Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yet another Wyoming arts blogger

Children's book writer, photographer and Wyoming Tribune-Eagle features writer Karen Cotton has a new blog at

Karen covers the arts and entertainment scene in southeastern Wyoming, with occasional side trips to Laramie and northern Colorado. So far, she's posted reviews of holidays plays and a short story by mystery writer Craig Johnson. More to come in ought-nine.

Karen grew up in Green River, graduated from University of Wyoming and has been a WTE reporter ever since. She received a 2004 Individual Artist Professional Development grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.

Jeffe K. joins the arts blogosphere

Laramie writer (and WAC roster artist) Jeffe Kennedy debuts her new blog on New Year's Day. The blog's title is Love Power and Fairy Tale Endings. Find it at

Jeffe requests that all wyomingarts readers check it out and tell her what you think.

Make it so.

Calo Flamenco enlivens Pinedale winter

On Thursday, January 15, 7:30 p.m. Calo Flamenco, ballet de Martin Gaxiola, will present its "highly charged mixture of dance, music and song in Pinedale. Enjoy this electrifying art form up close and experience the passion like never before."

Presented in the Pinedale Auditorium. Tickets are $13 adults, $7 students ($1 more at the door).

This is a Pinedale Fine Arts Council production.

C.J. Box novel to debut in Cheyenne Jan. 6

This is the best reason I can think of to greet the new year with open arms.

C.J. Box will debut his new novel, "Three Weeks to Say Goodbye," at City News, 1722 Carey Ave., Cheyenne, on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 4 p.m. Arrive early, as there will be a big crowd for the best-selling Cheyenne author and one-time recipient of a Wyoming Arts Council creative writing fellowship.

FMI: Beth Humphreys, 303-288-4701,

On the road with Laughing Bird

WAC roster artists' Laughing Bird (Tupelo and Janey Kenyon) depart Story, Wyo., each winter for warmer climes. The group has just release its Jan.-March touring schedule, and it looks as if Tupelo and Janey will be burning the miles through California, Arizona and other points south and west.

Here's the schedule:

January 2009
2 - Rancho Rialto, Yuma, AZ
3 - Cactus Gardens, Yuma, AZ
7 - Shangri-La, Yuma, AZ
8 - Coach Stop, Wellton, AZ
9 - Las Quintas Oasis, Yuma, AZ
10 - Cocopah Resort, Yuma, AZ
11 - Sun Vista, Yuma, AZ
13 - QIA, Quartzsite, AZ
14 - Desert Gold, Brenda, AZ
15 - Mountain Shadows, Hemet, CA
16 - Caliente Springs, Desert Hot Spgs, CA
17 - Thousand Trails, Palm Desert, CA
21 - Catalina Spa, Desert Hot Springs, CA
22 - Hidden Springs, Desert Hot Spgs, CA
23 - Plantation on the Lake, Calimesa, CA
24 - Sands Resort, Desert Hot Springs, CA
25 - Araby Acres, Yuma, AZ
26 - River’s Edge, Winterhaven, CA
27 - Yuma Lakes, Yuma, AZ
29 - Friendly Acres, Yuma, AZ
30 - Pioneer Park, Wellton, AZ
31 - Quail Valley, Desert Hot Springs, CA

2 - Crazy Horse, Lake Havasu City, AZ
6 - Towerpoint Resort, Mesa, AZ
7 - Val Vista Winter Village, Casa Grande, AZ
13 – XII Hobo Rally, Blythe, CA
16 - Santa Fe RV Park, Apache Junction, AZ
18 - Sunrise (on McKillips), Mesa, AZ
19 - Queen Valley RV Park, Queen Valley, AZ
20 - Sundance, Casa Grande, AZ
21 - Cactus Country, Tucson, AZ
26 - Gulf Waters, Pt. Aransas, TX
27 - Lagoons, Rockport, TX

1 - Mission West, Mission, TX
2 - Palm Shadows, Donna, TX
3 - Casa del Valle, Alamo, TX
4 - Country Sunshine, Weslaco, TX
5 - Winter Ranch, Alamo, TX
6 - Tropic Winds, Harlingen, TX
7 - Sunshine Encore, Harlingen, TX
8 - Alamo Rec-Veh, Alamo, TX
9- Citrus Mobile, Edinburg, TX
11- Bentsen Grove Resort, Mission, TX
12 - Park Center, Pt. Isabel, TX
13 - Siesta Village, Weslaco, TX
15 - Lakewood Resort, Harlingen, TX
16 - Winter Haven, Pharr, TX
22 - Fun-n-Sun, San Benito, TX
24 - Tropic Star, Pharr, TX
26 - Woody’s Acres of Lakes, Rockport, TX

You can book Laughing Bird in your Wyoming community through an Arts Across Wyoming grant. For details, go to


Casper College's "King Lear" to be set in modern Middle East

From a Casper College press release:

The first play for 2009 on the McMurry Mainstage at Casper College will be Shakespeare’s "King Lear," replacing the originally announced "Twelfth Night."

"I decided to change the play from ‘Twelfth Night’ to ‘King Lear’ for several reasons," said Tom Empey, director. "I have always wanted to do ‘King Lear’ and since I will be directing for only one more season, it was now or never. I simply cannot escape the intrigue of this play about a world gone mad, a world in chaos."

