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2015


the

Coeur d’Alene Art Auction Fine Western & American Art

“Reno is home to the nation’s biggest and most successful auction of Western art.”

– The Wall Street Journal

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We are now accepting quality consignments for our 2016 Auction to be held in Reno, Nevada. Visit our website at www.cdaartauction.com THE COEUR D’ALENE ART AUCTION tel. 208-772-9009 info@cdaartauction.com

William R. Leigh (1866–1955), Dodging Lead (detail), oil on canvas, 29 × 24 inches, Sold at Auction: $1,005,000

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


Simpson Gallagher Gallery Three Dimensional Paintings by Skip Whitcomb, Matt Smith and Len Chmiel September 24 through October 15, 2015

Skip Whitcomb • Sunny and Warmer, 20 x 34 inches, pastel

Len Chmiel • A Path Less Traveled, 23 x 29 inches, oil

Matt Smith • The Canyon Corral, 12 x 16 inches, oil

1161 Sheridan Avenue • Cody, WY 82414 • 307.587.4022 • sue@simpsongallaghergallery.com

www.simpsongallaghergallery.com


Diehl Gallery proudly represents:

Richard Painter Sarah Hillock KOLLABS: Anke Schofield/ Luis Garcia-Nerey Bill Prickett Helen Durant Peter Haslam Fox Heather Jansch Les Thomas Gwynn Murrill (clockwise from top left)

155 West Broadway Jackson, Wyoming info@diehlgallery.com www.diehlgallery.com 307.733.0905


TABLE OF CONTENTS 06 08 16

FOREWORD

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GALLERY CHATS Two local gallery directors share their thoughts about Western Visions and their represented artists exhibiting this year.

VISIT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART! GO INSIDE WESTERN VISIONS What to do, how to get tickets, and the buzz from NMWA staff regarding our 28th Annual Show & Sale.

Simon Gudgeon Battering Rams Sculpture – Bronze – Edition of 15 26 x 43 x 8 inches | $19,500

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WESTERN VISIONS AT WORK As the biggest fundraiser of the year for the NMWA, Western Visions supports a range of essential educational programming.

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


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A FRIENDSHIP FORGED IN ART Our feature remembers the Smiths, a fascinating couple who traveled the world, greatly impacted the museum, and befriended renowned wildlife painter Carl Rungius in his later years. ARTIST PROFILES Learn more about seven of the Wild 100 Artists in this year’s Show & Sale—we profile last year’s award winners, newly invited, and returning artists.

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2015 WESTERN VISIONS WILD 100 ARTISTS 2015 WESTERN VISIONS ADVERTISERS AND JACKSON HOLE GALLERY ASSOCIATION MEMBERS OUR SPONSORS

THANK YOU TO OUR TRUSTEES

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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National Museum of W i l d l i f e A r t © 2015 National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States Physical Address: 2820 Rungius Road, Jackson, WY 83001 Mailing Address: Post Office Box 6825, Jackson, WY 83002

Welcome

WildlifeArt.org

Twitter: @WildlifeArtJH

307-733-5771

TO THE 2015 WESTERN VISIONS ART SHOW & SALE

Nothing captures the spirit of the Western Visions Art Show & Sale better than the long-time service of Jane Smith, who regularly attended the event and sponsored a special breakfast honoring the artists in the show for many years. From the time that she and her husband, Red, began collecting prominent wildlife art, Jane was a passionate advocate for artists. Unfortunately we lost Jane this year, but her enthusiasm for wildlife art and her personal support for artists is something we will not soon forget. This year marks the 28th occurrence of Western Visions and prompts me to recognize that the 30th anniversary of the founding of the National Museum of Wildlife Art is “just around the corner.” In that short space of time, the artists, collectors, and supporters of Western Visions have made an enormous contribution to the public recognition of wildlife art and the museum; brought new connections to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and its place in the American West; and introduced countless people to the imaginative power of art. The influence of this work has been to bring valuable focus to the mission of the Museum. In the broad realm of the Museum’s mission to enrich and inspire appreciation and knowledge of humanity’s relationship with nature, we have come to recognize something more direct and striking: we believe that experiences with wildlife art change personal perceptions of nature, provide shared understanding between cultures, and encourage conservation of the natural world. It is time to make a serious claim about the value of this art in the larger world, and Western Visions has brought us a long ways towards that goal.

James C. McNutt, President & CEO

info@wildlifeart.org Facebook: Facebook.com/WildlifeArtJH

The National Museum of Wildlife Art is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums. 2015 Western Visions® Art Magazine PUBLISHER Jennifer Marshall Weydeveld EDITOR Kirsten Rue ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Cristine Wehner, Creative Curiosity STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jonathan Crosby MARKETING COORDINATOR Debbie Phillips All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be used in violation of any of the copyrights provided under current law including, but not limited to, reproduction or copying in any form or by any means, such as graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, or informational storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

MEET THE WESTERN VISIONS PROGRAMS & EVENTS TEAM Meet the team who has been hard at work curating our Wild 100 Artists for this year’s Western Visions Show & Sale! For any questions about bidding on art, tickets, and more, please be in touch with us. As always, we are excited for another successful event bringing together artists, collectors, and patrons for our biggest fundraiser of the year. AMY GOICOECHEA, Associate Director of Programs and Events BECKY KIMMEL, Director of Programs & Events ANDREE DEAN, Assistant Director of Programs & Events

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


AMARAN IS ABOUT BEAUTY

36 EAST BROADWAY ON THE TOWN SQUARE JACKSON HOLE, WY 307-200-6757 www .AMARAN.com


S TOP I N A N D SEE US

Visit

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART The National Museum of Wildlife Art, founded in 1987, is a world-class art museum holding more than 5,000 catalogued items representing wild animals from around the world. Featuring prominent artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Robert Kuhn, John James Audobon, and Carl Rungius, the unsurpassed permanent collection chronicles much of the history of wildlife in art from 2500 B.C. to the present. Built into a hillside and overlooking the National Elk Refuge, the museum received designation as the “National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States” by order of Congress in 2008. Boasting a museum shop, interactive children’s gallery, café, and outdoor sculpture trail, the museum is only two and a half miles north of the Jackson Town Square and two miles from the Moose entrance of Grand Teton National Park.

Museum Hours Monday – Saturday, 9 AM – 5PM Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM Rising Sage Café Hours Daily, 11 AM – 3 PM Light meals, coffee, beer, and wine

“WE BELIEVE THAT EXPERIENCES WITH WILDLIFE ART CHANGE PERSONAL PERCEPTIONS OF NATURE, PROVIDE SHARED UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN CULTURES, AND ENCOURAGE CONSERVATION OF THE NATURAL WORLD.” – James C. McNutt, President & CEO

GETTING HERE

National Museum of Wildlife Art | 2820 Rungius Road, Jackson, WY 83001 The National Museum of Wildlife Art is located 2.5 miles north of the Town Square in downtown Jackson, Wyoming—look for us on the west side of the butte on Highway 89 overlooking the National Elk Refuge. The Jackson Hole Airport offers seasonal nonstop service from 13 U.S. destinations. Located just seven miles from the NMWA, the Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport in the country located inside a national park. Book early! Hotel and plane reservations can be snapped up quickly during Western Visions.

DON’T MISS THE FALL ARTS FEST!

Spanning from September 9-20, 2015, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival is one of the premier cultural events of the Intermountain West. More than fifty events featuring music, cuisine, wine, and home design draw thousands of art enthusiasts from near and far to experience, first-hand, Jackson Hole’s reputation as a premier arts destination.

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

FALL ARTS FUN

“I recommend spending the entire week enjoying all that the Fall Arts Festival has to offer: our very own Jewelry & Artisan Luncheon on September 9th, the Western Design Conference, all of the gallery activities (including Palates & Palettes), historic ranch tours, Taste of the Tetons, and the Showcase of Homes.” – Amy Goicoechea, Associate Director of Programs and Events


SCOTTSDALE ART AUCTION

william R. leigh SOLD FOR: $468,000

40" x 34" oil

philip R. goodwin SOLD FOR: $198,900

maRtin gRelle SOLD FOR: $549,900

24" x 33" oil

48" x 60" oil

g. haRvey SOLD FOR: $280,800

wilhelm kuhneRt SOLD FOR: $245,700

48" x 36" oil

25" x 44" oil

R ecoRd B Reaking R esults F oR c onsignoRs ! c uRRently holding 158 auction RecoRds. 2015 auction set 15 new RecoRds with 92% oF all lots

now

accepting consignments FoR ouR

sold .

a pRil 2, 2016 auction .

For more information, please call (480) 945-0225 or visit www.scottsdaleartauction.com

j.n. bartfield galleries

morris & whiteside auctions

JACK MORRIS

BRAD RICHARDSON

60 W 55th Street New York, NY 10019 212. 2 4 5 . 8890

220 Cordillo Parkway Hilton Head Island, SC 29928 843.842.4433

Bozeman • Jackson Hole • Scottsdale 7178 Main Street Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.945.1113 | 307.733.2353

michael@scottsdaleartauction.com

jack@scottsdaleartauction.com

brad@scottsdaleartauction.com

MICHAEL FROST

legacy gallery


THE RESTAURANT AT THE CAKEBREAD RANCH Fine dining, with beautiful views of Star Valley and the Salt River

CALL US AT 307.883.2247 OR VISIT OPEN TABLE FOR A RESERVATION. For further information visit our website at

www.thecakebreadranch.com

Custom frames to bring out the beauty of your photography, fine art and most treasured artwork.

890 S Highway 89 • Jackson, Wyoming • (307) 733-2306 • Like us on Facebook


New Construction - Completion Date: Summer 2015

Introducing Tall Timber Cottages Snake River Sporting Club is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of Tall Timber Cottages, slated for completion Summer 2015. With nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of luxury living, each 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home will be located along the second or third fairways of our Tom Weiskopf signature golf course with beautiful views of the Snake River Canyon and surrounding mountains. Highlights include: extensive porches, vaulted ceilings, an open floor plan, exposed timber beams and log accents, high quality finishes and top of the line appliances. Pre-completion pricing starting at $2,395,000.

Life, Well Played SnakeRiverSportingClub.com JacksonHoleObsidian.com

for details on club membership, please contact: LB Haney: lbhaney@srsportingclub.com 307-201-2567

To schedule a tour of our exceptional real estate options, please contact: Chip Marvin or Fred Harness at Re/Max Obsidian Real Estate 307-739-1234 • chipmarvin@gmail.com orfred.harness@gmail.com


TribuTe To The Gray Wolf

available in 24''h or lifesize

rams of The CraGs

24" x 36'' oil

ken Bunn

ken carlson

WinTer adornmenT

20'' x 24'' oil

TraCk of The silverTip

14''h x 27''w bronze

William alTHer

Tim sHinaBarger

l e g a c Y of n a T u r e s eptember 18 th - 27 th a rtist r eception • s eptember 18 th J ackson H ole , W Yoming All artwork for the show may be viewed at www.legacygallery.com.

