Friday, August 31, 2007

Exhibit at Muse in Jackson Hole

See recent works by John Gibson (above) and Elizabeth Meyersohn from September 7 through September 3 at Muse Gallery, while the gallery also celebrates the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival and contemporaryArtjackson hole. Join the artists for a reception, Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 from 5-8 p.m.

Calling for entires

Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum's Western Spirit Art Show and Sale calender of deadlines:

November 16, 2007 -- Entries due
December 3-7, 2007 -- Juror selection period
December 14, 2007 -- Acceptance and Quickdraw notification mailed
February 4-8, 2008 -- Delivery of accepted work
March 1, 2008 -- Opening weekend -- Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is Western Art Seminar; 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. is members only preview; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. is opening reception.
April 13, 2008 -- Show closes
April 14-18, 2008 -- Shipping/pick-up of unsold work

For complete details and prospectus please visit or call Amiee Reese, Curator of Arts and Education at (307) 778-1416.

Latin Jam Showcase at LCCC

The Wyoming Latina Youth Conference will be held October 12-14, 2007 at Laramie County Community College. "The Power of Choice" conference is for Hispanic females, grades K-12. Conference will be held at LCCC, 1400 E. College Dr., in Cheyenne. Registration is $15.00 (includes all conference events). Saturday workshops will feature workshops on teen pregnancy, the power of positive thinking, education and more. Sunday features a Mexican dance workshop. The Friday banquet will be held at the Holiday Inn and will feature Equal Rights Activist Paula Crisostomo whose story was featured in the HBO movie "Walkout." The public is invited. Cost is $15.00 per person.

The Latin Jam Showcase will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2007 and will feature Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane, Jr., Grupo Folclorico Colonias de Jalisco, Ray Ray Moyte aka x-Ray Moyte, and Adrian Molina. Tickets are $15.00 each and are available at Cheyenne Civic Center Box Office. FMI go to, or call (307) 637-6363 or 1-877-691-ARTS. The public is invited.

Wyoming Arts Council call for artist entries

In 1951, the 51st Legislature of the state of Wyoming passed the Art in Public Buildings legislation requiring that 1% of the construction costs of new state owned buildings be utilized for the purpose of placing art work in the public setting, helping to beautify our public buildings and draw attention to the wealth of artist expertise within our region. The Wyoming Arts Council is responsible for coordination, implementation and execution of the Art in Public Buildings Program. Direct any questions about the project to Ann Larson, APB coordinator at the Wyoming Arts Council, or 777-5923.

The call for artist entries is for an installation at the Wyoming State Fair Grounds. A new multi-purpose show center was completed in 2005 and a Livestock Pavilion completed in 2006, adding over 130,000 sq. ft of space. The Art in Public Buildings project will focus on these new additions at an outdoor site that will be a focal point and gathering place for the new facilities.

A brochure is now available with a description of the project and initial submission requirements.
Artist application and materials to the Wyoming Arts Council for the first committee review must be postmarked by October 1, 2007. Committee will announce the finalists in November, 2007. Other deadlines follow.

Blues and more in Casper tonight

Tonight, August 31, catch The Subdudes, The Tremors and Jeff Finlin Band from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the the Best Western Ramkota Inn for music, door prizes, and lots of fun. Tickets for the show are $20, raffle tickets are $25. Ticket outlets are Sonic Rainbow, Blue Heron Books, J. Prentice Travel, 12-24 Club, Davidson Mechanical, Jazz Spot, and T-Shirts Etc.

Rock Springs Community Fine Arts Center upcoming season

The Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs is dedicated to providing a variety of visual and performing arts to the community.

2007-2008 performance season:

September 12, 7:30 p.m., at Rock Springs High School Theatre -- Sofrito! -- a Latin musical group of five outstanding artists that is a recipe for fun. Storytelling and the hot sounds of Latin music are combined seamlessly in theatre, stand-up, Latin big-band concert, audience sing-along and dance party are all thrown into the lively mix.

December 3, 7:00 p.m. at Rock Springs High School Theatre -- Colcannon -- one of the few groups performing today that has developed their own unique, recognizable and contemporary style while still keeping in firm touch with the heart and essence of traditional Celtic music. This concert is the highlight of the holiday season.

March 14, 7:00 p.m. at Rock Springs High School Theatre -- The Velveteen Rabbit -- will be performed by the Enchantment Theater. Co-founders Landis and Jennifer Smith have joined forces with director Leslie Reidel to bring this much-loved literary classic by Margery William to life with original music by award-winning composer Don Sebesky.

Art exhibits:

The 86th annual National Watercolor Society's Traveling Exhibition is now on display through October 1st in the main gallery. Over a thousand works are submitted from artists around the world with the top seventy making it into the exhibit in California. The traveling pieces are then selected with several of the award winners being included. These are the best of the best. Many of the pieces are for sale.

The Mandala exhibit -- Mandala has been used for centuries and throughout the world for self-expression and throughout the world for self-expression, spiritual transformation, and personal growth. The month of October is reserved for community exhibit of mandala designs and we are inviting anyone to exhibit their personal mandalas. In conjunction with this exhibit, informal and free drawing sessions are again being held on Wednesday nights from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the CFAC. Throughout September, we will be experimenting with different techniques for creating mandalas.

Art supplies swap and frame sale:
Local artists are invited to bring their extra art supplies to trade, barter, and share with other artists on September 15th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ferrero Room below the CFAC. Also the CFAC has a large selection of used frames that will be for sale that day.

Please call the CFAC for more info about any of the above. The CFAC is located at 400 C Street in Rock Springs. Phone (307) 362-6212; Fax (307) 352-6657; or e-mail at or website at

Funding available for "New Deal" arts projects

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal, the Wyoming Arts Council will offer grants of up to $5,000 for arts projects related to American Master artists from the New Deal era.

Projects should focus on artwork created by American New Deal era master artists, or by contemporary Wyoming master artists inspired by or documenting New Deal artwork.

Some recognized master artists of the period include Aaron Copeland, Bella Lewitsky, Glenn Miller, Busby Berkeley, Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, Louis Armstrong, Vardis Fisher, Lawrence Welk, Clifford Odets, Woody Guthrie, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and many more. Contemporary artist examples are winners of WAC fellowships or artists who have national recognition through the NEA or other major awards.

Applicants will need to make an argument for why someone is a master artist. Funded projects will be required to advertise this program as part of the WAC American Masterpieces New Deal project. Events may take place between February 23 and June 30, 2008. Planning, rehearsals or other preparatory work may take place from January 1, 2008 on.

Possible ideas for arts projects include:
• Concerts or performances

• Literary readings and publications
• Update of Wyoming: A Guide to its History, Highways, and People
• Radio shows / plays
• Exhibits of artwork created in the New Deal era
• Contemporary exhibits inspired by the New Deal/Great Depression
• Cowboy songs and poetry gatherings
• New Deal era film festivals
• Lectures or symposia about New Deal arts

Requests may be for up to fifty percent of the proposed project cash expenses -- a 1-to-1 cash match requirement. Maximum request is $5,000. Grants will be fully funded or not at all.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted at least six weeks (42 days) before the project start date.

FMI: Marirose Morris, Arts Access Specialist,; (307) 777-7723; FAX (307) 777-5499; TDD (307) 777-5964.

Click here to start a new American Masterpieces application.