In addition, Empey believes that the current theatre student population is more suited to "King Lear." Finally, had he chosen to do Shakespeare two years in a row, "then the rotation would have been thrown off. We continue our tradition of producing Shakespeare every other year so that every student will have the opportunity to work with the ‘Master Playwright’ during their two years at Casper College. Shakespeare has become a tradition audiences seem to enjoy as they attend in surprising numbers," he said.

Shakespeare’s powerful and famous tragedy, considered by many to be among his greatest works, will be set "in the modern Middle East. A play about the division of land within a kingdom seems to reflect the pressures and strains of that troubled region," noted Empey.

"King Lear" will be presented on the McMurry Mainstage of the Gertrude Krampert Theatre Complex on Feb. 27-28, and March 3-7 each night at 7:30. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students 5-18.

Tickets for "King Lear" will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Feb. 23. Tickets may be purchased at the box office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 307-268-2500 or 1-800-442-2963, ext. 2500, or at the box office one hour before each show.

Editor's Note: Tom Empey is a past board member for the Wyoming Arts Council and served as its chair for two years.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Winter with a Photographer's Eye"

The Yellowstone Institute is offering a new arts course in 2009.

"Winter With a Photographer’s Eye" will be held Jan. 15-18 at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. Instructor is Tim Christie. Cost is $595 (members $585).

The insitute's web site has this description:

Expand your digital photography skills with a pro in Yellowstone’s winter wonderland. Travel by snowcoach from Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, stopping to photograph along the way. Spend a full day photographing the steam, colors, and wildlife of the Old Faithful area, then working with your images on a computer in the evening. The last day, return along the 50 miles of snow-covered road to Mammoth, photographing as opportunity arises. This course is for advanced beginners or intermediates already comfortable with their digital cameras and interchangeable lenses.


Nelson & Larsen at Colo. Cowboy Gathering

Two talented Wyomingites -- Andy Nelson (shown in photo) of Pinedale and Chuck Larsen of Saratoga -- will be performing at the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering Jan. 13-18 at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities in suburban Denver. Andy is on the Wyoming Arts Council's artists' roster.

Here's the line-up:

Award-winning Utah singer/songwriter Brenn Hill is headliner for a group of storyteller/entertainers that includes Andy Nelson, Gwen Petersen and Jon Chandler and The Wichitones. On Thursday, Jan 15, 7:30 p.m., Main Stage Theater. Tickets are $32-$38 for adults; $12 for children.

New West, a trio from California, will perform with Tim Nolting, Chuck Larsen and the Sweethearts in Carhartts (Jean Prescott, Liz Masterson, Georgie Sicking, Doris Daley, Julie Hays and Yvonne Hollenbeck) on Friday, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., in the Main Stage Theater. Adult tickets are Prime $32-$38, children $12.


Robert Burns celebration at Casper College

This press release comes from Lisa Icenogle at Casper College:

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Casper College will host the Second Annual Burns Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Nicolaysen Art Museum. Tickets are on sale through Wednesday, Jan. 14, for the traditional Scottish dinner and entertainment.

The evening will begin with hors d’ oeuvres and wine, followed by a Scottish dinner which will feature a choice of pork loin or vegetarian lasagna, "a wee taste of haggis, neaps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes)," salad, side dishes " a generous dram of scotch for toasts," iced tea and coffee and a "unique" Scottish dessert, according to Vicki Pollock.

"In addition to the dinner, the evening will be filled with merriment, music and laughter in celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns," said Pollock, lifelong learning specialist at Casper College. "Because this dinner is based on those held annually in Scotland to honor Burns, there will be recitations of poems written by Burns and others, a toast to the haggis and more," Pollock noted.

Chairman of the dinner, Robert Barnes, president and CEO of Casper Area Economic Development Alliance, Inc. (CAEDA), will provide many of the toasts and read several poems, "along with other honored OLLI members and guests," said Pollock.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Paul Marquard on the bagpipes, and the Celtic fiddle group Anastasia’s Fault, who will perform traditional Celtic music.

According to Pollock, hors d’ oeuvres and wine will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. The Scottish dinner is open to those 21 and older, and participants do not need to be a member of OLLI to attend. Seating is limited and the cost per person is $45. Those with kilts are encouraged to wear them to the event.

For more information or to make reservations, call Pollock at 268-2097.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What about Marian the Librarian?

From a Teton County Public Library press release:

They have more cardholders than VISA, more items than FedEx and more outlets than McDonald's. Meet America's librarians when Teton County Library shows, "The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film," followed by a Q&A with Film Director and Librarian Ann Seidl.

Watch how this full-length documentary weaves together the work and lives of librarians - in schools, prisons and public libraries -- with their entertaining portrayals in American movies.

The library will present a film screening and director Q&A, "Hollywood Librarian," from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 9 in the Ordway Auditorium. Festive snacks will be provided by Friends of the Teton County Library. The evening is free and open to the public.

American film contains hundreds of examples of librarians and libraries on screen -- some positive, some negative, some laughable and some dead wrong -- according to Seidl. While films such as "Sophie's Choice," "Philadelphia" and "It's a Wonderful Life" serve up negative stereotypes, other films, such as "Lorenzo's Oil" and "The Shawshank Redemption," portray librarians as competent and professional.

