To avoid being overwhelmed by thirty-plus galleries, pick a genre and tour the town.
With several dozen galleries, downtown Jackson can daunt those who want to get a taste of the art scene but don’t know where to start. One way is to make an afternoon and early evening of it with your own mini art walk. Visit a handful of galleries with similar or complementary styles and then go out to dinner. By doing the galleries one bite at a time you won’t be overwhelmed and you might want to go back for more.
Here are three ideas for how to do it:
In a sleek and sunny space on Broadway, Diehl Gallery displays art that could look as good in a New York City condo as in a log cabin. From Monica Aiello’s mixed-media works inspired by the surfaces of planets and moons to Richard Painter’s charred-wood animal portraits to Gwynn Murrill’s wildlife sculptures there’s something different at every turn.
West Lives On Contemporary features artists who put new spins on the Western genre. Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey, for example, renders wildlife in eye-popping colors with French dye on silk. Rolinda—yes, she goes by one name—lays on paint and deliberately cracks it, creating aspen trees and other scenes of nature that are modernistic yet also have the feel of old frescoes.
For other modern takes on Western themes visit Altamira Fine Art. You’ll spy R. Tom Gilleon’s tepees, for example, along with Donna Howell Sickles’ exuberant cowgirls, Marshall Noice’s brilliantly hued trees and Theodore Waddell’s abstract scenes of horses, bison and other animals so ethereal that one of his past shows was called “The Pastures of Heaven.” Altamira also features the work of popular Jackson artists Travis Walker and September Vhay.
Amy Ringholz Studios stages the colorful contemporary wildlife paintings of Jackson resident Ringholz. And you’ll get a concentrated dose of local flavor at the new Daly Projects gallery, which spotlights Jackson Hole artists and those with Jackson connections. Recent works have included Todd Kosharek’s dreamy Teton scenes, Michael Tierney’s spray-painted landscapes and Rebecca Bird Mortensen’s and Kelly Halpin’s bone- and antler-themed works.
Cowboys and wolves take center stage in some of Nicole Charbonnet’s mixed-media works on show at Tayloe Piggott Gallery through June 18. But the Western imagery seems more the exception than the rule. In recent months the gallery has featured Mike Piggott’s work, including a portrait of a lone chocolate cupcake, tugboat paintings by Kathryn Lynch, and Katina Huston’s ink-on-mylar bicycle tangles.
Restaurant suggestion: Trio, An American Bistro, a contemporary setting.
Astoria Fine Art has enough classic Native American, landscape and wildlife art to satisfy diehard fans of the genre. But it also showcases more contemporary styles: Tim Cherry’s curvy wildlife sculptures. Don Rambadt’s metal birds poised on delicate twigs or strands of grass. Mark Eberhard’s bright birds painted against vivid, minimalist backgrounds. You’ll also see works by deceased masters, such as wildlife greats Albert Bierstadt, Wilhelm Kuhnert and John Clymer.
Nine Francois’ photos come at you from a different perspective, literally. One deer looks as though it’s watching you from around a corner. In a bison portrait just one eye peers at the viewer from the bottom of the frame. Her images hang at Rare Gallery along with works by diverse artists. You’ll find Tomas Lasansky’s portraits of famous individuals—John Lennon, Geronimo and Abraham Lincoln, to name some—Michael Swearingen’s cowboys and Sandy Graves’ leggy horse and wildlife sculptures.
What can you say about a gallery that has hung paintings by artists as diverse as Damian Hirst, Vincent Van Gogh and Grandma Moses? That a visit to Heather James Fine Art is akin to a tour of an art museum where you can actually buy what you see. The gallery likes to mix it up, showcasing, in its words, “blue-chip and cutting-edge contemporary art while maintaining a respect for the integrity of antiquity and classical masterpieces.”
Restaurant suggestion: Gather. A place where you can get a vegan stir fry, a burger, red-wine-braised beef cheeks and a salad that includes chicken, spiced popcorn, black beans and cotija, among other things, can surely be considered eclectic.
Several photography galleries are in the vicinity of Town Square. The Brookover Gallery features the work of its namesake, David Brookover. He works in color as well as black and white and in subjects that include horses, Wyoming landscapes and wildlife. There’s both a peacefulness and crispness to his images, and because of his dedication to old-time methods of reproducing his prints—including platinum palladium, silver gelatin, photogravure and Bromoil—each one feels like a piece of art.
Tom Mangelsen has been wowing people for 40-plus years with his wildlife photos. Some make you go “awww,” like the shot of a tiny polar bear cub trying hitch a ride on its mama’s back in Manitoba, Canada, and all inspire awe, from a cheetah poised in an acacia tree in Kenya to a pair of moose strolling through a snow-covered grove of cottonwood trees in Grand Teton National Park. Oh, and he does beautiful landscapes as well. See his work at Mangelsen Images of Nature Gallery.
Jackson Hole’s other wildly talented wildlife and landscape photographer with his own gallery is Henry Holdsworth. Visit Wild by Nature Gallery. Profusions of fall foliage, snow-clad mountains and a variety of wild animals are featured in his photographs. You’ll find Jackson Hole’s star mammals—bears, moose and bison, for example—as well as those that don’t get as much attention. Think yellow-bellied marmots and weasels.
Restaurant suggestion: Snake River Brewery and Restaurant, aka the brewpub, or Thai Me Up, because crafting great beers and taking and producing great photos both require the right equipment, the perfect ingredients and a lot of knowhow and creativity.