Few humans have ventured onto a slice of East Gros Ventre Butte since the Jackson Hole Land Trust bought and protected it this year.
The property, just west of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, is critical habitat for moose, elk, mule deer and grouse. Under Land Trust management the habitat is closed to all — well, most — human traffic.
Watercolorist Kay Stratman received special permission to explore the butte in spring, summer, fall and winter this year. She was commissioned by the Land Trust to create four paintings, one from each season, as part of an annual art and conservation project rebranded and expanded statewide this year as “WyoView: Four Seasons.”
“I took the ‘view’ part of [the title] and expanded on that,” Stratman said. “My paintings are all views from the conservation property looking out, rather than of the property itself, though there is a little sliver of it in the foreground of each painting.”
Her four paintings depict sights recognizable to anyone in Jackson: a still-snowy Sleeping Indian in the spring, Flat Creek winding through the National Elk Refuge in the summer, an unexpected view of the Tetons in the fall and the steep slopes of Snow King in the winter.
Four-season paintings by 19 artists of Land Trust-protected properties around the region are on display at the organization’s new office at 690 S. Highway 89.
An opening reception for the show will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, and proceeds from sales of the artwork will support the artists and the conservation group.
The Land Trust changed the program name from View22 to WyoView to reflect the regional focus of its work.
“We have artists visiting and painting our protected properties throughout northwest Wyoming, including easements in our Wind River Program in Fremont County, the Green River Valley Program in Sublette County and, of course, our Jackson-based program in Teton County,” said Jenny Wolfrom, the director of advancement and engagement at the Land Trust.
It was also the first time the nonprofit asked artists to return to the properties year-round. Besides being a fundraiser, the purpose of WyoView is to harness the power of art to inspire conservation.
“Historically speaking, artists have been involved with land conservation and preservation for a long, long time,” participating artist Susan Rose said.
“If you go back to the 1800s and you look at how Yellowstone National Park was formed, Thomas Moran and William Henry Jackson, artists, were contributing to the idea of preservation and conservation hundreds of years ago.”