Hot ticket: Wyoming Arts Summit

Does art precede football? At UW, it does

University of Wyoming Cowboy football fans can now join Sen. Al Simpson and his wife, Ann, to enjoy refreshments and art activities before home games this fall. The Simpsons are sponsoring a "Kick-off with Art" event from 9:30-10:30 a.m. before every home game this season. The Cowboys play at home Sept. 1, Sept. 8; Oct. 6, Oct. 13, Oct. 27; and Nov. 17.

Kick-off with Art takes place at the UW Art Museum, located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd and Willett Drive in Laramie. Coffee, water and light refreshments will accompany the arts and crafts activities. Admission is free.

The Wyoming Art Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting regional, national and international art, and sharing high quality visual art with the community. The museum and store are open through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.

The Ann Simpson Artmobile, which is celebrating 25 years of service, gives rural areas of Wyoming access to artwork.

For more information about the Kick-off with Art program, call the Art Museum at (307) 766-6622 or visit

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sigrid Nunez reads at UW

From a University of Wyoming press release:

The University of Wyoming MFA Program’s Visiting Writers Series is pleased to announce a visit by critically acclaimed novelist Sigrid Nunez. Nunez will read from her work at 5:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the School of Business Auditorium on the UW campus in Laramie. After the reading, she will answer questions from the audience and sign books. The event, which is cosponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council, is free and open to the public. Parking on the UW campus is free after 5 p.m.

The author of five novels, Nunez has also contributed stories and articles to The New York Times, The Believer, Harper’s, and O: The Oprah Magazine. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio’s "Selected Shorts," and in several anthologies, including two Pushcart Prize volumes.

Further info:;

Visit Pine Bluffs' Texas Trail Museum

Anthony J. Sacco sent us some new brochures for the Texas Trail Museum of Laramie County, located in Pine Bluffs. Great-looking brochure for a museum that's gone through a series of recent upgrades. The museum opened in 1996 in an old building that once housed the town's power plant and fire hall. It now boasts a four-and-one-half-acre complex, including the main hall, the Agriculture & Transportation building, an historic Union Pacific Railroad caboose, railroad switchman's and telegraph shacks, the first schoolhouse in eastern Laramie County, and a decommissioned Catholic Church from the nearby town of Burns.

The museum is located at Third and Market streets in Pine Bluffs, just off Hwy. 30 and I-80.

FMI: 307-245-3713

UW hosting Grant Writing Workshop

The Grant Institute's Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop will be held at the University of Wyoming, December 3 - 5 , 2007, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM . Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly. The course is an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing. This course is characterized by its ability to act as a thorough overview, introduction, and refresher at the same time. Registration is $597.00. Tuition includes all materials and certificates.

Complete the online registration form at under Register Now. We'll send your confirmation by e-mail. 2) By Phone - Call (888) 824 - 4424 to register by phone. Our friendly Program Coordinators will be happy to assist you and answer your questions. 3) By E-mail - Send an e-mail with your name, organization, and basic contact information to and we will reserve your slot and send your Confirmation Packet.

Found treasure

Nest by Marianne Boruch

I walked out, and the nest
was already there by the step. Woven basket
of a saint
sent back to life as a bird
who proceeded to make
a mess of things. Wind
right through it, and any eggs
long vanished. But in my hand it was
intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds
softened in the weave. And the fading
leaf mold, hardly
itself anymore, merely a trick
of light, if light
can be tricked. Deep in a life
is another life. I walked out, the nest
already by the step.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Flint reception, lecture in Casper Sept. 10

There will be a reception for award-winning artist Matt Flint at noon on Monday, Sept. 10, in Visual Arts (VA) 102 on the Casper College campus in Casper. Lecture by Matt to follow. The exhibit opened Aug. 22 and will continue through Sept. 27. Matt recently won the Bobby Hathaway Juror's Award in the Wyoming Capitol Art Exhibition in Cheyenne. He's an assistant professor in the Central Wyoming College art department in Riverton.

Silent art auction at AVA Center


Add a "little" Art to Your Life in "Miniature Art Silent Auction"

Event Information: Sept. 14, 2007, 6-8 p.m., AVA Community Art Center

Commission: 100% donation to AVA. Since January 2007, AVA has paid $23,700 to artists in art commissions. Your donation of artwork advances our advocacy of the visual arts. We appreciate your support!

Eligibility: Open to any and all artists in all mediums.

Requirements: All work must be original; no copies, prints or reproductions. Image size for paintings must not exceed 36 square inches (6" x 6"). Mats and frames should be in proportion to the work; items must be ready for hanging. Sculpture must not exceed 216 cubic inches (6" x 6" x 6").

Deadline: Sept. 10, receipt of all artwork

Ship prepaid to:

AVA Community Art Center,
PO Box 7145/509 W. 2nd Street

Gillette, WY 82717

Hand-delivered entries may be brought to the Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Pam Nowak's novel set for January release

Cheyenne fiction writer Pamela Nowak sends word that the release date for her debut novel, "Chances," will be January 22, 2008. Given the fact that it takes most new books up to three weeks to make it through the distribution chain, you should see the novel in your local bookstore by Valentine's Day. That's appropriate, considering it's an historical romance. Five Star Expressions in the publisher. Here's a short description from promotional material:

"A feisty, outspoken female telegrapher...
A conservative, conflicted undertaker...
During Colorado's 1876 suffrage fight, they don't see eye to eye. But despite Sarah's determination to make her mark and Daniel's dislike of public attention, they discover themselves and a smoldering passion that offers rewards far greater than they ever imagined. To claim it, they must stand together against violence and charges of prostitution, and take a chance on love."

Reading on the airwaves gains listenership

Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with XM Radio, announced the launch of "The Big Read on XM," a radio series based on the NEA's national reading program of the same name. The Big Read brings communities together to read and discuss a single book in order to restore reading to the center of American public culture. Building on the literature program's success, the new series will introduce the Big Read to XM's more than 8.2 subscribers nationwide. "The Big Read on XM" premieres September 10 on Sonic Theater (XM Channel 163), the XM radio channel devoted to audio books and contemporary theater. Hosted by Sonic Theater Program Director Josephine Reed, the series's first installment will feature Ray Bradbury's seminal classic, Fahrenheit 451.

"The launch of the Big Read on XM satellite radio is a major literary event. Creating a daily, national, drive-time show devoted to presenting and discussing great American novels is just what we need to revitalize reading in America," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "This is the perfect marriage of art and technology. The NEA's partnership with XM Satellite Radio has helped make the largest literary program in American history even bigger."

The Big Read on XM will air audio versions of classic novels in 30-minute installments, courtesy of Audible, Inc., the leader in spoken audio information and entertainment on the internet. Other program highlights will include NEA-produced readings, interviews, and commentary about each novel by some of the nation's most celebrated authors, actors, and public figures. Just a few of the notable names taking part in the Big Read are actors Robert Duvall, Cheech Marin, and Mary Louise Parker, writers Ray Bradbury, Alice Walker, and Tony Hillerman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Matthew Shepard storybook celebrates tolerance and diversity

From the Matthew Shepard Foundation:

Small Bear, Big Dreams is the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Pre K-12 educational program that teaches the values of respect for all people and focuses on the acceptance and understanding of individual differences.

