Friday, August 29, 2008

Nanda in Fort Collins for fundraiser

Nanda, a group composed of four young men from Port Townsend, Washington, is touring as part of Tour de Fat this year. They are performing in Fort Collins on the 7th for free at Tour de Fat, which is New Belgium's effort to get people riding bikes instead of driving. There's a bike parade and then performances, including Nanda. They are part of the "Revival," which takes place from 11-4. It is free--and all proceeds from beer sales go to two bicycle groups. It takes place at New Belguim, 500 Linden. Nanda does physical comedy--action and humor mixed, including acrobatics, dance and kung-fu fighting and they are hilarious. At a performance this summer, it was packed full of adults and kids, all having a wonderful time. They are very popular in
Portland/Seattle, where they are based.

You can learn more about Tour de Fat at or

The sites are a lot of fun, if a tad short on information.

USArtists grant deadline

USArtists International has recently expanded its aesthetic and geographic parameters and now includes support for American dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists invited to perform at significant international festivals anywhere in the world outside the United States and its territories. The application deadline for the next grant round of the program will be on Monday, September 8, 2008 for engagements taking place between November 1, 2008 and October 31, 2009.

For a copy of program guidelines and application click here


Questions about USArtists International should be directed to:
Marie Suzuki, Program Associate, International at ( or via telephone at 410.539.6656 x113.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Advocacy for Visual Art annual fundraiser

The 7th annual AVA fundraiser and juried Fine Art auction is taking applications for entries. There is a $10, non-refundable entry fee per entry, and a application form must be completed.

You will know if you are accepted by October 1, and the work is due by December 12, 2008.
The exhibition takes place through January 2-30, 2009. The artist reception takes place on January 30 and the auction event, January 31.

The annual event promotes visual arts and artists. Proceeds from the event not only support participating artists, but also programming and general operations of AVA. In addition to the juried auction, the event includes an open silent auction and invitational selling exhibition.

AVA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the visual arts in the Gillette region. They offer youth and adult workshops, public events, sales opportunities for artists, and exhibitions for local, regional and national artists.

Contact them at P.O. Box 7145, Gillette, WY 82717; by phone @ (307) 682-9133 or by email @ or at their website,

Counted cross stitch at EWC

Eastern Wyoming College is hosting, through September 14, in the Fine Arts Center, "Hanging By A Thread," counted cross stitch by Charlie Cockett.

A reception and artist talk will take place Sunday, September 14, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The artist will speak first in the Fine Arts Lobby.

Take a gander at Glimmer Train

The 68th issue of Glimmer Train is arriving to your desks and reading chair side tables now. Authors in this edition include Hugh Sheehy, Armand ML Inezian, Ann Beattie, Alvin Handelman, Melanie Rae Thon, Eileen FitzGerald, Evan Lavender-Smith and Ingrid Hill.

Glimmer publishes 200 pages of literary fiction quarterly, of "new stories by luminaries, and fresh new voices," (quoted from their website).

Go to their website at for an overview of their publication and writing and submission guidelines.

WAC Gallery hosts Artistic Discovery 2008

On exhibit through September 12, 2008, is artwork from the Wyoming High School Art Symposium, held in Casper every year during the month of April. Check out the imaginative art work by some of our most talented high school students from around the state.

Gallery is open M-F, 8-5.

Celebrate with Devils Tower

Devils Tower National Monument is opening their new Interpretive Site, "Tribal Connections" and unveiling the World Peace Project Sculpture "Wind Circle."

It will be held at the Devils Tower National Monument, Picnic Area, Devils Tower, at 1 p.m., September 6.

Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Red letter dates on Arts Council calendar

Yes, Wyomingites, September is upon us and with it comes an avalanche of events and deadlines.

So, as a public service, here's a list of some key dates on the Wyoming Arts Council calendar:

Aug. 27: Sign-ups begin for 2008-2009 Poetry Out Loud competition for high school students (NEW DATE!)

Sept. 18: WAC creative writing fellowship reading in Casper at Equality State Book Festival (Sept. 18-20) in Casper

Oct. 1: WAC artist roster applications available (NEW DATE!)

Oct. 1: Deadline for Governor’s Arts Awards nominations

Oct. 29: Deadline for next round of WAC CAP grants

Oct. 31: Deadline for Blanchan/Doubleday writing awards (NEW DATE!)

Nov. 2: Deadline for WAC Folk Arts mentorship grants

Nov. 6-7: WAC board meeting, Powell

Nov. 14: Deadline for performing arts fellowships in music performance (NEW DATE!)

Nov. 17-18: Poetry Out Loud finals held in Cheyenne (NEW DATE!)

Dec. 1: Deadline date for WAC artist roster applications (NEW DATE!)

Dec. 15: Project end date for American Masterpieces New Deal grants

Looking ahead to 2009, the WAC will hold its annual Governor's Arts Awards gala Feb. 13 in Cheyenne, a Visual Arts Symposium April 3-4 in partnership with the UW Art Museum in Laramie and the Wyoming Arts Summit Sept. 25-26 in Jackson.

FMI: Call the WAC at 307-777-7742 or go to the web site at

Francuz & Morris exhibit at WWCC Gallery

This comes from a Western Wyoming Community College press release:

Two artists will be featured in Western Wyoming Community College’s Art Gallery show "Body of Thought" which opens August 27 and runs through September 27.

The show will include the transfer print collages of Lili Francuz, artist, and art curator at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne and ceramics by Paul Morris, artist and adjunct faculty at Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Francuz has presented Artists Professional Development Workshops for the Laramie Artist Guild, Central Wyoming College, and the art Association in Jackson, just to name a few.

"My current work combines representational and abstract forms that draw from collected snapshots, grade school papers, and advertising debris," Francuz said.

WWCC Gallery Director, Florence McEwin notes, "Francuz’ s collective image becomes a momento mori of references , at once personal while abstract. The viewer’s involvement becomes one of seeking and intellectually responding."

Francuz holds a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Utah State University. She has shown her works in shows as near as Jackson and Lander, and as far as Norway and Estonia.

"My ewers have a strongly sculptural, figurative presence," states Morris of his work, "and serve to explore issues of durability regarding our personal and collective embodiment in the world."

Professor McEwin added, "Morris’s work uses a playful integration of biomorphic forms with an intensely proficient technicality to establish his language of art making."

Morris earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, summa cum laude, with concentrations in pottery and sculpture at Colorado State University and his Master of Fine Arts in ceramics from University of Northern Colorado.

He has shown his work all over the US. He has given lectures and presentations for Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, Laramie County Community College and the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado.

The "Body of Thought" art show is free and open to the public. The WWCC Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Readers of this blog might remember Lili Francuz from her years as the visual arts specialist for the Wyoming Arts Council. Congrats, Lili!

Heather Rodriguez conducts AVA workshop

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"The Satanic Verses" author to visit Laramie

From a UW press release:

Salman Rushdie, renowned novelist and human rights activist, will visit Laramie this fall as a guest of the University of Wyoming Department of English L.L. Smith Lecture Series.

The internationally-acclaimed writer will speak and answer audience questions at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, in the UW College of Arts and Sciences auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday, Sept. 26, from 9-10:30 a.m at the Albany County Public Library (ACPL), Rushdie will lead a breakfast conversation about his writing. Attendance is free, but seating is limited. To reserve tickets, call (307) 721-2580 ext. 5456 or e-mail The event is sponsored by the Albany County Public Library Foundation.

Other events planned for Rushdie's visit include book discussions of "The Satanic Verses" in September, hosted by the ACPL. The University of Wyoming Libraries will provide a limited number of free copies of the novel to the public. Further details about the book discussions will be announced later.

