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A Range of Masters Currently Hanging at Heather James Fine Art

Jackson Hole enjoys a reputation as one of the premier small arts communities in the country, but even here, the chance to glimpse a canvas by the likes of Van Gogh or Norman Rockwell are slim. Even more unique is the chance to see the juxtaposition of these artists hanging side-by-side on gallery walls–from Impressionists to cutting edge contemporary masters. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this momentous group exhibition, hanging July through September at Heather James Fine Art! More information and selected artist bios are below.

Robert Townsend,

Heather James Fine Art’s presentation of European and American Masters includes such luminaries as Van Gogh, Bierstadt, Tissot, Grandma Moses, Calder, and Hirst hanging in dialogue with one another. The impressive group exhibition encompasses multiple genres primarily from Modern and Contemporary, California Impressionism, and American art canons. Highlights of the exhibition were created by significant painters such as E. Charlton Fortune, Vincent Van Gogh, Norman Rockwell, and Damien Hirst.

E. Charlton Fortune (1885-1969) is one of the most sought-after California Impressionists. Her painting “Picking Apples,” 1920-1921 is one of Fortune’s most appealing pieces due to its classic Impressionist style of thick brush strokes and warm palette.

Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) is one of the most well-known landscape painters of the American West. A striking monochrome grisaille, oil on canvas, “Moonlight in Yosemite,” is set in Bierstadt’s beloved Yosemite Valley. The painting depicts a calm dark lake surrounded by soaring mountains shrouded in fog and lit by the moon.

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) was an iconic post-Impressionist who changed art history using his gestural brush strokes and vibrant palette. Van Gogh painted “Le Moulin” in 1881 when he was only 27. One of only two windmill paintings by Van Gogh, this early piece contains a muted palette of greens and grays.

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is known for chronicling quintessential American scenes. In his 12 Boy Scouts of America Drawing, the charcoal and pen drawing contains a grid of scenes representing the twelve virtues of the Boy Scouts.

Damien Hirst (b. 1965) is a British contemporary artist recognized for his paintings, medicine cabinet sculptures, and glass tank installations. Hirst’s Spot paintings are an arrangement of color spots with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals. Hirst’s Spin paintings are created by centrifugal force, where Hirst pours paint over spinning canvases. This exhibition contains both a Spot work on paper, “Aurous Iodide,” 2009 and a Spin painting, “Beautiful Andraste Frotteurism Painting,” 2011.

Heather James Fine Art is located at 172 Center Street, Suite 101 in Jackson, WY and maintains a collection of art from various genres including Impressionist and Modern art, Post-War and Contemporary, American, Latin American, Old Master, Photography and Design. For more information about the gallery and upcoming exhibitions, please visit www.heatherjames.com or contact the gallery at 307-200- 6090.For more information about this exhibit, please contact James Carona.

Mark Your July Calendars for “My Thin Place”

In our One Work blog post last autumn, we had the pleasure of speaking to Kathryn Mapes Turner regarding two of her large-scale paintings. We are now excited to spread the word about her upcoming show, “My Thin Place,” coming to Jackson this July. Kathryn very eloquently shares the impetus behind the show, and the concept of a “thin place” below. Read, enjoy, and be sure to catch the exhibition!

painting by Kathryn Mapes Turner

“Emergence of Fall”

A Thin Place
The title of this exhibition is derived from a Celtic term referring to a place where the boundary between the material world and the spiritual world is particularly thin. For Turner, the Greater Yellowstone Wilderness is a “thin place.”

Kathryn Turner had the good fortune of being born into a fourth generation ranching family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This ranch, located within what is now Grand Teton National Park, enjoys one of the most direct views of the Teton mountain range. Turner says, “Each day, for as long as I remember, I was greeted by those mountains. They are, in a very real way, a part of me. Early on, I felt the urge to find a way to express my passion for this ecosystem, and imagery became my lexicon for this song of appreciation. Ever since, I have devoted my craft to doing justice to the beauty of this landscape.

