and The Strolling Art Minstrels
by Terry Allen
May 4, 2018
Arlo stood in front of his artwork which was a painted map. "I want to go places," he said. On his arm was a long scary snake that his brother drew with a black marker. Bridget stood in front of her faux stained glass red rose. "I just like roses and stained glass," she said. Aylen showed off her Home Sweet Home painting. "I really like my home," she said. "So I decided to paint it." I asked Aylen if she’d play a blues tune on saxophone so I could take an artful photo and she was a great sport.
All this was happening at David Klaren’s Mystery Print Gallery. It was the first stop of our Pinedale Artwalk on May 3, held between 5 and 7 in the evening. Arlo, Bridget and Aylen are all art students across town at Mae Orm’s Pinedale Art & Crafts. Dave and Mae did a gallery wall swap thing. David put his art on Mae’s walls and Mae’s students put their stuff up on David’s walls.
Over at the U.S. Forest Service, our friend Meredith Malek was in charge of ancient implements of forest service history, as well as Smokey Bear. Smokey lives in the lobby and a solid source told me he got there because he had been a troublesome bear. He had not been discouraged from his bad ways by a rancher who peppered his butt with some bird shot or rock salt. So sterner measures were required. I don’t know who decided to send Smokey to the taxidermist, but I’m glad they did. If anyone knows more of the story, please let me know and I’ll update this post.
I worked hard to do justice to the elegant display at High Mountain Real Estate that M.G. Mitchell and Shalisa Harber worked on. You all might know M.G. as Mad Glee or Madison. Or, you just may know her as the sultry blues singer that pops up unexpectedly around town from time to time.
The Jackson Hole Land Trust/Green River Chapter hosted an exhibit by Richard Burke. He has been selected by the organization to do a four season themed project at Mountain Spring Ranch. Please go visit. You will not forget it. When I look at a Burke painting…it is like I am instantly in the scene. I feel like I am there. Since he paints scenes from this area, that may be why I feel this way.
Larry Phillips, also known as The Fall Creek Messenger was at the library entertaining people who came to admire the artwork of the Pinedale Elementary first grade class. Larry is a child of the 60’s and I’m told by local guitarist Rick Ditton that Larry knows literally thousands songs and thousands of chord progressions.
I found Sue Sommers at Tegeler Insurance where she has a painting on almost every wall in the sprawling office. "All of these were inspired from scenes around here," she said. "I like this one because it is more complex and harder to like. It’s more subtle, but that makes it more special to me." I didn’t find it hard to understand at all. I saw spring, summer and fall…and deep inside was winter, but it warmed me and I thought it also matched Sue’s smile.
I sort of bumped into The Artwalk Jazz Band outside Tegeler’s and they posed for a cute photo.
Aien and Aurick were at the entrance to Painted Dreams and gave me a great pose in their Artwalk Minstrel attire. Eli Bomba-Belton was getting some tips in pottery making from Matt Guenthner in the front yard of the ancient log cabin. Inside, Madeleine Murdock and her friend Sharon from Wisconsin were admiring some of the work produced by the ten artist co-op.
Jennifer Zook at the Chamber of Commerce, who were the official organizers of the Artwalk, greeted me with a wary smile (because she knows I like to throw curves) but she got the upper hand before I could make a quack about the ducks Richard Burke had carved out of cork and steered me over to where the wine and food was. Symon and Yulia were there eating snacks with both hands so I put my camera down and joined them. My favorite was the chocolate cigars.
Zoe White at Elevation Yoga showed me the pottery that Rita Donham had on display. "I just like art," she said. "I like filling the space with good feeling, so I just gave this space to Rita."
Delsa Allen is the person who convinced me I should do this photo story. I hadn’t thought about it before, but since she is a professional photographic artist, I tend to listen carefully to what she says. She won’t give me the exact location of where she makes her stunning photographs, but she does tell me stories of death-defying hikes, thunder storms at 14,000 feet…and wine…maybe bears. I tend to forget things after wine. Anyway, they are displayed on the walls of Pine Coffee and Supply (the photographs, not the bears).
Then there is beer. I know where that is too…Wind River Brewing Company-Brew Pub. That’s where Emily Johnston makes beer by her own recipe (definition of Art, right?). It is also the last stop on our tour. I met Chandler Weller there and discovered he is a hard-working nature photographer who builds his own frames out of 100-year-old lichen covered cattle loading chute timber. He’s also an ex-U.S. Ski Team athlete who competed in Europe, so we know some of the same people. Chandler is pretty passionate about hiking where few go...up where the Golden Trout live. We talked for three hours about Art. Art of photography, the Art of skiing, the Art in nature, the Art of propaganda, the Art of writing, the Art in other cultures, the Art of communication, the Art of music, Sebastian Junger, and Sebastiăo Salgado and Ansel Adams; and then the bartender came over and poured us another glass of Emily's Art.
This event is sort of related to The Way We Worked, traveling Smithsonian exhibit that celebrates the history of America’s working men and women. It is at the library for a bit yet, so try to get there…it’s well worth the visit.
Thank you Dawn Ballou at Pinedale Online who agreed to sponsor this event after I told her Delsa thought we should do this story.
Terry Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org