"Ann Seidl's 'The Hollywood Librarian' is an engaging, often humorous look at the disparity between the simplistic depictions of bun-wearing, finger-shushing, spinster librarians served up in Hollywood feature films and the far more complex reality of today's savvy information navigators -- of both genders, with or without tattoos and/or piercings," writes Randy
Pitman, Publisher and Editor of Video Librarian Magazine.

"The Hollywood Librarian" (96 min.) combines movie clips of cinematic librarians with dozens of interviews with real librarians, who touch on serious themes, including censorship, intellectual freedom, children and librarians, pay equity and more. The film has been shown in many world
cities including Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Australia; Geneva, Switzerland and Auckland, New Zealand since its June 2007 premiere in Washington, D.C.

Seidl, who wrote the film's screenplay in 2003, has a master's degree in library and information services from the University of Denver. She is a library consultant and the owner and principal of a library consulting business.

Before becoming a librarian, she worked as a voice-over actor for film and television.

FMI: Oona Doherty at 733-2164 ext. 135.

Central High students stage Cole Porter

Cheyenne's Wyoming Tribune-Eagle launched a series in today's edition that will follow Central High School students as they prepare for the school''s 2009 musical "Anything Goes" by Cole Porter. The series is by reporter Becky Orr.

Today's installment looks at the audition and rehearsal processes. Here's an excerpt:

The cluttered stage looks nothing like it will in the next few weeks. Music stands and chairs are arranged in a semi-circle, ready for a school Christmas concert. An overhead projector is in one corner of the stage, a Christmas tree in another.

In a few weeks, the stage will become a 1930s-era ocean liner populated with society's darlings.

But for now, the directors are focused on the singing. "Remember to keep the tempo up," vocal director David Hurst advised the teens.

Hurst, along with director Wende Wolfe-Perez and student director Liz Wood, jot down notes after each girl sings.

"The worst part of doing any show is casting," Wolfe-Perez said. "I told the kids we could have three or four people in mind for one part. If they don't get that part, they will be in the chorus. It doesn't mean they weren't good enough."

Read the series at

Funding available for documentary projects

Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University "is intended to fund collaborative work between a writer and a photographer in the formative or fieldwork stages of a documentary project."

Submissions on any subject are welcome. At the end of one year, prizewinners are invited to come to Durham, N.C., to make a public presentation based on their fieldwork. The amount of the award is $10,000.

FMI: Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 W. Pettigrew St., Duke University, Durham, N.C. 27705.

Photo contest postcards now at AVA Center

Call for entries: VSA Arts script contest

Download the official rules and guidelines here.
Download the official application here.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cheyenne-raised filmmaker is on shortlist for Academy Award in documentary category

In November, Filmmaker Magazine reported that "They Killed Sister Dorothy," a film by Daniel Junge, who grew up in Cheyenne, has been named to the shortlist of 15 titles in the best documentary category for the Academy Awards. The five finalists will be announced Jan. 22 and the awards show will air on Feb. 22. Dan now lives and works in Denver.

The documentary (view trailer below) was shown at the Starz Denver Film Festival last month and was the Grand Jury Winner at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. It’s narrated by actor and Catholic activist Martin Sheen.

The film explores the death of Roman Catholic Sister Dorothy Stang in February 2005 in a public rainforest in Brazil that was sought for timber cutting and cattle grazing. It has raised new questions about the involvement of rancher Regivaldo Galvao in the murder.

According to an article in the 12/28/08 Denver Post:

"She [Stang] had contended the rainforest was protected federal land. She was shot six times at close range, including three times in the face, on a muddy roadside."

On Sunday, prosecutors in Brazil said they would charge rancher Regivaldo Galvao in the conspiracy to kill the nun.

"Brazil is very aware that Dorothy has been recognized by the world community," Sister Dorothy's 71-year-old brother, David Stang of Palmer Lake, Colo., said Sunday. "This has to be very embarrassing."

Her death has brought international attention to the violent struggle between peasants and wealthy ranchers in the endangered rainforest, where she had lived for 30 years.

Monday, December 22, 2008

See you after Christmas

The blog editors will be off for the rest of the week, so no more postings after today. We here at the WAC hope you all have a great Holiday season!

Here's a little Christmas poem to warm your heart

American Life in Poetry: Column 195 by Ted Kooser, U.S. Poet Laureate 2004-2006. "Here is a poem, much like a prayer, in which the Michigan poet Conrad Hilberry asks for no more than a little flare of light, an affirmation, at the end of a long, cold Christmas day."

Christmas Night by Conrad Hillberry

Let midnight gather up the wind
and the cry of tires on bitter snow.
Let midnight call the cold dogs home,
sleet in their fur--last one can blow

the streetlights out. If children sleep
after the day's unfoldings, the wheel
of gifts and griefs, may their breathing
ease the strange hollowness we feel.