Bozeman, mT Box

Jackson Hole, WY

scoTTsdale, az

4977 • 75 north cache • jackson, wy 83001 • 307 733-2353 W W W . l e g ac Yg a l l e rY . c o m


SCH EDU L E OF E V E N TS

Go Inside

THE WESTERN VISIONS 28TH ANNUAL SHOW & SALE

Welcome to Western Visions: a month of events, auctions, and galas that, together, make up one of the West’s most significant (and fun!) art shows and sales. Each year, more than 200 works of art are shown here and thousands of people participate from around the globe. Whether you are attending as an artist, collector, or spectator, get planning and go inside the events and details that make this exhibition an important international artistic touchstone each year, as well as the primary fundraiser for the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

PLANNING CENTRAL: westernvisions.org

Opening Preview

with Museum Admission

PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES & SKETCH SHOW & SALE Saturday, September 5 | 9 AM – 5 PM

START WITH A SKETCH

“I find the sketches an amazing opportunity to start a collection. Along with a chance to engage with the artist who created the piece, a young collector can begin to form his or her own perspective and tastes in wildlife art.” – Andree Dean Assistant Director of Programs & Events

Francois Koch Bulls amongst the Birches Sketch – Graphite 7 x 11 inches | $750

More than 200 paintings, sculptures, and sketches by the Wild 100 Artists will be on display and available for purchase during the 28th Annual Western Visions. The museum has carefully curated the work of some of the top living artists depicting animals today, both traditional and contemporary.

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


Wild. Wearable. Art. JEWELRY & ARTISAN LUNCHEON Wednesday, September 9 | 11 AM – 4 PM Tickets: $125 each | Tables of 10: $2,500 Sponsorship Available | 307-732-5445

Held inside the Four Seasons Resort in Teton Village, just 12 miles from downtown Jackson, the Jewelry & Artisan Luncheon showcases a mix of finely crafted jewelry, clothing, and accessories from a wide array of national artisans. Peruse, purchase, and admire work from around the country while you savor lunch inside the resort’s elegant dining room. A percentage of all sales directly benefit the National Museum of Wildlife Art! Browse the exhibiting artisans and their work: westernvisions.org/jewelryartisans

Appetite for Art

PALATES AND PALETTES Friday, September 11 | 3 PM – 5 PM Free. No registration required. Kick off the JH Fall Arts Festival with the Wild 100 Paintings, Sculptures & Sketches while enjoying margaritas and quesadillas from the Rising Sage Café.

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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SCH EDU L E OF E V E N TS

Wild 100

ARTIST PARTY

Thursday, September 17 | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM Ticketed Event $150

“This important special event fundraiser is a win, win, win for the wildlife art community: the artists win since their work is on display at the museum and sold to new collectors; the collectors win since they have an opportunity to add wonderful, new wildlife art to their private collections; and the museum wins since we likewise add to the museum’s permanent collection. In essence, we are baking a bigger pie while strengthening the museum for everyone.” – Becky Kimmel, Director of Programs & Events TOP: Guests enjoying the 2014 Western Visions party; Rob Glen’s “Three Old Bull Elephants” pictured in foreground. BOTTOM RIGHT: Western Visions artists being honored by National Museum of Wildlife Art Trustee and emcee Dick Collister on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. L to R: Timothy David Mayhew, Chad Poppleton, Daniel Warren Pinkham, Dick Collister, and Ewoud de Groot.

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

ALL ACCESS PASS

“Buy Benefactor’s tickets and be a part of the inside action. At $500 per person for both nights, the access to the artists and fellow collectors is a bargain worth the price of admission!” – Becky Kimmel Director of Programs & Events


28th Annual

Wild 100

SHOW & SALE

Friday, September 18 | 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Ticketed Event $100

Featuring works by 100 of the country’s leading wildlife artists, this is the final opportunity to place bids prior to the drawing that determines who is going home with a beautiful new work of art.

STILL AVAILABLE ON DISPLAY Wednesday, September 30 through Sunday, October 25 9 AM - 5 PM Free with Museum Admission. Don’t miss your chance to collect a stunning art piece from the 28th Annual Western Visions! Explore artwork that is still available at the museum.

COFFEE & COLLECT Wednesday, September 30 | 10 AM – 4 PM Free. No registration required. A special opportunity to enjoy coffee at the National Museum of Wildlife Art while collecting newly purchased artwork from Western Visions. The event is also an opportunity to browse works that are still available for sale.

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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ON E S TO WATCH

WHO ARE THE

Wild 100?

ARTIST TO WATCH

“I am excited about Kaoru Mansour’s work, SUCCULENT (DEDLOW) #120. It is delicate, rich, and beautiful. She is new to Western Visions and offers a fresh treatment of wildlife art.” – Amy Goicoechea Associate Director of Programs and Events

ARTIST TO WATCH

“George Carlson who has been a steady winner at other big art shows and is participating in Western Visions again for the first time in many years. His painting titled Edge of the Woods surprised me. In fact, a museum colleague showed me a hidden raptor at the edge of his painting, which I had overlooked at first glance.” – Becky Kimmel Director of Programs & Events

(Left) George Carlson, Edge of the Woods. Painting – Oil on linen. 42 x 32 inches. (Right) Kaoru Mansour, Succulent (dedlow) #120. Painting – Collage, acrylic & 22k gold leaf on wooden panel. 40 x 20.5 inches (unframed)

INSPIRING NEW PATRONS “As the cornerstone of the Fall Arts Festival for nearly three decades, Western Visions has grown more sophisticated. It is recognized as a national show. It is in a unique position to reflect the museum’s growth and stature, to engage contemporary wildlife artists, to provide an exceptional experience for the participants, and to inspire new museum patrons.” – Amy Goicoechea, Associate Director of Programs and Events

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


The Wild 100 exhibit in the Western Visions by invitation, and each artist is encouraged to submit multiple works to the Show & Sale. Representing a range of approaches, from traditional to contemporary, plus a broad cross-section of established and emerging talents, the Wild 100 presents an exciting window into today’s wildlife art world. The work exhibited includes charcoal drawings, large oils, intimate watercolors, mixed media works, polished bronzes, and more. Browse the full artists’ catalogue featuring bios and images of the pieces for sale at westernvisions.org/artists/current-artists/.

ARTIST TO WATCH

“For me, it would be Julie Chapman. We had a silver gelatin photograph called Buffalo Walking in our exhibit “Fight or Flight,” and it was remarkable to see that connection to [Eadweard Muybridge’s photography of motion].” – Andree Dean Assistant Director of Programs & Events

Julie Chapman, (Zebra Suite) Homage to Muybridge. Painting – Scratchboard. 24 x 32 inches

TICKET SALES

Visit westernvisions.org to purchase single tickets or to register as a benefactor. Benefactors receive one ticket to the Wild 100 Artist Party and one ticket to the Show & Sale while supporting the museum. Benefactors enjoy access to the Benefactor Suite on both nights, which includes additional catering, premier drinks, and special presentations by Wild 100 Artists. Event tickets include a bidding card and the opportunity to purchase art. Can’t attend? Receive a free preview with museum admission on September 5th or attend Palates & Palettes on September 11th and purchase a $50 bidding card while there. Visitors and remote bidders can capitalize on having access to the exhibited works in person.

“I get excited seeing the completed artworks in the galleries for the opening preview on September 5th. The images on the website are wonderful and they help give readers a feel for this great art, but there is nothing like standing in front of the finished paintings, sketches, and sculptures.” – Becky Kimmel, Director of Programs & Events

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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SU PP ORT US

WESTERN VISIONS BY KIRSTEN RUE

at work

“In wildness is the preservation of the world,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in 1863. Writing in a time before national parks and before American citizens had arrived at a more nuanced understanding of how human activity encroaches on the very wildness that is generative to the soul, the writer would no doubt have found the National Museum of Wildlife Art a place of refuge. The artists who make up the permanent collection that hangs in the museum’s galleries—and the contemporary creators who make up its rotating exhibits—devote ink, brush, and chisel to interpreting the sundry species that share the earth with us. To view these works is not a passive act. In fact, through the act of

viewing, something alive is created that, in the case of our relationship to wildlife, continues to reverberate, changing viewpoints and lives. As the biggest fundraiser of the year for the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the proceeds of the Western Visions Show & Sale “benefit our whole array of informal, formal, and interpretive programs for all ages,” says Jane Lavino, Sugden Family Curator of Education & Exhibits. Quite literally, Western Visions helps make the magic happen at the museum, and is a crucial piece of everything that comprises the museum’s vibrant annual programming.

Bart Walter, War Dance Sculpture – Bronze Edition of 10 24.25 x 20.25 x 6.5 inches

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


PHOTOS: Guests enjoying the 2014 Western Visions party; Rob Glen’s “Three Old Bull Elephants” pictured in foreground.

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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W E S T ER N V ISIONS AT WOR K

INSPIRATION IN EDUCATION On a recent “hack tour,” groups of up to 15 people were led by volunteers through the museum and along the sculpture trail. These hack tours are propagated by the Museum Hack team, a group whose goal is to make museums seem welcoming to diverse visitors rather than intimidating or inaccessible. Instead, hack tours state that, “‘To Hack’ is to study the elements of a system so closely that you can manipulate them to make them into something new… The hacking experience for us means an informal, somewhat sassy attitude that encourages people to be themselves, have opinions, and share them.” During hack tours, museum “outsiders” bend the 4th wall of what we consider normal art appreciation by encouraging interaction, conversations, breaks, and irreverent discussion. At the NMWA, hack tours have been a rousing success; as Lavino observed participants drawing with chalk on the sculpture trail, she marveled at “how engaged people were to be asked to participate with art.” In myriad other ways, the NMWA succeeds at making art alive to museum patrons, particularly for the younger set. For example, in the popular weekly program Fables, Feather, and Fur, storytelling meets looking, reading, and artistic creation within the galleries. Wyoming schoolchildren of all ages also benefit from the opportunity for up-close-and-personal museum experiences helmed by the seasoned education staff. “The Museum helps students feel connected to a bigger creative world than they knew existed,” says June Nystrom, a retired art teacher at Colter Elementary School. Powell, WY high school student Kristin Althoff, wrote, “My visit to the Museum sparked my interest in art, and I can’t wait to see where I go with it! To see what other artists are doing; it really gives me a bigger view on what is out there.” In the summer, the NMWA offers free admission to a variety of valley day camps. “Our goal is to continue to make our collection and exhibits accessible to a diverse audience,” Lavino says. “We want to let visitors have a voice as they react to the exhibits and share their excitement.” Through a keen attunement to the cutting edge of museum education trends, creative programs for children and adults, and free offerings, those moments when art truly comes alive continue to occur.