Small Bear, Big Dreams chronicles the life of Matthew Shepard in the form of a children's storybook. Within its pages, teddy bears celebrate Matthew's life and aspirations as well as his struggles. A vision of hope and the celebration of diversity are central to this touching story.

This educational program, available fall 2007, will include activity worksheets for students and a series of classroom supplements. The lessons take a pro-active approach to teach values of compassion, acceptance and respect; as well as promote the promise that one person can make a difference. By providing resources and a framework, we will complement and strengthen the work already in progress in the campaign against hate, bullying, prejudice, hate language and intolerance.

The activity worksheets and classroom supplements are in the final stages of development and will be available for download this fall.

First edition of WAC's newsletter has arrived

The Wyoming Arts Council is proud to announce the arrival of the first edition of our full color newsletter, Wyoming Artscapes. Read about the 25th anniversary celebration of the Governor's Arts Awards; the upcoming Arts Summit taking place in Casper; the community of Gillette and their commitment to arts development; three very talented artists in our artists' spotlight. We included an article about the Governor's Capitol Art Exhibition; the very successful American Masterpieces project, Dance Across Wyoming; and a couple of articles about the upcoming American Masterpieces project, The New Deal. Check out Wyoming's Poetry Out Loud program and the winning student, WAC's Art Gallery exhibit of the Wyoming High School Art Symposium, and the Piatigorsky Tour in Wyoming. We also included information about the Wyoming Association of Municipalities convention in Rock Springs. There is also a WAC news page with grant recipient information. We have also enclosed a pullout section of our artist roster, highlighting the 52 very talented artists that won their place there through a detailed and vigorous application and panel review process.

Copies will be in the mail this week. If you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy, please contact our office at (307) 777-7742. We'd be happy to send one to you. There will also soon be a link on our webpage -- newsletter -- that you can click on to read the entire edition on line.

CORRECTION: Olveda exhibit in Dubois

In an August 20 post, mistakenly listed an exhibit by photographer Richard Olveda as having taken place in June 2007 at the Headwaters Center in Dubois. That exhibit is scheduled for June 2008 at the Headwaters Center. Richard lives in Douglas and is a Wyoming Arts Council board member.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Author Showcase Sept. 7 in Riverton

The Wyoming Author Showcase will be held on Friday, Sept. 7, 5-7 p.m., in the Central Wyoming College Library in Riverton. Thirty authors have signed up to sell and sign copies of their books. It's a great opportunity to talk to some of your favorite writers. There will be drawings for free books.

Here’s the list of authors: Tom Bowen, Carolyn Lampman Brubaker, Barbara Foote Colvert, William Day, Eugene Gagliano, Michael and Kathleen Gear, Rebecca Hein, Ron Howard, Micki Hanser and Jody Boyd, Butch Hudson, Joe Hutto, Jack Jeffers, Craig Allen Johnson, Theodore Judson, Jeffe Kennedy, Elaine King, Echo Roy Klaproth, Mike McClure, Robert Roripaugh, Betty Schmidt, Mike Shay, Holly Skinner, Bill Sniffin, Jack and Diantha States, Kent Stockton, Abby Taylor, Buck Tilton, Cat Urbikigt, Garry Wallace, John Washakie, Cheryl Wells, Jane Wohl, Jeannette Woodward, and Karol Griffin Young.

The showcase is free and open to the public. FMI: Coralina Daly, Central Wyoming College,, (307) 855-2332 or 1-(800) 735-8418 x2332.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rachmaninoff closes out season

From the Grand Teton Music Festival office in Teton Village:

The Festival closes its 2007 summer season Aug. 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. with the return of conductor Carlos Kalmar, music director of the Oregon Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival. Andrew von Oeyen performs Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto on the festival’s newly restored Rachmaninoff Steinway, previously performed upon by the composer himself. An onstage celebration following Saturday’s concert bids our musicians and the season farewell. Tickets are $50 for adults, $10 for students. FMI: 307.733.1128.

Quilters' exhibit at State Museum

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra's 58th season

The Wyoming Symphony celebrates their tradition of providing quality musical performances for Casper and the surrounding communities, and over the years has established a reputation as a dynamic cultural asset. The 58th season of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra highlights a variety of musical programs, which include an outstanding Masterworks Series of classical favorites, guest conductors and soloists.

Opening night -- Saturday, October 6, 2007 -- Jonathan Shames, conductor -- Schubert, Brahms and Beethoven

Saturday, November 10 -- guest conductor Matthew Savery -- Svoboda, Dvorak, and Brahms

Sunday, December 9 -- Jonathon Shames, conductor -- Casper Civic Chorale, and Casper Children's Chorale

Saturday, January 26 -- guest conductor Laura Jackson -- Botti, Respighi, and Dvorak

Saturday, February 16 -- guest conductor Harvey Felder -- Respighi, Mozart and Tchaikovsky

Saturday, April 5 -- Jonathan Shames, conductor -- Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and Schubert

FMI call WSO office at (307) 266 1478 or email or write to WSO, 111 W. 2nd St, Suite 103, Casper, WY 82601. Fax (307) 266-4522

Kenner Bush exhibits at Blackrock Gallery

See Kenner Bush's B & W exhibit The Lyrical Landscape at the Blackrock Gallery in Jackson at 150-D Scott Lane, running from August 23 through September 28, 2007.

FMI write to P. O. Box 2889, Jackson, WY 83001

Threats to Red Desert explored at UW Art Museum exhibit and symposium

Portrait of a Place -- Wyoming’s Red Desert, photographs by Martin Stupich (photo above © Martin Stupich 2007) will open August 25 and continue through December 22 at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. A symposium, "The Red Desert: Among Dead Volcanoes and Living Dunes, A Public Conversation on the Value of Place," will coincide with the exhibit and is scheduled for September 28-29 at the museum.

For the past five years, photographer Martin Stupich, writer Annie Proulx, archeologist Dudley Gardner, and geologist Charles Ferguson have been exploring, photographing, and researching the Red Desert. Their collected stories, images, observations, and learned scholarship will result in a publication from the University of Texas Press in 2008. It's "as much a study about its natural landscape, its archeology, and human history as it is a study on public lands and its use over the last century."

Curated by Susan Moldenhauer, UW Art Museum director and chief curator, – Portrait of a Place - Wyoming’s Red Desert, photographs by Martin Stupich offers a compelling depiction of the desert’s expansive landscape, diverse geology, evidence of the earliest human occupation, and cycles of economic boom and bust. Moldenhauer says, "What emerges from Stupich’s images is the revelation about our human history and our connection to the land. It is a complicated and fragmented portrait that challenges the commonly held belief that this region along the I-80 corridor of southern Wyoming is a barren place of little value."

A touring exhibition of Stupich’s photographs will circulate around Wyoming through the UW Art Museum’s Touring Exhibition Service through 2011.

The symposium has been organized to assemble a roster of presenters as diverse as the desert itself. In addition to Stupich, Proulx, Gardner, and Ferguson, more than 20 presenters representing the arts, humanities, sciences, industry, public policy, and conservation will comment on a particular region of the desert -- Boar’s Tusk and the Kilpecker Dunes -- and collectively offer a portrait of the Red Desert. "The Red Desert: Among Dead Volcanoes and Living Dunes, A Public Conversation about the Value of Place," will be free. For reservations, call 307-766-3477. FMI: Visit or call 307-766-6620.

The Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. The Museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Mondays from September through November. Admission is free.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

2008 line-up announced for the Uinta County Concert Series

Young Musicians, Inc., in Evanston has announced five events in the 2008 Uinta County Concert Series. The series is in its second year, the first having been highly successful in 2007. According to the Young Musicians web site, "the purpose of these concerts is to bring high quality music and culture with educational value into Evanston, a somewhat isolated community in southwest Wyoming."

Five different professional groups will perform, a different group each month, from January through May, as part of the series. Each of the concerts will also have an educational component that includes an outreach called "Specialists in the Schools Project," leading up to the concerts. The pre-concert events help build an audience as well as educate audience members so the concerts can be better appreciated. The performing groups were selected to represent a variety of cultures and musical styles that will appeal to a broad range of community members, including children, adults and seniors.

Here's the line-up:

January: Caboose -- world folk music, featuring members if the acclaimed Enoch Train playing a multitude of folk instruments from all around the world. This Series concert will appeal to an audience of all ages, including young children. In addition to the Series concert, this group will also do 4 pre-concert educational performances in elementary schools in Evanston.

February: Molly's Revenge -- super high-energy Celtic style band, featuring Irish flutes, Scottish bagpipes and more. This Series concert will especially appeal to teenagers and young adults. In addition to the Series concert, the group will also do two pre-concert educational performances in Evanston middle schools.

March: Great Basin Street Band -- Dixieland Jazz combo, featuring brass and woodwind instruments, with bass, piano and drums. This ensemble will please concert goers of all ages, including students in local school band programs, and older community members. Band members will do an in-class afternoon, pre-concert workshop on Dixieland Jazz with Evanston High School Jazz Band students.

April: Fry Street Quartet -- Classical style string quartet. Classical music lovers of all ages will enjoy this Series concert, as well as inspire students and their families that are involved with the budding strings program in the area. Quartet members will present a pre-concert outreach the afternoon of the concert, for local strings students in a special workshop to discuss technique, work ethic and goals, and appreciating Classical style.

May: Six Miles Ahead -- Jazz style vocal group. Specializing in vocal jazz, this group will draw audience members of all ages, especially young people and their families, that are involved with the high school vocal Jazz program. The day of their Series concert, members of the group will visit the middle schools and high school for in-class clinics with vocal Jazz students.

Poetry breaks out at the Wyoming Book Festival

The Wyoming Book Festival -- -- is less than a month away! The festival takes place Sept. 14-15 at downtown venues in Cheyenne, Wyoming and will have some great poetry offerings, so make plans now to attend. On Friday, September 14 join Linda Hasselstrom at 12:30 p.m. at the Laramie County Library for a 1-hour workshop, "Ragtime Rhythm: How To Syncopate Your Poems." She will discuss and demonstrate writing with appropriate rhythm in both rhymed and free verse, with handouts so students can practice at home. On Saturday, September 15, all day poetry offerings begin at 9 a.m. on the Wyoming Arts Council lawn, 2320 Capitol Ave. Readings by H.L. Hix, Craig Arnold, David Romtvedt, B.J. Buckley, Paisley Rekdal and Robert Roripaugh. Robert Roripaugh's keynote address on Willa Cather's My Antonia at 10:30 a.m. in the Libraries tent (West Capitol lawn) to kick off the state's first Big Read project -- A session on the Wyoming Humanities Council's new Wyoming Fencelines anthology at 11:15 a.m. at the Arts Council. Also on the Arts Council lawn beginning at 2:30 p.m., a special panel discussion: "Poetry in the American West." Is the influence of place in the American West a significant benefit for contemporary poetry. Is there a great Western poem? A great collection of Western poetry? Craig Arnold will moderate, Rekdal, Romtvedt and Hix will be on the panel.

Still in planning stages, a poetry slam the evening of Saturday, Sept. 15. Watch for more information!

America's new poet laureate

Charles Simic, a writer who juxtaposes dark imagery with ironic humor, was named the country's 15th poet laureate by the Librarian of Congress August 2, 2007. Mr. Simic, 69, was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and immigrated to the United States at 16. He started writing poetry in English only a few years after learning the language and has published more than 20 volumes of poetry, as well as essay collections, translations and a memoir. A retired professor of American literature and creative writing at the University of New Hampshire, he won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1990 and held a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant from 1984 to 1989. He succeeds Donald Hall, a fellow New Englander, who has been poet laureate for the past year. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, will announce Mr. Simic's appointment. Mr. Billington said he chose Mr. Simic from a short list of 15 poets because of "the rather stunning and original quality of his poetry," adding: "He's very hard to describe, and that's a great tribute to him. His poems have a sequence that you encounter in dreams, and therefore they have a reality that does not correspond to the reality that we perceive with our eyes and ears." Mr. Simic, speaking by telephone from his home in Strafford, N.H., described himself as a "city poet" because he has "lived in cities all of my life, except for the last 35 years." Before settling into academia, he held a number of jobs in New York, including bookkeeping, bookselling and shirt sales. He originally wanted to be a painter, he said, until "I realized that I had no talent." He started writing poems while in high school in Chicago, in part, he said, to impress girls. He published his first poems in The Chicago Review when he was 21. Mr. Simic said his chief poetic preoccupation has been history. "I'm sort of the product of history; Hitler and Stalin were my travel agents," he said. "If they weren't around, I probably would have stayed on the same street where I was born. My family, like millions of others, had to pack up and go, so that has always interested me tremendously: human tragedy and human vileness and stupidity." Yet he balks at questions about the role of poetry in culture. "That reminds me so much of the way the young Communists in the days of Stalin at big party congresses would ask, 'What is the role of the writer?' " he said. Mr. Simic said he preferred to think of the point of poetry in the way a student at a school in El Paso put it when he visited in 1972: "to remind people of their own humanity." Reviewing his collection "The Voice at 3:00 A.M." (Harcourt) for The New York Times Book Review in 2003, David Orr said Mr. Simic was "a surrealist with a purpose: the disconcerting shifts and sinister imagery that characterize his work are always intended to suggest - however obliquely - the existential questions that trouble our day-to-day lives." Mr. Billington said he admired Mr. Simic's work because it was "both accessible and deep," adding that "the lines are memorable." He referred to a stanza from "My Turn to Confess," a poem from Mr. Simic's 2005 collection, "My Noiseless Entourage," also published by Harcourt: A dog trying to write a poem on why he barks,

That's me, dear reader!
They were about to kick me out of the library
But I warned them,
My master is invisible and all-powerful.
Still, they kept dragging me out by my tail.

The post of poet laureate has existed since 1987, although there were 27 consultants in poetry to the Library of Congress before that. Laureates receive a $35,000 award and a $5,000 travel allowance. The position does not come with any specific responsibilities, although previous laureates have used the platform in different ways. Robert Pinsky, who held the post from 1997 to 2000, initiated a Favorite Poem Project, inviting poetry fans to share their favorites in readings captured on tape and video. Billy Collins, laureate from 2001 to 2003, began Poetry 180 (, a Web site where high school classes can access a poem of the day. Mr. Hall joined Andrew Motion, the British poet laureate, for a trans-Atlantic reading program sponsored by the Poetry Foundation. Mr. Simic said he had not yet figured out what he would do. In the meantime he continues to write for The New York Review of Books and is a poetry editor of The Paris Review. He has a new collection, "That Little Something," due from Harcourt in February 2008.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Never give up...on collage

Catch "Speaking of Writing" Thursday on KOCA

From Julianne Couch in Laramie:

Back in July a game group of Wyoming writers traveled south to Ft. Collins and presented a reading of works both published and in-progress. Even though the reading was the same night as the Harry Potter launch, there was still a nice turnout at Everyday Joe's Coffeehouse. I'll be playing the recording of the reading on "Speaking of Writing" Thursday, Aug. 23, beginning at 4 p.m. on 93.5 LP FM KOCA in Laramie.