Let midnight draw whoever's left
to the grate where a burnt-out log unrolls
low mutterings of smoke until
a small fire wakes in its crib of coals.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2008 by Conrad Hilberry, whose most recent book of poetry is After-Music, Wayne State University Press, 2008. Poem reprinted from The Hudson Review, Vol. 60, no. 4, Winter 2008, by permission of Conrad Hilberry. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Executive director wanted for music conservatory in Washington state

The Woods House Conservatory of Music in Washington State is seeking an innovative, dynamic Executive Director to operate an energetic, team oriented non-profit organization. We are seeking a person with leadership skills who can bring ideas, vitality, organization and financial stability to our much-loved conservatory. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2009.
Outstanding skills are required in:
* Grant application
* Budget management
* Building community relationships
* Seeking out new contributors & partnerships
* Organization & time management
* Public relations & communication
Salary: Grant funded/$42,000 year

Go to and click on jobs for a full description of the position.

Please mail your resume to:
The Woods House Conservatory of Music
323 First Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801

Call (509) 664-0412 for more information. Email them at

David Romtvedt's Letter From Havana

Go along with David Romtvedt, Wyoming's Poet Laureate, as he writes about his trip to Cuba with members of his musical group, The Fireants.

Call for entries: CLTP New Play Project

March 31, 2009 is the deadline for Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska and Utah playwrights to enter their work to the New Play Project, a program created by the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players (CLTP) to encourage, recognize and support playwrights in the five-state region. Entries must be full-length plays that have not been performed previously; no film scripts or musicals are allowed. The winning stage play will be produced as a Readers' Theatre by the CLTP during its 2009-2010 season. The winning playwright will receive a $500 cash award and an all-expenses paid trip to Cheyenne to attend production meetings, auditions, rehearsals, and performances of the work. The competition entry fee is $20 per play submitted.

Submission guidelines, a proposal form, and an application package are available on the CLTP’s website at

Questions should be emailed to

"A Munsick Family Christmas Spectacular"

Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Dave Munsick performs as Dave Munsick & Sons for "A Munsick Family Christmas Spectacular" on Friday, Dec. 19, 7:430 p.m. at the WYO Theater in downtown Sheridan. Dave and his sons Tris, Sam and Ian are from Dayton.

Tickets are $15 adults, $12 seniors and students.

FMI: 307-672-9084 or

New work by Matt Flint

Matt Flint, Listening I, 14" x 11"

Lander's Matt Flint, winner of a 2008 Wyoming Arts Council visual arts fellowship, has finished some new work. Here's how he describes it on his blog at

I had some collage/mono prints laying around in the studio that I really liked, but thought they could use something more. I worked back into each of the prints and added the birds. There is something quite nice and fragile about them. I really enjoy the contrast between the subtle value of the black ink and color/texture of the oil paint.

All of the works are 14"x11" on Rives BFK paper. The titles are Listening I, II and IV (don't ask what happened to III). The work is available through Stewart Gallery.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poetry returns to presidential inauguration

After a long hiatus, poetry will return to the inauguration of the American president.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced today that Elizabeth Alexander, a prize-winning poet who grew up in Washington, D.C., will read at the swearing in Jan. 20 of President-elect Barack Obama.

Alexander will be the fourth poet to read at a swearing in after Robert Frost (John F. Kennedy, 1961), Maya Angelou (Bill Clinton, 1993) and Miller Williams (Bill Clinton, 1997).

Here’s a bio from the Inaugural Committee’s web site:

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. She is the author of four books and was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. She has received many grants and honors, most recently the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship for work that "contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954," and the 2007 Jackson Prize for Poetry. She is a professor at Yale University and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University this year.

You can read a selection of Alexander's poems on her web site -- or read this one, "Apollo," from the Poetry Out Loud web site:

By Elizabeth Alexander

We pull off
to a road shack
in Massachusetts
to watch men walk

on the moon. We did
the same thing
for three two one
blast off, and now

we watch the same men
bounce in and out
of craters. I want
a Coke and a hamburger.

Because the men
are walking on the moon
which is now irrefutably
not green, not cheese,

not a shiny dime floating
in a cold blue,
the way I'd thought,
the road shack people don't

notice we are a black
family not from there,
the way it mostly goes.
This talking through

static, bounces in space-
boots, tethered
to cords is much
stranger, stranger

even than we are.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apply: Artist's Enclave at I-Park

The Artist's Enclave at I-Park offers two- to four-week residencies from May to November 2009.

Residencies include a private studio and living quarters, and allow artists time and space to work on existing projects. Successful candidates may also apply for a $1,000 travel grant. Note that the staff and studio space at I-Park are primarily geared toward visual arts, environmental art, landscape and garden design, music composition, creative writing, new media, and architecture.

Further details are available at

From the New York Foundation for the Arts web site at

Change in times/dates for "A Christmas Carol"

The always-in-the-know AVA Center in Gillette sends this update:

AVA is helping to spread the news! Gillette Community Theater presents "A Christmas Carol.” But dates have changed!

Please take note of the new dates and times below:

Friday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m., at Campbell County High School Auditorium
Saturday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m. (same location)
Sunday, Dec. 21, 2 p.m. (same location)

"Pocketbook Anthropology" at State Museum

From a Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources press release:

“Pocketbook Anthropology: A Treasure of Handbags,” a display of unique women’s handbags, is on display at the Wyoming State Museum through Jan. 15. The exhibit is organized by ExhibitsUSA, the national exhibition touring program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, the display takes a closer look at this uniquely significant item and its place in today’s society.

