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and adds bursts of color using india ink. Living so close to Yellowstone, she finds herself constantly drawing inspiration from her surroundings. Rodriguez has been creating her scratchboards for the last three years, and has always loved being creative. Rodriguez hopes to succeed in “capturing the true magical yet fierce essence of Yellowstone wildlife through different mediums.”
Salvaged Sisters was started by stylish sisters Anne and Mary from Utah. A love of thrifting quickly turned into a creative business endeavor for the two. After over 40 years of working in corporate America, Anne and Mary decided to follow their passion and create one of a kind clothes from their thrifted finds. They had a very organic start giving their clothing creations to family, then friends, then eventually selling at farmers and art markets. Exploring their booth, you will find lots of cargo and camo styles with unique embellishments. They decided to come to the Art Fair Jackson Hole for the first time this year because of their love of the mountains.
J2 Antler Designs is the family run business of Jorge Meneses, Francisca Galicia, and Jorge Meneses Jr. The family has been living in Jackson for over 20 years. They make lamps, chandeliers, bottle openers, and much more from antlers found in the Jackson area. Jorge Jr. explains that they buy the antlers from boy scouts during the yearly antler auction in Jackson town square. It is important to them that they support the community of Jackson however they can. Community is a big reason why the family loves participating in the Art Fair Jackson Hole. Jorge Jr. says that it is fun to get to know fellow locals and become more integrated in the community.
Acquainted with Butterflies are 4th time returnees of the Art Fair Jackson Hole. Visit their stand and you will be met with numerous displays of vibrant butterflies behind glass. The origin of these beautiful insects is a fascinating story. The couple that owns the business buys the butterflies from all over the world from places including Indonesia, the Philippines, the Amazon, and throughout the United States. Many of these butterfly farms use the profit they make from selling butterflies to make a living rather than clear-cutting forests for lumber. A large portion of these butterflies are released into the wild to support endangered and threatened butterfly species. One specific butterfly, the Birdwing, was displayed at the store’s booth. The owner explains how in the 70s this butterfly was close to extinction, but then the local people signed a treaty that allowed them to raise and revitalize the population. Acquainted with Butterflies displays the beauty of different butterfly species from around the world.
RK Artwork was started by Rachel Kozlowski from Utah. Her watercolor paintings of anthropomorphic animals are captivating and fun. She brings her love of painting, illustration, photography, and sewing to each and every product. RK Artwork focuses on designing and crafting items that are unique and one-of-a-kind which will bring a sense of whimsy into your home. Kozlowski explains that she wants to create art that is lighthearted and makes people happy. She is a long-time vendor of the Art Fair Jackson Hole, and she shares how she is drawn back every year to the community of kind and inspiring people she encounters while here.
Authentic is run by certified herbalist Dawn Olsen. Olsen has a background in conventional pre-med, but had a change of heart when western medicine failed to work for her medical needs. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery with an emphasis on women’s health, and widened her reach to other people once she worked out her own health. Olsen found that it was incredibly hard to source quality ingredients, so she decided to start a garden. She is based out of the high Rockies in Colorado, and she explains how plants that grow in such tough conditions produce incredibly powerful medicinal properties. Her hemp is grown in the agricultural region on the Western Slope of Colorado. Fresh plants work, and that’s what she uses in all of her products in skincare including balms for pain, tinctures, and body oils. Olsen emphasizes that what she does is botanical art, and it is as much an artistic process as painting a canvas.
Savannah Rose Wildlife was created by local wildlife photographer, Savannah Rose. She has a fine arts degree where she pursued drawing. She began taking photographs for reference pictures to draw from, then quickly realized that hiking and taking photographs was way more fun for her than working with pen and paper. Rose loves being outside, and explains how the switch to this more outdoorsy and physically adventurous art-form greatly helped her mental health. In her booth, a striking photograph of a mountain lion is displayed, a reward from a long day of tracking.
Spruced Plume was created by a hunter who really disliked wasting parts of the animals that she couldn’t eat or use in other ways, so she found a use. Haley Fitzgerald has had her business for seven years, utilizing bird feathers to adorn different kinds of hats. Fitzgerald tries her best to be sustainable by buying local meat and fish, and hunting the rest of her food. She refuses to buy any feathers for her business, and so consequently her product production stops for the year when she has used all the feathers from her hunting. Fitzgerald also sells leather products such as a belt made from the hide of a mule deer. Whole-animal use is her mission, and she centers all of her work with Spruced Plume around this.
From butterflies to balms, Art Fair Jackson Hole is a place where artisans of all kinds gather to share their products with the community. Whether you are buying for yourself or another, there is something for everyone.
Art Fair Jackson Hole is our largest fundraising event of the year. All proceeds, including artist application, booth fees and admission, directly benefit the Art Association’s mission to provide art education for ages one to 100. Thank you so much for your support! The Art Fair Jackson Hole is worth attending both weeks, and if you’ve missed the first, come tomorrow and check out all the artisan made goods!
On August 1st, the Teton Plein Air Painters met at the Gros Ventre Cliffs in Kelly, WY to set up their easels and paint the diverse landscape surrounding them. The cliffs are depicted in oranges, tans, and reds, while the conifers inspire deep earthy greens. The river meanders through the landscape and the canvas, a refreshing body of blue that cools the artist while the brisk morning turns into a warm afternoon. Anne Newcomb and Mary Lohuis sit in camp chairs in the grassy clearing, catching up as old friends do after time apart. The two ladies have known each other since their children attended school together. Both have lived in Jackson since the early 60s, and are proud to call this beautiful place their home. Painting outdoors, or en plein air, is a passion of both of theirs. As we talk, the two stop and turn their attention to a dark bird flying high above us in the sky above us. They briefly discuss whether it is a raven or a crow, and mutually admire the soaring creature. Thus, the spontaneous magic of painting outside.