"Salman Rushdie is one of the most successful, controversial and celebrated authors of our time," says Peter Parolin, head of the UW Department of English. "His work has won critical acclaim and widespread commercial success, while his ideas have stimulated, galvanized and provoked."

In 1988, Rushdie published "The Satanic Verses," a satirical novel that explores issues of religious faith and fanatical belief. Rushdie was accused of blasphemy against Islam, and the novel was banned in many Muslim countries. Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini famously issued a fatwa, or religious proclamation, against Rushdie, calling on all faithful Muslims to put him to death. Rushdie spent much of the next 10 years in hiding. He says he still receives "a sort of Valentine's card" every year from Iran, to remind him of the sentence.

Despite the fatwah and the international controversy that followed, Rushdie went on to produce some of his most compelling work while living under the constant threat of death. "Shalimar the Clown" (2005) was an international bestseller and a nominee for both the Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. He is also a prolific essayist, whose provocative articles are collected in "Step Across This Line" (2002).

Rushdie is currently distinguished writer in residence at Emory University. His 10th novel, "The Enchantress of Florence," was published this spring.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

O'Gara and Trosper address water issues

The Teton County Public Library in Jackson presents "Wind River Water: Past and Present" on Thursday, Sept. 11, 7-8 p.m.

Lander author, journalist and television producer Geoffrey O’Gara will speak and show film clips and images about his book “What You See in Clear Water,” which chronicles the struggle over water rights on and around the Wind River Indian Reservation. James Trosper (shown in photo), Sun Dance chief of the Eastern Shoshone tribe, will join O’Gara to offer a unique perspective on Washakie’s contributions to the tribe’s water rights. Followed by a Q&A and book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Co-presented by IC-21 and Teton County Public Library.

Contact: Adult Humanities Coordinator, 733-2164 ext. 135.

Meet the bookfest authors: Tom Rea

Tom Rea grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and has lived in Wyoming for 35 years. His books include Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story (Oklahoma, 2006), winner of the 2006-2007 nonfiction book award from the Wyoming State Historical Society, and Bone Wars: The Excavation and Celebrity of Andrew Carnegie's Dinosaur (Pittsburgh, 2001, paperback 2004), winner of a Western Writers of America Spur Award for contemporary nonfiction. He lives with his family in Casper.

Rea is director of the Equality State Book Festival and will moderate the Wyoming History panel at 2:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at Fort Caspar. He will be available to sign books after the panel.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mat cutting workshop in Casper

The Artist's Guild, 1040 W. 15th St. in Casper, will hold a free mat cutting workshop for those who are members of the guild. It will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. Participants can bring their own pictures and matboards. Help will also be offered in choosing the right color matboard for photos and pictures. FMI:

Flores de Colores wins awards in Las Vegas

"Cinco de Mayo Ambassadors" Flores de Colores, a folk-dancing group on the Wyoming Arts Council artists' roster, represented the city of Cheyenne at an international folk festival and competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 10-13.

Flores de Colores dancers presented solo, duet and group performances for judges. One solo, one duet and two small group awards were won. The dancers represented the states of Veracruz, Baja California Norte, and Jalisco, Mexico. The girl group won the trophy for most impressive of all dancers in their age level.

Director Danelle Fernandez won an award for teaching and training the dancers above their age level.

"Jentel Presents" Sept. 2 at The Book Shop

This comes from Lynn Reeves at Jentel:

The Jentel Artist Residency Program is proud to present this month’s residents in a free event open to the public. "Jentel Presents" will take place Tuesday, Sept. 2, 5:30-7 p.m. at The Book Shop, 117 North Main. Refreshesments will be served.

"Jentel Presents" is a community outreach program that features slide presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include: Jeff Bender, Philadelphia, PA; A fiction writer, Jeff enjoys reading and travel and is published in Guernica and the upcoming Captain Fiction; Jeffrey Hensley, Arlington, VA; A landscape painter, Jeff enjoys fishing, hiking and being outdoors in inspiring locations to make his art; Melissa McCutcheon, Brooklyn, NY; An oil painter, Melissa has a passion for travel and culture and surfing; Domenica Ruta, Austin, TX; A novelist, Domenica enjoys dogs, kickboxing, yoga and has no control when it comes to pens; Frank Sheehan, NYC; A painter, Frank uses sumi ink and acrylics to explore his current fascination with nests; Joan Waltemath NYC; A painter, Joan finds Wyoming familiar as she grew up along the Platte River where Buffalo Bill wintered. She is a return resident to Jentel.

The Jentel Artist Residency Program accepts applications twice a year from visual artists in all media and writers in all genres for a one-month residency. A residency includes a comfortable accommodation; common living, dining and recreation areas; a private workspace and a stipend to help defray expenses during the program. For more information please visit

IN PHOTO (clockwise from front center): Jeff Hensley, Melissa McCutcheon, Jeff Bender, Domenica Ruta, Jean Waltemath, and Frank Sheehan. Photo by Lynn Reeves.

Linda Hasselstrom to lead Custer, S.D., writing workshop

September 19-21 are dates set for the third annual writers workshop sponsored by the Badger Clark Memorial Society, a South Dakota non-profit corporation. Linda M. Hasselstrom of Hermosa, noted author and workshop instructor will direct the workshop.

Workshop schedule:
  • Friday, Sept. 19, includes an afternoon writing session at the Badger Hole in Custer State Park beginning at 1:00 pm followed by a picnic at 5:00 pm and a free program for the public at the Custer County 1881 Courthouse Museum courtroom at 6:30 p.m. Participants in the workshop may, if they wish, join Dr. George Russell of Boulder, Colorado; Donley Hewitt of Hill City; and Linda Hasselstrom who will present readings of poetry or prose. French Creek Folk will provide music during the evening, including Badger Clark poetry set to music. Refreshments will be served, courtesy of the Society. Friday night's entertainment at the 1881 Courthouse is free to the public.
  • Saturday, Sept. 20, session will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Custer County Courthouse Annex at 447 Crook Street. The day will include instruction on all factors involving writing poetry or prose plus writing session. Snacks and lunch will be provided by the Society. Participants who complete the 15-hour workshop will receive certificates of recognition.

An application for registration and the $100 workshop fee are due by September 15 payable to the Badger Clark Memorial Society, Box 351, Custer, SD 57730-0351. College credit from the University of South Dakota is available for $43.20 for English 592, "Badger Clark Memorial Society Workshop" for those who apply by September 19.

Participants may send any paper they have written to the Society by September 1 for critiquing by Hasselstorm for a fee of $10.

For information contact Jessie Sundstrom, PO Box 351, Custer, SD 57730-0351, Og, 605-673-4377.

The Society is a non-profit South Dakota corporation organized to promote the works of Badger Clark and western literature. To learn about the society log on to The Poetry Workshop is sponsored in part by the South Dakota Arts Council.

Meet the bookfest authors: Charlotte Babcock

Longtime Casper resident Charlotte Babcock is the author of The St. Patrick's Story and Shot Down: Capital Crimes of Casper (High Plains Press, 2000), which won the Wyoming State Historical Society's history book of the year award. She was recognized in 2001 by the City of Casper and the American Association of University Women as a renowned author, freelance writer and editor.

She has also published award-winning fiction, non-fiction, children's fiction, poetry, essays and humor in various anthologies including Woven on the Wind (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) and Crazy Woman Creek, (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), and Wyoming Writing.

Babcock is a longtime member of WyoPoets and is past president of Wyoming Writers, Inc. and recipient of that organization's prestigious Emmie award in 1983 for her outstanding contributions.