In belonging to a landscape in this way, I feel a rightness, an at-homeness where I am knitted to the world. This rootedness allows me to be present to what is- a practice the Buddhists refer to as mindfulness, and the contemplative Christians call recollection, and the Quakers call centering down. For me this experience is lived tactically where my nerve endings are bare against the land. As I take in the magnificence and scale of this landscape, I am moved beyond myself. I refer to the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem as my ‘thin place.’

This collection of paintings is about this relationship with the landscape. Rather than photo-realistic depictions, they are interpretations and impressions of what I experience when I am in the natural world. It is my hope that, for the viewer, the paintings are themselves a quiet meeting place between internal emotion and external stimuli, a meeting place of the material and non-material.”

Turner’s work has been recognized nationally by many top awards including “Best of Show” at the American Impressionist Society and the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Association. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the Wyoming State Museum and the Charlie Russell Museum. SouthWest Art recognized Turner as “21 Young Artists with Promising Careers.”

Show Details:

“My Thin Place”
An Artist Exhibits Paintings Inspired by the Spirit of the Landscape
Trio Fine Art hosts an unprecedented exhibition of paintings by Kathryn Mapes Turner.

• July 9-26th, 2014
• Artist Reception July 17th 5-8 p.m., FREE and open to the public.
• Gallery hours Wednesday-Saturday noon-6 p.m.
• Exhibition can be viewed online at Trio Fine Art after July 5th, 2014

Jackson Hole Traveler: Ringholz Cover

Jackson Hole Traveler - Lodging, Restaurants and Things to DoPart and parcel with a content refresh, Homestead’s sister publication, Jackson Hole Traveler, received a re-size and redesign. Copies just hit the streets last week, and we’ve been fielding compliments regarding the beautiful cover painting ever since. Most local art connoisseurs will recognize “The Traveler” as an original Amy Ringholz painting–it captivates with an interpretation of local wildlife in distinctive, bright colors.

We chatted briefly with Amy to learn more about the painting and her upcoming shows and projects this year.

Tell us a little about the process of painting this work. What medium did you use?

The painting on the cover of the print magazine is called “The Traveler,” and this bear will make his first public appearance at my show on September 10, 2014 in Jackson Hole, called “Night Fenix.” This will be a lovely magical evening during the Fall Arts Festival where I will showcase twelve new works with a night theme running through the work and the event. This piece was made with several materials including charcoal, a spray paint, and then ink and oil paint. I find that by using mixed media, my work really has a chance to stand on its own. I love the colors I used in this bear, which make the painting have a cool feeling, and how the Snake River and the Tetons abstractly flow through the piece.

Ringholz in her studio.

Ringholz in her studio.

The bear is a part of the landscape. As we travel, we become a part of the landscape as well.

How do you express your relationship to Jackson Hole’s natural surroundings through paint? What’s unique about the community here?

Jackson Hole is usually heaven on earth. It is filled with drama in every direction– from the mountains to the incredible snowfall to the extreme weather to our gorgeous wildlife. There is nothing but inspiration in this valley to feed a painter’s mind and heart.

Do you have an activity or destination you would recommend to an art loving visitor to Jackson Hole?

If you love art, you want to be in Jackson in September during the Falls Art Fest. Being the third largest western art market in the country, this little town has not only been blessed with incredible beauty, but also incredible talent. The town fills up with shows and events and food tastings and wine pairings and artwork styles that suit every buyer. Everything from our craft fairs, to our restaurants, to our gallery walks will entertain and delight. The quality of work you will find in Jackson Hole will satisfy the creative hearts of people who love the west like we do.

What current projects or upcoming shows are you excited about?

I have my first solo museum show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson on July 12, 2014! This is one of my biggest endeavors yet: creating a showing of 20 new works and then placing them into an installation so that every viewer will have a personal interaction with the artwork. I have tickets for sale up until the day of the event at ringholzstudios.com!