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

Top Left: Chit Chat, an intimate discussion with painter Shelley Reed (In Dubious Battle) and photographer Rachel Sussman (Oldest Living Things in the World) moderated by local radio correspondent Brielle Schaeffer. Top Center: Tusk, Horn, Flesh & Bone artist Asher Jay speaking about her work in the Wapiti Gallery. Her work and talk focused on the illegal ivory trade and its damaging effects on the world’s dwindling populations of African rhinos and elephants. Top Right: Art in Action! Children learn sketching and drawing skills from artist Amy Ringholz. Bottom: A volunteer leads participants on a Hack Tour during a Mix’d Media museum event in July, 2015.


EDUCATIONAL REACH BY THE NUMBERS (statistics compiled through last fiscal year)

175 6 21

School groups visiting the museum

School districts served

K-12 schools served

4798

K-12 students attending a program at the museum

241

K-12 students attending an off-site program sponsored by the museum

78

Adult museum group tours

10

College group tours

781

Total number of adults participating in group tours

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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W E S T ER N V ISIONS AT WOR K

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, 2010. Bronze. Images courtesy of the artist. Photo credit: Tim Nighswander.

ENLIVENING EXHIBITS The NMWA encourages in-depth exhibit interaction in ways

that make the most of technology and good old-fashioned audience participation. Currently, Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s stunning Circle of Animals zodiac heads loom over the green grassland of the National Elk Refuge. The funds raised through Western Visions help bring this internationally-scaled exhibit to full-fledged imaginative existence.

Recently, the museum hosted a free outdoor screening of the film, “Never Sorry,” an award-winning documentary that helps contextualize the political underpinnings of Weiwei’s significant body of work. The staff has also collaborated with renowned composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra to present an immersive sonic space to accompany the Circle of Animals exhibit. Listeners are encouraged to identify the vocalizations of all 12 sculpted animals, braided in as they are with Chinese lute and other sounds indigenous to the world of the sculptures. These interpretive elements help set the stage, encouraging patrons to linger longer in exhibits and to be more engaged by the art itself.

A similarly successful interpretive element has been the interactive computer in the conservation gallery, which accompanies a sculpture by Steve Kestrel. The NMWA actively solicits feedback from visitors, and many had glowing things to say regarding this invitation to connect. “The significance of the sculpture is magnified many times when you hear the narratives in the video,” writes one patron. “The profound thoughts of the artist drive the message of conservation very far.”

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

Steve Kestrel, Dream of Little Dipper/Big Fish, 2015 Sculpture, Bronze Edition of 21 22 x 15 x 19 inches


Shelley Reed, In Dubious Battle, 2013. Oil on canvas. © Shelley Reed

An interactive for In Dubious Battle, a painting by Shelley Reed that covers three walls with an homage to art history and embedded visual metaphors, elicited more encores. “Hearing the artist and seeing the source imagery gave me the knowledge I’d never anticipated so I could appreciate the work more thoroughly,” enthuses a visitor. The full-time staff of three educators also note that 15% of the respondents can be identified as children, and that parents recorded that their young children were successfully engaged in the artwork with the assistance of these interactive elements. Throughout the year, a packed roster of Artist Talks and other special events continue to bridge the distance between art and observer, providing “hacks” in entirely new ways.

SWEEPING VISION If we consider all art to be a conversation with the world—whether exhortation, ode, or juxtaposition—it speaks in a universal language accessible to diverse audiences on a level that dips beneath the sight line and into the far more formidable chamber of the heartbeat. In the NMWA’s programs supported by Western Visions, this language continues to be heard and amplified, bringing visibility and action to the plight of wildlife and our world’s preciously limited wild spaces. Speaking of the museum’s ongoing commitment to exploring humanity’s relationship to nature, Lavino says, “Artists, when they create a work of art, communicate at a powerful, emotional level that transcends boundaries of age, language, and culture. Art speaks directly to our common humanity and helps unite and strengthen shared values and visions. Museum experiences open the door to creative potential and pave the way for all kinds of creative problem solving. This can include innovative, creative solutions for the preservation of wildlife and wild lands.” Here, indeed, is the preservation of the world. 

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G A L L ERY CH AT

The National Museum of Wildlife Art works tirelessly through its permanent collection, educational programming, and traveling exhibits to elevate recognition of wildlife art in its own community and beyond. Central partners to these efforts are the galleries who represent the invited Wild 100 artists—through the Western Visions show and sale, the profiles of their stable of artists are boosted on an international scale and their sales are boosted, too! Each year, collaborations between Western Visions and galleries near and far help craft the museum’s evolving permanent collection and bring dialogues about our incredible Western habitat to the fore. Jackson Hole itself is no slouch when it comes to artistic innovation and houses a supportive local base of collectors and all-around aficionados. In order to take our readers inside the local scene, we chatted with two Jackson Hole galleries whose artists have been invited to participate in the Wild 100 this year, gathering their thoughts on what has become an annually beloved tradition for many in the valley.

“Did you know that The Cave of Altamira is a cave in Spain famous for its Upper Paleolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands? It was the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered.”

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

A CONVERSATION WITH MARK D. TARRANT Executive Director of Altamira Fine Art

172 Center Street, Jackson, WY 83001 | 307-739-4700

W

ith gallery locations in Scottsdale, AZ and in Jackson Hole, Altamira Fine Art represents the exciting juncture of the “New” and “Old” Western traditions. Abstracted wildlife shapes; homages to human recreation in Grand Teton National Park; authentic Native American culture finding expression with bright color and robust form—all interpretations of what “Western” and “wildlife” mean to our artistic heritage can be found within the gallery’s clean and forward-thinking space. Longtime supporters of Western Visions, Altamira Fine Art once again has a number of artists exhibiting in the show and sale.

R. Thomas Gilleon, Blue Rain. Painting – Oil on canvas. 16 x 16 inches. $8,800. Donna Howell-Sickles, Hey Baby. Painting – Acrylic/Mixed Media on Paper. 41 x 40 inches. $6,200

What is unique about the arts and cultural scene in Jackson Hole, and how do local galleries and the National Museum of Wildlife Art participate? “We live where the wilderness bumps up against a sophisticated ski town; the access to the arts is remarkable – music, dance, visual arts—it is all here. The Grand Teton Music Festival, the Center for the Arts, Dancers Workshop, the Art Association, and the Teton Art Lab—I could go on and on! And, of course, the diamond in the rough is the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which is a world-class museum and acts as a bookend to the town of Jackson’s gallery and studio scene. The National Museum of Wildlife Art holds a stunning collection and is an international mecca for wildlife art. Every artist I know aspires to be selected for the Western Visions exhibition. Inclusion in the prestigious Wild 100 is a career milestone that raises these artists into the rarefied air of museumvetted reputation. The fine arts are front and center in the Jackson Hole experience. When people visit for the first time, most are surprised to see how vibrant the art market is, and importantly, how enthusiastically the community itself supports the artistic community. Jackson Hole has become one of the few “destination art markets” in the United States. Those who move here or visit are surprised—and delighted—to find that they cannot escape the art culture; they discover that their neighbors and friends support the arts and many, if not most, are members of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.


Words to live by during the Fall Arts Festival Tarrant: “Living with fine art is one of life’s great pleasures. Support the museum! Go to the galleries. Buy art from living artists. And thank the artists you know for making the world more interesting, more meaningful, and more strange and beautiful.”

“Jackson Hole is the most civilized, uncivilized place I know” – Warren Adler

Dennis Ziemienski, The Gros Ventre Painting – Oil on canvas 18 x 24 inches | $5,900

Howard Post, Early Morning Visit Painting – Oil 24 x 24 inches | $9,000

About the Altamira Gallery Wild 100 Artists in 2015 “Altamira Fine Art is honored to have several artists in the elite Wild 100 Group in 2015. We represent esteemed sculptors Steve Kestrel and Simon Gudgeon as well as painters Mary Roberson and Ted Waddell, all artists who have work included in the museum’s permanent collection. Long-time favorite R. Tom Gilleon will be exhibiting again this year. Gilleon is a leading figure in western contemporary art; his work with color and composition has influenced other artists. California artist Dennis Ziemienski also returns. He is known for his nostalgic images of classic Americana: His paintings conjure treasured memories of vacations past, evoking intangible experiences in wild spaces. In addition, Donna Howell-Sickles and Howard Post have sent new work to the Wild 100 and I believe this will be the first year for Thom Ross. It has been especially gratifying to watch September Vhay’s work develop and mature. She has become very comfortable with larger format drawings and paintings.” September echoes this praise back at Altamira: “[My] relationship with Altamira Fine Art has amplified my creativity due to the architecture of the space, the support of their team, and the gift of time to create art. The space is inspiring, as the ceilings are tall and the art is sparely hung, which has inspired my large (40 x 80) charcoal drawings. Secondly, the enthusiasm from everyone at Altamira fuels my fire to continue to make art. Lastly, but certainly not least, is that the gallery does such a good job at representing artists and this frees up my mind to do what I do best—making art.” 

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G A L L ERY CH AT

A CONVERSATION WITH MARIAM DIEHL Owner of Diehl Gallery

155 W Broadway, Jackson, WY 83001 | 307-733-0905

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his year marks the tenth anniversary of my purchase of the gallery from Susan Meyer. Meyer Gallery, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Park City, opened in Jackson in 2001, and I became the director of Meyer in 2002. I bought the gallery in 2005, and moved it to its current location on Broadway—changing the name to Diehl Gallery at the same time—in 2008. We have gradually increased the contemporary program over the years, and our current body of work and stable of artists is representative of my aesthetic and goals for the gallery.

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Helen Durant, Looking Back Sketch – Collage on canvas 10 x 10 inches | $400

Les Thomas, Animal Painting # 014-1103 (moose) Painting – Oil on canvas 24 x 24 inches | $3,600

How does representation in Western Visions further your own artistic mission as a gallery owner in Jackson Hole? How do these events and your own space contribute to a national artistic community that values wildlife art and the natural world? “Naturally, it’s a two way street! It’s prestigious for the artists, and of course it’s also great for the gallery to enjoy an ongoing relationship with an art museum in our own town. My goals at Diehl Gallery have been, and continue to be, showing works that question the traditional definition of wildlife art. We exhibit works by artists from all over the world, some of whom create animal art, and none of whom would fall into the category of traditional wildlife artist. These artists are pushing the boundaries and creating animal art that either challenges the viewer or offers an alternate way of thinking about animals as a subject matter. That we actively seek out these alternate approaches speaks to our role in a broader art community.”

About the Diehl Gallery Wild 100 Artists in 2015 “This year, Western Visions has invited Helen Durant, Richard Painter, and Les Thomas to participate in the Wild 100. Both Painter and Thomas have been in the show for quite a few years, and their works have sold well. This will be Helen Durant’s first year in Western Visions, and it’s her first year with Diehl Gallery as well. Her work can be seen hanging at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, along with numerous other public and private collections. She is an Atlanta-based painter who was formally trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She primarily uses charcoals and acrylics, along with torn paper and collage. Her lifelong love for animals is evident in her subject matter, and her paintings epitomize contemporary animal art. Tennessee native Richard Painter’s work is probably the most recognizable locally. He created the fantastic 30-foot long bald eagle and the 12-foot high grizzly bear installations at the Jackson Hole Airport. These pieces were commissioned by the airport and

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Diehl: “These artists are pushing the boundaries and creating animal art that either challenges the viewer or offers an alternate way of thinking about animals as a subject matter.”

