Puzzle pieces on the run

Extra care is called for while driving on South Highway 89 these days. In addition to snowy conditions, the usual traffic and mule deer trying to cross the busy thoroughfare, it looks like a dozen or so brightly colored jigsaw puzzle pieces are trying to make a run for it.

Last week Jackson Hole Public Art helped student artist Isis Brinker, of Shelley, Idaho, and her colleagues install Brinker’s clever and whimsical “A Puzzling Escape” at the ArtSpot, across the highway from The Virginian. Some 30,000 motorists drive by there each day.

“With this piece there aren’t any deep meanings or concepts intended,” said Daniel Borup, Brinker’s art teacher at Shelley High School. “It’s just a fun and interesting sculpture. Knowing that it was thought up and created by teenagers should also bring added appreciation.”

JH Public Art put out the call this fall for a new installation for the ArtSpot. Borup got wind of the call for proposals and asked his sculpture class students to develop ideas. Seven submitted plans — Brinker, Ella Carlson, Sophia Garcia, Amber Lindsay, Sophia Patchin, Cordell Winward, Malaya Witt and Ericson Wittwer — and the JH Public Art board of directors and staff selected Brinker’s. Seven other students — Emily Ball, Sam Bush, Seth Hale, Madysen Humpherys, Kaden Jensen, Tara Shigihara and Anastasia Taylor — came over for a class trip in mid-December to help install the plywood and steel puzzle pieces with help from the ArtSpot installation crew of Natty Hagood and Nikko Grambow.

The ArtSpot is seeking annual sponsors. For info on the project or sponsorship, contact Carrie Geraci at carrie@jhpublicart.org or Carolyn Ripps at carolyn@jhpublicart.org.

‘Sing loud for all to hear’

It’s not easy getting a half-dozen friends together to bundle up and go door to door on a dark winter night to sing to your neighbors. Folks have so many excuses to beg off: too cold, Christmas ham in the oven, can’t sing.

Teton Music School is making it easy with a Carol Singalong set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Carolers will convene in the lobby of the Center Theater for a quick rehearsal, then set off into the deep midwinter to spread their joy at The Wort Hotel, Town Square, Cloudveil hotel and maybe some points in between.

It’s free to participate, and all ages and abilities are welcome to join Teton Music School staff and instructors. Festive attire encouraged; masks are required.

Visit TetonMusicSchool.org for more.

Folk for the holidays

Gather ’round the Silver Dollar Bar, warm your cockles with a cocktail or two, and settle in for a special Holiday Edition of the Folk Cafe.

Classical guitarist Byron Tomingas, jazzers Peter “Papa Chan” Chandler and Jason Fritts, and acoustic duo Vince and Mindy will share the stage 7-10:30 p.m. Thursday at The Wort Hotel.

Tomingas was born and raised in Jackson Hole. He taught himself guitar by listening to Chet Atkins records and then went to Cal Arts for his music degree. He taught music at two colleges in the Monterey, California, area, played a bunch of concerts, and appeared on many public television shows solo or with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles. After traveling the world the composer-musician-mountain climber happily returned home to stay.

Papa Chan grew up listening to the Christmas crooning of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole. He loves holiday classic movies from the ’40s, songs like “Silver Bells” and “White Christmas” from “White Christmas.” He and saxophonist Jason Fritts have a spirited lineup of favorites ready to go: “Christmas Time is Here, “Winter Wonderland” and “The Christmas Song.”

Vince and Mindi combine smooth soulful ballads with energetic bluegrass, jazz, swing and traditional old-time music. Polished and professional but also down to earth, with easy-going humor, Vince and Mindi received the Western Music Association’s Harmony Duo of the Year Award in 2008 and were nominated for the WMA Crescendo Award in 2011.

Visit WortHotel.com for information or call 733-2190.

Dear [insert author name]

We all have a book or two that got into our heads, took up residence and changed the way we look at the world or how we see ourselves.