Anne Newcomb is an avid watercolor artist, and has had her work in three Teton Plein Air Showcases, including the one exhibiting right now in the Art Association of Jackson Hole’s Gallery. Newcomb loves seeing her fellow painting friends at every meet up, and she feels supported by the community of painters. Lately, her focus has been on patterns and values. She wants to capture the darks of the conifer trees and the lights of the cliffs.
Mary Lohuis explains that the Teton Plein Air group is an incentive for her to consistently paint. With weekly meetups in different locations and monthly critiques, the group is dedicated to growth and support. The group was formed around 11 years ago, and is continuously growing.
June Nystrom used to teach elementary school art, and now paints with the Teton Plein Air Painters. Nystrom enjoys having people to talk to with similar interests, as well as the unpredictability of the landscape. A couple of boys jump off the cliffs she is painting which brings a smile to her face.
A little ways away is Eliot Goss, a seasoned painter with a background in engineering. Goss also enjoys the community aspect of this group and the kindness that comes with it. The kindness is clear from the smiling faces the moment I arrive, to the offerings of water bottles and sun coverings as the day grows hotter. These folks care about each other, whether you have been a part of the group for 5 years or 5 minutes.
Painting outside can be a mental and physical challenge. An artist must withstand the elements, transport their painting supplies to the site, while also minding the critters that live there. Some of the artists swat at mosquitoes that inhabit the riverbanks of the Gros Ventre. The mental challenge comes with attempting to create an art piece despite all the obstacles that come with painting on scene. Regardless of the mental and physical exertion, the immense pleasure and inspiration that comes with painting en plein air is what draws the painters back week after week.
Currently there is the annual Teton Plein Air exhibit in the Art Association of Jackson Hole’s main gallery. This year’s exhibition, Seasons in Plein Air, celebrates all the seasons of the Jackson Hole area as seen through the eyes of these artists. The show will remain on display through August 18th in the gallery. Stop by during store hours to view the hard work of the artists and even take home a piece of artwork! All of the work in the gallery is available for purchase and supports the Plein Air Painters.
The Teton Plein Air Painters group is always looking for more creative individuals to join their community. To join the group, you must be a member at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, then you can request to be added to the email list for the Plein Air Painters. These artists paint in sun, rain, and snow. Take advantage of these final months of summer by painting under the sun with the Teton Plein Air Painters!
People of all ages, ethnicities, races, and sexualities engage with art daily. The beauty of the practice is that one can safely explore with uninhibited creation. Many people engage with different mediums as a way to dive deeper into understanding themselves, as well as making sense of the world around them.
This June we celebrated “Pride Month,” an occasion with historic roots, that focuses on acceptance, commemoration, and celebration of the LGBTQIA2S+ folks, also referred to as the queer community. The arts and the queer community have been intertwined since people first began to create art, and this is largely because art is a way to express oneself, and every human regardless of their identity works towards expressing themselves in one way or another.
Cara O’Connor, our awesome Studio Coordinator at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, studied printmaking in college and teaches many classes in the medium in addition to her duties of taking care of our studio spaces.
O’Connor speaks to the positivity that art has on people, “The process of putting something into the world in an intentional way helps one define their own values and their own voice. It helps them take pride in who they are.” O’Connor is excited about the celebrations this month, and agrees that art is a vital element in the queer community.
“Art has always been trying to push boundaries. It’s essential that art is inclusive to all because in any knowledge-seeking endeavor, you never want to close it off to one populous, because then it wouldn’t be true. All voices and points of view need to be included in order for an accurate depiction of our world,” O’Connor says, her words ringing with awareness and validity.
Through the exploration of diverse voices and visions, we are left with a beautiful collective mural of what it means to be a creative community. We are incredibly lucky and thankful to have a space where people with all different identities can come together to create. Artists are visual storytellers of the human experience, and the more voices we can include in our stories, the clearer we can see the world.
When asked how the community of Jackson can work towards making everyone feel safe and accepted, O’Connor says, “It’s the little things like putting up a Pride flag or respecting people’s pronouns that make a big difference.” O’Connor is excited about the Pride events that happen in the area, specifically the Victor Pride parade where she sold her T-shirts in support of Pride Month.
At the Art Association of Jackson Hole, we are proud to be an organization that not only supports, but welcomes all individuals into our studios. We hope that you take a class with us or become a member and add to the diverse story we are telling of Jackson Hole through art!
Jackson is a community that has a global influence with a local focus. Teton ArtLab, a project transformed into a nonprofit, has been around since 2008 and was founded by Travis Walker and Tristan Greszko. The project emerged as a way to provide affordable studio and exhibition space for artists in one of the nation’s most expensive locations. Their focus is both on the local and global scale. Teton ArtLab continues to provide studio spaces for artists. The organization distributes over $50,000 in stipends to artists they host from 27 states and 5 countries. These artists are given a room at the local Anvil Hotel. The Art Association of Jackson Hole has been partnering with Teton ArtLab in efforts to assist visiting artists and also to utilize their visit to provide unique art education to our Jackson community. So far this year, we have welcomed five visiting artists into our studios to work on projects and share their vision and processes with the public through a capstone artist talk. We are thankful for the successful partnership between Teton ArtLab and the Art Association, and the strengthening of both of our missions by working in collaboration. If you haven’t attended an artist talk, keep your eyes peeled for them next year! For now, check out the Uncommon Artist highlights below from some of the really unique and interesting folks we’ve met so far.