Richard Painter, Running Bull Painting – Charred Wood 31 x 24 inches | $5,800

are marvelous emblems of our area, both welcoming and bidding farewell to visitors and locals as they arrive and depart. Richard’s works examine the temporal nature and fragility of his subjects. He chars wood panels—there’s actually no paint on his work— creating a negative or reverse silhouette of the image he wants to depict, and then uses pencil torches to fill in the details. The end result is stunning. Les Thomas is a Canadian painter whose abstracted animals are often painted with an overlay of dots and circles. He thinks of the animals in his paintings as subjects he considers to be sub-narrative. That is to say, neither they nor their implied actions are part of any story. Thomas doesn’t paint caricatures or portraits of any particular moose. Rather, he is interested in painting ‘moose’ and not ‘a’ moose. Of course, it is of great interest to him that the appearance of the moose exhibits a certain degree of optical fidelity. However, once this is achieved, its appearance becomes a point of departure.”

What is exciting about these artists, and how does their work represent both the goals of your gallery and Western Visions? “What appeals to me about Durant, Painter, and Thomas is that each of these artists is interested in something more than animal portraiture. They aren’t attempting to be illustrators—they have no interest in simply creating a perfect likeness of a bear or an elk, but rather aim to create contemporary art in which the animal happens to be the subject matter. Their works, in very different ways, all evoke a very visceral response for me. In terms of Western Visions’ growth as a museum exhibition, it’s incredibly important for the works in the show to be a barometer for the change and growth in the genre of animal art. Otherwise, it’s a static presentation of animal portraits, and there’s no real point in that on an ongoing annual basis, is there? The exhibition has evolved, particularly in recent years, and is specifically addressing the change in the genre and actively seeking out artists who are taking part in the progression.” 

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F E AT U R E

Art

A FRIENDSHIP FORGED IN

REMEMBERING RED & JANE SMITH BY KIRSTEN RUE

Mates, a massive oil canvas depicting two moose standing in a landscape of fallen timber beneath white-capped peaks, is one of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s most significant Carl Rungius paintings. Mates’ journey to the museum, however, reveals just how apt its title truly is. The work was gifted by the estate of Jane Smith upon her death—one half of an indomitable pair of art lovers who touched the museum in many ways, not least by founding the Colonel Richard H. “Red” Smith award, presented yearly during Western Visions. The painting’s provenance is also about the abiding—and unique—friendship the couple shared with Rungius himself. The story of Red and Jane Smith is a love story that begins with a Western prologue and then scrolls across the globe, touching down in points as far flung as Tunisia, Tokyo, and Berlin. Jane Smith (nee Griswold) was born in 1916 during the height of the mining boom in Butte, MT. She had an active childhood—skiing, summering on the shores of Flathead Lake, and retaining a close bond to the region throughout her life. Red (so-called because of his dazzling head of hair) went to high school in Laramie, WY, becoming an avid sportsman before beginning a distinguished career as an army colonel and West Point graduate.

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Carl Rungius (German, 1869 – 1959), Mates, c.1935. Oil on canvas. 39 x 49 inches. Gift of Colonel and Mrs. Richard H. “Red” Smith, National Museum of Wildlife Art. © Estate of Carl Rungius. 2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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Top Left: Photograph of Carl Rungius from Jane’s collection. Center: Service years—Jane in her jeep in Corsica in the summer of 1944.

The star-crossed pair first met in WWII-era North Africa while Jane was serving in the Red Cross. “The first time I laid eyes on Red, in the summer of 1943, I saw an extremely attractive man, with gorgeous blue eyes enhanced by beautiful red hair,” she recorded in her memoir, Many Roads Traveled.

Top Right: Portrait of Colonel “Red” Smith, painted by watercolor artist John Pike.

“He was witty, intelligent, smiled and laughed a lot…He was an excellent raconteur.” “He was the real deal,” recalls founding member William Kerr, who shared a friendship with the couple. “He was a charismatic man and a joy to know.” The same, of course, could be said of Jane. Before, during, and after Red’s twelve year courtship, she approached life with a vivacious curiosity unusual for a woman of her time: she took up photography; studied French, Spanish, German, and Japanese; interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt as the editor of a magazine for the Foreign Service; and bravely traveled alone to adventurous work postings around the world. Her close friend, Beth Murdaugh, remembers her as “so positive and relatively fearless; always wanting to learn and asking questions— one element of conversation would build upon the next.” Trustee Sue Simpson Gallagher and fellow close friend remembers Red Smith possessing an “artist’s spirit.” Jane, too, seemed destined to serendipitously bump up against the art world—she befriended noted watercolorist John Pike and even met John Singer Sargent’s sister. It is no wonder, then, that the couple’s fate would eventually bring them face-to-face with German wildlife artist Carl Rungius.

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Red met him first after being struck by Rungius’ painting of an elk, Windfall, as he stood across the street from where it hung in a Manhattan gallery. He inquired after the artist, tracked down his phone number, and called him up. The two met for a drink and thus began a friendship that lasted until Rungius’ death in 1959. “The company of a lively couple was tonic, was food for him,” says Kerr of the widowed artist, and adds that to his knowledge, Red Smith was the only person Rungius ever invited to observe him in the studio.

two easels with the paintings he is working on…I feel so privileged to know a man like Carl—not only is he a very great painter, but he always has a new story to tell about that Western country that I love so much; he was part of an era in our own western history.” In her memoir, Jane details a remarkable expedition the trio made to Alaska: they flew over masses of cracking glacial ice in Glacier Bay and helicoptered low over the rain-lashed tundra of the Kenai Peninsula spotting gigantic bull, cow, and calf moose. No doubt on sightseeing

“These were three vibrant human beings and they simply connected,” adds Murdaugh. expeditions such as these, Rungius In a letter to her parents in 1950, Jane wrote of Rungius, “It is utterly remarkable to see a man of his age so alert and alive, and with such a wonderful sense of humor. Cocktails first at his studio, which I always love to be in—the pungent smell of paints and damp canvases, the heavy dark furniture…But most of all his

mentally added notes to his already vast in-the-field knowledge of wildlife anatomy. Mates, painted earlier in 1938, hung in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. When Red and Jane married, Rungius gave the canvas as a wedding gift. Rungius inscribed etchings, lithographs, and small paintings to the couple, and two


HONORING THE SMITHS During the kick-off of the

Wild 100

Artist Party on Thursday, September 17th, Benefactor ticket holders will have an opportunity to enjoy a special cocktail beginning at 5:30 p.m. As a nod to the couple—and Rungius’—connection to New York City, Rungius’ favorite cocktail, the Manhattan, will be served. Rungius prided himself on creating his own twist to this classic drink, substituting sherry for sweet vermouth. Often, the three friends would meet for an aperitif at Rungius’ studio before dining at Vorst’s, the older painter’s favorite New York restaurant (pictured above).

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“Carl had an irrepressible sense of humor and was thoroughly delightful. He still spoke with a slight accent and never lost his German pronunciation of certain words, like ‘die vimmen’ (the women), which always tickled me.” – Jane Smith, Many Roads Traveled

other paintings the Smiths owned—Siesta and Windfall—they in turn bequeathed to the permanent collection of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. “I feel like I learned a lot from them about the man,” reflects Kerr. “The way he worked; the intensity with which he approached his art, even at that point in his career when he was totally established and recognized as the best wildlife painter in the U.S and Canada of his era.” Speaking of the Rungius paintings the Smiths generously left to the museum, Petersen Curator of Art & Research Adam Harris says, “I think one of the nicest things about this gift are the memories it invokes. Jane Smith came to the museum every year since I’ve been here and it was always a pleasure to see her. Now, we have this great link between the most important part of our collection and her and the actual artist himself.” Red and Jane met the Kerrs in Annapolis, MD when Kerr came to view their Rungius paintings. They maintained an interest in the National Museum of Wildlife Art from its inception, and attended its opening in 1987. Sadly, Red would pass away two brief years later, leading Jane to create the Red Smith Award in 1990 in memory of her beloved life companion. Each year, the winner is voted on by a jury of fellow artists, taking home “Best of Show” honors, a set of silver Rungius medals, and a cash prize. Until her own

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Jane and Carl Rungius fishing in Alaska.

recent passing, Jane almost never missed a Western Visions, and was known as a fixture at its events and parties—chatting with artists, making introductions, and reveling in the charged artistic atmosphere. In her later years, she also continued her insatiable travels, even making it as far as Antarctica. Last year’s award-winner, Daniel W. Pinkham’s Still Waters, was purchased by collectors Lewis Enstedt and Cassie Jones, who were attending Western Visions for the first time. “Depictions of nature and

wildlife are essential to our understanding of where we all come from, something too easily forgotten (if even appreciated) in this technology-driven modern world,” Enstedt says. In Pinkham’s serene and powerful piece, he finds a respite from all that. “To sit and contemplate this painting always takes me to a quiet and calm place. I feel fortunate to have it.” He also notes that he and his wife cannot wait to attend Western Visions again. To honor fine representations of the natural world and the responses they evoke


Daniel Pinkham, Still Waters, 2014. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

DONATING ARTWORK FAQ WITH ADAM DUNCAN HARRIS, PH.D

Petersen Curator of Art & Research How does one go about gifting artwork to the museum? Gifts of art are among the most common and appreciated ways that we grow our collection. Though the process below may look arduous, it works very smoothly. Proposed gifts of art are reviewed approximately four times a year, at regularly scheduled Collections Committee meetings. The first step is to propose the donation to the Curatorial Department. The proposed gift is evaluated in terms of its quality, condition, and relevance to the collection. If approved by the Curatorial Department, the proposal is forwarded to the President/CEO of the Museum and then to the Collections Committee for their approval. The Collections Committee has the authority to recommend the work be included in the permanent collection to the full Board of Trustees.

Red Smith Award Winner 2014 winner Daniel W. Pinkham is a longtime fan of the National Museum of Wildlife Art: “I’ve always been blown away by and have always loved the museum,” he says. “I’m just thrilled to be a part of it. I grew up with nature. We need more programs and more education and more hands-on involvement for children to experience nature.”

is exactly in keeping with Jane’s goal in creating the award, lifelong student and supporter of the arts as she was. “[Jane] had a gift for creating a family of choice,” notes Murdaugh. The couple could make friends anywhere—in an army barracks, on a pack trip in remote Montana, in an opera house in post-war Berlin. The two never stopped adventuring, never stopped opening themselves to new people and experiences, and never stopped loving one another. They have left a lasting legacy, and serve as an inspiration to all

who knew them. When speaking of this family of choice, it is clear that the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s permanent collection, the Western Visions’ artists, and many more have benefitted from the special friendship the Smiths developed with Carl Rungius. Most importantly, now future generations can experience the gift of his artworks. 