For a woman, one of life’s most essential items is her handbag. Of all her belongings—and by whatever name it’s called, whether handbag, bag, purse, or old-fashioned pocketbook—this object is not only one of the most indispensable but also one of the most meaningful and best loved.

“Pocketbook Anthropology” showcases more than 50 purses dating from 1880 to the present day. Visitors will have a chance to view handbags made from a myriad of different materials ranging from cigarette packs to silk to beads to precious metals. There are funky bags, elegant bags, whimsical bags, and utilitarian bags.

The exhibition also features hands-on examples, as well as anecdotes, quips, and literary quotations about this uniquely feminine item.

“Pocketbook Anthropology: A Treasure of Handbags” is organized and toured by ExhibitsUSA. The purpose of ExhibitsUSA is to create access to an array of arts and humanities exhibitions, nurture the development and understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. ExhibitsUSA is a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1972.

The Wyoming State Museum is located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. For more information about this or other State Museum programs, please call 777-7021.

Photo: Susan Romaine, "This Bag is Not a Toy," silk-screened fabric, plexiglass and metal, 7 3/8 x 5 7/8 x 3 inches, courtesy Kiara Balish. From ExhibitsUSA web site.

"Fighting the Fires of Hate" exhibit comes to Jackson in January

Nazis burning books in Berlin, May 1933. Photo from National Archives and Records Administration.

The winter/spring issue of Splash!, the magazine of the Art Association in the Center for the Arts in Jackson, has arrived in the wyomingarts mailbox. We always look forward to it, as it provides many postings for this blog, this one included.

The major arts and humanities in Jackson this season is entitled "Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings." It's sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The program launches Jan. 23, 2009, with the following events:

Jan. 23-March 4: Exhibition in the Center for the Arts Artspace Gallery, loaned by the Holocaust Museum. "Images of the Nazi book burnings continue to resonate in American political discourse and infuse literature, film and popular culture."

Jan. 23-March 4: "Why Books Matter" exhibition in the Center Lobby. Co-sponsored by pARTners. This is a showcase of student work from projects focusing on book making and story writing.

Opening reception for both of these events will be Friday, Jan. 23, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 23, 7:15 p.m.: Screening of the film "Fahrenheit 451" in Dance Studio 1.

Feb. 12, 7 p.m.: "Paper Clips," film and lecture by Joe Fab in the Center for the Arts Theater. The film is "a moving and inspiring documentary that captures how one group of students responded to lessons about the Holocaust -- with a promise to honor every lost soul by collecting one paper clip for each individual exterminated by the Nazis." Sponsored by the Jackson Jewish Community and the Teton County School District.

Feb. 5, 7 p.m.: Guest speaker Mindy Weisel in the Ordway Theater of the Teton County Public Library. She is the only daughter of Auschwitz survivors and the first bay born in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons Camp after World War II.

March 11, 7 p.m.: Presentation by Bob Behr, Holocaust survivor, in the Center for the Arts Theater.

For more information about any of these presentations, visit the JH Center for the Arts web site at

Monday, December 15, 2008

"Post-modern kings of western swing" perform Jan. 7 in Jackson

Asleep at the Wheel performs at the Arts Center Theater in Jackson on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m.

All seats $35.
Click Here To Get Tickets

Here's a description from the Arts Center web site:

Over the course of the last 37 years, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel have boldly defied the fickle lures of the mainstream – and thrived – by sticking to their noble cause of keeping that distinctly American of art forms, western swing, alive and kicking. Along the way, the band has been awarded nine Grammys, entertained millions, and won praise and admiration from the likes of Willie Nelson to Bob Dylan, George Strait to Van Morrison. Asleep at the Wheel has been called the “post-modern kings of western swing,” and given their storied history, it is a title that few would question.

Fall issue of Wyoming Artscapes out

Back cover, Artscapes. Graphic Designer, Laura Patridge
Fall issue of the newsletter is out. Read managing editor Mike Shay's absorbing recap of Salman Rushdie's talk during his visit to Laramie on September 25.

Fused glass class article by editor Linda Coatney.

Director Rita Basom talked about the upcoming 2009 Arts Summit.

Arts Council Board Chair Bruce Richardson finishes up his advocacy series with the third installment, "Jerry the Auto Mechanic Sing Opera: Artist/Workers and Worker/Artists in Wyoming."

Other articles include the Wyoming Governors' portrait unveiling, Piatigorsky mini-tour, the Poetry Out Loud state competition in Cheyenne, Aboriginal Elder Yidumduma Bill Harney's visit to UW, and the State Museum permanent works exhibit.

The artist spotlights were on Kevin Holdsworth, a writer living in Green River who is professor of English at WWCC and director of Western American Studies; the classic cowboy music group, Bar J Wranglers from Wilson, Wyoming; and Florence McEwin, also a Green River resident and professor of art and gallery director at WWCC.

Folk Arts intern Pamela Sari, wrote about Diwali Nite at UW. Reba Jo Teran of Ft. Washakie received a coveted Folk Arts grant.

Don't forget about the Governor's Arts Awards celebration in Cheyenne, February 13, 2009. Our next issue, out in late January, will profile all of the awardees.

If you'd like to get on the newsletter mailing list, call Evangeline at (307) 777-7742.

