CREATIVE PEAKS: Wall Stunners

By on February 16, 2016

Lo-Fi art show hangs sketches and affordable works.

Some Wallpaper gems: Jave Yoshimoto’s ‘Jack-a-lope-son’screen print (left), and an untitled woodcut proof by Mike Piggott. (Photo: teton artlab)

Some Wallpaper gems: Jave Yoshimoto’s ‘Jack-a-lope-son’screen print (left), and an untitled woodcut proof by Mike Piggott. (Photo: teton artlab)

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Aquick sketch on paper is so immediate an artist might not even realize its value. Yet these quick drawings can become important work, not just for their beauty, but also the insight it gives into an artist.

“Drawings and looser sketches sometimes become some of an artist’s most collected work,” said Travis Walker, executive director of the Teton Artlab. “Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbooks are now as famous as the Mona Lisa. These works on paper give insight into genius in his case, and the creative mindset in most cases.”

Teton Artlab’s Wallpaper show, happening Thursday, offers a chance to see dozens of sketches and prints from area artists.

The paper works of nearly 50 artists will adorn Artlab’s walls for the show. “It’s a really interesting way to view work,” Walker said. “It’s intense. It’s floor-to-ceiling, or at least waist-to-ceiling. It’s very compact, almost like a puzzle. You spend a lot of time meandering piece to piece. The entire show almost becomes a work of art as well. There’s an art in trying to get it to work, design-wise.”

The work papering the gallery will start at $5 for some unsigned prints, and prices will increase from there.

It’s a way for Artlab to not only showcase a lot of artists at once, but also for people to buy affordable work from some of their favorites. A print by Ben Roth, for example, costs a fraction of what it costs to buy a sculpture he created. A painting by Mike Piggott sells for thousands of dollars, but you can pick up a print for about $100 at the show, Walker said.

The exhibit provides a chance for artists to show and sell pieces they haven’t framed, or don’t fit with their normal bodies of work and therefore don’t make it into exhibitions. Some create a quick piece specifically for the event. “You can get a piece of paper and a pencil and that’s sometimes where the best ideas and the best art comes from—these simple pieces,” Walker explained.

The evening also will feature a silent auction with about 20 pieces of work, including some large Polaroid transfers of insects by Linda Broadfoot, which Artlab inherited when the Oswald Gallery closed.

Artists will keep 70 percent of money made in the silent auction. The rest will go to the Artlab, which is raising funds for its residency program. Each visiting artist receives a $1,000 stipend, as well as studio space and housing for their month-long residency in Jackson. Money raised from the event will support the program and also help Artlab apply for matching grants. “It’s designed to raise us some funds,” Walker noted, “but also, in keeping with our mission, designed to help make artists some money, too.”

Walker, who is known for his paintings, is donating some small drawings he created. While most of the artists are based in Jackson, several former Artlab residents donated work. Jave Yoshimoto, a former resident, donated two silk screens. One of a jackalope with the Cowboy Bar in the background and another of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring with the Tetons behind it. He uses dense visual compensations, and his work is influenced by Japanese printmaking. Both prints are ones he created while in Jackson. Yoshimoto is an up-and-coming artist that is gaining international recognition. This is a great chance to pick up his work.

It’s been several years since the Artlab last hosted a Wallpaper show. “It’s a good idea to get a bunch of local artists together again and also get rid of some of this art we’ve been hoarding,” Walker said.

It’s also an important reminder of the struggles artists face in Jackson. Walker hadn’t anticipated it would be a challenge to find people to participate in the show, but he has discovered many artists have left the valley. “We’re celebrating the ones we have left,” he said.

The show, which will creep over into the recently closed Daly Projects gallery, also symbolizes the lack of space for Jackson artists to share work. “This is another response to our complete lack of exhibition space in this town for the local art community,” he said.

For those wanting to pick up specific prints or work by specific artists, they will need to arrive early. All the work is sold first-come, first-served and the show closes promptly at 8 p.m. The silent auction closes at 7:45 p.m. Enjoy food from Persephone Bakery, Café Genevieve and Lotus Café. PJH

Wallpaper, 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Teton Artlab.

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