Being able to live in Jackson hole year round is gift enough, but to be able to create here and pursue my dreams is beyond my wildest imagination. I hope that everyone passing through our little town feels inspired to pursue their own creative dreams.

Check out one of Amy Ringholz’s shows for yourself!
Ringholz Show Flier

Fall In Love With Art At Two National Museum of Wildlife Art Events

In search of the perfect pre- and post-Valentine’s evenings out? Just mix art, atmosphere, music, and dining TONIGHT and next week at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. What’s not to love? Event details are below:

LION BEFORE STORM II © Nick Brandt, 2012, Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York

LION BEFORE STORM II © Nick Brandt, 2012, Courtesy of Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York

Mix’d Media This Evening!

Locals and visitors alike will enjoy an African safari experience in the heart of Jackson Hole with the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s February 13 installment of its popular second-Thursday-of-the-month evening Mix’d Media event. In addition to the opportunity to view the stunning, spare photographs of “Elegy: The African Photography of Nick Brandt 2001-2008” exhibition, which serves as a theme for the event, guests can dine and sip on East African-inspired food and gin and tonics – and try their hand at snipping cut paper silhouettes as the evening’s hands-on art activity. Screen Door Porch will provide live music accompaniment to the festivities. The event takes place from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, February 13 at the museum. Cover charge is $5 for non-members, free for museum members.

The Mix’d Media event also provides the opportunity for attendees to preview the entries in Trophy Art: Fun Forms for All, all of which goes up for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis on February 22. We had a chance to view a selection of these new takes on traditional animal mounts ourselves. As no animals were harmed in their creation, the entries bridge a whimsical gap between representation and artistic interpretation. From a majestic moose antler taking flight in new form to a delicately hand-painted plaster skull, the trophies would all provide delightful additions to a residential or office wall.

“Deer Skull with Lily” by Jane Lavino is one of the mounts available for sale at the Trophy Art fundraiser.

“Deer Skull with Lily” by Jane Lavino is one of the mounts available for sale at the Trophy Art fundraiser.

Marvel at the selected trophies yourself:

With the tongue-in-cheek tagline “No animals died in the making of these mounts,” the National Museum of Wildlife Art will offer the public an opportunity to purchase unique wildlife-inspired “trophy art,” as well as learn how to decorate using the faux mounts and perhaps create their own “shed antler art” home furnishings from found pieces.

The museum’s new Trophy Art: Fun Forms for All fundraiser takes place February 22 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with expert talks by interior designer Christy Fox, owner of Wilson Formal in Wilson, and artisan Kyle Anderson of Game Trail Gatherings in Jackson. To add to the fun, a hands-on art activity will be provided, and pizza by Caldera and desserts from Persephone Bakery will be available for tasting. Admission to the event is free and includes access to the Wapiti Gallery, Rising Sage Café and the Museum Shop (regular museum admission will be charged for entry to the rest of the museum galleries).

Having some fun with the misconception of some museum visitors that it displays wildlife taxidermy, the National Museum of Wildlife Art conceived its new Trophy Art fundraiser, soliciting wildlife trophy-inspired artworks from national, Jackson Hole area and even amateur artists. The works will be on display at the museum February 12 – March 15, and are available for sale on a first come, first served basis, beginning at the February 22 event. Proceeds benefit the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s youth education programs.

The schedule of events for the February 22 Trophy Art: Fun Forms for All, to be held in the museum’s Wapiti Gallery, is as follows:

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Christy Fox, owner of Wilson Formal, a shop specializing in art and home design, will answer questions and talk with visitors individually on the topic of “Bringing Wildlife Home – Design with Trophy Art.” Fox is known for her expertise in integrating art, conservation and a deep connection to the Jackson Hole region into her interior and artistic designs.

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Grown-ups get to channel their inner child with an art activity that allows them to create their own mini-mounts, using multiple mediums for a take-home “trophy.”