Old-Fashioned Christmas at Ft. Caspar

"Family Fun -- An Old-Fashioned Christmas," will be held on Saturday, Dec. 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., at the Fort Caspar Museum in Casper.

The Fort Caspar Museum staff invites you to come by its classroom any time between 10 and 2 to make old-fashioned Christmas ornaments. Choose between ornaments of trees, fish or candy canes like the Victorians, cornucopias, paper chains or feather stars. The program is free of charge.

FMI: 307-235-8462 or go to

Holiday show at Bradford Brinton gallery

The 18th Annual Holiday Show: Wildscapes and Landlife, presenting oils by Ellen Dudley and pastels by Dianne Wyatt, is on display at the Bradford Brinton Memorial and Museum, Big Horn. The exhibition will be on display in the Museum's Reception Gallery from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, until December 21.

FMI: 307-672-3173.

Image by Diane Wyatt, "The Sisterhood," pastel, 22" x 13"

Friday, December 12, 2008

"A Shiny New Christmas" at Casper College

From a Casper College press release:

The Casper College Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band and Brass Ensemble will present “A Shiny New Winter” concert on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. in Durham Hall, located in the Aley Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The jazz ensemble, under the direction of Bob Kleinschmidt, Casper College woodwind instructor, will perform first and play a very short program of Christmas favorites. “I don’t know who's favorites they are,” joked Kleinschmidt, “but will include ‘Auld Lang Syne,’ ‘What Are You Doing New Years' Eve,’ – featuring Ana Millburn on vocals – and ‘Jingle Bells.’”

The Casper College Concert Band “will be playing all new selections, (published or re-released in 2008), so it should be a lot of fun,” said Doug Bull, Casper College band and brass instructor.

In addition to the jazz ensemble and concert band, the Casper College Brass Ensemble, also under the direction of Bull, will perform at the concert.

Rawlins Community Choir in concert Dec. 14

The Rawlins Community Choir will perform its "Christmas Concert" on Sunday, Dec. 14, 4 p.m., at Rawlins High School. The concert is free and open to the public.

Selections will include holiday favorites, including John Leavitt's "Glad Tidings We Bring."

The event is partially sponsored by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.

FMI: Jeanie Sapp,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sing along with Michael Hurwitz

Michael Hurwitz of Alta is on the Wyoming Arts Council's Artist Roster. If you're planning a music event in 2009, consider booking Michael through an Arts Across Wyoming grant. Apply online at You'll be glad you did.

Meanwhile, enjoy some of Michael's songs via podcasts at

"A Festive Holiday" with Wyoming Symphony

"Christmas at the Carriage House"

"Christmas at the Carriage House," directed by Kandi Davis and Saralee Garber, will be performed at the Carriage House Theatre in Sheridan Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 11-14 and 18-21.

Carriage House Theatre productions begin at 7:30 weeknights and Saturdays; Sunday matinees begin at 2 p.m. The theatre opens one hour before curtain time.

Here's a description from the web site:

"Our tradition of celebrating this holiday in story and song continues. The Reader’s Theater features a delightfully funny short story called “A Christmas Orphan” by James Howard Kunstler, about a young boy who mistakenly believes himself to be an orphan in the early 1960s. The musical portion of the show will be comprised of a beautiful collection of both traditional and contemporary carols guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit."


For holidays, seek out local artists & crafters

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) gives “direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists, including emergency relief assistance, business development support, and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, and insurance. CERF also advocates, engages in research, and backs policy that supports craft artists’ careers.” In the past year, it’s provided aid to craft artists on the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

During the holidays, CERF urges people to buy gifts from American craft artists. Here’s some background:

There is nothing quite like receiving a one-of-a-kind gift made by an artist in a studio. It says to the recipient that you care deeply about them. Maybe you have a neighbor who is a jeweler or a cousin who makes turned wooden sculptures, now is the time to visit their studio or go to a gallery and find something that you will never find elsewhere.

Did you know that when you shop locally, your money has three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at chain stores? Shop at one of the over sixty craft-related businesses currently participating in A Season for CERF. Click here for a full listing of our participating businesses.

While none of these CERF participants are in Wyoming, there are scores of fine craft artists in the state. This blog features a sampler of Wyoming visual arts web sites. See right sidebar for links. A number of holiday craft fairs and shows remain on the calendar. AVA Center in Gillette offers some great handmade holiday gifts in its shop. My wife, daughter and I wandered over to the Casper College Art Club Sale last Saturday and bought reasonably-priced cups and bowls made by CC students and faculty. Wyomingarts’ family and friends will be getting some handmade crafts this year (please keep it a secret).

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Cheyenne is holding a Holiday Gift Market this weekend. Opening reception is 4:30-6:30 on Friday, Dec. 13. It continues Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. You can also view a special exhibition of quilts and fiber arts in the church sanctuary.

Wyoming boasts a number of galleries and gift shops featuring cards, artwork, jewelry and sculpture by state and regional artisans. Margo’s Pottery at 1 N. Main in Buffalo is a great example. Also check out Potters’ Depot, 75 E. Benteen St. Hand-crafted Native American arts can be found on the reservation at the St. Stephens Indian Mission & Heritage Center gift shop and the Rupert Weeks Traditional Center in Fort Washakie. Indian Territory in Lander also offers a great selection of Native arts and crafts. The Wyoming State Museum, just a block away from the Arts Council, offers a great selection of items made by Wyoming and regional artists. Also a great book selection, many fashioned by the fevered imaginations of writers in Wyoming.

