Shaping Stars: Community exhibit at Center for the Arts showcases the simplicity, beauty of an iconic doodle

By on January 24, 2018

Starry Starry Room hangs through Feb. 19, Art Association Main Gallery at the Center for the Arts. (PHOTO: Center for the arts)

Anyone can draw a star, Bronwyn Minton realized a few years ago as she watched her son doodle them over and over. There is something so satisfying about connecting the lines and tracing an outline of an iconic shape. There’s a reason why when people, even the non-artistic, pick up a pen and doodle, they often start with stars, she said.

Minton, the director of exhibits and programs at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, came back to the idea of the simplicity of stars when she thought about a community art exhibit for the Main Gallery at the Art Association.

“I realized we could have a really simple exhibit with as many community members as possible, because everyone can draw a star — a 5 year-old, a 95-year-old — and everyone has paper,” Minton said. “A star is really democratic.”

Minton put out a community call and people “went nuts,” she said. She received hundreds of stars.

“They just arrived and a lot them don’t even have names on them,” she said.

The result is the exhibit “Starry Starry Room.” It hangs in the Main Gallery at the Art Association in the Center for the Arts until Feb. 19.

Middle school students created one 5-feet across. Others were only inches wide. Some painted their stars, others added glitter. Some cut shapes within the stars or made origami stars. People used watercolors, colored pencils and markers. Kids in an art program created stars with tissue paper to hang in the windows and look like stained glass.

“They did everything possible with paper,” Minton said. “It’s something simple people can make, and also when you take a simple shape and give it to a bunch of people they all become so individual.”

Stars cover the walls up to the ceiling of the Main Gallery. There were so many Minton didn’t bother counting them. She knows people of all ages and some who’d never participated in an art association show and others who are established community artists sent stars, but she doesn’t know everyone or even how many people. It’s part of what makes the exhibit exciting, Minton said. The stars just appeared and she hung them.

The gallery is a two-story, white box space. Minton covered the entire space.

“It just feels really populated with all of it,” she said. “It’s just a huge installation that is meant to be experienced.”

The Art Association’s mission includes providing opportunities for people in the community to experience and make art, Minton said. This project was a way to get a huge swath of the community involved.

“We wanted as many people to participate as possible to make this gallery feel like it belongs to everybody,” she said.

The exhibit opened with a reception that included exploring the exhibit in the dark with a flashlight. Minton said she hoped to have other special events where people can experience the exhibit in the evening.

The gallery is also open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s a perfect exhibit to visit to escape the gray of winter, Minton said. It’s a place to inspire hope and celebrate winter and the community. PJH

Starry Starry Room, a community art exhibit, hangs through Feb. 19, Art Association Main Gallery at the Center for the Arts

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