1:30 – 2:00 p.m. Kyle Anderson of Game Trail Gatherings will demonstrate how he creates “truly unique home furnishings that transcend the ordinary experience,” using raw materials collected from the wild. Anderson will bring examples of both local and exotic “shed antler art” for his creations.

A member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe. A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at www.wildlifeart.org. The museum is also active on Facebook and on Twitter at @WildlifeArtJH.

One Work

In this new series on the Homestead blog, we sit back and let Jackson Hole’s creative professionals become the storytellers. Each One Work blog entry is focused on the genesis, production, and meaning behind one significant local piece. During our conversations with artists, designers, and other creatives, we invite you to learn more about craftsmanship and the artistic process. Discover what it takes to make One Work.

Impact

Impact

Walk into the Trio Fine Art gallery and there they are: two towering, silvery canvases dominating an entire slender wall. The paired aspens paintings, Cathedral 1 & Cathedral 2, stop one right in one’s tracks.

“Are they meant to be a pair?”

Apparently, Kathryn Mapes Turner gets this question a lot. We’re in the gallery she co-owns with Jennifer L. Hoffman and Bill Sawczuk, and as she relays the story of how these two stunning works moved from concept to finished paintings, we sip tea and stare upwards, focused in on the flecks of ghostly paint.

Each painting has been composed on the monumental scale of 4×8 feet, and although, in fact, they do not have to be sold as a diptych, their effect together certainly adds to the drama of the wall.

Turner mainly paints plein air canvases and field studies, which necessarily call for a smaller space capable of recording the transitory impressions of nature. She notes that working from her studio allows for more interpretation and the ability to change the scale—in this case, to a soaring eight feet.

Kathryn Turner stands to the left, explaining her process.

Kathryn Turner stands to the left, explaining her process.

In a fashion, Cathedrals 1 & 2 follow a progression of working styles for Turner, who is a life-long painter and local—she grew up on the Triangle X Ranch, one of the oldest continuously operating ranches in Jackson Hole. She herself began with watercolors, which she says “taught [her] the aspect of spontaneity.” In the delicate interplay between water and the tincture of pigment, skill and happy accident find the ideal marriage.

“It’s almost a dance you have with the paint.”

As Turner transitioned to working in oil paints and the larger window of work time they allowed, a premium paper company called Arches began producing a new paper on a large scale. Struck by the notion of combining two separate yet equally rewarding painting approaches, Turner’s thoughts turned to a large canvas, the largest she’d ever painted. She decided to approach this oil painting more like a watercolor, and yet still painting in oil, she’d have more time to experiment. Oil is also the longer-wearing medium, allowing the dual canvases to take shape through a combination of ephemeral brushstrokes and more lasting swirls.

Details

Looking closely at the canvas, one immediately notices its uniquely textured backdrop and almost charcoal metallic hue. This texture came about from embracing just a little bit of chaos. First, Turner mixed up big buckets of paint with heavy doses of water. At this point, she allowed the paint to drip down the entire length of both canvases. As the force of gravity pulled the paint downwards, the pigments of the paint separated and reacted with the watery solvent. “The fun happens when you let the paint do its thing,” Turner says. It’s a sense of adventure and “wait and see” that she brought to the entire project.

What led to the unique titles of Cathedrals 1 & 2? “When I’m in an aspen grove, I feel like I’m in a cathedral. I was driven to do something that would have that same feeling.” The subject also dictated the height of the dual pieces. Aspens are Turner’s favorite trees, and their vertical elegance was a feeling she wanted to duplicate in the impact of her paintings. “I wanted to make them more tree-like.”

The constellations and disturbance of the paint splotches one can observe when up- close-and-personal with the canvases also came about from allowing the paint to drip. While she painted the Cathedrals, Turner had both canvases laid out flat on the floor. A little dripping was inevitable, and quite beautiful.

Up Close

“Process is what teaches us what we need to know,” Turner says.