She is a founding member of the literary advisory panel at Casper College, and has taught classes at the college in writing for children. Currently she writes for Footprints, the college's alumni magazine, and is working on two new books.

At the Equality State Book Festival, Babcock will speak on a panel about local history at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at the Fort Caspar Museum and will be available to sign books after the panel.

Celebrating the art of highway patrolling

This comes from Coleen Haines at WYDOT:

The Wyoming Highway Patrol will be hosting a public open house event to celebrate its 75th anniversary on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 1-4 p.m. It will be held in the white tent between the Wyoming Highway Patrol Headquarters building and the main WYDOT building at the I-25 and Central Avenue interchange in Cheyenne. Refreshments will be served.

The open house will provide an opportunity for employees to visit with Wyoming Highway Patrol Staff and Troopers. On display will be the restored 1954 WHP Buick along with other current Patrol vehicles and equipment. There will be various exhibits and displays and K-9 Drug and Bomb demonstrations at 2 and 3 p.m.

The Wyoming State Museum is hosting an exhibit celebrating the WHP's 75th anniversary through Sept. 30 on the museum's first floor in the Barrett Building. The restored WHP Buick was on display this summer in front of the museum.

Monday, August 18, 2008

One-time NIC director lands Colo. Springs job

Sam Gappmayer, the one-time director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper and a Wyoming Arts Council board member, has a new job. Here are the details from The Denver Post:

Sam Gappmayer — executive director of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho, since 2002 — will helm the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the museum announced today. He is expected to begin his duties in October.

He replaces Michael De Marsche, whose controversial four-year tenure ended with the announcement of his resignation days after the museum opened a $30 million addition in August 2007.

"Sam Gappmayer has a significant history of achievement in taking the arts organizations he has served to higher ground," Jon Stepleton, chairman of the arts center's board of trustees, said in a statement. "And he has done so in a highly collaborative way, with great integrity, openness and sense of communityconnection."

Prior to his tenure at the Sun Valley Center, Gappmayer's previous experience includes heading the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (1999-2002), Fresno Art Museum (1996-1999) and Salt Lake Art Center (1992-1996). Before that, he was director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper.

Meet the bookfest authors: Mark Junge

Cheyenne writer Mark Junge currently is riding his bike through California, and reporting his adventure in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. He will return in time for the Equality State Book Festival in Casper Aug. 18-20. Here's more info:

Mark Junge worked for nearly a quarter of a century in the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office before retiring as deputy state historic preservation officer and state historian in 1995. He edited the state's quarterly history magazine, Wyoming Annals, for three years.

He is the author of five books that combine history and photography, including A View From Center Street: Tom Carrigen's Casper (2003), The Wind is My Witness: A Wyoming Album, (1997), Wyoming: A Pictorial History (1989), J.E. Stimson: Photographer of the West (1985), and Wyoming: A Guide to Historic Sites (1976).

Junge also worked that same quarter-century as a freelance photographer for the Wyoming State Tribune-Eagle, the University of Wyoming Sports Information Office and the Cheyenne Civic Center. In 2006 he rode a bicycle across North America.

At the bookfest, Junge will speak on a panel about the history of Casper at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Fort Caspar Museum and will be available to sign books following the panel.

Books & music mark veterans event

On Saturday, August 23, come to Lion's Park Ampitheater in Cheyenne and hear three-tour Vietnam veteran and author Roger Helle talk about his books, "My War Beyond Vietnam" and "A Time to Kill, A Time to Heal."

There will be music by local favorite Todd Dereemer and his band.

FMI: Contact Jay Meyer at (307) 287-2077.

UW Art Museum announces tour schedule for sculpture exhibition

A special community day is also planned

The University of Wyoming Art Museum has scheduled free tours of "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." Tours will be available every Wednesday and Thursday beginning August 20, continuing through September. Anyone interested in learning more about the sculptures is invited to attend. No reservations are necessary, however, tours will begin promptly at the scheduled times.

Tours start at the Art Museum each Wednesday at 10 a.m. and each Thursday at 2 p.m. The Art Museum is located in the Centennial Complex, 2111 Willett Drive in Laramie. Education Curator Wendy Bredehoft suggests that participants wear comfortable shoes and plan on spending 1 1/2 to 2 hours exploring these sculptures with docent guides at the museum and on Prexy’s Pasture. She also notes, "These tours, which are led by trained museum volunteers, are a fun way to learn more about the artists and the sculpture they have created. For example, how is Patrick Dougherty’s willow and sapling sculpture, "Shortcut," constructed to withstand Wyoming winds?"

Special tours for groups can be arranged with 48 hours notice. Participants will view and discuss 10 of the 18 sculptures that comprise Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational. A self-guided tour guide will also be available. Tours of all the sculptures will be offered on Saturday, October 4 during a special Community Day. Bus tours are planned at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations may be made by calling Pam Vaughn at 766-3477. Walking tours will also be offered at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 pm. No reservations are necessary and comfortable walking shows are suggested. Participants will start at the Art Museum and visit Prexy’s Pasture to view sculpture. A self-guided tour guide will also be available for those who want to tour the sculptures on their own.

"We are excited to offer a special day for Laramie residents to tour the sculptures on temporary view in our community," said Susan Moldenhauer, Art Museum director and chief curator.
"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" has been organized by the UW Art Museum in partnership with the University of Wyoming, Laramie Parks & Recreation, Laramie Economic Development Corporation, and the Albany County Public Library. The exhibition officially opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 12, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Prexy’s Pasture. It continues through July 2009.

"Imagine learning from the masters" is a guiding principle of the UW Art Museum’s programs. The museum and Museum Store are located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Dr in Laramie. Beginning Saturday, August 30, the museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call (307) 766-6622 or visit or the museum’s new blog,

Auditions announced for "The Dead Guy"

Rose Wager at the Cheyenne Little Theatre in Cheyenne sends this audition invitation:

You'll love the first comedic Reader's Theatre of the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players' performance season -- The Dead Guy by Eric Cobles. A satire on reality television, The Dead Guy ends on a serious note.

Auditions are Monday and Tuesday, August 25-26, 6:30 p.m. at the Atlas.

Readers Theatres are a wonderful opportunity to be on stage even if you don't have the time for weeks and weeks of rehearsals and performances and memorizing lines.

As always, please spread the word and drop by and audition yourself!

Meet bookfest presenter Sarah Crichton

Not all of the presenters at the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 18-20 in Casper are authors. Some are editors --

Sarah Crichton is vice president and publisher of Sarah Crichton Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux which began publishing titles in March 2006. An eclectic mix of smart and vervy books, fiction and nonfiction both, the imprint has already had marked success with Ishmael Beah's bestselling memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, which reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and also made bookselling history when it was heavily promoted by Starbucks in stores around the U.S. and U.K.

Other notable books from the imprint's first year are: The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin, which won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for the Best Novel of 2006, and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's award-winning love letter to the Kalahari Bushmen, The Old Way: A Story of the First People. Some recent books she has published include Eric Wilson's Against Happiness, a small but powerful book in favor of the art- and life-enriching power of melancholy; Melody Petersen's Our Daily Meds, a scathing investigation of corruption in the pharmaceutical industry; and many others.

From 1996 to 2001, Crichton was vice president and publisher of Little, Brown, where she had the good fortune to sign up Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. She published David Sedaris, George Stephanopoulos, David Foster Wallace, George Pelecanos, Anita Shreve, Rick Moody, and Michael Connelly.