The 2008 Wyoming Cultural Guide offers lots of options for local arts shopping. You can find the online version at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Call for entries: Wyoming (Ohio) Art Show

This one was too good to pass up (note the name):

Wyoming Art Show 2009 will be held in Wyoming, Ohio (Cincinnati area), May 17, 2009. Application deadline is March 7, 2009. Jury Fee: $20.

Short description: "The 24th annual Wyoming Art Show is one of greater Cincinnati’s premiere juried art show and competitions, held the third Sunday in May along the tree-lined streets of historic Wyoming, Ohio."

To apply, go to

The info comes from Zapp via Craft Friendly Southern Illinois blog.

Dec. 31 deadline for WyoPoets' chapbook

From a press release:

WyoPoets seeks submissions for its 2009 members-only chapbook. Anyone can enter by becoming a member when sending in the submission form. Constance Brewer will serve as editor for the 2009 edition. Juror will be Jennifer L. Sorensen. Submission deadline is Dec. 31.

The theme of the chapbook is "Horizon." All poems must directly or indirectly fit this theme. Entry fee is $2 per poem or $5 for three poems.

Write one check or money order payable to WyoPoets. Send to Connie Brewer, 1 Declaration Lane, Gillette, WY 82716.

Electronic submissions are accepted via e-mail to cover sheet and bio either in body of letter or by .doc or .rtf attachment to

Loose Ties reunion concert Dec. 15

A "Loose Ties Christmas Reunion Concert" will be held on Monday, Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m., in the theater at the Center for the Arts in Jackson. Tickets are $22 adults, $12 children. Click here to get tickets.

A description from the JH Center for the Arts: "Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, music fans in Jackson Hole – and throughout the country – counted among their blessings the Teton-grown quartet Loose Ties.After winning praise from audiences around the globe, including Best New Band at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the group disbanded, though its members continued to find success in music. Among the band's recorded legacy is "Yule Ties," a sweet and sincere Christmas album you’ll still find in many a Jackson Hole denizen’s record collection. This December, to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of the beloved holiday disc, Loose Ties gathers for a rare reunion."

Holiday open house at Ivinson Mansion

The Ivinson Mansion Holiday Open House will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 3-6 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 14, 1-4 p.m., at the Ivinson Mansion, home of the Laramie Plains Museum, 603 Ivinson Avenue, Laramie.

As described on its web site: "The Ivinson Mansion is beautifully decorated for the holidays with complimentary walk-through tours as the museum's gift to the community. There's music, Christmas sales, and holiday treats provided by Zonta. This year's theme highlights the fantastic beaded party dresses from our collection. Come enjoy the festivities!"

FMI: 307-742-4448 or

Choral music, jazz, Yo Yo Ma and Christmas carols all part of WPR holiday programs

Wyoming Public Radio has announced its schedule of holiday programming:

Tuesday December 16, 8-10 pm • Christmas Revels
Wednesday December 17, 8-9 pm • Morehouse & Spelman Glee Clubs
Wednesday December 17, 9-10 pm • Xmas w/ Philadelphia Singers
Thursday December 18, 8-10 pm • Paul Winter Solstice Celebration
Friday December 19, 8-9 pm • Pleasures of Winter
Friday December 19, 8-10 pm • Carols for Dancing
Saturday December 20, 11 am - 2 pm • Ranch Breakfast Show
Saturday December 20, 8-9 pm • Jazz Piano Christmas
Saturday December 20, 9-10 pm • Joy To The World
Sunday December 21, 8-9 pm • A Sinatra Christmas
Sunday December 21, 9-10 pm • Season’s Griot
Monday December 22, 8-9 pm • Hanukkah Lights
Monday December 22, 9-10 pm • Happy Joyous Hanukkah
Tuesday December 23, 8-9 pm • Choirs and Carols
Tuesday December 23, 9-10 pm • Christmas Around the Country
Wednesday December 24, 8-9 pm • Yo Yo Ma Christmas Party
Wednesday December 24, 9-10 pm • Christmas With Madrigalia
Thursday December 25, 9 am - 5 pm • NPR Specials - Various
Saturday December 27, 10 am - 4 pm • The Best of Public Radio 2008
Wednesday December 31, 7 pm - 3 am • Toast of the Nation

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Call for entries: Wyoming Short Film Contest

From a press release:

The Wyoming Short Film Contest is back and open for submissions. With the first year in the history books and the 2008 winner's check in the mail all things are set to go for another year of film. Shown above is one of four films by David Gonzales, last year's award winner. It's about Jackson Hole surfers at "Lunch Counter" on the Snake River. For David's other films, go to

"We're proud of our contest, and excited to offer it a second time," said Colin Stricklin of the Wyoming Film Office. "This [contest] is a great way to support local filmmakers and to get the message out about shooting in Wyoming." With a first prize of $25,000 towards the budget of the winner's next made-in-Wyoming film, that's a sizable chunk of support indeed for one lucky filmmaker.