What’s the best way to coordinate with the museum on a gifting plan? There are two main ways to give artwork to the museum. The first is an outright donation, where an artwork is given to the museum upon Collection Committee approval. The second is a promised gift, where donors promise to give the artwork to the museum in the future, either at a time of their choosing or upon the distribution of their estate. In all cases, the donor is responsible for obtaining an independent appraisal of the artwork that can be used for tax purposes. In the case of a promised gift, once the gift has been proposed and accepted, museum staff enter the gift into our collection management database and the donor makes note of the donation in his or her will, insuring the completion of the gift in case the artwork is not delivered to the museum prior to his or her death.

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THE SCHOLAR Timothy David Mayhew, Painter BY KIRSTEN RUE

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he central trumpeter swan of Timothy David Mayhew’s Trumpeter’s Tribe riffles its magisterial 8-foot wingspan, creating a bold, chevron silhouette in what is otherwise a quick and muscular flick of gesture. The remarkable composition here is of note—with the assiduity of the classical artists he considers his greatest teachers, Mayhew underwent a rigorous yearlong process to produce the finished painting. After stumbling upon a trumpeter swan pair during a hike in western Wyoming, Mayhew approached the rendering of their anatomy with an academic preparation that included visits to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, as well as further excursions for observation in the field. Mayhew focused on studying the species for a year. As with all of his work, he says, “I try to combine the academic and artistic impulse—it’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Referencing sheaths of sketches, Mayhew crafted a life-sized wax sculpture of the trumpeter swan’s regal head and neck to work from in the studio—a technique he learned from Degas. Mayhew’s scholarly approach to wildlife painting has inspired a decorated career that includes an Artistic Excellence award from Southwest Art and work that hangs in the National Gallery of Art, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and elsewhere. “My approach to the creation of art stems from ideas of the philosopher and humanist, Marcus Tullius Cicero, who was one of the most versatile minds of classical Roman culture,” Mayhew says. “Cicero said that, ‘Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.’ Thus, I have found that taking frequent forays into natural environments allows me to study the landscape, and the elegant creatures that inhabit them.” Mayhew also counts Robert Kuhn as an influence on his craft, so it is especially apt that he received the Western Visions’ Robert Kuhn Award in 2010. Kuhn, one of the most popular illustrators and painters of American wildlife, was known to sketch prodigiously on whatever paper he could find. The honor of the award was twofold for Mayhew; winning hearkened to a decades-long friendship with the very artist and mentor who “convinced me of the

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value of drawing from life.” Mayhew was also recognized with the Trustee Purchase Award last year, bringing the painting Room With a View into the NMWA’s permanent collection. Sparked by the method of Japanese woodblock artists who returned again and again to tackle the enigmatic Mt. Fuji, Mayhew undertook a similar project of drawing our own home-hewn enigma—the Grand Teton. Mayhew began a series of drawings and paintings of the Grand in 2010, commencing with a view of the Grand framed by an osprey nest in the foreground. One drawing from this series was recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Collection in Los Angeles. Drawing—and drawing with the original techniques and materials of the masters—is a passion of Mayhew’s and one he has studied and written on at length. Referring to naturally quarried red, black, and yellow chalk, he says, “these are materials that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. There are some properties with natural red chalk that make them stay on the page.” Think to the warm, saturated palette of Da Vinci’s sketches: the naturally quarried chalks allow for quick, expressive, and precise drawing in the backcountry. In fact, Mayhew has become such an expert on the topic that he is frequently invited to speak to curators and students at cultural institutions around the country. During his time as the Lanford-Monroe Artist in Residence at the NMWA, Mayhew himself helped model the classically European style of drawing wildlife concurrent to an exhibit of Swiss artist Karl Bodmer. As Mayhew worked in a live theatre to translate his swan drawings to an oil painting, patrons witnessed the two arms of artistic history bending to meet in the present moment. As he does every year, Mayhew avidly anticipates his fall return to the Western Visions exhibition: “For me, Western Visions is the Triple Crown of the art world.” The three prongs of this crown concern Western Visions’ stature as a “critically-acclaimed international exhibition where I can interact with serious art collectors, fellow artists, and gauge the reception of my artwork.” Second is the cultural value for a painter who remains foremost a student; at the

NMWA, Mayhew can study over 5,000 catalogued pieces chronicling man’s relationship to nature. For the third point, artistic and academic impulses once more meet and meld. The museum’s unique location allows for the invaluable field studies that are so essential to the veracity and liveliness of the artist’s paintings. “I always end up putting in very long and grueling days while I am there, getting up each day before dawn in order to trek deep into the backcountry to study the charismatic megafauna in their natural environment,” he says. And then? It’s back to town: time to spruce up, head up the hill, and join the party of artists, peers, and collectors that make Western Visions the bookend to a new autumn of artistry. 


Mayhew: “It takes considerable time and stillness on my part for animals to become accustomed to my presence and to realize that I do not represent a threat before they can relax and return to their own unique and fascinating behaviors. In the painting, The Trumpeter’s Tribe, I tried to portray each of the five swans demonstrating interesting behavior patterns, from preening various parts of their feathers to waterproof them, rising up and flapping their eight foot wing span to dry their flight feathers, and more. One of the more interesting behaviors I noted was cygnets entering the icy cold water at first light and swimming on their sides, holding one leg up to warm it in the sunlight, a behavior depicted in the foreground cygnet in the painting.”

Trumpeter’s Tribe (above) Painting – Oil on belgian linen 36 x 48 inches | $16,000 Trumpeter swans are an endangered North American species with dwindling birth rates, making this tableau of the species with a range of ages from cygnet to adult all the more compelling. The Wyoming Wetlands Society has recently made gains in preserving the swans’ wetland habitat. Fine Art Connoisseur currently features the painting in print. Room With a View (left) Oil on Belgian linen 30 x 24 inches National Museum of Wildlife Art Mayhew donated the preparatory drawing for his painting, Room With a View, to the museum. It is drawn with natural black chalk and yellow chalk—the first of his Grand Series. #5 in the series, recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum, reveals Mayhew once again paying homage to time-honored technique; this time, he drew in the 19th century style of dessin au fusain. While visiting Jackson Hole for Western Visions this fall, Mayhew plans to continue this series and is plotting another large painting.

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THE DESIGN OF NATURE September Vhay, Painter BY KIRSTEN RUE

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ackson-based artist September Vhay recalls the first time she visited the National Museum of Wildlife Art: “I was awestruck by the architecture and how it was built into the hillside…I remember walking down the stairs to encounter the sculpture of the cougar at the entrance… I was inspired by the art and the vistas from the museum. It became one of my favorite places to visit.” Soon after, Vhay completed her long-simmering leap to becoming a fulltime painter after an earlier career as an architect. In Jackson Hole and beyond, her sensitively observed paintings and drawings are avidly collected. This year’s pieces, Deer Run Glow, Sentinel of the North, and Mountain Majesties share a purity of tone; the shape of polar bear and deer arise through Vhay’s confident lines and her seemingly effortless talent for capturing accurate anatomical physiology. Richly contrasted from the surrounding white space and harmonizing tonally through the assured—yet delicate— application of oil and charcoal, Vhay’s paintings communicate a minimalist vision full of shape, proportion, and pathos. “Animals are my most dominant subject matter as the vehicle for my investigations with medium and composition,” Vhay explains. “I am interested in saying as much as possible with minimum expression.” This drive takes her out into a variety of ecosystems—even as far as Churchill, Manitoba—to observe wildlife in their natural environments. “These animals are ones that camouflage into their environment—the rams from Dubois, deer from Nevada, polar bear from Canada.” Working from close observation in the field, Vhay waits for moments that strike a chord with her and continue to resonate: “I get an intuitive sense that an animal’s gesture will be the genesis for a painting, so I pay close attention when I have this feeling.” Capturing sometimes up to 200 photographs of a single subject, Vhay reviews her photographs and pulls elements together to create balanced compositions, “re-expressed in paint.” Throughout the

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process, that very intuitive sense of the moment and its reverberations is her guide. In 2010, Vhay won the Trustee Purchase Award during Western Visions and her work, Two is a Pair, now hangs in the museum’s permanent collection. This recognition connected her to a family heritage replete with its own inspiration. “On a personal level, it was a huge honor to have a piece in the permanent collection of the same institution that has one of my great grandfather’s pieces on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The National Museum of Wildlife Art currently has Vhay’s great-grandfather, Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s, sculpture Mares of Diomedes on display. He’s most famous, of course, for sculpting the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Mares of Diomedes depicts a tumble of straining mythical horses vaulting in a semicircle of dramatic motion towards a point unknown; the parallels to Vhay’s own spare Red Horse painting series come to mind. She grew up on a ranch in Nevada, and has maintained a passion for representing equine subjects ever since. However, it was actually Borglum’s work on canvas that inspired Vhay from girlhood.

“It was his paintings that I studied,” she says. “Some of the nuances of his paintings show up in my work.” Currently represented by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Altamira Fine Art in Jackson Hole, Vhay has shown in large exhibitions such as Birds in Art, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and the American Academy of Equine Art. The artist points out that Jackson has been named the third most influential city under a million residents for art and culture. It’s a dynamism she plans to continue contributing to as a local working artist. Her work in this year’s Western Visions may be far flung in terms of locale, but for Vhay, her lineage of strong identification with the western landscape endures. “I feel a oneness with this landscape and the wildlife here…Simply by living in this landscape one can feel that connection on a daily basis. I have deer, fox, ermine, a variety of bird species, the occasional otter, and moose in my backyard—and a baby squirrel came and visited me in my office a few days ago. I am very appreciative to live here.” For the art lovers of Western Visions, the feeling is mutual. 


“All of my work is generated by an affinity for the subject matter and a love of design and color.”

Two is a Pair

Sentinel of the North (left) Painting – Charcoal on Bristol 15 x 26 inches | $1,750 “Sentinel of the North is an animal from a completely different part of the world—Churchill, Manitoba—but the landscape is similar to the desert in its vastness and in its muted palate. What is also similar about painting wildlife, regardless of the habitat, is the thrilling experience of observing animals in their natural environment. I chose charcoal for the Sentinel of the North, as it expresses a sense of gentleness and grace of the bears while the mass and solidity of the overall shape conveys a sense of their power. The white of the paper in the background gives a sense of the expanse of the snowy landscape. I love the dichotomy of the bears’ sense of peacefulness and grace at the same time that they are very powerful and dangerous.” Deer Run Glow (above) Painting – Oil on Belgian Linen 12 x 12 inches | $2,700 “This painting is inspired by a fawn that was on my parents’ deck at their ranch in Nevada. I grew up around herds of hundreds of deer in the alfalfa fields; the ranch is appropriately named Deer Run Ranch. I love how they are camouflaged in the sagebrush, their beautiful shapes, gentle and curious nature, and their athleticism. The painting is in oil, as I enjoy the saturation of the medium for the dark darks. Regardless of the medium that I choose, the freshness and approach that I take beckons back to the origins of my art career as a watercolorist.” Two is a Pair, 2010 (below) Oil on linen. 9 x 12 inches. 2010 Western Visions Trustees Purchase Award, National Museum of Wildlife Art.