Katrin Schnabl perches on a stool wrapped in colorful fabrics and surveys the room behind light pink glasses. Behind her is a tall piece of fabric that moves ever so slightly from a mysterious undetectable breeze. Movement is key here. For Schnabl, movement is at the center of her work in visual arts and design. Schnabl grew up as a dancer in Frankfurt, Germany, then moved to New York where she honed her skills both on and off stage. She shifted her focus less towards the dancer themselves and more about what they wore, and how they wore it. It became imperative that the dancers’ movements were not inhibited by what they wore, but were enhanced. She took to designing elaborate outfits for performers that flowed with them rather than holding them back. Soon, she shifted towards fashion off the dance floor, and worked with renowned designers such as Jill Sanders and Caroline Herrera before launching her independent fashion label “Miche.Kimsa.” One of the most fascinating aspects of Schnabl’s work is that she doesn’t limit her designs to the body, she creates pieces that can stand alone as well as be worn. She motions to what she is wearing and explains that it hung as an art piece before she turned it into a wearable piece. Schnabl is fascinated with creating kinetic experiences, or experiences surrounding motion. She is enthralled with the intersectionality of everything, and views her textile art as being a “skin” of sorts. The human body is one of the inspirations for her work. Seeing the connections between different mediums and phenomena is a powerful insight for artists, and it is one that can open doors to new creative possibilities.
Nina Nichols is standing over a massive neon pink log in the middle of the studio. “It looks phallic, but I promise it’s not supposed to be,” she says half apologetically and half with a chuckle. Nichols fusses around the ambiguous object, pulling at the pink material that acts like a stretchy skin, revealing earthy wood beneath it with flecks of bark and dirt sloughing off. “There is a spider nest inside this tree, but it’s supposed to eventually be a home for squirrels.” All the spectators seem to eye the log a little more closely, expecting to see spiders emerging and running around the studio. This bright pink log is not any random craft – it is a carefully thought out project with immense meaning behind it. Nichols is a mold maker, who has made everything from rubber knives, concrete busts of philosophers, to foam blocks of fake cocaine. She started out as a prop maker for films, and ended up on the journey of her own exploration where her craft became an artform that took on its own meaning. She now creates large installations that she often describes as “monuments.” Nichols’ work is focused on ecocentric art making; honoring plants, animals, rivers, and much more. Nichols is as much an artist as she is an environmental advocate. She serves on the committee in her town in North Carolina dedicated to environmental health, and feels passionate about the issues surrounding the land degradation that results from cattle grazing. Much of the land in her home state of North Carolina is deforested, causing a reduction in squirrel habitat, which was an inspiration for this pink log project. The pinkness is just a cast for the final tree which will stand in sturdy cement. Nichols explains how she is trying to get away from using cement because it is one of the most destructive building materials one can use. She used to like using resin, but the dangers of it were revealed when two people in New Orleans died from repetitive inhalation over time. Nichols is dedicated to “gardening” her way through the challenges of climate change. “Gardening,” she describes, is an all-encompassing term that involves working with nature, not leaving a negative mark on the land, and slowing down to listen to the environment. Nichols works to “unbuild” herself and the things she creates by creating structures that will eventually return back to the earth, or be reclaimed by nature such as being inhabited by animals and insects or taken over by lichen and moss. Western ideas of property ownership dictate that one can do whatever they want on their property, but Nichols argues that we must think of the repercussions. Fallen structures can leach harmful chemicals into the soil and waterways, which has a far greater impact on plants, wildlife, and eventually humans as well. Nichols bought a partially burnt down house that was left in North Carolina, and is now making it her project to restore it and build a flora-filled haven in the basement, sustained by a tall structure in the center covered with mirrors to reflect sunlight downwards. This project is symbolic of the meaning behind Nichols’ work – to create something out of what nature is already providing us or that humans left behind, that will benefit the environment, animals, and the perspective of humans.
Alise Anderson perches on a stool, quietly waiting for everyone to settle into their seats. Behind her is a projection on a screen that looks like a scrapbook. Anderson moved to Salt Lake City, Utah during the start of the pandemic and never left. Her grandmother lived outside the city, and is a major influencer of her work. Anderson explains how her grandmother passed away in 2018, and left behind a whole collection of archives that include every movie her grandmother ever watched and journals of daily tasks she accomplished. Her grandmother also did countless needlepoint works, and left many as her “funeral gift” to loved ones after she passed away. Anderson was fascinated by her grandmother, and this translated into a collection of work in sculpture and other forms of art to try and share this very interesting life and the transition to death. The exhibit is called “my grandma is a meme,” aptly named because her grandmother is actually an internet sensation. Look up “grandmaflouge” to find a cute woman who is wearing the same color clothes as the chair she is sitting on. Anderson’s exploration of her grandmother’s life shows a unique perspective that wouldn’t normally be examined so closely and publicly. Her work shows us that curiosities, humor, and art can be found in surprising places.
Brian Foughy stands in front of the room with a projection of his face on the screen and “Who is this guy…” in a large font. This is a guy who loves the internet, words, and public restrooms. The internet is where he started his exploration of uninhibited creation. Originally from Massachusetts and now living in Denver, he has been working with code and design throughout his journeys. Foughy started off by creating websites where people could sign up to take him to the airport or to their family’s Thanksgiving when he couldn’t go home. He has built many websites such as an anonymous twitter website called “canttweetthis.com,” and a website for festival attendees that Brian says is “a venue for attendees and haters to vent about the happenings of the festival without having to own up to it.” He is currently working on projects in “collecting words,” where he takes photographs of signs or vandalism of words that stick out to him in a meaningful way. He found a French publisher who loved his idea, and together they created a book of these words and photographs. His greatest passion at the moment is urinals. He travels all around the country while working his remote advertising job, taking photographs of urinals that stand out to him. He says, “Urinals are beautiful and I want people to appreciate them.” What he really loves is the adventures that come with taking these photographs, such as the interesting conversations and connections with people at each location. In Denver, he started a project where he hung the photographs he took above each urinal. Next to the photographs is a QR code to invite men to share their experience while using that urinal, anonymously of course. Foughy explains that he loves showing work outside of galleries so that everyone can see it. Women may not be able to see his urinal photos or interact with them, but they can view a large collection in his book “occupied” which was also produced by the same French publisher. Foughy explains how he wants to show people how connected “human nature is with physical nature.” He says the forest draws us in just like the internet and food does. By taking photographs, he is trying to make these man made things more important and valued by people.