Before Little, Brown, Crichton was in magazines. At Newsweek magazine, where she started in 1988, she was one of the top editors responsible for cultural, lifestyle, society and business coverage. Before Newsweek, she was the editor of Seventeen magazine, as well as a widely-published freelance journalist. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, writer Guy Martin, and their 18-year-old daughter, Eliza.

At the book festival, Crichton will appear on the panel: "Publishing from the Ground Up" at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Nicolaysen Art Museum.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bad weather cancels arts & crafts show

From a press release:

Due to inclement weather and wet conditions, the Wyoming State Museum Volunteers Arts and Crafts Show scheduled in Cheyenne for tomorrow (Aug. 16) has been cancelled. The event will not be rescheduled.

It has been determined that sloppy conditions on the grounds of the Barrett Building in downtown Cheyenne would not allow for the event to go on as scheduled.

Persons with questions regarding the cancellation can contact Carolyn Turbiville at 307-632-8244,; or Sarah Ligocki at 307-777-7021,

Meet the bookfest authors: Alexandra Fuller

The latest in our series of profiles of writers, poets and editors who will participate in the second annual Equality State Book Festival in Casper:

Alexandra Fuller's first book, Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (Random House, 2001), was a New York Times Notable Book for 2002, the 2002 Booksense Best Non-fiction book, a finalist for the Guardian's First Book Award and the winner of the 2002 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Her 2004 Scribbling the Cat: Travels with an African Soldier (Penguin Press) won the Ulysses Prize for Art of Reportage. Her latest book is The Legend of Colton H Bryant (Penguin Press, May, 2008). She has also written for The New Yorker and National Geographic.

Fuller was born in England in 1969, during a brief attempt by her parents to live away from Africa. The Fullers returned to Africa in 1972, to Rhodesia, and soon the country was descending into its war of independence. That war informs her first two books.

"People think the book is a love letter to Africa," Fuller has said of her debut memoir, "but really it is a love letter to my mother -- a fiercely glamorous, hard-drinking woman capable of terrifying and sometimes racist madness and equally terrifying compassion, and a woman whose madness was fueled by the death of three of her children."

Fuller was educated in Zimbabwe until she was eighteen. Watching the atmosphere in the aftermath of independence gradually, then precipitously turn into Mugabe's one-man attempt to take a country to the grave with him has also informed Fuller's work.

"Africa is a great teacher," she has explained. "We're not a good example of much, but we're a terrible warning of power run amok and of the long, high price of oppression."

Since 1994, Fuller has lived in Wyoming with her husband. They have three children, several horses, three dogs, and three cats.

At the book festival, Fuller will be reading from her newest book, The Legend of Colton H Bryant (Penguin Press, May, 2008), on Thursday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 in Durham Hall in the Fine Arts building on the Casper College campus. Books will be available for sale on site and she will sign them after her reading.

Mike Hurwitz covers lots of territory in August

Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Michael Hurwitz is having a busy August. Yesterday he was on KUWR's "Morning Music" with Grady Kirkpatrick. He played songs from his latest CD, "Cowboy Fandango." They included "Tom Horn," about the legendary hired gun, and "Garden Spot Pavillion," the now-defunct venue in Medicine Bow that used to be a stop for country-western greats such as Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Ernest Tubb, and Patsy Cline. Listen to MP3 clips of some of these songs by going to

August 15, Centennial Valley Trading Post, Centennial, with his band, The Aimless Drifters
August 17, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, Jackson, with Don Edwards. FMI:
August 18-21, Pack trip in the Teton Wilderness in Jackson Hole with Dave Stamey. FMI: Empty Rocker Productions, 307-413-9462
August 30, Cheyenne Heart of the West Cowboy Festival, Cheyenne, with Jon Chandler and the Wichitones, Andy Nelson, Otto Rosfeld, and others

August 31, Beartree Tavern, Centennial

"Faces of Dignity" exhibit at Ciao Gallery 8/16

"Sitting Pretty" fund-raiser for Greybull C of C

"Sitting Pretty 2008" is an artist-embellished-chair project undertaken in the town of Greybull as a fundraiser to benefit its Chamber of Commerce.

Artists from throughout Wyoming -- many from Greybull -- and the Rocky Mountain region participated to create a collection of 24 unique works of art that are currently on display in the windows of the main street merchants through the summer and which will be sold at auction on Sept. 6.

It is not necessary to be present to participate in the auction. You may enter a maximum bid in advance of the auction on Sept. 6 or participate during the auction via telephone. Please contact the Chamber of Commerce before Sept. 1 at 307 765-2100 to make arrangements. The Chamber can also provide additional copies of "Sitting Pretty" book from Pronghorn Press at $14 post-paid as well as posters at $5 post-paid that feature all the "Sitting Pretty" chairs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Children's writer visits Cheyenne YMCA

Children's writer/illustrator David Cronk (shown in photo, with some of his illustrations in the background) was born in Laramie, grew up in Cheyenne and now lives in Denver. He visited the Cheyenne Family YMCA today to talk to kids from 3-10 years old about his new book, "Critter Junction." In the evening, before a crowd of adults at the YMCA, he talked about the ins and outs of publishing his first book.

For more info about David and his book, write to Mountainheart Publications, PO Box 630376, Littleton, CO 80163.

Meet the bookfest authors: C.J. Box

C. J. Box is the author of nine novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. He’s the winner of the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Box was named 2007 "Writer of the Year" by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. His short stories have been featured in America’s Best Mystery Stories 2006 and limited-edition printings. The novels have been national bestsellers and have been translated into 14 languages.

BLUE HEAVEN, a stand-alone thriller, was published by St. Martins Press in January 2008 and was on the extended New York Times bestseller list for four weeks and was recently optioned for film. BLOOD TRAIL, the eighth Joe Pickett novel, was published by Penguin/Putnam in May 2008.

Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he co-owns an international tourism marketing firm with his wife, Laurie. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Box lives with his family outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Box will appear on the Equality State Book Festival panel, "Making Up Stories in the West," at 2:45 p.m. at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper on Saturday, Sept. 20, and will be available to sign books after the panel.

Call for entries: Winterfest in Aberdeen, S.D.

The Aberdeen Area Arts Council and the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Dept. are seeking applications for the WinterFest Gallery market Exhibition at the ARCC Gallery, 225 3rd Avenue SE, Aberdeen, S.D.

Here’s the schedule

September 30, deadline for entries (must submit work on CD).
October 10, accepted artists will be notified.
November 3, show opens at the ARCC Gallery.
November 22-23, Winterfest at the Aberdeen Civic Arena, 203 S. Washington St.
December 29, show closes; closing reception from 5:30-7:30 pm.

The exhibition will be open to the public Nov. 3-Dec. 29, with a closing reception on
Monday, Dec. 29, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Artists may not withdraw their works early from the show. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m.-noon.

The Gallery will receive a 25 percent commission for any work sold from the exhibition. All prices given must reflect this commission. All pieces must be for sale. Sales tax will be handled by the ARCC Gallery.

Awards to be given are: First place, $500; second place, $150; and “People’s Choice,” $100.

FMI: Lois Beckner at (605) 626-7081

Join Wyoming Writers and go to trade show

The summer issue of the Wyoming Writers, Inc., newsletter brings information about the region's biggest publishing trade show, held each year in Colorado. In a bit of unfortunate timing, it's being held the same weekend (Sept. 17-20) as the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. As a member of the bookfest planning committee, it's my duty to promote that over any other event. But if you haven't been to the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association trade show, you're missing a great opportunity to promote your books and learn about the marketing end of the business.