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THE FRISSON OF THE SUBJECT Ewoud de Groot, Painter BY KIRSTEN RUE

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he Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage site that stretches from the Netherlands through Germany to Denmark. On its unbroken network of shallow tidal flats, many scenes arise that might be called painterly: a raft of sea birds climbing from a lavender-hued sea; a sprawl of cirrus clouds brightening at sunrise. These designs of reflected color and wings held aloft are immediately recognizable in Dutch painter Ewoud de Groot’s work. Reminiscing about his childhood in the Northern reaches of The Netherlands, de Groot recalls, “my dad owned an old Dutch shrimp trawler which was converted into a ship for leisure where we used to go out fishing, collecting mussels, and visiting the famous Wadden islands. Because of the large mud and sandbanks, and the fact that at low tide half of them would get dry, the Waddensea is famous for birdlife. This is where the inspiration came from for my oystercatcher paintings.” It is important to emphasize that although the National Museum of Wildlife Art is uniquely positioned through its dramatic setting to foster a dialogue about landscapes of the American West, its reach extends across the globe and through history to bring together centuries of diverse wildlife representations. De Groot’s paintings exemplify this with their focus on a cross-continental selection of subjects—primarily avian—against patterned backdrops that call to mind symbolist masterworks by the likes of Gustav Klimt. Caspian, which entered the NMWA’s permanent collection last year, reveals de Groot at the top of his form: one single caspian tern soars against a background that shimmers like a beaded curtain in motion. “The painting itself is made up of many layers of oil paint and many painting sessions, especially for the background. I try to keep my backgrounds more abstract and loose or impressionistic—even expressionistic—and build them up with many dots and splashes of paint where I use complementary layers,” de Groot explains. Building from a base of warmer colors, he then added layers of cool blues. In what has become somewhat of a signature for him, the painting’s central subject “is painted in a more traditional

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figurative way, so it starts to contrast against the more abstract background.” This tension between realism and the abstract is also evident in de Groot’s Taking Off, which will be exhibited in this year’s Western Visions. Now planning to attend the auction for his seventh straight year as a Wild 100 artist, the artist says that “Jackson Hole has become a way of coming home now because I’ve become very familiar with its surroundings and have made many good friends over there. The museum is of course very special to me as a wildlife artist because I think there is no other and better opportunity where we as wildlife artists—some more traditional and others more contemporary—will find a platform and appreciation.” Ewoud de Groot is represented

locally at Astoria Fine Art, as well as by the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe, and has been invited to exhibitions in the U.S.A., Netherlands, and the U.K. Last year, his painting of a dreamily rendered bison won the Western Visions’ “People’s Choice” award. Riven with vivid drips of golden paint, the painting demonstrates the artist’s connection to our homegrown subjects, even as he continues to make his home on the northern coast of his native land. Beyond the glitz and the artistic fellowship he anticipates discovering during Western Visions once again this year, de Groot is looking forward to one more thing. “I can’t wait to do some fishing on the Snake River,” he says. 


Caspian (left) Oil on linen | 25 x 25 inches “The caspian tern now hanging in the permanent collection of the museum was inspired by my trip to Wisconsin in September of 2012. I was there for my first opening of Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkeye Woodson Art Museum. I made a trip together with my brother along the coast of Lake Michigan and saw these majestic terns at Port Washington. In the Netherlands we also get some of these birds visiting occasionally during migration when they are traveling from the Baltic Sea to their overwintering range in Eastern Europe, but because they are a ‘freshwater’ species, you won’t find them on sea, and I rarely see them where I live. I’m thrilled it is hanging now in the permanent collection.” Taking Off (below) Painting – Oil on linen 23.625 x 47.25 inches | $11,400 “This painting was inspired by a snowy owl we had staying over here in the winter of 2011. They are a rare species here in Holland, but occasionally we get a few during wintertime. They feed mostly on tundra voles, but they are also right on the edge of their range. I had been observing this particular bird many times and was inspired by the way it took off in the snow. I use those dots to give the background a looseness and also to make the painting more dynamic.”

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ONE PERFECT SHAPE Sandy Scott, Sculptor BY KIRSTEN RUE

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s one approaches the National Museum of Wildlife Art from either direction, the grand silhouette of an eagle stamps the horizon at the crest of the hill. This is Presidential Eagle, a work by sculptor Sandy Scott. No stranger to high-profile monumental sculptures, her work has been installed in venues such as the Clinton Library. Presidential Eagle and Moose Flats, another beloved sculpture on the NMWA’s Sculpture Trail, are two of Scott’s monuments, and she mentions Presidential Eagle as one of her all-time favorite pieces. “I know my goal was to define a very simple and clear statement. If there’s a word I’m after in designing a monument, it’s clarity and simplicity in design. From a distance, you can identify what it is.” This instant thunderclap of recognition of an animal’s form from any angle is always her goal when she designs a largescale monument. Scott’s history with the NMWA is a warm one, and dates back to its original location on the Jackson Hole Town Square. She traveled to Alaska with wildlife illustrator and award-namesake Robert Kuhn; she has known and admired founding members the Kerrs for decades. “They’re like our extended family,” she says, and she respects the efforts that Kerr and the rest of the museum’s board have always made to collect the work of living artists. Scott casts her bronze works in a foundry in Lander, WY, but every finished sculpture can represent months—or years—of preparatory work. “My in-thefield experience is such a necessity to my studio procedure,” she explains. In the case of M’Bogo, being shown this year in Western Visions, she tackled sculpting a cape buffalo—M’Bogo in Swahili—after a trip to Tanzania where she broadened her repertoire by observing a variety of African subjects in the wild. Traveling with an anti-poaching group, Scott and her fellow invited artists hope to raise funds through their efforts to halt the illegal poaching of African elephants. It’s a mission very in line with the conservation focus of the NMWA. When Scott is out in field, she says, “I look at the landscape not as a painter

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

but as habitat. I feel this as a sculptor—a painter will paint what they see; a sculptor sculpts what they know. They must be in touch with anatomy and skeletal drawings. You’re not going to reinvent that animal.” In noting the different approaches between sculptors and painters in the field, she continues, “Even with an oil painting of an animal, a painter will look at the play of light on the form and how light affects it, integrating it into the landscape. A sculptor is looking for the pose and what’s typical of the animal.” Scott refers to this “typical pose” as “nature’s one pattern” and it’s a series she documents in astonishing detail on her personal blog. She began the blog for the students she teaches at the Scottsdale Artists’ School and posts a recurring series there that includes instructional reflections geared toward collectors, students, and other artists on drawing quadruped anatomy. For her, quadrupeds have truly

been an inspiration since the beginning. Growing up as a rancher’s daughter greatly influenced Scott’s choice of subjects; then, attending the Kansas Art Institute catalyzed the “single most enlightening event of my life.” From there, Scott obtained her pilot’s license and uses her first-hand knowledge of aerodynamics to model for her students the ways in which airplane flight is analogous to that of a bird’s. “You trick the eye into understanding motion and flight,” she says, referring to sculptures that may be cast in solid bronze, and yet communicate a blithe sense of lift. The sculptor also speaks of Western Visions in terms of flight. “The museum in the fall has become the rendezvous point for all of us. Over the years, it’s just become the place that you’re going to migrate to—just like the geese fly back north in the spring and south in the fall. Artists just gravitate now to Jackson in September.” 


Scott: “I won’t do an animal unless I’ve been out and actually seen it. [Africa] really opened up a whole new chapter for me—a whole new group of animals and species. I’m really excited to be working with giraffes, cheetahs, etc. I’m really excited about the cape buffalo that I am exhibiting in Western Visions this year.”

INSIDE THE STUDIO “The color of a bronze sculpture is called a patina. Color has a profound effect on the sculpture’s final appearance and the impression it makes on the viewer. The patina color choice can enhance or detract from the emotional effect and overall presence of the artist’s work Typically, patinas are applied in the foundry with various chemicals. Ancient bronzes emerged from the earth and sea with beautiful blue and green patinas due to the copper content of the bronze . . . the color was acquired through age. Today, sculptors “age” their bronze sculptures by applying chemicals to the bronze and different chemicals produce different colors. The patina for M’Bogo is achieved by first applying liver of sulfur to the cold bronze, which imparts a blackish-brown color. Next, the sculpture is heated to very hot with a propane torch and cupric nitrate is sizzled on which gives a blue appearance. The bronze is kept very hot with the torch and ferric nitrate is stippled on next. The ferric changes the cool blue to a warmer blue-green color. After the sculpture cools, wax is applied.”

Tom (far left) Sculpture – Bronze – Edition of 35 12 x 10 x 8 inches | $2,700 Tom is a new piece this year and depicts a wild turkey. Scott gathered the reference materials from firsthand observation of the species in South Carolina. M’Bogo (above) Sculpture – Bronze – Edition of 50 18 x 25 x 14 inches | $3,000

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DANCING THE DANCE Karen Bondarchuk, Visual Artist BY KIRSTEN RUE

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hile our visions of a primordial Western landscape often include an image of the original great mammals moving unfettered across the plains, visual artist Karen Bondarchuk points out that “there’s an ever-present Acme hole that seems to exist for lots of these creatures.” What she means is this: we’ve gone to a place that we can’t return from; a tripwire waits to arrest the motion of our wild animals, curtailing them and altering their evolutionary patterns, ranges, and behaviors. The “Acme hole” (a familiar trope for viewers of Roadrunner cartoons) represents sudden disappearance and erasure on those same storied plains. Bondarchuk’s work over the past several years has been invested in “really looking at the way these creatures exist in this human environment they’re subjected to.” In her Kith & Kin series, she examines wildlife’s tripping points with incisive intelligence and a mixed media approach. The artist is new to Western Visions this year, and it is immediately evident that she contributes substantively to the body of Wild 100 artists while simultaneously adding something off kilter and more conceptual to the show. Take, for example, Bondarchuk’s Eclipse drawing in her Kith & Kin series. In work that she calls “almost a rejoinder to that idea of the Romantic West,” her bison, densely rendered in charcoal, rears on an abstracted, featureless background tinged a foreboding pink. His hooves blur over a scattering of typeface—letters abandoned in a jumble of grammar as he veers, inevitably, towards the round Acme hole and the enigmatic vanishing it represents. Bondarchuk frequently introduces snippets of lettering into her finished works because she hopes to trouble the notion that human language separates us from other species. “It’s just the notion that language in the human world is different. It isn’t a matter of kind; it’s a matter of degree,” she explains. “How do we communicate as humans? What do we consider effective communication? Language is this unreliable marker of what’s ‘human.’”

