Arachnid takes over ArtSPOT; NMWA hosts craft show; Bradshaw shows landscapes at PSB

By on November 21, 2007
Thulin_2_Freud'sLover

Freud’s Lover – Courtesy Susan Thulin

Jackson Hole, Wyo.-Just before Halloween, Doris Florig’s sculpture was unceremoniously replaced by Ben Roth’s steel “Spider’s Nest” in the old Chevron gas station on Broadway, the so-called ArtSPOT where a half dozen or so artists have displayed their work this summer and fall.

Roth planned to provide one of his existing pieces, but then noticed the abundance of spider webs on the outside of his apartment and all over town.
“The grass spiders usually hatch on the Gros Ventre Butte and blow north,” he said. “But this year, they blew into town instead.”

Most people in Jackson noticed the invasion of the spiders. They likewise inspired Roth to spec a giant steel spider nest for the Chevron sign. The legs were made of purchased steel while the egg and spider body came from recycled metal that fell from a Wedco machine.

ArtSPOT’s creator Bland Hoke set up a pulley system to erect the sculptures, but it was still necessary for Roth to climb up there.
“It was a little scary,” Roth said. “It swayed with the wind.”

Where Roth finds time for such public projects is beyond us. Since our last interview with him at the beginning of the year, he has been commissioned to make sculptures for the entryway on each floor of the new Terra Hotel in Teton Village. He will also compose possibly the world’s first tumbleweed Christmas tree for the green hotel. In addition, a collaboration with Dancers’ Workshop is in the works for February. In the past, this Renaissance man has produced sculptures for each of their dances.  He has also actually helped choreograph one of them.

Surprisingly, this sculptor who is passionate about nature, high design and recycled steel, never went to art school. Finally, after six years of sculpting full time, one of the valley’s most prolific and recognized young artists is making a profit from his work.
“Spider’s Nest” will stay up for the remainder of November and possibly into December.

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Christmas is just barely a month away, which means it’s time to start checking off your gift list.

A good place to start might be the Wildly Creative Craft Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. More than a dozen artists will be on hand to display their wares. Jewelry, glasswork, wreaths, photographs, customs soaps, wildlife blankets, cowboy hats, handbags, leather, and other fine, unique, hand-crafted gifts will be available. If you can’t find the right gift from this selection of artists, the museum shop will also be open with items for sale such as 14k gold and sterling silver jewelry, saddle bags, wool blankets, wine glasses, travel mugs, fine art prints, books and stuffed animals.

The museum’s Wildly Creative Craft Show starts at 10 a.m. ends at 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the event, call Wendy Merrick at 732-5418.

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Last Friday night at the Center for the Arts, the Art Association opened its “Making a Mark: Works on Paper” exhibition and named two jury panel winners.

Second place went to Sharon Trigg’s “Shop Girls” – a book deconstructed and built up again with black-and-white images of old Greek sculptures, other images and torn book pages, resembling a pop-up book.

First place was awarded to Susan Durfee Thulin for her “March of the Saints and Sinners,” a two-dimensional ink, acrylic and charcoal composition of walking and standing figures in blues, blacks, browns and white.

Other works that stood out included Suzanne Morlock’s “Dropped Stitches,” another mixed-media piece that looked like a petrified knitted scarf, and “The Second Portal” and “The Third Portal,” Laury Lacy’s surreal montages of fantasies in tropical colonial settings.

Other media were represented by Jocelyn Slack’s ink on paper, Bobbi Miller’s charcoal on paper, and Eliot Goss’s watercolors. The other artists chosen for the exhibition were Jennifer Landgraff, Micah Richardson, Ricki Arno, Melissa Malm, Andrea Broyles, J. Gonet Jones and Lili Francruz.

“Making a Mark” is absolutely worth the visit. The pieces were obviously carefully selected to represent a variety of styles and media all with the common theme of paper. The show will remain hanging until Feb. 4.

Also hanging at the Center is the Central Wyoming College Faculty Exhibition, in the lobby, somewhat hidden behind the reception desk. Assistant Professor of Art Matt Flint shows a few abstract, textured oil and alkyd on canvas landscapes. Flint’s earthy work is juxtaposed with that of Professor of Art Nita Kehoe-Gadway, who displays pure colored anatomical forms in her acrylic on luans pieces.

Kehoe-Gadway is inspired by the spiritual beauty of the human form and how it changes over time. Her most interesting pieces are “Strength’s Vessel,” a floating pelvic bone in electric green and red, and “Locus of Knowing,” a bizarre multi-colored brain.

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And finally, Tom Bradshaw has hung another batch of plein air landscape oil paintings at Pearl Street Bagels, 145 W. Pearl Ave. His impressionistic Wyoming landscapes are a breath of fresh air after the two months of contemporary art reviews. Although his work is more traditional, and perhaps more acceptable in Jackson Hole, he still has trouble finding venues to show it.

“Jackson is a tough market,” he said. “The art galleries prefer the big names. The newer galleries prefer the contemporary art.”

Bradshaw moved to Jackson after graduating from art school in 1995. His major was graphic design, but he discovered plein air painting shortly after graduating. Now he is a full time painter.

“My goal when painting is to strip down the scene and discover what is underneath the outer skin,” Bradshaw said. “Then I listen for it to tell me how it wants to be painted. I want the painting to make its own statement.”

Courtesy Susan Thulin
 “Freud’s Lover”


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