Check into Simon’s ‘Suite’
In these serious times, what is there to say about a silly 1968 Neil Simon play?
Find out at 6 p.m. Thursday, when Off Square Theatre Company leads its latest free “Off Script” play discussion, adapted for COVID times in virtual format.
The three acts of Simon’s “Plaza Suite” take place in Suite 719 of New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel, just off the southeast corner of Central Park, where three couples encounter their varied romantic destinies with typically Simonesque comedy and poignancy. There’s San and Karen Nash, trying to restoke their intimacy in the suite where they spent their honeymoon; Jesse and Muriel, who awkwardly negotiate the latest iteration of an old relational power play; and Roy and Norman Hubley, desperate to talk their daughter, Mimsey, out of the bathroom so she can face her own married future.
Kate Gleason, who recently starred in a production of the play at Colorado’s Arvada Center, will lead the free discussion via Zoom. Register in advance at OffSquare.org to receive the link to join in.
Explore mysteries of writing
The Jackson Hole Writers Conference illuminates some of the mysteries of putting pen to paper with two free online programs.
Starting at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4, husband-and-wife writing duo Scott Schumaker and Tiffanie DeBartolo will talk about “The Right Time to Write,” with tips and tricks on sitting down to write even when you are juggling multiple obligations.
DeBartolo (“God-Shaped Hole,” “How to Kill a Rockstar” and “Sorrow” (upcoming)) and Schumaker (“Henry’s Big Star Adventure”) will delve into the pluses and minuses of being married to a writer, from supporting each other to receiving each other’s edits. Between the two of them they will be able to field any questions about writing novels, screenplays, children’s books, memoirs, graphic novels and the independent music biz.
And from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 6, Orange Prize winner Téa Obreht (“The Tiger’s Wife,” “Inland”) and Irish fiction writer-journalist Dan Sheehan (“Restless Souls”) will lead the virtual discussion “The Mystery Deepens,” sharing ideas about the value of placing a burning question at the heart of a narrative, and how the principles of mystery fiction can help give projects suspense, momentum and structure.
Space is limited for both events, so register soon at JacksonHoleWritersConference.com/registration. Instructions for linking into the conversations will be emailed upon registering.
Caporael at Tayloe Piggott
Tayloe Piggott Galley’s exhibition of work by painter Suzanne Caporael remains up through Aug. 8 at 62 W. Glenwood St.
Meticulously executed, yet organically conceived, Caporael’s oils document her close observation of the natural world and her attempts to define it, resulting in groups of paintings related to trees, chemical elements, water, ice, time and place memory.
The New York Times said, “Caporael’s paintings are a curious mix of the aesthetic and the conceptual. ... The paintings are sensuous and lyrical as well as rigorously formal.”
Visit TayloePiggottGallery.com, or call 733-0555 to preview the work.
Catching time in hot wax
Encaustics artist Pamela Gibson has new work showing at Shari Brownfield Fine Art’s downtown project space through Aug. 31.
The show, titled “Liminal Spaces,” referring to periods of transition, features 22 paintings that speak to this time of transformation, upheaval and shared moments of gratitude.
Gibson’s method of painting uses beeswax, fire and pigment to create layered surfaces that sometimes hold 3-dimensional objects within them.
“Encaustic painting allows me to embed materials that other painting mediums would not,” said Gibson, a Jackson resident. “Look closely at these paintings and you will find burned dress patterns, feathers and tiny brass pins on which I imagine infinite numbers of angels dancing.”
Gibson and Brownfield have partnered to donate 10% of sales from the show to the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole’s Emergency Response Fund, which is supporting the area’s most vulnerable populations through the COVID-19.
Shari Brownfield Fine Art, at 55 S. Glenwood St., is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays by appointment. For information, go to ShariBrownfield.com.
Astoria Fine Art reopens
After the coronavirus lockdown, Astoria Fine Art has swung open its doors to Town Square with its “Traditional Wildlife Art Showcase” featuring new work by Luke Frazier, Jay Moore, Mark McKenna, Kelly Dangerfield, Greg Wilson, Rich Loffler, Gerald Balciar and Mike Barlow.
“We are happy to announce that the gallery is open and we are very excited to see you all again,” the gallery said on its website, AstoriaFineArt.com.
Astoria Fine Art represents more than 100 artists, from contemporary to deceased masters, from 25 states and five countries.
The wildlife art show is part of the gallery’s July Wildlife Art Month, the second part of which focuses on traditional wildlife artists through July 31.
Astoria Fine Art is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For info visit the gallery or AstoriaFineArt.com.
Post, Ziemienski at Altamira
Solo exhibitions by two of Altamira Fine Art’s premier artists open this week.
“Wyoming Postcard,” new work by Dennis Ziemienski, pays homage to travel and promotional posters of the past. Ziemienski’s bold, dramatic designs capture the beauty of Wyoming along with a certain amount of nostalgia for the West that was.
“We all love the romance of travel and seeing new places,” the painter said of the show. “Revisiting places through remembrances is something we all do to transport ourselves. That is the theme of this show.”
In contrast, “Western Perspectives,” by Howard Post, is more abstract, highlighting interesting and exciting qualities of objects and landscapes, from the way terrain plays with light to the tricks the vast spaces of the region can play on our eyes.
As Post says of his work: “I will always keep coming back to abstract compositions. I’ve found that even the most mundane subjects can have visual interest and excitement if you approach them from a different perspective.”
An opening reception for the two shows is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Altamira, 172 N. Center St. The artists are expected. For information, visit altamiraart.com.
Western Design goes virtual
The annual Western Design Conference Exhibit and Sale will move online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online replacement for the event, Western Design Conference Digital Sourcebook, will launch on Sept. 10, the conference’s original start date.
Executive Director Allison Merritt and her team tout the new platform’s ability to connect people interested in Western design without stepping foot in the valley.
“It is our goal to continue to play matchmaker between our artisans and those who appreciate their work,” she said in a press release.
Check out the Western Design Conference’s Facebook and Instagram for some sneak peeks of the collection.
Visit WesternDesignConference.com to shop the digital marketplace.
Plein air painters wanted
Plein Air in the Parks — a painting and drawing competition that pairs artists with beautiful locations and offers cash prizes to top participants — is on for Aug. 27-30 at Buffalo Bill State Park, west of Cody.
The competition, presented by the Wyoming Arts Council, the Cody Country Art League and Wyoming State Parks, will be judged by a panel of arts professionals, community members and Buffalo Bill State Park boosters, and offers a Best in Show cash award of $1,000, with second place winning $500 and third taking home $250. The weekend ends with a reception on Sunday, Aug. 30 at which participants can cast their votes for the $250 People’s Choice Award and purchase work produced during the event.
Youth categories will be judged separately and also include cash awards.
To register go to 2020PleinAirInTheParks.eventbrite.com. Through Aug. 24, registration costs $35. Regular and walk-up registration after Aug. 24 costs $50. Registration costs $15 for college students. Arists younger than 18 can register in the youth category for $5.
For full rules and regulations, visit WyoArts.state.wy.us/wac-program/plein-air.