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

A student of Darwin and his ripple-making revelation that “we exist on a continuum with these creatures, on this planet, with anything that is alive,” the artist recently had an encounter of her own with an ancient, and profoundly moving, era of human and animal coexistence. During an artist’s residency in the south of France, Bondarchuk was able to visit many of the famous Paleolithic cave paintings of the Dordogne and Basque regions of France and Spain. What she saw there shook her to the core: “It was so indescribably amazing—the attention to detail; the ability of these early ancestors to depict in such a sensitive way through the absolutely masterful use of very simple, elemental material— manganese, charcoal, iron oxide. It was absolutely some of the most profound work I’ve ever seen.” She was especially struck by the egalitarian presentation of the human and animal imagery. “There wasn’t a sense of [human]

removal or dominance; there was a sense of equality. After humans started to become the dominant species on the planet, those depictions went from those of reverence to a kind of domination.” The clean works, unfettered by conceptual baggage of how we order the animal world, continue to have an impact on Bondarchuk’s studio practice—this is glimpsed in the bold, strong lines of her subjects, often drawn in charcoal. A native of Canada (where her video work is featured in the National Gallery), Bondarchuk first encountered the NMWA through fellow artists at exhibitions such as Birds in Art, as well as via her extensive self-education on the Wild West and its attendant mythos. Of the museum, she says, “I have such a deep respect for any place like the National Museum of Wildlife Art that is looking at this dance that we do with these creatures.” It is a dance she will continue to honor. 


“This series is dealing with the idea of human intervention that is deleterious to [a species’] well being and existence. There’s also humor, too—I don’t want the work to be seen as this grave, negative, doom and gloom idea. There’s a kind of playful nod to it as well.” The patchy pink sky is meant to connote the old adage of “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.”

Walking the Walk (far left) Painting – Charcoal, ink and presstype on Rives BFK paper 30 x 22 inches | $3,000 Part of a three-part series in a related vein, “the works were really inspired by that idea of human intervention changing the course of the lives of these creatures. There are mapped out steps creating an infinitely complex kind of dance that these creatures have to navigate in this human constructed world that they have to exist in. I’m really thinking about the human presence that is always there, particularly with the bison in this work.” Kith & Kin #6: Eclipse (above) Painting – charcoal, pastel and prestige on Wallis paper 10 x 14 inches | $700 When Lewis and Clark first made their expedition into the great open West, there were several million bison on the Great Plains; this number was reduced to fewer than 100 animals by around 1870. Stormy Weather (left) Sketch – Charcoal and ink on gessoed board 7.75 x 5.75 inches | $350 Bondarchuk has spent the past several years visiting a raptor rehabilitation center north of Chicago. Here, she researches imprinted birds—birds that have become so identified with humans that they no longer identify with their own kind. She finds this to be a “metaphor for this idea of the bird not having its own innate identity” and the hubris of the human psyche. In many of her works featuring birds, Bondarchuk depicts the way a bird’s inner sight might mirror human consciousness.

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PAINTING THE MUSIC Daniel W. Pinkham, Painter BY KIRSTEN RUE

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aniel W. Pinkham is a poet of silences and glimpses of tranquil reflection; however, when he describes the moments that spur his serene, plein air paintings, he uses the metaphor of music. “Years ago,” he says, “ I would go to the rehearsals of the Long Beach Symphony and I had permission to sit in the middle of the orchestra on the floor and sketch while they played around me. In that moment—with the music all around you and the vibration of the floor—you are immersed. When I go out to paint in plein air, sit and write and listen, it’s the same feeling I get when I’m totally immersed and absorbed.” In an almost synesthetic sense, “in everything I look at, I see music and hear color. Not only the wildlife, but the grasses and the hills and the trees—they become part of my heartbeat, so to speak.” In Still Waters, Pinkham’s Red Smith Award-winning painting from last year’s Western Visions, the dappled rose, green, and gold tones of the calm evening light composition could be heard as a shimmering timpani, a riffle of flute, or the echo of a piano key as it fades into the room. Through his subtle and artfully blended brushstrokes, Pinkham’s oil paintings evoke an emotion of reverent meditation that breaks the boundary of time. Indeed, with work that references Impressionist open air painting, Pinkham is no stranger to their timelessness; he cites one of his painting masters who declared Impressionist paintings the most real, as they “release the moment from the past.” This ability to distil the spiritual heft of a subject through paint runs in the Pinkham family. Pinkham’s relative, Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917), earned notice as one of America’s first spiritualist painters. His paintings of roiling seas and gilded, mysteriously allegorical glades are famed for their gestures towards abstract modernism. For Pinkham, this makes intuitive sense as he, too, relates to the “abstract qualities that underlie the visible world…and speak to a part of our subconscious.” A frequent award-winner and Signature

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

Member of the Oil Painters of America, Pinkham was nevertheless bowled over to receive the Red Smith Award last year during his second experience exhibiting as a Wild 100 artist. “Being awarded was so unexpected, so wonderful,” he says. “Really quite overwhelming—just the idea of the other incredible artists [voting to honor my painting] was almost too much to comprehend. All the work should be viewed as award-winners.” In his home state of California, Pinkham frequently paints natural coastline scenes. The artist and seven of his fellow painters have spearheaded a grassroots partnership with a local land conservancy movement. “Our visual sense is the strongest sense that we have in the body,” he explains, “so when you start

presenting images in front of people that they respond to, you don’t necessarily change minds, you change hearts.” Through the artists’ efforts in painting their own backyard, Pinkham is encouraged to see community members “see the world through inspired eyes” and take ownership of their neighborhood in positive ways including better city planning, creating walking trails, and raising funds for future conservation. “It’s quite wonderful what the arts can do,” he says. The power of art is boundless, and Pinkham assumes the humble attitude of supplicant to this power, even as he approaches the act of plein air painting with consummate skill. “Nature is the teacher and I’m, we’ll say, the scribe.” 


Patience (above) Painting – Oil on canvas 18 x 36 inches | $14,500 “In the last few years, I’ve been channeling the artistic and emotional moods of late afternoon and dusk— that’s the correlation between last year’s piece and this year’s. There’s a wonderful spirit that wheels at this time of day. Patience is pretty self-explanatory with the egret just poised for movement. What I’ve tried to do during that time of day is focus on a diffusion of details; the horizontal long shapes conjure up in the mind quiet and gentle contemplation. Artistically, you want your costars— the landscape—to support the mood and emotion of the star—the egret—with all elements of like mood and like support, or the emotion of what we call ‘patience.’ The light that is in the picture provides a point/counterpoint stimulus as in music; there is action and balance at the same time.”

Dusk’s Quiet Sketch – Watercolor 12 x 9 inches | $800 “Dusk’s Quiet is a sketch to prepare for Patience. I do a lot of writing while I’m out on location: If I don’t understand why I’m painting it, it doesn’t serve me well.”

Sky Poem (left) Painting – Oil on canvas 11 x 14 inches | $3,400 “Basically anytime I witness a sky’s relationship with the water, I am inspired. Over many years of painting, this type of imagery or motif has become almost a metaphor for me to use as a vehicle to explore my spiritual or prayer life—exposing how my prayer life affects my walk. Sky Poem was painted in plein air, on location. And so, the artistic journey continues because what has been said is still not enough.”

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T R A N S M I T T I N G THE MOMENT Chad Poppleton, Painter BY KIRSTEN RUE

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on’t ever drive with me in the mountains; you’ll end up in the ditch,” jokes painter Chad Poppleton. “Passengers know that if I’m driving, they have to sign a waiver: will stop for all animals and all sunsets.” Growing up in Cache Valley, Utah, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has always been an extended backyard for Poppleton, who was raised on a working ranch and takes frequent forays into the rugged backcountry as a keen outdoorsman and painter. For him, the give and take between the human and natural worlds is a daily balance, and source of inspiration. “Firsthand observation is a must. So much of my art is about translating the experience I had gathering the reference for it. My favorite time is when the animals are the most active—soft, subtle, warm and cool light times just happen to coincide together with the activity of the animal.” This is precisely why the car is getting pulled over if such a moment combining activity and supple light comes his way: the opportunity to transmit such an ineffable emotion is not wasted. Rendered in oil, Poppleton’s paintings bring wildlife scenes to life—moose crossing a river or a grizzly honing in on dinner—with thick brushstrokes that impart the depth and texture of color on fur or in the braid of a creek, all while conveying a psychologically rich moment in time. In Jackson, Poppleton is represented by The Legacy Gallery, and he has also been honored as the youngest member of the C.M. Russell Museum’s Skull Society of Artists and featured in Southwest Art Magazine, among other recognitions. In the artist’s Robert Kuhn Awardwinning sketch from last year, The Hazards of a Fast Food Diet, the realistically articulated faces of a hare and a cougar bleed into limbs and feet that communicate the impatience of motion; even the shadows beneath each animal shiver forward with a sense of propulsion. The sketch is amusing and yet also telepaths the alarm and the adrenaline of both creatures. What will happen in this narrative? The viewer is left in suspense, and this is precisely Poppleton’s goal. “My job is basically to

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

trigger an emotional response from people,” he says. “If I can get you to feel the piece, rather than view it, then I consider it a success.” Poppleton deems Robert (Bob) Kuhn to be “one of the deans of wildlife art in the contemporary world,” and feels a sense of pride to be continuing the venerated wildlife art tradition of drawing and seeking inspiration on location. He notes, “so much of Bob’s success as an artist was also him as a person—a person of very high character with scruples. I think the museum has made a good decision to honor Bob through an award. I was completely honored and I adore Bob’s work.” The son of a wildlife painter himself, Poppleton visited the National Museum of Wildlife Art in its original location on the Jackson Hole Town Square. “As a college student, it was my other classroom,” he says, “and it’s a still a classroom today.” For him, the museum fulfills a key cultural role in re-forging a human connection to nature that has often been overlooked or lost. “The [museum] is a perfect place to

be a mediator between art and nature,” he says. He especially focuses on the positives of connecting younger generations with the wilderness, as he now guides his own children down the path he trod himself. “When you love something, you’ll do anything for it,” he says of the vast ecosystem he calls home. This includes a sense of stewardship similar to that of a farmer for his crops and the landscape that he cultivates. Through his own painting, Poppleton can transmute that experience to collectors across the country, crafting tangible reminders of the west and its frequently soul-stirring impact on visitors. “Great pieces of art have inspired people to accomplish monumental tasks— national parks have been created through artists’ works. That’s something that we should all be gravitating to and promoting,” Poppleton explains of his ethos. “Art is giving back to something I love.” 

On the Prowl Painting | 11 x 14 inches | $1,700 Poppleton: “My miniature piece is in 11x14 format, and was inspired by a trip to Yellowstone a number of years ago where I photographed rutting elk. Instead of a large, dynamic animal upfront, this is more of a quiet moment where the animal is less dominant in the scene. I encountered this bull elk coming along a roll of trees in an open meadow, without a major high chiaroscuro light source. I just happened to have the perfect setting: a little bit of light just barely catching his antlers in the back. This is a little more monochromatic than I usually paint.”