Wyoming Writers, Inc., continues its presence at the show. Long-time WWI member John D. Nesbitt of Torrington usually organizes this and attends the show. But he'll be a bookfest presenter this year. Here are excerpts of an article he wrote for the summer newsletter:

The Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) trade show will take place at The Crowne Plaza hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sept. 17-20 of this year, and once again Wyoming Writers, Inc., will have a display booth.

Our main day of activity will be Saturday, September 20. In past years, the trade show took place in Denver. This year, the event will be in a new location and will have a new schedule. Our part in the exhibit will take place on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The MPIBA trade show focuses on exhibiting and displaying books. The emphasis is on promotion, with very little taking place in the way of direct sales. Most exhibitors are publishers, and they come from all over the country. Some writers’ organizations also have exhibits. At the Wyoming Writers booth, we will display books and anthologies by writers in our organization. We will also hand out folders with promotional material inside. The folders get handed out to people who go through the exhibits—mainly booksellers and distributors. For Wyoming Writers members who participate in person, it is a good opportunity to promote one’s work at the same time that we promote the organization as a whole. Members who do not participate in person can still be represented in the folder.

This is a good opportunity to have your work promoted whether you attend or not. Although some participants do get the opportunity to promote their work individually, our central purpose at MPIBA is to promote Wyoming Writers, Inc., in general as an organization and as an idea. The more visible we are, the more the bookselling and reading world knows that there are serious, active writers in Wyoming. MPIBA puts our organization, our writers, and even our state in the regional and national arena. People remember our exhibit, and they remember those of us who run the booth.

For personal participation, this event is especially good for anyone who has a new or recent book or who has a publishing or bookselling enterprise.

Ann Heberlein has agreed to be in charge of the exhibit. If you cannot participate in person but have promotional material on anything that carries your writing—one or more books, an anthology, or whatever—send as many as 120 copies to Ann Heberlein by September 10, and your material will be included in the folders handed out to interested passersby. Your promotional material may consist of post cards, bookmarks, cover flats, brochures, or flyers. If you compose your own material, be sure to include basic ordering information such as ISBN, price, publisher, and distributor (if the book is not already handled by a national distributor). Also, include full contact information about yourself (address, phone number, e-mail address, fax, website). If you self-publish, you may also want to state your discount prices, shipping policy, and return policy.

Contact information:

Ann Heberlein
5121 East 12th St.
Casper, WY 82609
(307) 237-0003 (home)
(307) 473-6802 (work)

Reminder: We need badge requests by about September 3, and Ann needs display copies and folder materials by September 10. Earlier is better, of course. If you would like to know more about the trade show or MPIBA, you may go to the website at

This also is a great opportunity to join WWI. Not only can you promote your books at the trade show, but you receive the newsletter, get discount rates for the annual conference, and have a ready-made group of writing peers across the state and region. Regular membership is $25 annually, with students paying $10. Get more info on membership by e-mailing

P.S.: Both blog editors are members of Wyoming Writers, Inc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mahaffey at Music & Poetry Series Aug. 18

The ARTCORE Music & Poetry Series continues at The Jazz Spot in Casper on Monday, Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m., with musician, writer and photographer Rod Mahaffey.

Here’s bio information on Rod from the ARTCORE web site:

Rodney Gene Mahaffey is a veteran of Artcore’s summer music and poetry program, reading or performing (or both) occasionally since 1987.
He has written two chapbooks (para subir cielo/’85 and dancing to small gods/’85), a volume of poetry (hungers/ ’88) and a “painfully slow” work in progress: in unfamiliar region. Rod is a two-time recipient of literary fellowships (1994/2002) from the Wyoming Arts Council. “Like Artcore in Casper, the Arts Council enriches all of our lives in Wyoming. It was an artistic highlight to hear Simon Ortiz read one of my poems at the awards ceremony.”

Rod is also a photographer. “I was a writer first. My photography is an attempt to find a visual equivalent to voice.” He has been published in Shutterbug and Photo District News, has exhibited “erratically” but widely and has won several photography competitions. The complete/revised portfolios of This Place on Earth: the Wyoming Images, an 18(+)-year project, are available at the Nicolaysen Art Museum. In October, he will have an exhibition at Metro Coffee Company featuring work from a recent “spectacular” trip to France.

Rod has degrees from Casper College, Colorado College and the University of Wyoming. He has been recognized for excellence in teaching by Casper College, the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, the Wyoming High School Student Press Association, the US Department of Education, the Freedom Forum, the National Scholastic Press Association, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, Quill and Scroll, the Ellbogen Foundation, the College of Wooster, and Natrona County School District #1.

Rod says, “I especially appreciate the student-driven recognition. I feel positively polyphiloprogenitive.” He currently teaches creative writing, AP Language and Composition, and Senior Literature at Kelly Walsh High School.

Get tickets for the event by going to the ARTCORE web site.

Poetry Out Loud changes schedule for 2008

The teachers spoke and we listened.

The Poetry Out Loud recitation competition, previously conducted during the winter and spring, has a new schedule.

It will be held in Wyoming September through November during the 2008-2009 school year. The school competitions can be held any time after school starts (late August for most districts) up until the end of October. The finals in Cheyenne will be on Nov. 17-18.

During previous years, schools participating in POL conducted their competitions in January and February and traveled to Cheyenne in mid-March. But teachers and students alike complained that that part of the school year is crammed full of events, including the speech/debate season, standardized tests, sports events, and spring break. So the Wyoming Arts Council has moved the schedule to the fall.

The competition is open to high school students, grades 9-12, in language arts, speech/debate and drama classes. Teachers can sign up their classes by calling Mike Shay at the Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-5234. Poetry Out Loud is open to public and private school students, as well as home school associations.

Students participating in the program memorize and perform three poems included in material provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. Each school sends its winner to the state finals, with that winner going to the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April. Students can win cash prizes and scholarships. Their school libraries can also win collections of poetry books.

As school begins across the state during the next two weeks, keep in mind Poetry Out Loud. Call the Arts Council at 307-777-7742, or check out our web site.

Maggie Simpson's one-woman play on stage at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Queen of Wyoming, written and performed by singer/songwriter Maggie Simpson, will be on stage in Edinburgh, Scotland, through Aug. 24 as part of the city’s famous Fringe Festival. Maggie's a Wyoming native.

Here’s an Aug. 8 review of the play from Jan Fairley in The Scotsman newspaper:

Maggie Simpson is a Simpson of Wyoming (not Springfield), a family that has produced a long line of state governors. In this one-woman show, in a novel venue created out of luxury Portakabins, she tells the story of her life so far.

Her raison d'être was to be her family's Little Miss Sunshine and the effort fractured her very being. The strength of her play is that, without cliché or histrionics, she brings to life extremely dark experiences with wit, humour and wisdom.

A singer-songwriter with a voice that recalls both Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, Simpson impresses as an actress too. It's a cathartic piece, full of irony, revealing the inner fragility of people who try so hard to become what they think others want them to be that they annihilate themselves.

For up-to-the-minute posts from Edinburgh, go to Maggie’s blog

Meet bookfest presenter Katie Dublinski

This is part of a continuing series of profiles about writers, poets and editors who will participate in the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 18-20 in Casper:

Katie Dublinski serves as editorial director for Graywolf Press, an independent literary press based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She acquires manuscripts for Graywolf's fiction and nonfiction lists. Authors she has worked with include Alyson Hagy, William Kittredge, Ron Carlson, Ander Monson, and Robert Boswell. In addition, she oversees the book production process and sells subsidiary rights. She has been with Graywolf since 1997.

Dublinski will appear on the bookfest panel: "Publishing from the Ground Up" at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum.