An annual program of Wyoming Humanities, Letters About Literature, asks Wyoming students in grades four to 12 about those books and about those changes.

The 2022 Wyoming Letters About Literature Contest is open; submissions must be received by Feb. 18.

To enter the contest, students read and ponder a book, then write back to the author — living or dead — about how the work changed them. Letters About Literature was conceived to promote the excitement and value of reading and writing, but there’s also a monetary incentive.

Entries will be judged at the state level in three age categories: grades four through six, grades seven and eight, and grades nine through 12. At each level winners will receive an Amazon gift card worth $150 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third. Both individual and classroom entries are welcome.

Questions may be directed to Lucas Fralick at lucas@thinkwy.org or 307-721-9243.

Wanted: student artwork

Here’s another opportunity for Teton County’s endlessly creative kids: The Art Association of Jackson Hole is calling for art for its 2022 Youth Student Showcase.

Young artists who completed work during Art Association classes or summer camps are invited to submit their art to hang in the winter exhibit, which typically takes over much of public gallery space at the Center for the Arts.

Students can drop off their pieces to the Art Association Education Office, on the third floor of the center. Artwork for the Youth Showcase must be labeled with the student and parent’s/guardian’s names, as well as parent/guardian contact information. Drop off work no later than Jan. 4. The exhibit will go up Jan. 10 and hang through Feb. 4.

Go to ArtAssociation.org for information, or call 733-6379.

Still lifes at Tayloe Piggott

Self-taught or schooled, generations of painters have looked to the still life for inspiration, practice, a method of investigating composition and form. A century ago the still life was considered the lowest of painting forms, following historical paintings, portraiture, genre paintings and landscapes. But through artists whose names reverberate through art history, like Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Giorgio Morandi, still life painting has risen to the upper echelons of painting.

Tayloe Piggott Gallery’s new exhibit, “Nature/morte,” presents several dozen still life paintings. This grouping of spectacular Swedish Modernists, unlike van Gogh, unlike Morandi, have yet to mount museums emblazoned with their names and, unusually for this gallery, are completely unknown to the American art market, the gallery writes in press material. But each and every one resonated deeply for exhibit curator and gallery owner Tayloe Piggott.

“Each is felt in my bones,” she wrote. “The kernel of truth within (for me) a truly fantastic work of art explodes meaningfully from the lines of that white chair, the sheen of that oil can, the exquisite roughness of this terra cotta pot. The Swedish school as a whole encapsulates 500 years of painters, but these paintings, all dated around mid-20th century, are poised to pose the question, ‘Why is one artist invisible and one not?’”

The “Nature/morte” group includes work by early 20th-century New Yorker Paul Cadmus, Hawaiian-born painter Ed Musante, Indianapolis’ Greta Waller, English ceramic sculptor Fiona Waterstreet and the Teton region’s very own Mike Piggott. The show hangs through Jan. 16.

Visit TayloePiggottGallery.com for info.

Farmers Market moves

It would be crazy to try to hold a farmers market on Town Square this time of year. So the organizers and vendors of the Jackson Hole Farmers Market have taken the affair indoors, into the Lodge of Jackson Hole.

The first Winter Market Fest took place Dec. 11, with the typically abundant supply of local produce, eggs, dairy, meat, baked goods, jams, artisanal goods and more, as well as craft beverages and a food truck. And Jessica Vandenbroeke, owner of Healthy Being, partnered with local farms to create a special seasonal juice just for the Winter Market Fest.

There also were jugglers and a magician, and entertainment stations set up by the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum to keep the youngsters occupied while mom and dad foraged.

The Winter Market Fest will continue monthly through April, with the next event set for 1-4 p.m. Jan. 15. Subsequent dates set are Feb. 5, March 12 and April 18.

Visit JacksonHoleFarmersMarket.org or email JHFMTS@gmail for information.

Since moving to Jackson Hole in 1992, Richard has covered everything from local government and criminal justice to sports and features. He currently concentrates on arts and entertainment, heading up the Scene section.

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