Poppleton: “You know animals—they all have their own personalities. The farm and ranch really gave me an advantage [in recognizing this]. I’ve noticed that every horse has its personality and what it can and can’t do. Being able to recognize that plays a key role in wildlife art; it’s a humanistic approach.” The Hazards of a Fast Food Diet, 2014 Graphite 16 x 20 inches

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2015 Western Visions

Wild 100 Artists

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EDWARD ALDRICH

BRIAN GRIMM

HOWARD POST

WILLIAM ALTHER

SIMON GUDGEON

JOHN POTTER

TONY ANGELL

JENNIFER L. HOFFMAN

JAMES PROSEK

GERALD BALCIAR

NANCY HOWE

CHARLES TIMOTHY PRUTZER

NIKOLO BALKANSKI

DONNA HOWELL-SICKLES

THOMAS QUINN

JOHN BANOVICH

DOUG HYDE

LEE CARLMAN RIDDELL

ROBERT BATEMAN

JULIE JEPPSEN

AMY RINGHOLZ

GREG BEECHAM

COLE JOHNSON

MARY ROBERSON

MARC BOHNE

LARS JONSSON

THOM ROSS

KAREN BONDARCHUK

T. D. KELSEY

BILL SAWCZUK

GEORGE CARLSON

STEVE KESTREL

LINDSAY SCOTT

KEN CARLSON

RON KINGSWOOD

SANDY SCOTT

G. RUSSELL CASE

FRANCOIS KOCH

CHESSNEY SEVIER

NANCY DUNLOP CAWDREY

CRAIG KOSAK

KYLE SIMS

JULIE T. CHAPMAN

LANEY

MIAN SITU

TIM CHERRY

T. ALLEN LAWSON

ADAM SMITH

SCOTT L. CHRISTENSEN

AMY ELIZABETH LAY

BRETT JAMES SMITH

JAMES COE

Z. S. LIANG

DANIEL SMITH

GUY COMBES

KAORU MANSOUR

TUCKER SMITH

ROX CORBETT

WALTER MATIA

LEE STRONCEK

JENNESS CORTEZ

TIMOTHY DAVID MAYHEW

MARK SUSINNO

BREGELLE WHITWORTH DAVIS

ROBERT MCCAULEY

MICHAEL SWEARNGIN

EWOUD DE GROOT

KRYSTII MELAINE

LES THOMAS

ANDREW DENMAN

JAMES MORGAN

KATHRYN MAPES TURNER

STEVE DEVENYNS

JOHN NIETO

KENT ULLBERG

MICK DOELLINGER

RALPH OBERG

DUSTIN VAN WECHEL

HELEN DURANT

LEO OSBORNE

SEPTEMBER VHAY

MARK EBERHARD

JOEL OSTLIND

THEODORE WADDELL

JOSH ELLIOTT

RICHARD PAINTER

BART WALTER

LUKE FRAZIER

TOM PALMORE

JIM WILCOX

BRITT FREDA

LES PERHACS

KATHY WIPFLER

R. THOMAS GILLEON

DAVID PETLOWANY

DENNIS ZIEMIENSKI

ROBERT GLEN

DANIEL W. PINKHAM

SHERI GREVES-NEILSON

CHAD POPPLETON

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


R. Tom Gilleon Greg Woodard September 1-12

Reception: September 11, 5 - 8 pm

Red Lodge, Oil, 16″ x 16″

Buffalo Nickel, Steel, 16.5″ x 15.5″ x 7″

Reception: September 11, 5 - 8 pm

September 1-12

Billy Schenck Steve Seltzer September 7-21

A Decision, Oil, 20″ x 24″

Master of His Domain, Oil, 30″ x 30″

Reception: September 16, 5 - 8 pm

New to Altamira

ALTAMIRA FINE ART JACKSON

172 Center Street | Jackson, Wyoming | 307.739.4700 7038 E. Main Street | Scottsdale, Arizona | 480.949.1256 For more on upcoming shows and gallery artists visit www.altamiraart.com


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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


A N A U C T I O N O F PA S T & P R E S E N T M A S T E R W O R K S O F T H E A M E R I C A N W E S T

LIVE AUCTION! SEPTEMBER 18-19, 2015 CENTER FOR THE ARTS • JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

Bob Kuhn (1920-2007), Cheetahs on a Termite Hill, acrylic on masonite, 22 x 40 inches, Estimate: $200,000 - $400,000

S E S S I O N I : F R I D AY, S E P T E M B E R 1 8 | 1 2 : 0 0 P M M S T P R E V I E W S : S E P T E M B E R 17 T H , 10 : 0 0 A M – 7 : 0 0 P M & S E P T E M B E R 18 T H , 9 : 0 0 A M – 12 : 0 0 P M T R A I L S I D E G A L L E R I E S , 13 0 E . B R O A D WAY, J A C K S O N , W Y

S E S S I O N I I : S AT U R D AY, S E P T E M B E R 1 9 | 1 2 : 0 0 P M M S T P R E V I E W S : S E P T E M B E R 18 T H , 10 : 0 0 A M – 7 : 0 0 P M & S E P T E M B E R 19 T H , 9 : 0 0 A M – 12 : 0 0 P M T H E C E N T E R F O R T H E A RTS , 2 6 5 S O U T H C A C H E , J A C K S O N , W Y

F O R F U R T H E R I N F O R M AT I O N C O N TA C T J I L L C A L L A H A N , A U C T I O N C O O R D I N AT O R 8 6 6 - 5 4 9 - 9 2 7 8 , C O O R D I N AT O R @ J A C K S O N H O L E A R TA U C T I O N . C O M

JACKSON HOLE ART AUCTION, LLC P.O. BOX 1568 - 130 EAST BROADWAY, JACKSON, WYOMING 83001 | TEL 866-549-9278 COORDINATOR@JACKSONHOLEARTAUCTION.COM | WWW.JACKSONHOLEARTAUCTION.COM


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jacksonholeinsurance. com | ph 307.733.9969 | toll free 866.733.9969 fx 307.733.7234 | mail@jacksonholeinsurance.com Post Office Box 8162 Jackson, WY 83002


HOMES INSPIRED BY

living.

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YOUR GUIDES TO THE JACKSON HOLE LIFESTYLE To view more information on our listings, please visit

WWW.SPACKMANSINJH.COM

(307) 739-8156 | SPACKMANS@JHSIR.COM

B A B B S , B R A N D O N , DAV , S T E PVisions H A N I|Ewesternvisions.org , LIZ 2015 EWestern

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BE WILD.

Explore fine art depicting humanity’s relationship with nature dating back to 2500 BC.

BE FREE.

Roam the Sculpture Trail, 14 galleries, and dine overlooking the National Elk Refuge.

BE INSPIRED.

Enrich your mind and soul with the power of nature, wildlife, and the West.

Simon Gudgeon (United Kingdom, b 1958), Isis, 2008, Bronze. 144 inches.

N

a t i o n a l

M

u s e u m

of W i l d l i f e A r t

307-733-5771 | Open Daily | Just 2 Miles from Jackson and GTNP | WildlifeArt.org


Fine Art in a landscape that inspired Legends.

Overlooking the spectacular Teton Range, experience Spring Creek Ranch, both elegant and authentically western. Featuring resort amenities including a full service spa, exquisite dining, and endless outdoor activity. Spring Creek Ranch . Rustic. Western. Elegant.

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Thank you Sponsors ALL PROGRAMS AND EXHIBITIONS ARE GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY:

WESTERN VISIONS SPONSORS Fine Art Connoisseur & Plein Air Magazine Lynn & Foster Friess Ingram Quarter Horses/Sheila Ingram Peggy & Lowry Mays Lindy & Hanley Sayers Spring Creek Ranch

AMBASSADORS Lynn & Foster Friess Adrienne & John Mars Debbie Petersen

CHAIRMAN’S COUNCIL Joffa & Bill Kerr Kavar Kerr Dee & Fred Lyons Lowry & Peggy Mays Tally & Bill Mingst Ann & Dick O’Leary Marcia & Mike Taylor Jade & David Walsh

PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL Lisa Carlin Mary Anne Cree Joy & Tony Greene Gina & Dick Heise Karen & Tim Hixon Carole & Bob Hummel Helen Laughery Sally & Rick Mogan Pam Niner Sharon & Lloyd Powell Ellen & Peter Safir Marjorie & Frank Sands Maggie & Dick Scarlett Charlotte Stifel The Kenneth & Caroline Taylor Family Foundation Georgene Tozzi Barbara & John Vogelstein

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2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org


Thank You TO THE 2015 BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART BOARD OF TRUSTEES William G. Kerr, Chairman Emeritus William A. Mingst, Chairman David Walsh, Treasurer Reggie McNamara, Secretary James C. McNutt, Ph.D., President & CEO

TRUSTEES Jan Benz

Robert C. Hummel

Peter Safir

Tom Bowser

Lisa Jennings

Lindy Beazley Sayers

Stephanie Brennan

Kavar Kerr

William R. Scarlett, IV

Lisa Carlin

Scott Kirkpatrick

Charlotte Stifel

Barbara Carlsberg

Helen Laughery

Caroline Taylor

Dick Collister

Fred W. Lyons, Jr.

Marcia G. Taylor

Lynn Friess

Adrienne Mars

Georgene Tozzi

Sue Simpson Gallagher

Peggy Mays

David Walsh

Jim Gersack

Sally Mogan

Suzanne Whitmore

Richard A. Heise, Sr.

Debbie Petersen

Bettina Whyte

LIFE TRUSTEES

TRUSTEES EMERITI

NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

Marion Buchenroth

Charles Baker

Barbara Casey

Bob Jaycox

Howell Breedlove

Sophie Craighead

Bob McCloy

Roger Craton

Mary Anne Cree

Charlie Mechem

Mary Anne Cree

Liliane A. Haub

Gloria Newton

Jack Fritz

William P. Healey

Dick Vaughan

Robert Hughes

Tim Hixon

Richard P. Johnston

Richard P. Johnston

Joffa Kerr

Bill Lively

Earl Sams Lightner

Christine Mollring

Clarke Nelson

Bob Peck

Maggie Scarlett

Nelson Schwab, III

Suzanne Young

Ann Trammell John Turner Barbara Vogelstein

2015 Western Visions | westernvisions.org

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ďŹ neartconnoisseur.com | pleinairmagazine.com | 800.610.5771


Look beyond the image and feel the animals and landscape.

Out of Reach, Oil, 14 3/4 x 24 inches

SUN N YBAN K S T U D IO Explore over 30 Naturalist Paintings of Rocky Mountain Plants, Animals, and Geology online at SunnybankStudio.com. sunnybankstudio@dteworld.com | 307.486.2200


DUSTIN VAN WECHEL | Right of Way

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Western Visions 2015 Magazine  

The Wild 100 art coming to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Read the 28th annual Western Visions Show and Sale. WesternVisions.org

Western Visions 2015 Magazine  

The Wild 100 art coming to the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Read the 28th annual Western Visions Show and Sale. WesternVisions.org

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