Joni Sternbach smiles at the front of the room as it fills with surfers. Yes, that’s right, surfers in the landlocked state of Wyoming who surf the various rivers around the Tetons. Sternbach is a photographer from the Bronx, New York who grew up trying to find her voice through the lens of a camera. She began by taking photos of her cousin Lana, then later her focus shifted to the ocean. The ocean has always felt like home to Sternbach, and she believes that drawing attention to our seas is becoming more important as global water issues increase. Her first emotions towards surfers was annoyance because they were invading her frame, but then she soon realized that she wanted them to totally encompass her shot. Her project called “Surfland” was born. She began taking photos of various surfers around the world using the collodion process, which results in a very striking image. Sternbach explains that this process of taking photographs has the “ability of capturing something essential” and leaves a lot up to “chance and spontaneity.” Since she develops all of her photos on site, she is exposed to the elements and has to take into consideration how the weather will impact her process. Sternbach took a surfing lesson or two, but she says that she is not a surfer. Sternbach might not regularly surf, but she is heavily involved in the surf culture and understands surfer’s needs to experience the sublime through this sometimes very extreme sport. Just like many people are obsessed with and romanticize the western cowboy culture, Sternbach claims that surfers are another identity that is exemplary of the idealism of a free and untamed life. Sternbach says that,“Living in the moment brings peace. I’m not sure if surfing brought me peace, but it brought purpose.”
Whether it is trying to save the planet through sculpture or finding beauty and laughter through the exploration of public restrooms, art is incredibly dynamic and each artist has their own unique vision. Through the Uncommon Artist residency program, we have met some incredible artists that each share their own fascinating perspective. Expanding perspective is the key to growth, and at the Art Association, we aim to foster an environment of growth and learning for our community. Thank you to the Teton ArtLab, all the fascinating visiting artists, and all members of our supportive artistic community here at the Art Association!
Are you wanting to get more involved with your local arts community? Well, look no further! Membership at the Art Association of Jackson Hole is a fantastic way to do just that, all the while supporting impactful work that is dedicated to bringing art education opportunities to everyone in our Jackson community. Our members enjoy a number of fantastic perks, and we’re excited to talk about how to get the most out of your membership (and if you’re not a member – why you should become one!
1. Discounts on classes
If you are an avid class-taker or would like to be, 10% off can make a huge difference! If you take more than one class a year, your family or individual membership usually pays for itself! The discount is also super helpful for parents that sign their kiddos up for multiple classes each year. Just make sure you use your code at checkout! We have a large variety of classes that change month to month, so always keep your eyes out for our newsletter or check our class pages.
2. Discounts on store purchases
We are proud to have the only art supply store in Jackson, and what’s better than shopping at your favorite local nonprofit? Be sure to inform the cashier of your membership at checkout to receive 10% off. The Art Supply Store has watercolor, oil, acrylic paints, and brushes. We also have a variety of pencils, calligraphy, pens, charcoal, printmaking, canvases, ceramics, india ink, coloring books, how-to books, kids supplies, and so much more! With new items constantly being stocked, be sure to come by to check in and also to say hello!
3. Access our Studios
Don’t have your own workplace or the necessary supplies at home? Want a change of scenery for inspiration? Well, you’re in luck! We have 5 studios that can be accessed during the duration of your class or with an open studio pass. Open studio passes are only available if you are a member, and trust us you’ll definitely want to spend some time outside of class in these spaces.
– Linda McGregor Ceramics Studio: Located on the first floor at the south end of the Center for the Arts building. The 2,050 square foot studio is equipped with twelve wheels, a slab roller and an extruder. Our studio primarily fires to Cone 10 reduction in our two downdraft natural gas kilns and can also fire to Cone 6 oxidation in the electric kilns. Many clays are available for purchase in this studio!
– Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Studio: Located on the third floor of the Center for the Arts building. This 1,750 square foot studio includes easels, drawing horses, and still life materials. Our printmaking area includes a Takach press, an exposure unit, a T-shirt screen printing station, and various other printmaking tools/materials.
– Multi-Purpose Studio: Located above the Ceramics Studio at the south end of the Art Association on South Glenwood. This 1,700 square foot studio is equipped with 4 large garage doors for moving large pieces through or for additional ventilation, a silversmithing area, a small woodworking area and a glass kiln.
– Photography and Digital Arts Studio: Located on the third floor of the Center for the Arts building. The 450 square foot digital lab is equipped with a film/document scanner, inkjet photo printer, and iMac computers with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Suite. The 500 square foot traditional darkroom includes processing chemicals, use of enlargers, film developing room, and archival washers.
– Borshell Children’s Studio: Located on the third floor of the Center for the Arts building directly next to the Art Association offices. This bright studio is equipped with youth focused supplies and materials.
4. Participation in the Annual Members’ Show & Sale
This annual show is one of the most exciting exhibitions of the year. We are proud of our talented member community and we love to showcase their work as well as making it available for sale. The Annual Members’ Show and Sale is only open to members of the Art Association, so take advantage of this great opportunity to share your work! This year’s show is currently on exhibition, so be sure to stop by. Thank you to everyone who contributed this year, and if you didn’t we hope you do next year!
5. Become listed in the Artist Directory
If you are an artist who wants your work easily accessed, you can have your profile listed on the Artist Directory for free! This page is a great place for folks to find you as well as your website, social media, Etsy, or any place where you show and sell your work.
6. Swanky Lounge Access
Did you know that we have a super cool lounge and Art Resource Library space on the second floor of our gallery? This space is amazing for getting in some reading, studying, or peace and quiet. We also usually have artwork on display, so you can sit and ponder the meaning of art or life while relaxing on an incredibly comfortable couch. The gallery is open from 10am-4pm daily!
