As it prepares for another winter the Teton Village Association’s public art initiative has been commissioning artists to reinvent and beautify spaces to keep the resort vibrant for locals and tourists.
The initiative recently commissioned Haley Badenhop to give the aging moose statue outside the Snake River Lodge and Spa an artistic facelift. With a new coat of “tram red” paint and a series of line drawings depicting scenes typical of winter life in Teton Village, the moose now mirrors the snowy magic of the brumal Tetons.
For Badenhop winter in Jackson Hole is about freedom and excitement. “The moose … reminds me of the first time I drove through Vail on my way to California for an internship,” she said. “I couldn’t believe mountain towns like that existed.”
Badenhop grew up in a town of 500 in northwestern Ohio and studied fashion design in college before landing in Jackson in 2013. The decision to move to the Tetons was made late one night in New York City over cocktails with a friend.
“By the end of the night, I’d talked her into moving to the mountains with me. I think it was a vodka bubble tea that sealed the deal,” she said. “I actually let her decide Jackson or Aspen so she wouldn’t back out.”
Her goal when moving to Jackson was to stay for a year. When she got to the valley, Badenhop got her start working for a fashion design company and pursuing art on the side. Over time her work began to attract followers on social media. More recently she began working with businesses.
“I’m a huge fan of freehand illustrations used as marketing and love being able to creatively showcase the meaning of a company or idea within a piece,” she said.
A few years back Badenhop began to host Design and Wine events to teach people watercoloring over drinks.
“I just thought of them as fun events to throw,” she said. “But looking back, I think that helped more locals get to know me.”
The artist said her breakout piece was the blue moose mural downtown on the west side of Jackson Drug.
“That piece can’t really be missed and led to more people knowing about my work quickly,” Badenhop said.
Folks passing through town often line up to take pictures in front of the piece.
When Badenhop was approached by the Teton Village Association earlier this year, she was excited to push her art further into the public sphere.
“I love the public works because you get more varied reactions from the public viewing it,” she said, “and the projects usually require much more collaboration from everyone involved.”
As she worked to turn the moose red, reactions from passers-by were mixed.
“Quite a few people actually were pretty critical,” she said. “I think sometimes it’s hard to see something change, especially if you prefer more rustic or traditional artwork.”
But, in her mind, that’s the point.
“It’s good for art to get a variety of reactions from people,” Badenhop said, “but by the end, 99% of people passing really loved it and thought it was super cool.”
At press time, Badenhop is in Shanghai, helping Australian artist Gemma O’Brien with a mural inside a new Tiffany and Co. In a couple of weeks she’ll be in Mexico City to paint a mural inside a new Orangetheory Fitness before returning to Jackson for the winter.
To see more Badenhop work, visit Orangetheory Fitness, drive past Jackson Drug, make a stop at Snake River Lodge and Spa or follow her on Instagram at @haleybhop.