Tune in to hear Jeffe Kennedy, Michael Shay, RoseMarie London, and yours truly, Julianne Couch, read from our work. Because I am also hosting the community calendar hour this Thursday, don't be surprised if I borrow a little of the time normally dedicated to playing recorded music to playing recorded reading.

Jeffe is the author of the essay collection "Wyoming Trucks, True Love, and the Weather Channel." Michael is the author of the fiction collection, "The Weight of a Body." RoseMarie's essay collection is titled "The Search for an Inappropriate Man." I'm the author of "Jukeboxes and Jackalopes: A Wyoming Bar Journey."

Thanks go to the Creative Writing MFA at the UW English Department for supporting "Speaking of Writing."

Drawing class at Cheyenne YMCA

Registration is going on now for a "Beginning and Intermediate Drawing Class" at the Cheyenne Family YMCA, 1426 E. Lincolnway, Cheyenne. Classes are for ages 8 through adult and will take place each Wednesday, Sept. 5-26, 5:45-7:30 p.m. All supplies provided. Learn to draw or improving your drawing skills.

For more information, call 307-634-9622 or go to the YMCA web site at

Buddy Guy performs in Jackson

Blues legend Buddy Guy will perform at the Center Theater, 265 Cache St., Jackson, on Monday, Aug. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: Orchestra: $65.00, Balcony: $45.00, plus service fee. Call 307-734-8956.

Here's a description from the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts web page:

Blues legend Buddy Guy is coming to Jackson Hole! Internationally acclaimed, a Grammy winner and now an inductee into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, Guy has firmly cemented a blues legacy that places him squarely in the company of his heroes who came before. He has influenced rock titans like Hendrix, Clapton, Beck and Vaughan. As a pioneer of Chicago's fabled West Side sound, he is a living link to that city's halcyon days of electric blues. Don't miss this chance to hear this legendary performer and his band in the Center Theater.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WyoBookFest profile: Masha Hamilton

Masha Hamilton is one of 40-some authors who will conduct presentations and sign their books during the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 14-15 in downtown Cheyenne. She has written three novels: Staircase of a Thousand Steps, a Booksense pick and a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, The Distance Between Us, which Library Journal named one of the best books of 2004, and The Camel Bookmobile, also a Booksense pick. She reported from the Middle East for five years for The Associated Press, then spent five years in Moscow, where she was a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a newspaper column, and reported for NBC/Mutual Radio. Hamilton reported from Afghanistan in 2004. In 2006, she traveled in Kenya to research her novel and interview street kids and famine victims.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wyoming Symphony garners new director

Sherry Parmater is the new Executive Director for the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra in Casper. Sherry's contact information is:

Sherry Parmater
Executive Director
Wyoming Symphony Orchestra
111 W. 2nd St, Suite 103
Casper, Wyo. 82601

Wyoming Arts Council board members exhibit, perform

WAC board member Ila Miller will be having a one-person show at Sheridan College Museum (in the administration building) September 7-October 7. Reception is September 7, 4-5:30 p.m.

WAC board member Susan Stubson gives a piano concert Sunday, October 7, at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Casper. Susan is a sixth-generation Wyomingite and began her piano studies at age eight. She earned a master's degree in performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

Richard Olveda will exhibit new work at the Headwaters Center in Dubois in June 2008. There is another in process at Cam-plex (100 images). He is also working on a web page, a virtual art gallery with 9 sections of 12 images each. One will be reserved for high school students in Wyoming. It will be graphics and photography. Richard Olveda represented the Wyoming Arts Council in Douglas by attending the Farm and Ranch award ceremony and Author's Day at the State Fair.

Grand Teton Music Festival -- August 24 & 25 -- Finito

Rachmaninoff on Rachmaninoff
Mussorgsky -- Khovantchina Prelude; Rachmaninoff -- Piano Concerto No. 2 (performed on the newly restored "Rachmaninoff Steinway); Dvorak -- Symphony No. 7.

Conductor Carlos Kalmar, music director of the Oregon Symphony and Grant Park Music Festival returns for these closing concerts.

There will also be an onstage celebration following Saturday's concert, bidding the musicians and the season farewell.

Thursday, August 23 at 8:00 p.m.-- Spotlight concert features The Gypsies, back by popular demand. Hungarian violinist Ferenc Illenyi leads his Gypsy band in a concert that will have you dancing in your seat.

Aladdin & lamp on stage in September

The Cheyenne Little Theatre Players' "Youth Theatre" production for fall 2007 is "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" by Elizabeth Brown Dooley. Shows will be on September 21-23 and 27-30 at The Historic Atlas Theatre in downtown Cheyenne. Tickets are $14 for adults, $9 for students and children.,

Play synopsis:
The story revolves around a magician as he attempts to deceive Aladdin with a magical lamp from which a genie materializes upon command. But Aladdin outwits him, and employs the genie to turn him into a prince and gain the princess for his wife. The magician recovers the lamp, but Aladdin rescues his princess. A timeless children’s classic for the entire family.
FMI: 307-638-6543.

Preserving Plains Indian and Maori Culture

The Plains Indian Museum Seminar will be held from October 11-14, 2007. This year, the Plains Indian Museum Seminar addresses indigenous cultures and peoples of the North American Great Plains and the Maori of New Zealand. The seminar will provide the opportunity for comparison, exchange of information, and promote understanding of the significance and processes of cultural preservation for native communities. Highlights include a welcome reception, open to all seminar registrants; a keynote presentation -- "Te Rongo" by Potaka Taite and his family, traditional musicians from Tokorehe Marae; seminar presentations by Maori and Plains Indian tribal members; a Saturday night banquet and program (extra fee); and a field trip to the Medicine Wheel (also an extra fee).

Scheduled speakers include Erana Hemmingsen, Violet Goodall, Wes Martel, Dr. Judith Antell and Wayne C'Hair, Burton Pretty On Top, James Riding In, Arthur Amiotte, and Emma I. Hansen, Marilyn Hudson, Tapahia Heke, and Dr. Aroha Yates-Smith.

FMI contact Megan Wasp at the Plains Indian Museum by calling (307) 578-4028 or or

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Author's Day a big hit in Douglas

Scenes from Author's Day at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas Aug. 18.

A hot central Wyoming day, with 18 authors on tap, reading their work and signing books. A highly-amplified hypnotist and then a country-western band chased us out of our adjacent tent into the Wyoming Products Pavilion to read from our books.

Below you see U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi chatting with mystery writer Craig Johnson and his wife, Judy, at the book signing table. Enzi, a member of the Senate Arts Caucus, attended a number of state fair events and dropped by to buy books at about 4 p.m.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Fiddlin' around in Casper

Rocky Mountain Regional Fiddle Championships, sponsored by Wyoming Fiddlers Association District 4, will be held on Saturday, August 18, 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Casper.