Opera lurking just across the border

We bring you this in our continuing effort to bring news to opera-starved Wyomingites about opera events in adjacent states:

Buy Tickets With No Fees! On Saturday, August 16, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., join us at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver for a special presale event. Buy tickets for the Frederica von Stade concert, Madama Butterfly, The Pearl Fishers, and Cosi fan tutte with no additional ticketing fees on this one-day event! Get a sneak peek at the upcoming season and save! Single tickets will go on sale to the general public on August 18 at 10 a.m. through or 303-357-ARTS. Ticketing fees will apply beginning August 18.

WAC board meets Aug. 14-15 in Rock Springs

The Wyoming Arts Council will hold its quarterly board meeting on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 14-15, at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs.

On Thursday, Aug. 14, you are invited to attend the board’s “public comment session” at 3 p.m. in Room 1003 at WWCC.

Join the WAC board on Friday, Aug. 15, 3-6 p.m., at a reception and exhibition at the Community Fine Arts Center, 400 C St. in Rock Springs. This event is free and open to the public.

The board will have an opportunity on Friday afternoon to tour Green River and its “Art on the Green” project.

For more information, contact the Arts Council at 307-777-7742.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

UW Art Museum hiring Master Teacher

The University of Wyoming Art Museum is hiring a master teacher. Position search closes on Sept. 15.

Here are some details:

The University of Wyoming Art Museum seeks a Master Teacher, to work full-time in the museum's education department under the supervision of the Education Curator. This position was implemented as part of a Pilot Project to create a direct liaison between the College of Education, the Museum and Wyoming School Districts statewide. The successful applicant
will move the Master Teacher position forward into the next stage of implementation.

For further details, go to

Plan now for 25th annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada

You may find this hard to believe, but the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada, is already celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Cowboy Poetry Gathering Jan. 24-31, 2009.

There's a huge line-up for this year's gathering: The Three Amigos (Michael Martin Murphey, Don Edwards and Waddie Mitchell), Riders in the Sky, Cowboy Celtic, Baxter Black, Wally McRae, Paul Zarzyski (shown in photo), Ian Tyson, Wyoming's Echo Klaproth and Georgie Sicking, Wyoming native Teresa Jordan, ex-Wyomingite Linda Hasselstrom, and a host of others. Keynote address will be delivered by former Supreme Court Justice and cowgirl Sandra Day O'Connor.

Tickets go on sale to Western Folklife Center members on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Tickets go on sale for non-members on Oct. 2.


Meet the bookfest authors: Mark Jenkins

Laramie's Mark Jenkins is a critically acclaimed author, internationally recognized journalist, and renowned speaker. As a field staff writer for National Geographic, Jenkins covers the globe writing and speaking about geopolitical issues, from opium smuggling in Afghanistan to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, ethnic cleansing in Burma to mountaineering in Pakistan.

The author of four books, To Timbuktu, Off the Map, The Hard Way, and the recently released A Man’s Life, Jenkins’ writing has also been selected for inclusion in the past three Best American Travel Writing anthologies. To read stories from The Hard Way, please visit:

For more than a decade, critics have raved about Jenkins’ unique perspective on the world, adventure and tackling challenges. Describing A Man’s Life, Kirkus Reviews said “Jenkins’ superb memory and solid writing chops break him out from the pack of true-life adventure describes.” Writing about The Hard Way in a full-page review, the L.A.Times wrote: “Brought to life by a poetic and muscular style, Jenkins’ writing is a brew of history, philosophy and raw emotion. His journeys are as intellectual and spiritual as they are physical, and we are by his side, in his head.” Critic Amanda Heller, writing for the Boston Globe, summed it up: "Blessed with a rare combination of physical and intellectual grace, Jenkins weaves a compelling narrative of muscular beauty and emotional honesty. He makes us understand what pushes the man who pushes the envelope."

At the Equality State Book Festival in Casper, see Jenkins on the panel, "Plain Facts and True Stories", Saturday, Sept. 20 at 9 a.m. at the Nicolaysen Art Museum. He will be available to sign books following the panel.

Homer's Odyssey depicts eclipse

From the National Geographic News by Richard A. Lovett

"The sun has perished out of heaven, and an evil mist has overspread the world."

With those words from The Odyssey, Homer laid down not a prophecy of doom but a description of a real-world total solar eclipse, scientific sleuths announced. It has been known for decades that there was only one such eclipse during the time period Homer wrote about in the ancient Greek poem--on April 16, 1178 B.C. The blackout even occured at noon, as described in the epic poem.

Go to to read the full story.

Documentary captures three Emmy nominations

The documentary "Operation Homecoming," based on the National Endowment of the Arts' (NEA) remarkable anthology and program on wartime writing, has been nominated for three Emmy® Awards in the News & Documentary category. The film, which aired on PBS in April 2007 as part of the America at a Crossroads series, was nominated for Outstanding Informational Programming, Best Documentary, and Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Music and Sound. Operation Homecoming, which also received a 2008 Academy Award® nomination, was produced by The Documentary Group and directed by Richard Robbins. The 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards will be presented on Monday, September 22 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
For the full press release, visit

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wyoming artists may feel the chill this winter

Artists have to fill some basic needs in order to create. We need food, water, some sort of roof over our heads, and a heating source to keep us warm. The costs of these necessities are rising rapidly. As you may have heard, utility costs this winter may rise as much as 70 percent. If you can afford the fuel, you might want to go to this Casper conference to get some tips on how to survive the winter without going broke (or freezing into an ice sculpture in your studio):

The coming winter may be one of the most expensive heating seasons to date. Some natural gas utilities' rates will increase as much as 50-70%. That means if you paid $200 per month for heat last year, you might pay $340 per month this year. To help prepare consumers and community leaders to deal with these rate increases, the Wyoming Public Service Commission is holding the 2008-2009 Winter Heating Conference on August 20 from 1-5 p.m. at Casper's Best Western Ramkota Inn. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the conference, improving your energy efficiency, and energy assistance programs available in Wyoming, go to

Meet the bookfest authors: Laurie Kutchins

Laurie Kutchins will be returning home when she travels from Virginia to the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 18-20 in Casper.

Kutchins is the author of three books of poems: Slope of the Child Everlasting (BOA Editions Ltd., 2007), The Night Path (BOA Editions) and Between Towns (Texas Tech University Press). The Night Path received the Isabella Gardner Award and was a Pulitzer nomination for Poetry in 1997.

Her poems have appeared widely in anthologies and periodicals, including The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Orion, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, West Branch and other places. Her nonfiction has been published in The Georgia Review, LIT, Urthona and in anthologies A Place on Earth: Nature Writing from Australia and North America; Woven on the Wind; Let There Be Night, and Teens: A Literary Anthology.

She teaches creative writing at James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and spends her summers along the Wyoming-Idaho border, near an area of the country where she grew up and to which she keeps her roots. She is also a regular faculty member for the Taos Summer Writers Conference through the University of New Mexico, and she offers private workshops that nurture interconnections among creativity and healing.

Kutchins will sign books following her reading, scheduled for noon on Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in downtown Casper.

Golka replaces Lortie in GTMF concerts

American pianist Adam Golka has been selected as soloist replacement for Grand Teton Music Festival's final orchestra concerts of the 2008 summer season on Friday and Saturday, August 15-16. Golka replaces pianist Louis Lortie who has unexpectedly had to cancel his engagement with the Festival.

Winner of the 2008 Gilmore Young Artist Award and the 2003 China Shanghai International Piano Competition, 21-year-old pianist Adam Golka has performed with major orchestras and festivals throughout the United States. His appearance on these August 15-16 concerts marks his Grand Teton Music Festival debut.

