Plein Air goes online

Fans of the National Museum of Wildlife Art will be excited to know that the annual Plein Air Fest will still be taking place in a now-familiar setting where artists and shoppers can participate safely: the internet.

The summer event, which usually consists of watching artists work outside on the museum’s Sculpture Trail, will now happen via social media and the web.

Over 60 artists, including Jackson’s own Laurie LaMere, Melinda Ackerman and Benjamin Walter, will be painting a subject that inspires them with the concept of humanity’s relationship with nature at heart. In past years artists have painted animals, scenery and more.

Live paintings and interviews with the artists can be found from now through July 18. One freshly created piece of artwork by each participating artist will be available for purchase starting at noon on Sunday, and ending at noon July 25. To buy the paintings or watch them being created, go to the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Facebook page or visit WildlifeArtEvents.org. Tune in to meet participating artists, catch glimpses of the artistic process and see the beauty in the natural world through others’ eyes.

Shindig to raise art cash

Shindig in a Box will replace the Art Association of Jackson Hole’s annual summer fundraiser, due to coronavirus health concerns.

Supporters can choose from two boxes to meet their needs, with one box meant for two people and another meant for four. The Celebration in a Box, which costs $350 and is meant for two people, includes a bottle of champagne, two handmade cups and a $50 gift card for takeout from Suda or Sudachi.

The Art Game in a box, costing $500 and meant for four, includes custom art games and supplies and a $75 gift card for takeout from Suda or Sudachi. All proceeds go to support the Art Association.

Another event coming soon is the Pop-Up Art Fair on July 25. This local artist fair will take over the Center for the Arts Lawn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature work from some of Jackson’s finest artists, who will be selling jewelry, pottery, prints and paintings.

Visit ArtAssociation.org to purchase a Shindig in a Box or to find out more about any coming events.

Riot Act deadline is today

Today is the deadline to submit your play to Riot Act Inc. for a chance to see it produced in the valley nonprofit theater gang’s New Play Festival play writing competition.

Three one-act plays will be selected for production for Riot Act’s Annual Series of Shorts, set for September. Each of the three playwrights whose plays are selected will receive an honorarium: $200 and the Marius P. Hanford IV Award for the first-place winner, $100 for second and $50 for third. Entries are welcome from playwrights living in the region including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Plays should run 20-30 minutes total (20 to 30 pages) and require no more than six actors. Set and prop concepts should be simple and must be easily broken down and moved, with no more than one set change or two sets total. Plays must have not been previously published or produced within the past five years or in any of the resident states. Plays previously submitted but not produced may be resubmitted if reworked based on commentary received in previous years.

Entry fee is $20. For complete information and registration, email NewPlayFest@riotactinc.org or visit RiotActInc.org.

Animals need virtual love

Looking for a new furry best friend? Come meet Fresco, the 6-year-old cattle dog, at the Animal Adoption Center. Or how about a brand new kitten? Just 9 weeks old and desperate for a cozy lap.

Or, if you’re not in the market for a new four-legged companion, how about becoming a friend of the Animal Adoption Center by supporting its missions of “saving the lives of homeless animals through rescue, adoption, education, and spay/neuter.” You can do that through its annual New Leash on Life fundraiser, offered virtually this year, with a livestream event set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday.

While the coronavirus pandemic prevents us all from gathering together, the Animal Adoption Center’s fundraiser will still offer much of the traditional excitement of a raffle and silent and live auctions, as well as the premiere of a short film.

Animal lovers can tune in for free, and also can bid on silent auction items and purchase raffle tickets. This year’s grand raffle prize is an original 30-by-30-inch artwork donated by the artist and animal lover Amy Ringholz. Other prizes and auction lots includes dinners, luxury vacations, Jackson Hole experiences and gift certificates from area businesses. Every dollar raised through the raffle will support spay/neuter programs for pets living in low-income households across Wyoming.

Go online to AnimalAdoptionCenter.org for information or to register for the raffle and auctions, and don’t forget: Animals live because you give.

‘Hearts of Glass’ on PBS

“Hearts of Glass” is a documentary that follows the story of Jackson Hole’s Vertical Harvest, a 15-month experiment in growing crops and providing work opportunities for people with disabilities.