Listen to nine different fiddle divisions from Small Fry to Senior-Senior. Along with the fiddlers are six other divisions of musicians including vocal, variety, and guitar. Evening entertainment provide by Wyoming Fiddlers Association District 4 and the Grand Champion Fiddle Division.

Tickets: Adults $6, Children 6-12 and Seniors $5, Children 0-5 free.

Contact: Ann Robinson, 307-266-6347;

Guitar auction benefits Shepard Foundation

Place your bid now for a unique collector's guitar (shown at right) signed by artists who performed with Cyndi Lauper during the last stop of the True Colors tour. Signatures include those by Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Clicks, The Dresden Dolls, Margaret Cho and Rosie O'Donnell.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation's "True Colors Auction" is taking place on E-Bay. Bidding ends on August 23 at 12 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the foundation's work to "replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance."

Dick Kean: Civic education key to democracy

This comes from a University of Wyoming press release:

The Wyoming Partnership for Civic Education (WYPCE) provides a clearinghouse for civic education programs, says Dick Kean, the program's manager. The WYPCE provides learning opportunities through programs such as the "Wyoming/ Bolivia Partnership" sponsored by Civitas Latin America, "We the People," "Project Citizen," "Mock Election," and "Mock Trial."

Kean, a retired social studies teacher from Cheyenne, writes for Representative Democracy in America, a publication produced by the Center for Civic Education.

Two years ago, WYPCE received a Civitas Latin America grant to sponsor a partnership between educators in Wyoming and Bolivia. WYPCE is partnered with
Educadores para la Democracia (Educators for Democracy), a non-governmental
organization in Bolivia.

"These Bolivian teachers and government officials are working hard to provide civic education curriculum and training to the schools in their country," Kean says. "This is especially important for an emerging democracy."

In return, the Bolivian partners are giving Wyoming students and teachers an international perspective, the opportunity to exchange ideas with people in Latin America, and a platform for political understanding based on a common curriculum. "In the last two years, the program's success has been demonstrated by increased use of its curriculum in both Bolivia and Wyoming," Kean says.

The WYPCE also sponsors or supports a variety of other activities and programs in Wyoming. Participants used AHC materials to explore a research topic during a recent summer workshop at UW.

Kean says each WYPCE program offers diverse subjects for students and educators.
"We the People" curriculum is being taught at the upper Wyoming elementary, and middle and high school levels and across the nation. The program has reached more than 28 million students and 90,000 teachers nationwide during its 20-year history, Kean says.

Students from Casper Kelly Walsh High School recently traveled to Washington, D.C., representing Wyoming in the finals of a civics competition. More than 1,200 high school students from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the academic competition that tested students' knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. The competition encouraged participants to understand the basis of America's democracy, Kean says.

"In 'Project Citizen' students learn to create public policies to solve a specific problem they identified and researched. "Mock Election" gives students an opportunity to vote for political candidates running for statewide offices. "Mock Trial," sponsored by the American Bar Association, allows students to learn about the judicial process through a competition in which they role play as witnesses and attorneys in a simulated case.

For more information about WYPCE programs, contact Kean, at 307-766-4986 or

Morris late addition to Author's Day

Retired rodeo champ Abe Morris has been added to the line-up for Author's Day on Saturday, Aug. 18, noon-6 p.m. at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas.

Morris will read from his autobiography, "My Cowboy Hat Still Fits: My Life as a Rodeo Star" (Pronghorn Press) during the 5-5:30 p.m. readings under the tent outside the Wyoming Products Pavilion. He will sell and sign copies of his book from 3-6 p.m. in the pavilion.

Morris is well known in Wyoming as the first African-American on the UW rodeo team. He competed in numerous bull-riding events on the professional rodeo circuit. Morris obtained his PRCA announcer's card, the only African-American to have earned this distinction, and was a broadcast commentator for the telecasts of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo for nine years with Prime Sports and FSN.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Party in the Pasture" at UW

"Party in the Pasture" will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 6 p.m., on Prexy's Pasture on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie. Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband are the headliners, with opening act the Jalan Crossland Band (Jalan's photo shown above).

Just one of the events during “Weeks of Welcome” on the UW campus. FMI:

KUWR launches fall membership drive

You can tell that fall is on its way when Wyoming Public Radio begins its membership drive. KUWR in Laramie is a stalwart supporter of the arts, and you can pick up its signal almost everywhere in the state as you tool down the highway.

This release came from Robin Petroski, membership manager at KUWR in Laramie:

Shorten the on-air membership drive today!

From advances in medicine to Chinese food inspections, Wyoming Public Radio brings the top health issues to you in many ways:
Over the airwaves:
Substandard Food from China – Morning Edition
National news-talk show: Talk of the Nation’s segment on
patients’ access to experimental drugs
Podcasting: NPR’s My Cancer weekly podcast – “About As Good As It's Going To Get”
MP3 downloads: “Ideas on Reforming Wyoming Health Care” – Bob Beck, WPR News
Blogs, Books, and more!

I'm writing to ask you to make a
pledge to WPR so that we can remain your independent source for news and entertainment. In this world of countless media outlets and with day-to-day challenges - remaining independent and reliable is extremely important!

Pledge early! Only YOU can shorten the fall membership drive! I'm putting the length of the fall drive in your hands. Your generous gift of $80, or an amount you are comforable with, will help turn weeks into days of on-air fundraising!

Be a GREEN member by renewing online!

Essays wanted on Alaska wildlife

Writer and editor Michael Engelhard sends this from Fairbanks, Alaska:

The anthology bug has bitten again; this time I’m looking for creative nonfiction submissions about encounters with Canada's and Alaska’s wildlife.

Thousands of tourists visit the North each year, drawn perhaps more by the possibility of seeing whales, eagles, or bears than by glaciers, gold mines, or Denali. Two of Jack London’s most successful books really were nothing but elaborate animal biographies. Animal stories nourish us, from big-bad-wolf fairytales to adult fare like Grizzly Man or Never Cry Wolf. Run-ins with wildlife—whether in urban or backcountry settings—rupture our daily routines. They delight or dismay but hardly ever leave us unmoved. Not unlike us and often within sight of our doorsteps (or tents), wild animals court, mate, give birth, raise their young, fight, play, build, forage, and die. Occasionally, denizens of the wilds cast subtle spells. They rarefy the moment, prompt lasting memories, reveal our true natures, or at best, transform us. We cherish these chance meetings and shape them into stories that remind us of our heritage, our connections, our responsibilities.

We encourage you to think and write outside the box. Alaska is home to more than whales, eagles, and bears—the iconic species——although there is room for a few good yarns about those animals as well. Anything can be game to be stalked with your pen: from trapped wolves to trespassing moose, from dive-bombing seagulls to swarming mosquitoes... While an animal’s natural history may inform your story, facts should relate directly to "plot." We welcome submissions in which the personal intersects with the political but are not looking for environmentalist sermons (and believe me, I’ve committed a few of those to paper myself). We are not looking for scholarly tracts or disembodied essays. We are looking for humor, pathos, the offbeat, bone-and-gristle, the smell of blood and the softness of fur.