The concert program remains as originally scheduled, with Golka performing Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G major, and featuring the Festival Orchestra under the direction of Music Director Donald Runnicles in the Second Symphony of Sergei Rachmaninoff. Tickets for these and the other remaining concerts of the Festival's 2008 summer season may be purchased by phone: 307-733-1128 or online at

"Reading Wyoming" groups begin Aug. 26

From a press release:

"Reading Wyoming," the popular book discussion program of the Wyoming Humanities Council, will take place in 19 Wyoming communities this fall. The program brings together community members and a humanities discussion leader to read and discuss a series of four books. Sessions are free and open to the public, and the Wyoming Humanities Council loans books to participants. To join a discussion in your community, contact the host organization directly. A schedule appears below.

Nonprofit organizations and government agencies are invited to host "Reading Wyoming." The application deadline for groups meeting in spring 2009 is September 2.

FMI: or call 307-721-9243.

Baggs, public library, starts August 26.
Casper, Ft. Caspar Museum, starts August 25.
Cheyenne, public library, starts August 10.
Cody, Christ Episcopal Church, starts August 4.
Evanston, public library, starts August 19.
Green River, public library, starts August 21.
Lander, public library, starts September 4.
Laramie, Eppson Senior Ctr., starts August 18.
Lusk, public library, starts September 3.
Medicine Bow, Senior Center, starts September 3.
Pine Bluffs, public library, starts August 21.
Pinedale, public library, starts September 1.
Powell, Rocky Mtn. Manor, starts September 3.
Ranchester, public library, starts August 25.
Riverton, public library, starts September 8.
Rock Springs, WWCC Library, starts September 8.
Story, public library, starts September 8.
Upton, public library, starts August 21.
Worland, public library, starts September 15.

Cat Urbigkit's new book about wolves

Pinedale sheep rancher, photographer and children’s writer Cat Urbigkit has written a new book. Yellowstone Wolves--A Chronicle of the Animal, the People, and the Politics will be released published in September by the McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company of Granville, Ohio.

Here’s what the publisher says about the book:

For the first time, the history of Wyoming's native wolf is told in an intensively researched, fully footnoted chronicle by Pinedale, Wyoming's award-winning author Cat Urbigkit. Beginning with the archeological evidence of wolves in western Wyoming, through the wolf control era when most, but not all, wolves were eradicated, the book continues through the release of Canadian wolves into Yellowstone National Park and the lasting effects of this controversial action. Urbigkit is uniquely qualified to compile this intensely personal perspective, as she was one of the litigants who sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prevent the reintroduction of Canadian wolves into the northern Rockies.

Urbigkit's book provides four frames of context: historic, scientific, legal, and immensely personal. The book details what was known about the native wolf and how it differed from other wolf populations. It explains the political and legal battles over the proposal to reintroduce non-native wolves to the region. While the debate raged, some of its participants largely ignored the fact the wolves still existed in the region and introducing Canadian wolves would be a violation of the Endangered Species Act. Rather than a triumph for conservation, the author viewed the wolf reintroduction program as a tragedy. Rather than a victory for wildlife, it was an action causing the extinction of a truly distinct animal, Wyoming's native wolf. She fought the original wolf reintroduction proposal not out of hatred for wolves, but out of concern for the possible extinction of Wyoming's native wolf.


Surf's up at LCCC Theatre in Cheyenne!

Psycho Beach Party by Charles Burch is the first offering of the 2008-2009 theatre season at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

It will debut on Thursday, Aug. 21, and play through Saturday, Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m., at the LCCC Playhouse, 1400 E. College Dr. Tickets are $10 general admission; $5 students and seniors.

Here's a description of the play from the LCCC web site:

Imagine Gidget crossed with The Three Faces of Eve and Mommie Dearest and you get Psycho Beach Party. Chicklet, a perky teenager in Malibu Beach circa 1962, wants to learn to surf and joins a group of beach bums led by the great Kanaka.

Unfortunately, she suffers from multiple personality disorder. Seeing red causes her to transform into various other selves, including a sinister vamp out to conquer the world. Complications arise when a movie starlet flees the set of her latest rotten movie to hide among the surfers. The climax is a wild luau scene where hypnosis
reveals the shocking root of Chicklet's psychosis.
Seats may be reserved by calling 307.432.1626 or 307.778.1158.

Meet the bookfest authors: John Clayton

Here's another installment of profiles of the writers appearing at the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 18-20 in Casper:

John Clayton's new book, The Cowboy Girl, is a biography of the Montana/Wyoming novelist, journalist, and homesteader Caroline Lockhart.

"Expertly researched and wonderfully written," writes Mark Spragg, author of Where Rivers Change Direction, "this biography of Lockhart expands the genre to a meditation on frontier, feminism, and the vagaries of literary hubris. Clayton has rendered a riveting portrait of a woman both troubled and brave, a character caught up in the fiction of her own life." The book relies on archival materials not available to Lockhart's previous biographers.

Clayton lives in Red Lodge, Montana, with his family. His articles appear regularly in the Montana Quarterly, Horizon Air, and dozens of regional newspapers through the Writers on the Range syndicate. And in the business world, he ghost writes white papers, case studies, newsletter articles, and online help files for several leading information and high-tech companies. John especially enjoys bringing his fascination with narrative structure to the communication needs of business executives.

Previously, John wrote the lifestyle advice book Small Town Bound (Career Press, 1990) and has contributed to several other books. He has taught at Rocky Mountain College and is on the advisory board for the Montana Center for the Book. He moved from Massachusetts to Montana in 1990.

Clayton will speak on a bookfest panel on "Wyoming History" at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 , at the Fort Caspar Museum and will sign books following the panel.

Cheyenne Quilter's Guild Show

The Cheyenne Civic Center's Quilt Show was able to go forward, despite the flood damage the Center received Tuesday night from a storm that dumped 2.5 inches on Cheyenne in just 30 minutes. Much needed moisture, but the Center's basement had to be pumped out and water rose to the main stage level.

There were 100-plus quilts displayed over this past weekend, all imaginative, with stories to accompany their design and execution. All kinds of techniques -- windowpane, applique, beading and fabric emblishments and manipulating, hand and machine quilting -- left show attendees oohing and aahing. White gloves were handed out for touching, and there were an assortment of vendors with quilt kits, ribbons and lace embellishments, packets of quilt squares and books of all kinds to purchase.

Quilts these days are works of art, documenting a time and place in the quilters' lives. Although many are still functional as blankets, many are now hung on the wall as interpretive art. Included in the show were a few vintage quilts.

The Cheyenne Quilter's Guild also takes its trunk show around to schools and interested organizations to display quilts and talk about the art of quilting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Alliance of Artists' Communities Annual Conference in Seattle

"Arts and Civic Engagement" November 12-15

Registration is now open for the Alliance of Artists Communities 18th annual conference, exploring what it means as an artist-centered organization to be a full participant in civic life, engaging in the global community, supporting artists working in social justice and public or community art, and integrating support for artists, creativity, and innovation into public policy.
Join national and international leaders who engage artists and community, including artists' residency directors, arts funders, civic leaders, activists, artists, and others.

Keynote speakers:

William Cleveland Thursday, November 13
William Cleveland is author of Art and Upheaval (New Village Press, 2008) and director of the Center for the Study of Art and Community.

Richard Andrews Friday, November 14
Richard served for 20 years as director of the Henry Art Gallery at University of Washington, and for three years as director of the visual arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts. He is president of the Skystone Foundation, which manages James Turrell's Roden Crater in Arizona.