In terms of process, the framing of Cathedrals 1 & 2 proved the trickiest and most demanding aspect of the creation. The stark black float frames are sold with the pieces, and are designed so that the edges do not obscure any part of the actual painting. These visibly rough and torn edges add even more delightful texture and visual interest to the two ethereal paintings. Attaching the long, thin canvases to the backboard meant dabbling in permanent glue, so there was quite literally only one chance to get the alignment right. With a team of friends and a lot of research, Turner attempted—and succeeded—in the difficult framing.

Edges

Edges

It was all worth it, too, as the lack of glass dispels any separation between the paintings and the viewer. As Turner knows, these are the sort of works that beg to be scrutinized; often viewers even put out a tentative hand to touch them, catching themselves and stopping before going any further.

She’s glad of the varying reactions and inquiries she’s received regarding the paintings so far, explaining that, “when art inspires different reactions it makes it more compelling.”

As for Turner, she knows these two singular paintings are something that can’t be replicated—not by look or feel or the many serendipitous experiments that led to their completion. For everyone who sees them, whether once or repeatedly, they are pieces with their own place in time, history, and experience. Landscape painters know well the ineffable and mutable subject that endlessly fascinates them.

“I could never do this again,” Turner laughs. “That’s what art is.”

Visit Cathedrals 1 & 2 yourself during the upcoming View 22 event hosted by Trio Fine Art on Dec. 6 from 5-8pm. You can also contact Kathryn Mapes Turner at kathryn@turnerfineart.com and view samples of her other work at Turner Fine Art.

Design for a Cause: WRJ Design Associates Teams Up for the (RED) Auction in NYC

On November 23rd, Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer of WRJ Design Associates will be unveiling an exhibit they designed in partnership with Sotheby’s New York. The unique and star-studded affair brings together work curated by two impresarios of the design world—Jony Ive and Marc Newson—in support of Product (RED), an organization helmed by Bono. All of the proceeds from Jony and Marc’s (RED) Auction will then be donated to the Global Fund to provide AIDS relief in Africa.

Past (RED) auctions have been curated by the likes of celebrity artist Damien Hirst. This time, Bono approached two arbiters of minimalist, almost futuristic design–most famous for designing products that we love to covet and use. Jony Ive is the designer responsible for the look of the iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Air, while Marc Newson has brought his trademark sleek aesthetic to everything from airplanes to furniture and clothing. In collaboration, the two have designed two brand-new pieces for the (RED) exhibition—a Neal Feay desk and custom-made Leica M camera. They have also curated a beautiful and wide-ranging collection of over 40 ingeniously designed products, many tricked out with red detailing in honor of the auction’s theme.

Here is a sampling of the one-of-kind pieces from Sotheby’s (RED) catalogue:

The (RED) Desk, designed by Jony Ive & Marc Newson

With such a pedigree of design talent behind the show and such startling pieces to be displayed, WRJ Design Associates drew on their years of exhibition design experience to create the appropriate setting for this special event. As favored designers at Sotheby’s, the team has designed past exhibitions for the private collections of The Kennedy Family Homes, Johnny Cash, and Versace, among many others. This time, working closely with Sotheby’s, they are excited to craft a memorable visual experience for patrons attending the landmark (RED) auction.

“WRJ Design is delighted to be a part of this historic auction. We have a long standing partnership with Sotheby’s as their preferred design firm; creating a variety of high profile exhibitions and auctions. (RED) strikes the balance of cutting edge innovation and high quality craftsmanship and we are excited to participate.” –Rush Jenkins, CEO of WRJ Design Associates

In what is sure to be an event combining the best of groundbreaking design, celebrity flair, and philanthropy, the (RED) Auction is yet another event where local firm WRJ is making its mark. We encourage our readers to check it out and learn more.

2013 Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes: Recap

This year as part of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, Homestead Magazine’s Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes presented something unique: the chance for patrons to leave the gallery space for the home interior space. In recognition of the vibrant architectural, design, and building community of the valley, the Showcase offered ticket holders an intimate glimpse into every aspect of three magnificent local homes, and the opportunity to interface directly with the design professionals who made it so.