I use first person plural deliberately here: several presses have expressed interest in this collection. To make it even more attractive to them, I am mostly after unpublished material. (The odd magazine piece might stand a chance.) If in doubt, you can always pitch me your idea in a nutshell. Deadline for submissions is January 1, 2008. The publishers are asking for samples; if you have a story polished and ready to go, feel free to send it to me. Those of you, who are too busy right now but serious about submitting later, please let me know. This is a high-caliber anthology, not a good testing ground for novices to the art.

E-mail Michael for more info at

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Grants for musical theatre artists

The Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grants to Individuals provide financial assistance to composers, lyricists, writers, and other creative artists as well as nonprofit producing companies who work in musical theater. Its current priority is on individual creative artists working in musical theater. The maximum award is $15,000. This award is not open to students. Deadline is September 17. To apply, visit

Artmobile exhibit entended through Sunday

From a UW press release:

Local residents have until Sunday, Aug. 19, to view the Ann Simpson Artmobile exhibition in the University of Wyoming Art Museum before it is packed away for a regional tour.

"It is rare that the Artmobile is in Laramie," says Beth Wetzbarger, Artmobile curator. "The artwork is usually on tour, so residents do not have many opportunities to see the exhibition."

This exhibition, "A view From Here: Art by Women Working in the Rocky Mountain West," has 17 pieces, including photography, mixed media, paint, clay and embroidery.

Two Laramie residents have loaned their works for this exhibition. Karan Karla Aron's "Fisted Woman with Tail" explores the inner self, and Linda Lillegraven captures the Wyoming landscape with her "Red Log Barn."

"The tail and crudeness of the figure represent our instincts -- those things about ourselves that we often don't like, but in reality cannot change, even though we might want to change," Aron says.

Lillegraven says, "I can never capture the elemental, intolerable beauty of such places in my work. I look forward to spending the rest of my life trying."

Celebrating 25 years of service, the Ann Simpson Artmobile will be on tour in September, Wetzbarger says. To schedule a visit, contact Wetzbarger at (307)-399-2941 or e-mail

Bringing the world of art to Wyoming, the art museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd and Willett Drive in Laramie. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Information about these and other programs are available online at or by calling 307-766-6622.

Authors and their work enliven fair

Authors Day at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas will be held at the Wyoming Products Pavilion on Saturday, Aug. 18, from noon-6 p.m. Readings will be held at 12:30, 2, 3:30, and 5 p.m. in a tent outside the pavilion. They’re free and open to the public. Once you’ve heard the writers, come inside to the vendors’ tables, buy a book, and get it signed by the author.

Here’s the schedule for the readings:

Larry K. Brown
Betty Schmidt
Garry Wallace

Michael Shay
Renee Carrier
Craig Johnson (pictured above)
Tom Rea
Jane Elkington Wohl
Charlotte Babcock
Julianne Couch
Bob Simkins
Barbara Smith
Arnetta Baugh
J.D. Boyd
Millie Sparks
Abe Morris

FMI: Michael Shay, 307-777-5234 in Cheyenne.

Throw a pot at the AVA Center

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fireants perform at the Nicolaysen

The Fireants will be performing at Wednesday Night Live on Aug. 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, 400 E. Collins Dr., Casper. Wednesday Night Live concerts, which are staged just behind the museum, are free and listeners are encouraged to bring chairs or blanket so they can relax while enjoying a variety of music. Food, beer and wine will also be available for purchase from local vendors. This is the season finale for the Nic's summer concert series. FMI: 307-235-5247.

A fine arts center in Rock Springs

The Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs is an art lover's jewel in southwest Wyoming's high desert country -- a cultural oasis offering a permanent collection and changing displays of fine art as well as a year round schedule of performing arts programs. The Halseth Gallery in the Center houses a permanent collection of over 400 original American paintings, prints, works on paper, and photography owned by the Rock Springs High School. Much of the collection, known as "one of the best collections in America owned by an American school district" (Life Magazine), is permanently on display at the newly remodeled center and art gallery. Paintings by Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Loren McGiver, Elliott Orr, Edward Chavez, Paul Horiuchi, Illya Bolotowsky, Raphael Soyer, and Rufino Tamayo compose some of the permanent collection along with paintings by well known Wyoming, Western, and local artists. The collection continues to grow through purchases and donations.

Third of sixteen stops on the self-quided walking tour of historic downtown Rock Springs, the Center is a non-profit multi-arts complex, begun in 1939. By the 1960s, Elmer Halseth, a local science teacher with a great love for art and a vision for his school and community began building the art collection. In the summer months, Halseth would travel America to buy paintings, drawings and prints for the children of Rock Springs. To finance this endeavor, he used nickels and dimes gathered from school carnivals, bake sales and donation jars during the school year.

Monday, August 13, 2007

UW vertical dancers hanging from the ropes again

Popular vertical dance returns to Vedauwoo Aug. 25-26, with this year's theme focusing on the insect life. Two performances for "Dancing Between Earth and Sky: Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo," will be presented at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. The final performance is at 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 26. The performance area is 14 miles east of Laramie on Interstate 80 off the Vedauwoo exit. Shuttle buses for the entire performance will take patrons from the outer, free parking area outside Vedauwoo to the trailhead leading up to the performance setting. A limited number of tickets are available on site, but also can be purchased in advance through the Fine Arts ticket office or the Union Ticket office. Tickets are $6 for all ages. For more information, call the Fine Arts Ticket office at (307)766-6666.

Vertical dance is a unique blend of modern dance using ropes and the natural contours of rock to allow free-flowing aerial movement. Since 1998, the presentations in the natural rock formations at Vedauwoo have offered Wyoming and northern Colorado audiences a breathtaking set to view dance, says Margaret Wilson, University of Wyoming Department of Theatre and Dance assistant professor. Wilson and Neil Humphrey, UW geology and geophysics professor, have choreographed the performance and created a UW program in vertical dance.
"Through the years we have selected a different theme for each performance -- mostly focusing on the experience of being at Vedauwoo -- dancing in a unique environment or influenced by different animals," Wilson says. "This year we are focusing on the insect life, with both literal and abstract representation of ants, spiders, butterflies and other insects."

All dancers for this year's program completed the Vertical I course taught by Humphrey and Wilson. The course covers the basics of safety and gives the dancers experience with different rigging setups. The course also allows students to discover how they can apply their skill in dancing in a new relation to gravity. But for some, this will be the first time they will work outside, which presents new challenges, Wilson says. "While many dance programs and dance companies use elements of vertical or aerial dance in performance, very few perform outside and receive the training that UW students are given in this dance genre," she adds. "Vertical dance is one of the many valuable and unique aspects of the UW Theatre and Dance program."

Dancers for the performance are Brian Cofer, Gering Neb.; Katrina Despain, Loveland, Colo.; Andrew Franks-Ongoy, Helena, Mont.; Tiffany Forester, Katelyn Metzger and Stuart Speckner, all from Cheyenne; Kathryn Rochelle, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Rachel Rosenfeld, Aurora, Colo.; Russell Gilbert, Roscoe, Ill.; and Lauren Winstead, Sheridan.