7. Being a part of a dynamic creative community
The most wholesome perk of being a member of the Art Association of Jackson Hole is the community it creates. When people join something, they are showing their mutual support. Our community of members value the process of making art together and understands the importance of art education for all. This is a powerful message that binds us together and provides the dual benefits of supporting each other as artists as well as the philanthropic mission of providing art education to everyone in our community here in Jackson Hole.
If you are a member, we hope that you feel supported and informed. If you are not a member yet, we encourage you to join us in all of our fun! Membership is a fantastic way to be a part of a growing artistic community as well as supporting the Art Association of Jackson Hole. If you have any questions regarding membership, please contact Emma our Membership Coordinator at email@example.com!
Strong communities are vital. When people come together in shared purpose and joy, they not only feel their best, but also enrich the greater whole. Vibrant communities foster a social connection that improves mental health and inspires a mindset of growth and support. The Art Association of Jackson Hole is the oldest community in the valley for visual artists to gather and share, sell, and create art. During the month of May, we are celebrating our community of Art Association members that play a critical role in supporting our efforts to continue to bring art education to Jackson. Each member of our community brings their own unique talents and knowledge that adds to the richness of our collective whole. We had the opportunity to speak to a few special members that chose to weave themselves into our continuously growing story. Their special words speak to the power of gathering in shared passions.
Writer, musician, and visual artist Susan Marsh came to Jackson in 1988 and, like many of us, fell in love with the spectacular beauty of the forests and mountains. She worked for the Forest Service for many years before retiring and diving into more creative pursuits. Over the years, she has taken various classes in watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting. Marsh says that she is proud to be a member and sponsor of the Art Association. Marsh joined the partner of the Art Association, the Teton Plein Air Painters, in 2012, and finds great pleasure in gathering every week in the summer to paint. The community of artists is what Marsh values the most, and the encouragement of her peers and teachers.
Wildlife painter Patricia Griffin has been finding inspiration in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for 30 years. Griffin has found immense pleasure and purpose in depicting wildlife in her paintings. “Wildlife art touches people on a spiritual level,” she says. She hopes that her art inspires people to care more about animals and see them in an individual way, worthy of not only our admiration, but consideration. Griffin became a member at the Art Association in 2021, and participated in many events prior. She is a strong believer that people should try all kinds of art, which is quite possible to do at the Art Association. Griffin loves to take ceramics, and appreciates the challenge of trying something new. As a strong proponent of Art Education and a teacher of art for over 30 years, she believes that learning about art “opens doors to the inner you and paves the path for self-realization and growth.”
Retired professional potter and current painter Anne Newcomb has been involved with the Art Association of Jackson Hole since we first began in 1963. She fondly remembers selling handmade plastic ornaments at some of the earliest art fairs where proceeds helped many artists get through tough winters in a Jackson that looked very different from today. Newcomb says that the Art Association has always been so supportive, and it is a community that depends on each other. “I wouldn’t still be doing art if not for the Art Association,” Newcomb says. She loves the watercolor classes here, and often joins the Plein Air Painters. When asked about the value of art education, Newcomb energetically explains that it is critical.
She goes on to say that all forms of art draw attention to the world and give one the opportunity to express what may be difficult to say with words. Newcomb says that she loves beauty, and art gives you the opportunity to thoroughly appreciate the beauty of the world. Newcomb always contributes to the Member’s Show. This show takes place every Spring as an opportunity for our members to showcase and sell their work. This show is open right now and will be available for viewing until May 25th.
Here at the Art Association, we are incredibly thankful for our members who help to support us. In return, we aim to support them as well by creating a community and providing opportunities to enrich their artistic endeavors. Whether you call yourself an artist or not, the label does not affect art’s ability to heal and inspire. We encourage folks to join us by becoming a member this May. If you are already a member, thank you! We appreciate your support, and encourage you to inspire your friends to join. This month, all new members and anyone who gets a friend to join will receive a handmade spring-themed card created by artists who work here at the Art Association.
All are welcome to come view the Member’s Show, “Making Art Makes Us Whole” which will be on display until May 25th. Also, be sure to come to the Member’s Event on May 18th from 5-7pm. We hope to see you there!
Dahee Kim, “김다희” in Korean, taught the very first ceramics class I took at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. She uses a method called “throwing off the hump” which basically means you start with a large amount of clay and make your piece on top of that large mound. This technique is relatively uncommon, as many people typically throw their clay directly on the wheel. “Throwing off the hump” can be daunting at first, especially for newbies, but I felt comfortable under Kim’s direction. Even though Kim is a new teacher, she navigates the wheel with expert authority, and clearly has experience directing novices like myself. Dahee Kim’s journey to the Art Association and her passion for teaching the arts is as unique and inspiring as her craft.
Kim grew up in South Korea before moving to the states soon after college. The years of her youth were very formative of her identity as a multi-medium artist. She has been creating art ever since she could hold a pencil. Her parents were very supportive of her artistic exploration which helped tremendously in her journey. Kim says that a big inspiration for her work was her father, a lover of art himself. Her father loved Bob Ross, and they would watch his videos over and over again together.
Kim recalls a story her mom told her when she was just two years old, “I would spend four or five hours drawing and be so happy. My mom told me that I once cut my finger with scissors and didn’t notice at all and continued drawing for hours.” Some might say Kim became lost in this world of artistic expression, but she was very much found. This feeling of happiness that Kim describes is still the main driving force behind her work today.
In psychology, this “zone” that Kim enters when she creates art could be described as a “flow state.” In Flow: The Psychology of Happiness, Hungarian-American scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines this state as, “Concentration is so intense that no attention is left over to think about anything irrelevant or to worry about problems. Self-consciousness disappears, and the sense of time becomes distorted.” The benefits of working in this state include deep concentration, pursuing meaningful work, and overall elation. Many artists experience this state of mind, as creation is a powerful mechanism to inspire one to be present in the task at hand.