From airy modern to warmly-textured western to updated lodge luxury, the three featured properties—Gros Ventre Overlook, Owl Creek Elk Refuge, and Tucker Ranch Retreat—meant a full sampling of the latest in architectural and design innovation. “We loved the fact that all three houses were very different and all three spectacular!” noted one guest. Spaced over two glorious fall days in Jackson Hole, 200 guests experienced a treasure hunt of a day with rambles through “dream homes” that are usually sealed to the public, hors d’oeuvres, and most importantly, the chance to enjoy face-to-face conversations with premier valley artisans in the fields of architecture, building, and interior and exterior design.

The Showcase of Homes was successful in raising $9000 for local charities selected by the generous homeowners that opened up their doors, including The Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Center for the Arts, and JH Land Trust. Each organization will also receive a matching grant through the Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities. Event organizer Megan Jenkins counted the event a resounding success based on “the enthusiasm showed for each project by all of the attendees” and the “opportunity for people to have one-on-one conversations with the design professionals.  You could really appreciate the work and craftsmanship of each home.  People really had a great time and were extremely complimentary. ”  She hopes that the attendees were inspired and motivated to try “innovative things with their own spaces.”

This was echoed by multiple guests, who indicated that they attended precisely to network with design professionals and were looking forward to following up with the artisans who designed, built, or furnished the homes they visited during the tour. One noted the “informative,” “friendly,” and “welcoming” aspect of the Showcase, while another enthused, “I loved seeing the exquisite houses and having all of the builders, designers and others present to answer questions.”

Participating design professionals were able to connect with patrons in the context of their own design schemes and craftsmanship, illuminating their work in new ways. “It really is rewarding to have great clients who let you show off their home and attendees who comment on what a great job we all did,” noted Sharon Nunn, Vice-President of Ellis Nunn & Associates, Inc., whose firm designed the Owl Creek Refuge. “I look forward to doing it again next year.”

Bradley Suske of The Bradley Company—landscaping firm for the Tucker Rancher Retreat—felt similarly. “I thought it was an amazing experience for me,” he said. “I really felt like I was in my element.”

Megan Jenkins was pleasantly surprised at “how excited people were to be able to tour some of the masterpieces that are in this valley.” The three homes on the self-guided Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes tour allowed a multi-layered peek into all the creativity afoot in the Intermountain West, and the Renaissance in western style being forged by our singular community of creators, drafters, and craftspeople. With the canvas of the Tetons as its backdrop, Jackson Hole’s creative identity continues to evolve, and these exciting new properties are on the vanguard of it all.

Our mission at Homestead Magazine is to highlight Jackson Hole’s top-notch residential architecture and design community for local homeowners and visitors. Next year, we hope you’ll join us to tour one-of-a-kind homes, learn the ins and outs of the design process, and be inspired by the myriad possibilities of your own spaces.

Modern Shape, Western Substance at WRJ Design Associates

WRJ Design - Ashley Tutor

WRJ Design Principal Rush Jenkins and artist Ashley Tudor

What sets the aesthetic of the Jackson Hole homeowner apart? It wells from the setting: a love of rustic Western textures melded with the contemporary. Sleek, sharp lines that simultaneously pay tribute to the legacy of place and the outside world.

This blend of collectors with a discerning eye for the au courant alongside a reverence for the wilderness led San Francisco based artist and author Ashley Tudor to mark a mental bull’s eye over the town of Jackson as she considered where next to place her work. A contact connected her to WRJ Design Associates and its dynamic collecting and design team of Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer – turns out, the admiration was mutual. Both parties knew her work would be a perfect fit for, in Tudor’s words, WRJ’s “modern rustic chic aesthetic.”

Tudor specializes in bronze European game mounts that fuse stylized contours and a high gloss finish with the time-honored tradition of interior display. At home in a show room that also features trophy antlers from the collection of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tudor’s mounts provide a new twist on a classic collector’s object. More importantly, she hopes her work adds to an ongoing conversation between man and nature, and provokes examination of our participation in a food chain that has become increasingly mechanized.

