On Thursday evening, January 27, 2011, the National Museum of Wildlife Art hosted the annual “Winter Quick Draw” in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Sixteen chosen artists were deployed around the vast Lobby of the Museum, while chili from the Rising Sage Cafe and beer from award-winning Snake River Brewing in Jackson were available to remove the Winter chill from attendees.
The Museum itself is a national treasure, THE (By Resolution of Congress) National Wildlife Art Museum, in a national design award-winning building (Fenstress Architects), on a world-class site in Jackson Hole.
The Museum is built into a hillside facing the National Elk Refuge, where thousands of elk (wapiti) winter, and the striking “Sleeping Indian” Mountain (actually, Sheep Mountain on the USGS maps, but look at the picture!).
The Museum’s “Winter Quick Draw” is held to raise funds for its youth educational programs, through contributions including the artists’ contributed work that is auctioned at the end of the evening.
This year, the artists included Sarah Webber, Tom Bradshaw, Eliot Goss (also a fine architect), Dwayne Harty, Fred Kingwill (also an outstanding community art instructor), Cathy Munson, Matt Montagne, Chad Poppleton, Bill Sawczuck (rare to see him painting indoors – we often see him “out in the wild”), Kay Stratman, Kathryn Mapes Turner and Kathy Wipfler.
In addition to those twelve artists, four outstanding student artists from Jackson Hole High School painted – Zachary Bagley, Daniel Esperson, Victoria Hollingsworth and Hannah Rivers. Their poise and accomplishment under pressure of crowd and clock was remarkable!
Sarah Webber will be featured in the March 2011 issue of Southwest Art magazine, and Kathryn Mapes Turner was featured in a 2010 issue. Their work is outstanding, of national caliber, and grows in both artistic achievement and value each year.
Collectors: Pay Attention!
The opportunity to watch sixteen artists create works using a broad range of painting media and very individual techniques – all creating compositions of their own choosing and passion – is extremely worthwhile, whether you are an artist, collector or “simply” appreciate fine art and the creative process.
Naturally, each artist prepares for the 60-minute rush from a blank board – whether it be canvas, watercolor paper, glass or other substance – to finished work, ready for framing and auction. In addition to years of study and practice, for each artist a very personal choice of subject matter is pondered and selected, studied, sketched, then studied some more. Trial vignettes may be painted to hone technique. Palettes are prepared with all of the necessary colors, brushes are readied, easels and tables equipped, lighting arranged, in preparation for the “starting gun”.
If you do all of your creative work in the relative privacy of home, office or studio, on your own schedule and normally without an audience, “performing in public” may be extremely daunting for you regardless of your pursuit – even if for a good cause!
Works created on this crisp evening included landscape scenes, a cabin in the woods, and portraits of moose, bear, wolves, fox, dogs, cats and birds. Those new to these painters’ work were amazed to see one artist (Kathryn Mapes Turner) turn her painting upside-down near the end, to carry on the work and verify balance, and another (Sarah Webber) to step away with a mirror to view her work over her shoulder, again verifying balance in the created image.
The good-natured, gracious attitude of the artists, surrounded by a pressing crowd of both strangers and personal friends, painting while still engaging in conversation about their techniques, and pressed by a ticking clock with passing time too gleefully announced over the public address system, is inspiring.
What a way to overcome procrastination!
If you have the opportunity in your town, or while visiting another, plan to attend a plein aire or in-house “Quick Draw” – or any other live painting demonstration – and, like in Jackson Hole in Summer and in Winter, experience being a part of a remarkable…
Community of Art