Kim always knew that creating art felt right, but during her adolescent years, she thought she wanted to pursue being a lawyer. When her high school art teacher strongly suggested that she pursue an art major in college, Kim realigned her priorities with her passions. When it came time to take one of the most important pre-college tests in South Korea, the CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test), she studied hard so that she could get into a good college to continue her studies. Kim describes this test as one of the most intensive and stressful experiences for South Korean students. They spend years preparing for this one test that determines whether they will be able to get into a university. There are great lengths taken to ensure students pass this exam. Planes do not land or take off during the exam, vehicles stay clear of roads to ensure students can make it on time, parents pray, and police escort students to their testing sites. Since Kim was entering college as an art major, she stayed after school to prepare for a painting skills test in addition to the main university test.
Kim passed these stressful tests and in 2009 enrolled herself at Seoul National University of Technology and Science majoring in Ceramic Design. Here she learned how to throw off the hump, plaster molding, hand building, and computer design. She blended her love of ceramics and drawing by creating painted designs on her ceramics pieces. Kim started to develop her own artistic style which she describes as delicate patterns. “Recently, I love to make pieces inspired from lace patterns, especially from nature like grapes, leaves, fruits, etc. I am passionate about making more detailed decorations on my ceramic art pieces.” While in college, she also pursued studies in education, and says, “I wanted to be the professor. I always wanted to teach and taught part time while in college.”
Kim graduated in 2014 and soon married her husband Chris. After two years in South Korea, they moved to the United States. Her focus on ceramics was put on pause as she dealt with health issues in her family, followed by being a new mother.
Today, Kim teaches ceramics classes at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. She has found a place to dive back into teaching, and says that she is so excited about this new endeavor. Kim explains how art education is incredibly important for youth, “Art education helps kids’ minds, and gives them a sense of achievement. They are proud of producing things for themselves. Their imagination is just amazing!”
When I was throwing off the hump in Kim’s class for the first time, I told her that I was pretty bad at ceramics. She insisted that I was not, and to keep practicing at it. Kim emphasizes that there is no “bad” art. She says, “Picasso is a great artist, but to some people his work looks terrible. What you express – that’s what matters. There will always be some people who will like it.”
Dahee Kim explains that since moving to Jackson, she has been exploring new styles of art. Kim tries to make pieces that people will like because she understands the reality behind creating art for a living. She says, “I struggle with the choice of making something I love or making something other people will love. I feel like I need to put the “Jackson theme” in my pieces for people to buy them and notice my artwork. It’s sometimes hard to be inspired by making things that you don’t love.” It is true that a ceramic bowl with a fox on it would sell pretty fast here in the popular mountain town of Jackson. This conundrum plagues many artists who make a living off of selling their art. Many must weigh popular opinion with their own vision.
Kim understands the styles that are popular in Jackson, but still pursues styles of her own as well. The balance of following one’s own artistic passions with the mindset of creating a profitable business is key for artists. Kim has experienced a life an ocean away from Jackson, and people would greatly benefit from her unique artistic expression. These are the types of experiences that bridge worlds and spread new ideas. Even though Kim might be shifting her style a bit as she adjusts to new clients in Jackson, she says that it’s important to be open to new styles and ideas because otherwise you may isolate yourself and limit your ability to grow. It’s a balance on both ends of expanding yourself while also sharing and nurturing your own artistic style and experience.
Dahee Kim’s artistic impact on the community of Jackson is growing day by day. The Art Association is incredibly thankful to have her teaching various ceramics classes in our studios and sharing her unique techniques with students of all ages. Outside of the Art Association, Dahee Kim works in her home studio on ceramics, drawings, and paintings – oftentimes producing work for private clients. Kim shares that she is also working with Teton County on their initiative Road to Zero Waste (R2ZW) Public Art Program. She was selected to create an art installation in the town of Jackson, where she will use recycled clay and crushed glass bottles as a glaze in a large public art display. Kim is excited about this opportunity to implement her art in Jackson as well as partnering with this positive initiative.
Every road an artist takes is different from the next, and we are fortunate that Dahee Kim’s road includes a stop at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. If you are interested in exploring new ways to create art, take one of Kim’s ceramics classes and explore all of the wonderful classes and teachers that the Art Association has. Identity of a place is important, but so is opening our eyes to new ideas and opportunities that greatly enrich our lives.
By: Emma Keinath-Lopez
Art Association of Jackson Hole board chair Scotty Craighead is more than an influential figure at the Association. He is also an avid artist who, like many here in Jackson, is captivated by the raw beauty of this wild place. Through mixed media, he captures images of this place in a way that cannot be experienced with the naked eye. Craighead finds this landscape inspirational, and has been exploring this place since he was a child.
Craighead grew up right outside of Jackson in Kelly, Wyoming. His parents enrolled him in the after school art program at the Art Association of Jackson Hole when he was in first grade. He reflects fondly on his time spent in the studios. Most memorable was his class with Art Association Executive Director Bronwyn Minton, where he engaged in glass blowing to make pendants and marbles. In high school, he took an art class with Ben Roth who taught welding and industrial art. Fascinated by the way things are created, he became interested in art as a way to create and capture beauty. There is value in something existing just for the sake of beauty. Craighead explains how creating beauty allows for “appreciation of the world around us and ensures we do not take it for granted.”
Craighead sure did appreciate the world as a youngster. With a wonderful view of the Tetons right outside his front door, he was inspired to go on numerous outdoor adventures. For some, adventure on its own is not enough to explore this place. Craighead saw art as a unique way of interacting with this place. He went on to study printmaking and photography in college. When Craighead came home after graduating, he wanted to find new ways to see, so he eventually found his passion for seeing the world through the eye of a camera.
