Over the past year the Center for the Arts has focused on creating a more vibrant campus. So much so that Carrie Richer was given the title of creative initiatives coordinator.
“We want to utilize all the awesome things that are already happening at the center and continue to make it really animated, whimsical and stimulating for visitors,” Richer said.
“We hope to keep it ever-changing and surprise people as they come in, whether sucking them in to keep exploring or involving them more in the exhibits,” she said.
Richer spends her days coordinating the four programming initiatives inside — and outside — the center’s doors. Center Presents offers live music, theater and spoken word performances. Campus Exhibitions showcase youth art and sculptures, and Co-Presents offers performances in collaboration with groups such as Thin Air Shakespeare.
The newest program, still in its infancy, will allow guest curators to develop opportunities with the 19 nonprofits housed in the center, as well as other artists and programs throughout the area.
“This is sort of an evolving initiative,” Richer said, “but our intention is to have someone come in and offer expertise and interdisciplinary opportunities where we can really pull from all of the residents and awesome things we have in Jackson, creating something that is the sum of all its parts.”
As part of these plans, the center will participate in the Fall Arts Festival’s Palates and Palettes Gallery Walk. From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, the center will host a reception for Kathryn Mapes Turner’s new show, “What The Sky Holds” and Walt Gerald’s “Creatures of the Caldera.”
An artist, illustrator and graphic designer, Gerald’s show is in collaboration with JH Discovery Preschool featuring prints inspired by preschooler’s imaginative creations.
“The kids drew these creatures and Walt is doing a print of his own design based on each kids’ creature,” Richer said. “It should be fantastic and a lot of fun.”
Visitors can see Gerald’s show in the Glenwood Lobby and Conference Room.Turner will display six 53-by-53-inch paintings that will lead viewers down the hall of the Theater Gallery, serving as windows looking out to the Wyoming skies.
Turner grew up on the historic Triangle X Ranch, which this year is celebrating 90 years as a working dude ranch. She is known for depicting the world she lives in — from quiet Western landscapes to painterly horses — with watercolors and oil paints.
“I believe the valley of Jackson Hole evokes expression,” she said in her artist’s statement.
Turner’s work has been displayed in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, the C.M. Russell Museum in Montana and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin. She is partners with fellow artists Bill Sawczuk and Jennifer L. Hoffman in the North Cache Street gallery Trio Fine Art (see page D6).
“Kathryn’s show is pretty different from what she has done before,” Richer said, “so it will be exciting to see it as part of the Theater Gallery. She will also have a show at Trio, but the center’s show will be a bit more of a contemporary and abstract representation of her style.”
Turner was one of eight artists out of nearly 50 applicants to be chosen last October to be a part of the center’s 2016 artist showcases. In October the center will put out another call for intermountain region artists to submit their work for 2017.
“A few of the artists we have had came from nearby places like Denver and Ogden,” Marketing Director Anne Bradley said, “but they brought in a new perspective. It was really interesting to see what they had to say. We crave that in Jackson. To offer that sort of outreach to artists and the public is something really cool we can facilitate.”