Ashley Tudor poses with an attendee of the WRJ Design Associates opening

Ashley Tudor poses with an attendee of the opening and one of her pieces — a bronze impala.

During the Wednesday night reception hosted by WRJ, Tudor described her own evolution from consumer to active participant in the system of supply and demand. Galvanized by her first elk hunt in Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness, Tudor says she “became connected to [her] food in a new way.” A field-to-table chef as well as the author of two books on the benefits of a paleo diet, Tudor views her art as a means to honor the creatures that quite literally add to our lives. “More than pretty pieces that hang on the wall,” the elk, deer, and even African impala that she memorializes in bronze casts are intended to impart just a little of the “soul of pieces and where they came from,” even as they reflect the viewer, caught in the lustrous glow of a high art skull.

The process of turning harvested game into the mounts pictured here is an arduous one to say the least. Beginning with a stripped skull, Tudor adds braces for the original horns before creating a lost-cast wax mold, adding several layers of plaster, and finally dipping the skull in molten bronze. At this point, the individual bronze pieces are painstakingly welded back together before Tudor polishes them manually with pass after pass of a polishing wheel. Then, the animal’s natural horns are re-attached, and Viola! A mount is born.
Elk_Ashley_Tudor

The materials of each mount are an appropriate metaphor for this “collaboration between man and nature.” Bronze and modern metallurgy sinuously curve over nature’s silhouette – rather than overpower nature with ornate decoration, the spare, radiant pieces exhibit “a beauty that magnifies both.” Jackson Hole’s own focus on sharing space with wildlife and gamesmanship means that many a local collector’s interest is likely to be piqued by the thought of introducing a Tudor piece into the intimate exhibition space of the home.

How best to feature a work of art such as Tudor’s? Blair Friedeman of WRJ Design Associates sees the mounts as “very impacting” on their own, and a fantastic focal point for a wall or table space. Tudor also suggests them as accent pieces above the fireplace—a nod to the custom of European mount display—and has even seen homeowners get creative and feature her smaller works as bookends.

A Tudor elk mount affixed over a fireplace at WRJ Design Associates Showroom in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

A Tudor elk mount affixed over a fireplace.

She takes commissions from avid hunters hoping to venerate their trophies in more unique ways, and is scheming to create new whitetail deer and ram’s head pieces for exhibition at WRJ. As has become customary for Tudor, the new works would be a nod to the rootedness of place, an inescapable aspect of owning property in a valley as breathtaking as our own.

Whatever their placement within an interior space, Ashley’s work stands out as an arbiter of the interior style favored by WRJ Design Associates and the Jackson homeowner at large. The mounts’ blend of sophisticated styling within a tradition that honors the great outdoors means objects that are, indeed, much more than a pretty face.

For inquiries on Ashley’s pieces, please contact WRJ Design Associates at 307.200.4881 or http://www.wrjassociates.com.

Hotel Terra Gets Local

 

+ Story by Jennifer Dorsey

+ Photography by Latham Jenkins

 

With two national parks in the Jackson Hole area, wildlife and ranch animal themes naturally crop up in local art collections. Even so, the Nine Francois photos at Hotel Terra prompt a double take.

Wielding a wide-angle lens, the Texas-based photographer scoots in super-close to her subjects and snaps them from oddly intimate angles. Later, she strips surrounding details from the image until just the animal—be it deer, elk or bison—remains.

“For the viewer, there’s a sense of play, an intimacy in the photos,” says Francois, whose work can be found in Jackson at RARE Gallery. “The plain background lets you concentrate on how beautiful the forms are.”

It’s not surprising that animal photographs with a twist would hang at Hotel Terra. The property’s entire decorative scheme plays on the idea of the unexpected: Materials and shapes associated with Jackson Hole’s rustic side come together in a way that’s sophisticated and contemporary, an apt description of the valley as a whole.
[Read more…]