Photography by Scotty Craighead – Photograph of exhibit captured by Tristan Greszko
Craighead’s journey into macro ice photography seems like a natural step for him in the progression of his journey in the arts. His particular fascination examining the unique structure of ice crystals seems similar to learning how metal or glass molds together to create their own unique shapes and forms. With photography, Craighead is motivated to step out into the natural world and interact with it in an intentional way. He stops, crouches down in the snow, and goes hunting for the most beautiful and fascinating crystals that require close examination with the help of his camera.
Photograph captured by Tristan Greszko
Once he has the photographs, Craighead either allows them to stand alone in stark singularity, or finds a way to manipulate their appearance to create something entirely different, but still very much an ode to the natural world’s beauty. When he first began to create collages, he would use a spray-on adhesive which he describes as a messy fail. Now, he uses a clear acrylic to adhere the photographs together. He recalls walking down by the Snake River when he first started examining snow up close, and eventually pulling out his camera and realizing he struck gold, or really cool ice in his case. Craighead was excited by his discovery of hidden beauty, and wanted to share what he found with others. In 2014 he presented “#IceChronicles” at Pearl St. Bagels, a Jackson classic spot. This was just the beginning of sharing his work. Craighead went on to present in various exhibitions in Jackson, Denver, and Portland. However, the magic of the Tetons and a special community of people drew him back to Jackson, the place he calls home.
In 2018, Craighead decided to join the board of directors at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, becoming its chair in 2021. Craighead said that he wanted to give back to the organization that provided so much inspiration to him in his childhood and into his adult life. As a supporter and creator of art, he believes that “art is vital in any culture and community” that the Art Association “creates exposure to others that might not be otherwise exposed.” When it comes to art’s role in society, he agrees that it acts as a healing force for many. Beyond what art does for one on a personal level, Craighead is a proponent of utilizing art to bring awareness to the beauty of the natural world. This attention to natural beauty not only engages the viewer but also inspires people to want to protect what they see. In such a time when the topic of climate and environmentalism is incredibly heated, Craighead reflects, “maybe we need art more than ever right now.”
Photograph captured by Tristan Greszko
Craighead’s work in macro ice photography pulls the viewer into a perspective that highlights the small wonders of nature. By pausing to appreciate these mini phenomena, hopefully viewers will become inspired to dive deeper into the world themselves, and dare to create beauty from beauty itself. Craighead came full circle back to the Art Association of Jackson Hole where he started and continues to further his passion for creating art and encouraging others to explore different mediums and unlock their own creative potential. Finding inspiration from nature is a beautiful thing. Acting on inspiration and turning it into beautiful, impactful art is the next step. Find an outlet for your inspiration by journeying into our studios to discover your medium, or to explore the blurred boundaries of creation and the power of free expression!
Photography by Scotty Craighead
Art Association of Jackson Hole board member Agnes Bourne was three years old when she designed her very first home. I haven’t seen this design, but through Bourne’s vivid descriptions, it easily became my favorite of her work. Complete with an entry room, hallway, community room, and a bedroom, all the essentials were there. There was no need for a bathroom, and the only light came from a single lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. Lastly, this home did not stretch much wider than six square feet. What kind of person lives in a house such as this? No person at all, rather a four legged friend named Casco. The doghouse had a sloped roof that would hinge to open and close, allowing easy access to vacuum the wall to wall carpeting. Casco was not allowed inside the house, so Bourne wanted her dog to have a cozy place to live. This thoughtfulness, consideration of all others, and attention to detail, is what Bourne brings to all of her artistic pursuits.
From the beginning of my conversation with Agnes Bourne, she emphasized that she wanted to serve as a voice of encouragement and that her story wasn’t what was important. I discovered quite quickly that the most fascinating and helpful information came from the stories of her past, the revelations of her present, and the mindset of her future.
Agnes Bourne is a designer located in Jackson, WY, who has been working on her craft for over 60 years – the same length of time that the Art Association of Jackson Hole has been offering art education. Bourne’s impact in the design world is concentrated in Jackson, San Francisco, and New York. The breadth of her skills spans wide, as she has done work in historical restoration, set design, product design, residential and commercial interiors, and designing her own line of furniture called the “Agnes Bourne Collection.” She is a nationally recognized lecturer and design juror, published in multiple books, founder of the architecture and design department at SFMOMA, and awarded multiple medals of distinction from a variety of organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution. Bourne’s resume is impressive, and I thought that I would be quite nervous sitting in front of her. On the contrary, I felt at great ease, like I had been chatting with a friend. Her resounding vision for her art shines true in everything that she touches, and that vision is based on a sound morality that leaves one feeling hopeful and inspired.
“Design is a means to maintaining an inspired community and creating a sustainable quality of life. Art is expression. Teamwork is the strategy,” Bourne says.
This idea of a sustainable quality of life has a duality to understanding. Bourne wishes to make the designed space comfortable and livable. When Bourne was eight years old, she designed a chicken coop to house a dozen hens on her property. She recognized that they had a need just like any human to be comfortable, especially when they were gifting her with fresh eggs for breakfast. She asked herself, “How do we feed these chickens, keep them safe, and keep their house clean?”
She set to work designing a roost, egg laying station, scratching area, fruit crates for resting, a straw bed, and metal that extended underground for protection from digging animals. By focusing on safety, comfort, and cleanliness, she was able to give these hens a better life.
Another way to understand sustainability is through the environment. As humans, we create a lot of textile, plastic, and additional wastes. When focused on “fast fashion,” the design industry can be quite harmful to the environment. Bourne is a lover of the natural world who follows through on being sustainable in her design practices. “Living green” is a concept she weaves into much of her work. She uses materials that are able to be recycled, and sources wood from forests managed sustainably. In one of her designs, she transported back in time to 1955 and got her hands on some reclaimed materials from automobiles from that era. She lights up as she talks about the magic of bringing back the energy from that time period through her designs.
