Early fall in Jackson doesn’t mean only art enthusiasts flooding the valley: It also means prime fishing conditions.
That’s why Tayloe Piggott Gallery Associate Director Sophie Schwabacher felt a collection from Vermont painter Eric Aho would be a perfect fit to be featured during this year’s Fall Arts Festival.
“For us it’s really about finding artwork that bridges the contemporary aspects of our gallery with what we find really beautiful about the fall in this area,” Schwabacher said.
Aho’s work is returning to Tayloe Piggott after being showcased there for the first time two years ago. He blends abstraction and realism in his portrayals of the “peaceful, calming atmosphere” of river scenes, Schwabacher said, often featuring green color palettes.
“It really focuses on the serenity of rivers and natural environment and peace that’s found within fishing,” Schwabacher said. “They’re definitely a really simplified version of the scenery.”
The gallery is also featuring the work of New York artist Jason Middlebrook, whose pieces include three-dimensional paintings on wooden planks that hang on the wall.
“They’re really beautiful, colorful works that kind of approach nature from a more direct and also more abstract way,” Schwabacher said, “where it’s physically on a plank of wood that has a live edge on it.”
Middlebrook’s bright, abstract designs painted on the planks often play with the natural lines of the wood.
The curatorial team is excited about how the two artists connect and contrast, drawing on similar, natural themes but in different styles.
“How they play off each other is really important to us,” she said. “We love that we’re doing something that’s painting but also sculptural, that has to do with trees that’s specifically on a tree, and you can kind of compare and contrast as you experience the works.”
The artists themselves are not coming to Jackson Hole for the Fall Arts Festival, but their works will be featured prominently in the gallery that’s also home to local artists Mike Piggott and Tuck Fauntelroy and a collection of jewelry. Generally, Schwabacher said, Tayloe Piggott strives to bring a fresh perspective to Jackson’s Western art scene.
“Nature is probably one of the most reoccurring themes in our work, and through the artists we look for and we represent,” Schwabacher said. “I think because of our values, just as people who live in Jackson, we’re excited when artists represent the same values in new and fresh ways.”
Schwabacher is excited about the opportunity the festival presents to celebrate different ways of approaching the arts and the diversity of Jackson’s artistic scene.
“It’s at a time when summer’s winding down a little bit, so it’s a little bit less crazy, to focus and appreciate how many galleries are actually in Jackson and how amazing all the work that’s being represented in such a small town is,” she said. ￼