Jackson Hole Public Art’s “Moonshot 5x5” asks artists and creatives to present unconventional ideas for public art that advocate for environmental protection.

The presenters have been narrowed down to seven bold and thought-provoking pitches, each of which will be presented to the audience in just five minutes with only five slides starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Center for the Arts lobby.

“Public art has the ability to reach very broad audiences,” said Carrie Geraci, the founder/director of Jackson Hole Public Art.

One of Jackson Hole Public Art’s most recognizable projects happens to be conservation-related: “Wildlife Crossings,” reflective animal silhouettes intended to increase driver awareness, are posted just off roadways where fauna tends to cross.

“If we take that conservation message to broad audiences through public art, we’re hoping at Jackson Hole Public Art that we can help support some of the community’s core values,” Geraci said.

The conservation theme of this year’s Moonshot drew presenters from all parts of the community. Kristin Combs is new to public art but has devoted her career to wildlife advocacy. She calls her concept “Bears Deserve Better.”

“I think that a lot of time when we’re going about getting information across to the public, we focus on more traditional methods,” Combs said. “But public art is a really unique way to go about disseminating public information in a pleasant way and draw people’s attention,”

Also presenting will be architecture duo Leo Naegele and Brent Sikora. Their presentation, “A Room in the Woods,” aims to dismantle the chaos of modern, media-saturated life.

Naegele and Sikora often try to find ways to work on community projects and public art.

“There’s something incredibly gratifying about being able to see people enjoy and use — and use in ways that you never expected — something that you designed and built,” Naegele said.

The presenters not only share their ideas at the event, but also can learn from their fellow artists.

“It’s interesting to see how people take the issues in Jackson that they’re passionate about and represent them in some sort of artistic expression,” Sikora said.

Presenters prefer to keep details of their ideas under wraps until the event, but there’s no doubt guests are in for some out-of-the-box presentations.

“I’m sure people will react very viscerally to some of the presentations,” Combs said. “I really hope some way, somehow they all come to fruition.”

For the first time, Jackson Hole Public Art is offering money to help complete one of the projects. Guests will vote via text, and the winner will be given the $500 Buzz Aldrin Award.

The free, fast-paced event will be hosted by emcee Jeff Moran. For info go to JHCenterForTheArts.org or JHPublicArt.org.

Contact Mariel Wilson via 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

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