Bourne’s process for designing client’s spaces is incredibly unique and empathetic. Empathy is not the first word I would use when thinking about designing a living space, but I learned that it is vital to the process, and serves as a powerful example of how to work with others even outside of the creative process.
Not one chair color is chosen before the “Building Better” interview is had. This is an interview that Bourne gives to every member of the household. During this process, she gets a feel for the personal identity of each member and what their needs are. I find it unique and powerful that not just the “head of the household” gets a say. “All voices need to be heard, all stakeholders, every family member needs the opportunity to be heard,” Bourne says. If dogs could talk, I highly suspect that she would interview them as well. Each family member writes down their answers, then reads the answers out loud together as a group. This process is incredibly important because it determines whether “they are leading a life that is someone else’s and not theirs,” Bourne reveals. She urges clients to “get in touch with where you are at now and if you want to bring where you came from to the present day.” In this process, verbalizing and sharing what is on one’s mind not only enlightens others to where you are at, but also acts as a moment of reflection for the individual as well.
Bourne’s act of reflection during the design process is where her minor in Psychology shines through. She recognizes the power of identity and the importance of coming together to share. She believes that art is divided into two parts. One is what we show to ourselves, and the other is what we show to the world. By presenting to the world we are also able to see what we are revealing about ourselves. From there, we see if we are being honest with ourselves about who we are.
Art can be quite vulnerable. When it comes to sharing creations, it can be a scary endeavor. However, Bourne emphasizes that art must be shared if you want to see change in the world. She explains how it is an opportunity for the artist and the viewer to grow and have revelations. She quotes her grandfather, “You can’t say you’re something if you don’t have a paper on the wall verifying it.” I at first was taken aback by this statement. Isn’t there value in an individual creating art for their own understanding, growth, and enjoyment? Bourne says yes, of course. Both private and public art have their important place. However, she also claims that if you want to step out and be a leader and have a voice in the public sphere, one must contribute to the field by sharing their work with others. Bourne compares an artist not sharing their work to a chef not cooking for other people. As I considered this, I thought about how if Agnes Bourne had not shared her designs and been so active in the field, I would not be sitting with her today and gaining such insight into not only the world of art, but life.
When Bourne was younger she worked in a department store for $1 an hour in the design department. A woman came into the store, and after talking with Bourne, she asked her to design her house. Bourne did not have any professional design experience at that point, yet this person trusted something in her. Bourne says that she got this job because she “had knowledge and knew how to ask questions.” At such a young age she was aware of one of the most important aspects of communication that doesn’t involve speaking at all – listening. “Know how to listen. Listen to the client, self, and the world around you. Pay attention to what you’re doing,” says Bourne.
Bourne has been on her path of artistic design since she could remember. When asked if children are born with natural talents, she exclaims, “All children are born as discovery machines with the ability to go out there and figure out what they got.” Bourne is on the board of the Art Association of Jackson Hole because she truly believes in the importance of art education. Bourne fondly remembers when she brought her grandchildren into the Art Association’s studio for a ceramics class during the holiday season. She attests, “I highly recommend family events in the studios. Classes give us the opportunity to have group experiences with family and friends which is life-giving. It takes people places they can’t go by themselves.” This goes back to Bourne’s mission statement that involves the concepts of teamwork and community. These themes seem to be solidifying at this stage in her career.
One theme and inspiration remains steady, and that is nature. Bourne views the natural world as one large interconnected community. Biomimicry, (the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modeled on biological entities and processes,) is a concept that fascinates her. The intersectionality of everything in connection with the natural world is an idea that she continuously circles back to. Bourne’s environmentalism and love for all living things is apparent from the very beginning. She reflects back on her earliest designing days as a child, “It wasn’t about me. It was about how my idea could help. How could I make a better world for my chickens, or my dog.”
Bourne utilizes art to help all beings, as well as the environment. Whether it’s creating a space for a business person to be an efficient worker, or a structure to make a dog’s life a little better, she listens to the being and uses her creativity to make a positive change.
Bourne exclaims that she is coming to the “last quarter of her life,” and her priorities are exploration, adventure, and pondering the intersectionality of everything in the natural world, including humans. As I listen to this, I find it beautiful. When I think about young Agnes Bourne giving such care and consideration to her dog and chickens, I see a young girl who already feels connectedness and is expressing it through creation. Through the sharing of her creativity, she makes numerous lives better.
Today, Bourne is still designing, but has shifted her focus to pictures, poetry, and prose. Continually looking for the blurred lines between mediums, Bourne is excited about this new adventure. Her parents had always wanted her to join the family passion of publishing, but Bourne’s natural inclinations and identity moved her away from words and towards making sense of the world through colors, textures, and materials. Dyslexia was a barrier that dissuaded Bourne from publishing, but Bourne is now entering the world of publishing with great freedom, as she is finding the beauty of prose and poetry and the pairing with thought-provoking imagery. She has published two books, Moments and Potpourri. Each is a unique collection of words and imagery, meant to inspire any person at any moment. The imagery captures the magic in the seemingly mundane, inspiring people to pause and appreciate the small and large scale wonders around them. Bourne explains how these books were created from her design process that remains constant throughout all of her creative endeavors. “When you have an idea, bring it forward,” Bourne emphasizes. “If you just open up your eyes and open up your mind, everything you need is right there in front of you.” Bourne believes this with all her heart, and wants to instill this mindset in everyone. As we sit in the art studio, Bourne points out various details that delight her during our conversation, from the paint drippings dried on the trash can to the light casting onto the looming mountain out the window.
Expression through art is an incredible tool for navigating one’s life. Bourne reaffirmed the idea that art can heal on a personal and global scale. Creation gives us tools for life, not just in art. The Art Association of Jackson Hole creates a space for creativity to thrive, while also providing guidance and community that is beneficial during all stages of one’s life. It’s never the wrong time to start turning on your “discovery machine” and exploring the connection between all beings and the world around us.