For information on registering, agenda, events, sites, and travel

2008-09 UW Symphony Orchestra Season

From Michael Griffith, Musical Director:

Thursday, October 9, 7:30 p.m.
Brazilian & Bohemian
Rúbia Santos, piano soloist

Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro Overture
Guarnieri, Piano Concertino
Dvoÿák, Symphony No. 6

Thursday, November 20, 7:30 p.m.
An English Enigma
Tai Murray, violin soloist

Beethoven, Fidelio Overture
Bruch, Violin Concerto No. 1
Elgar, Enigma Variations

Saturday, December 6, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 7, 3:00 p.m.
Gala Holiday Concerts
Scott Turpen, saxophone soloist
This year’s holiday festivities will be highlighted by Duke Ellington’s version of the Nutcracker Suite, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves, and two Christmas favorites by Leroy Anderson.

Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.*
The Dorothy Jacoby Student Soloist Competition
Who will be chosen to perform? Who will win the competition? The very best UW musicians play the ir very best solo works in this exciting concert.
*Schedule subject to change pending release of the UW basketball schedule.
Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.

Roman Brass
Thomas Pfotenhauer, trumpet soloist
Ravel, Mother Goose Suite
Liebermann, Trumpet Concerto
Respighi, Roman Festivals

Meet the bookfest authors: Serle Chapman

Author of seven books, accomplished photographer, and wide-ranging tour guide to the Indian country of the High Plains, Serle Chapman brings a unique perspective to the people in the heart of North America, past and present.

His forebears include the frontier scout Amos Chapman, and Chapman's Cheyenne wife Long Neck Woman, granddaughter of Black Kettle and survivor of the fights on Sand Creek and the Washita. Chapman's book Promise: Bozeman's Trail to Destiny combines Indian and white, contemporary and historical accounts of the troubles along Wyoming and Montana's Bozeman trail in the 1860s with his own photos and historical photos from the time. Out of this cultural mix of attitudes toward the past, truth, fact, and memory comes a deep and rich account.

Chapman’s work has been highlighted on national TV and radio, and one of the world’s premiere arts complexes, London’s Barbican Centre, described him in their ‘Written America’ series as “a critically acclaimed writer and one of the world’s leading photographers.” His photography is on permanent display at museums and visitor’s centers in North and Central America, including the Biosphere Center in Mexico.

Chapman’s writing and photography has appeared in numerous national and international publications, including The Times of London, The Navajo Times, Indian Country Today, The Lakota Times, Aboriginal Voices (Canada) and various city and statewide newspapers. His work has been praised by Vine Deloria, Bill Clinton, and Nelson Mandela, and his photographs have been compared with those of Edward Curtis.

Chapman will appear on the "Plain Facts and True Stories" panel at the Equality State Book Festival at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper. He will be available to sign books after the panel.

Seeking Executive Director for the Bozeman Symphony Society

The Executive Director:

* works with the Music Director and the Board of Directors in the development of the long term strategic direction of the Society as well as the day to day direction of all business activities necessary to achieve these strategic objectives.
* is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors and participates in board meetings and discussions.
* is directly involved in all aspects of the financial development of the Society, including fund raising and event planning as well as in directing related activities such grant writing, foundation relationships, etc.
* oversees the involvement of volunteers.
* is the face of the Society in the community along with the Music Director.
* assists the Music Director in the production of performances.
* directs the marketing of the Symphony to all constituencies.
* develops the budget and oversees the financial operations of the Society.
* directs office staff and activities to ensure achievement of goals and compliance with legal and regulatory matters.
* supports the Music Director in the hiring and compensation of musicians, guest artists and others involved in performances.
* reports to the Board of Directors through the President of the board.
The candidate:
* will have a strong background in the executive management of a growing, successful enterprise with budgets in excess of $750,000 per year-non profit experience is a plus.
* will have had meaningful experience in fund raising and related financial activities.
* has had experience in managing personnel-both employees and volunteers.
* will be or will become a resident of the Bozeman community.
* will have strong communications skills and be a convincing advocate for the Society.
Compensation will be commensurate with the candidates experience.
Send resumes and salary requirements to the Bozeman Symphony Society, Executive Director Search Committee, 1822 West Lincoln, Suite 3, Bozeman Montana 59715. Application will be accepted until September 15th, 2008.

Painter of the Purple Sage at AVA

NEA helps artists in flood-ravaged states

The National Endowment for the Arts announces $100,000 in grants and additional resources to support Iowan and Midwestern arts communities affected by this year's historic flooding. An NEA grant of $100,000 to the Iowa Arts Council will help Iowa artists and arts organizations resume their work. In addition, the NEA and the Institute of Museum Library Services (IMLS) are supporting the distribution of a new publication, Guide to Navigating Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration Disaster Aid for Cultural Institutions. Concurrent with these efforts, an NEA-supported Governors' Institute on Community Design recently brought together Iowa leaders to develop strategies for rebuilding the state after one of the worst storm seasons to hit the region.

For the full press release, visit
From Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006:
Hearts and flowers, that's how some people dismiss poetry, suggesting that's all there is to it, just a bunch of sappy poets weeping over love and beauty. Well, poetry is lots more than that. At times it's a means of honoring the simple things about us. To illustrate the care with which one poet observes a flower, here's Frank Steele, of Kentucky, paying such close attention to a sunflower that he almost gets inside it.

You're expected to see
only the top, where sky
scrambles bloom, and not
the spindly leg, hairy, fending off
tall, green darkness beneath.
Like every flower, she has a little
theory, and what she thinks
is up. I imagine the long
climb out of the dark
beyond morning glories, day lilies, four o'clocks
up there to the dream she keeps
lifting, where it's noon all day.

Local artist contributes to sculpture exhibition

Artist Stan Dolega (right) and Sterling Smith , UW Art Museum Chief Preparator, construct Veedauwoo Modernized at his West Laramie studio. Photo courtesy of the UW Art Museum.

Laramie artist, Stan Dolega, is scheduled to install a new sculpture at Optimist Park on Thursday, Aug 21. The new artwork, Veedauwoo Modernized, is inspired by the rock formations of Veedauwoo and is a continuation of the artist’s work that references the landscape and nature.
Constructed of steel, flagstone and boulders, the sculpture measures 10 feet wide by 10 feet long by 6 ft high. Veedauwoo Modernized marks a return to creating outdoor art by the artist. Dolega is one of many artists who, during the 1970s and 1980s, created large-scale earthworks or land art. Elements of nature and natural settings formed the basis of this genre of art that was often vast in scale and commonly effected by the natural elements of daily and seasonal cycles.
Dolega has many earthworks in locations across the U. S., including Dayton, Ohio, Wenatchee, Wash., Detroit, Mich., and Montgomery County, Md. The works range in size from 64 feet long to a quarter of an acre, with varying elevations, up to 10 feet high. His largest outdoor work is in Hannah, Wyo., where he created an earthwork to serve as both a sanitary landfill and a recreation site; it is 120 acres with elevations ranging from zero to 100 feet.

Dolega is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art in Public Places grant, NEA Artist Fellowship, and Wyoming Arts council Fellowship. He is represented in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is the owner of Wolf Ears Equipment, maker of fine hand-crafted gun leather.

Dolega’s sculpture is one of 18 works that comprise Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational, an exhibition of public art on the University of Wyoming campus and in Laramie that has been organized by the University of Wyoming Art Museum. The exhibition officially opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 12, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Prexy’s Pasture. It continues through July 2009.

"Imagine learning from the masters" is a guiding principle of the UW Art Museum ’s programs. The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Dr in Laramie. The museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
For more information, call (307) 766-6622 or visit or the museum’s new blog,