The dancers will perform to the music of "PQBP and Friends." Peter Queal and Bill Plummer will join other local musicians to provide a wide range of music to complement the dancing.
For more information, contact Wilson at (307) 766-5138 or e-mail

Governor's Arts Awards application now available

The Wyoming Arts Council now has the Governor's Arts Awards Application available for mailing and on the website. Any Wyoming citizen, organization, business or community may be a Governor's Arts Awards nominee. Accomplishments that are noted should reflect substantial contributions made to the arts in Wyoming that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts.

Previous GAA recipients are not eligible for nomination, but nomination of previously unselected nominees is encouraged. Wyoming Arts Council board members, staff members, contractors, or members of their families are not eligible for nomination.

The application must be postmarked no later that October 1, 2007.

Previous recipients include the Saratoga and Pinedale Arts Councils, Casper Symphony, George Hufsmith, Donald King, Grand Teton Music Festival, ARTCORE, Jean Goedicke, Wyoming Writers, Tom Empey, David Romtvedt, Stanley K. and Roberta Hathaway, Gaydell Collier, Oyster Ridge Music Festival, Barbara Smith.

Artist creates "real" sidewalk images

The water, hose and hose reel in the picture above are all chalk drawings.
Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating chalk drawings on pavement since the mid-1990s that create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the right location. These trompe-l'œil drawings are created using a projection called anamorphosis and appear to defy the laws of perspective.
Besides the 3D art, Beever paints murals and replicas of the works of masters and oil paintings, and creates collages. He is often hired as a performance artist and to create murals for companies. Beever is interested in advertising and marketing, as well. He has worked in the UK, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Spain, the USA and Australia.

Websites offer coupons, podcasts

The Cheyenne Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau offer coupons for use at Cheyenne attractions, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, hotels, and retail stores. Coupons can be printed out and taken to the location. Go to to view offerings.

More than fifty new podcasts have been posted for download on the greatly expanded Wyoming tourism website. Video podcasts range in length from under a minute to a full blown seven-minute musical tour of the state with Dubois guitarist Mike Dowling. You can get the feel for a dude ranch vacation, learn about yodeling, or get a firsthand look at how eight touring cars have been made road-ready for Yellowstone this summer. The new podcasts can be found on the state tourism website at: www.wyomingtourism

Folklorico workshop at Cheyenne YMCA

Grupo Folklorico Colonias de Jalisco is sponsoring a dance workshop featuring Maestra Irene Hernandez from Los Angeles, CA., August 24 through the 26 at the Cheyenne YMCA. These fun and energetic workshops will be taught by Maestra Irene Hernandez, founder and director of Grupo Folklorico Sabor de Mexico from Los Angeles, California. Maestra Hernandez has over 25 years of dance experience. She will be teaching traditional dance styles from the states of Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Colima and Nayarit.

Maestra Irene Hernández has over 25 years of dance experience and has trained a with dozen of folklórico maestros. In 1999, she founded Grupo Folklórico Sabor de México in 1999 and has been teaching folklórico to Lakewood and Redondo Union High School students in California. She has also conducted folklorico workshops in Las Vegas, Wyoming, and was the guest instructor at East Los Angeles College in August 2006. In addition to her normal dance instructions, Irene participated as a judge in the 2005 Escencia de México folklórico competition alongside Amalia Hernández's daughter, Viviana Bastante Hernández. Most recently, Irene made her debut as MAESTRA for Danzantes Unidos 2007 in Whittier, California.
Irene graduated from college with a degree in Liberal Studies. She has been a High School ELL Educator since 1994 and continues to educate herself by attending workshops and training under master teachers such as Juan Gil Martínez Tadeo, who trained her in the art of Calabaceados, the traditional dances of Baja California Norte. Tadeo personally invited Irene to showcase her dancers at the Calabaceado Festival in Mexico in May 2004.
When conducting workshops, Irene includes a short lecture to the participants on the historical influences of Mexico. Her mission is to promote and educate the public in the art of Mexican folkloric dancing. The Mexican culture is preserved through our youth.

Session I:
Friday, August 24, 8:00 a.m. – Noon: Costume/Make-up Design for Stage Presentation.
Maestra Hernandez will teach participants the appropriate style for costumes of each state listed below. Students will learn tricks to designing costumes and hair pieces, as well as stage make-up for performances. Parents and students are welcome to attend this session.

Session II:
Saturday, August 25, 9:00 a.m. – Noon: Nuevo Leon
Nuevo Leon is a northern Mexico desert state. Their musical influences derive from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Scotland. Their music is played with an accordion and is upbeat.

Saturday, August 25, 1 :00 – 4:00 p.m.: Guerrero
Guerrero is a coastal state located near Acapulco, Mexico. Their musical dances are divided into four regions that depict four different diverse costumes.

Session III:
Sunday, August 26, 9:00 a.m. – Noon: Colima
Colima is a neighboring state of Jalisco and has music that sounds extremely similar to Jalisco. The dresses are ALWAYS WHITE, adorned with red, burgundy and/or hot pink lace and ribbon. This is homage to the white coconut candy that has either hot pink or red food dye around the edges. As in Jalsico, there are some dances where the male dancers use machetes.

Sunday, August 26, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Nayarit
Nayarit is a coastal state in Mexico and some costumes are similar to the state of Sinaloa. This is the state in which the male dancers show off their skills in machetes.

Location: Cheyenne Family YMCA, 1426 East Lincolnway / 307-778-9125

Cost: $20.00/person for all three sessions or $10.00 for each session. Payment due at the door (cash or check only).

Who can attend:
Students and adults ages 11 and up.
Lunch on your own

What to wear:
Please dress in workout clothes (no tennis shoes)
Males – boots or dress shoes
Females – dress shoes with small heels

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival

The 20th annual Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival will be held Aug. 10-12 at the Grand Targhee Resort near Alta. Here’s a description from the web site:

The grandfather of bluegrass festivals in the northern Rockies, our 20th annual festival, presented by Teton Reserve, will likely be one of the most memorable music events of the summer season. Great food, arts & crafts, games and on-site activities are all a part of our summer music festivals and this Targhee Institute event. Tent camping at Grand Targhee in our beautiful national forest is available during the weekend. The festival continues to attract the country's greatest bluegrass talent to our outdoor stage. Music jams and contests round out this weekend of toe tapping fun and entertainment. Take advantage of our FREE shuttle service this year and leave your vehicle in Victor or Driggs on the Idaho side of the Tetons.

Mitchell & Edwards at "Heart of the West"

The Cheyenne Cowboy “Heart of the West” Festival will be held Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, at the Historic Cheyenne Depot, the Historic Plains Hotel, and other locales in downtown Cheyenne. Highlight of the festival will be “The Bard and Balladeer,” acclaimed cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell and cowboy musician Don Edwards performing with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. The concert will be held at the Civic Center and begins at 7:30 p.m. with opening act Jon Chandler & the Wichitones. Tickets for the event are $29.20. You can purchase a weekend pass for $65. For full slate of events, go to

NoWoodStock VII in Ten Sleep

The NoWoodStock VII Music Festival will be held Aug. 10-12 in Ten Sleep’s Vista Park. Performers include the Jalan Crossland Band, Palmer Divide, Danny Many Horses Rael, Prickly Pair, Gary Small and the Coyote Brothers, Crescent Moon String Band, and many more. One-day tickets are $10 ($15 for Saturday) and three-day passes are $20. Military personnel (2000-present) can get two free weekend passes with military I.D. Kids 12 and under are free. FMI: Pat O'Brien, 307-431-2022.