Finding meaningful employment is a lifelong struggle for the disabled. The film celebrates the progress the United States has made toward inclusion, social connection and economic independence for people with disabilities, while telling the stories of people who worked at Vertical Harvest and of the development of the building through its many stages.

Employees work to maintain a hydroponic farm on a tiny piece of land in downtown Jackson. Painted against the backdrop of Jackson Hole, not known for its agriculture, Vertical Harvest contrasts the need for employment opportunities for people with disabilities with the use of technology that allows year-round produce in a mountain town.

The film has been described as “a breath of fresh air — heartwarming, inspiring and joyful” by Wild and Scenic Film Festival in California on its premiere in 2019.

“Hearts of Glass” began airing on PBS stations in Idaho and Utah on Tuesday. It begins on Wyoming channels starting July 27. Check local television listings for additional air dates and times in these states and across the nation.

Sculptor Pettit at Mountain Trails

As part of the Jackson Hole Gallery Association’s July Gallery Walk, set for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and Mountain Trails Gallery welcomes sculptor Bryce Pettit and his new show “All Bronze Creatures, Great and Small.”

Pettit, who holds a master’s degree in aquatic biology, has brought his keen sense of anatomy to his art for nearly a quarter century. In addition to authenticity he brings a joyous playfulness to his subjects. For example, “Generations” captures the life of trout from egg to adult, while “From Above & Below” imagines a dialogue between two raccoons in different states of mischievousness. “Promises,” an elegant, life-size sandhill crane, is an achievement in the physics of bronzework.

“Bryce knows the character and anatomy of almost any animal,” said Mountain Trails Gallery director Chad Repinski. “They’re sometimes playful, often elegant, but always accurate in their anatomy and action.”

Mountain Trails Gallery, at 150 N. Center St., will host a reception for Pettit starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. In addition, the artist will be sculpting live in the gallery from noon to 4 p.m. most days from July 16 to 20. His show remains on display through July 22.

Visit MtnTrails.net or call 734-8150 for information on Pettit, his show or upcoming events at Mountain Trails.

Make history come alive

Experience life on a pioneer homestead, go on a dig for clues about the region’s ancient inhabitants or learn a few of the essential arts that allowed Western settlers to survive in comfort at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum’s 2020 History Summer Camp.

The Friday gatherings for kids headed into grades 1-3 offer a variety of hands-on activities, recreational games and field trips when campers won’t just learn about facts and dates, but will actually get to experience what life was like on the frontier.

The first Friday of camp — “Learning the Ropes: Cowboys and Cowgirls” — is already history, but the series continues this Friday with “Architecture Adventures: Learn from History & Design Your World” and continues weekly through Aug. 14 with “Getting Dirty (and getting clean!): Life on a Homestead,” “Archaeology: Digging Up the Past” and “Hands-on History: Crafting, Baking and Candlemaking.”

Each day runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and costs $60. Register for one day or for all of them.

Go to JacksonHoleHistory.org for information or to register, or call 733-2414.

Pinedale welcomes Whippoorwill

Pinedale’s Soundcheck Summer Music Series continues Saturday with Fort Collins, Colorado, alt-folk trio Whippoorwill, with special guest Brianna Straut, a Denver singer-songwriter opening.

With palpable chemistry, dynamic live shows and a long-game approach to its creative work, Whippoorwill has become a Colorado darling and one of the region’s most-hyped bands on the brink. Whippoorwill has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Big Thief, Shovels and Rope, Mipso, Horse Feathers and Aaron Lee Tasjan, and has appeared live in the studio of Wyoming Public Radio. Brianna Straut sings from her roots, incorporating lamentations of lost love and soaring moments of hanging on to the good times in her bittersweet folk tunes.

Soundcheck shows are presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council and take place at American Legion Park in downtown Pinedale. Shows are free, with the music starting at 5 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s series has been scaled down, with attendance caps in place, and social distancing measures enforced. Visit PinedaleFineArts.com for info on coronavirus-related health restrictions, as well as the rest of the 2020 Soundcheck lineup.

Contact Richard Anderson at 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

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