Partnering this year with media hosting service, the 2009 Contest is going fully digital. Entrants will upload submissions directly to an mDialog channel for judging. There, films are converted into high quality MPEG-4 h.264 videos, preserving sound and picture quality without the hassle of snail mail.

All submissions are due on or before April 30, 2009, and must be 15 minutes or less in length. All styles and genres are welcome, and the only content requirement is a tie to Wyoming, whether it's shot in the state or features Wyoming as a character in the storyline. There is no entry fee, no limit on submissions, and no residency restrictions to enter.

"Last year we saw a wide range of film submissions," said Michell Howard, manager of the Wyoming Film Office. "We had entries from California, Canada, and even places like South Korea, not to mention Jackson Hole, Sheridan, and Cody."

For full contest rules and submission instructions, visit and click the "Wyoming Short Film Contest" button.

FMI: Lori Hogan, 307.777.2889 or

Karla Toomer's holiday shopping guide

Karla Toomer, Cokeville's most dedicated arts supporter and blogger, offers the town's residents some helpful hints on holiday gifts:

Do you need an idea for the perfect Christmas gift for someone in Cokeville? Here are three suggestions:
1. Witness to Miracles, book. Cost $25 softcover/$35 hardcover. They are available immediately. Contact Karla Toomer @3471.
2. Donate to Cokeville Miracle Foundation in your name or in the name of someone you love. This is our community non-profit foundation and at this time of year they are holding their annual "Christmas Outreach." The foundation executive board has been taking recommendations and will soon meet to decide what they can do to help families or individuals in need. FMI: Karla @ 3471 or Bill H., Chemene P., or Susan F.
3. Purchase an Alicia Blevins art work from the "Cokeville, Wyoming Series." Check out her website at

Read more at Karla's Cokeville blog at

Helpful hints on performing arts fellowships

Wyomingarts has fielded a number of calls from performers about guidelines for the 2009 Wyoming Arts Council performing arts fellowships. Inquiring minds want to know whether the inclusion of a DVD is a non-negotiable aspect of the application or whether it is more like a suggestion.

Good question. We stipulate that all applicants send in both an audio CD and a DVD of a performance. The rationale behind that? Most musicians have either a demo or a commercial CD. This gives the judging panel the best possible sampling of the performer's style and ability.

However, since this fellowship is in the category of musical performance, the judges also need to see the artist in action. The WAC would love it if all applicants sent in a professional quality DVD of a recent concert. We do know that this can be cost prohibitive. We also know that many of you might have VHS tapes of a performance from a few years ago done with the family's videocam. Some of you don't even have that, but have offered to talk your spouse into filming you with the family's mini-digi-cam in the living room.

Here's the bottom line: we want some recorded evidence of you performing. It can be in the following forms: DVD, VHS, or a digital file e-mailed to the WAC at

You don't have much time to decide, as the postmark deadline is Dec. 12 (this Friday). Call Mike Shay at 307-777-5234 if you have questions. He received a call yesterday from a pianist who had decided not to apply because she didn't have a performance DVD. She does have a friend with a digital movie camera who can film her at the piano. Mike said: "Go for it." And she did.

Call now. Operators are standing by.

Call for entries: Paddlefish

Paddlefish magazine is interested in poetry (3–5 poems), short/short fiction (2,500 words or less), graphic fiction, nonfiction (10,000 words or less), illustrated essays, graphic memoir, and narrative documentary photography in all genres and styles. You may submit work through February 28, 2009.

Paddlefish online extension is also accepting a variety of media arts including: video, motion graphics, and animation (submitted via CD/DVD and limited to 10 minutes).

Submissions should be sent to: Mount Marty College c/o Paddlefish, 1105 W. 8th St., Yankton, SD 57078. Web site:

P.S.: Watch a video of a presentation by Linda Hasselstrom at Paddlefish Online's "Great Plains Writers' Tour." Linda recently moved from Cheyenne to full-time residence at her homestead and writing retreat in South Dakota.

Deadline is Feb. 13 for 2009 Governor's Capitol Art Exhibition

Visual artists working and living in Wyoming are invited to apply for the Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition. Postmark deadline is Feb. 13, 2009.

The goal of the award is “to recognize and promote Wyoming artists,” according to the application form recently mailed to artists throughout the state. Award sponsors include the five elected state officials: Governor Dave Freudenthal (along with First Lady Nancy Freudenthal); State Auditor Rita Meyer; State Treasurer Joe Meyer; Secretary of State Max Maxfield; and Superintendent of Public Instruction Jim McBride. The Wyoming State Museum supervises the program, in cooperation with the Wyoming Arts Council and Wyoming Travel & Tourism.

To enter, you must be a resident living in the state and a visual artist working in any medium. All artistic interpretations are encouraged. You must be an Artist Image Registry (AIR) member with the Wyoming Arts Council. If you are not already a member, please contact Michael Shay at the WAC, 307-777-5234 or For a printable AIR application, go to the WAC web site at and click on “Individual Artists” in the left sidebar and follow that to the visual arts page.

Works may be two-dimensional or three-dimensional and must be original and completed within the last three years. All media will be accepted except installation and video.

There is no entry fee. Each artist may submit three works of art for judging, none of these can have been selected for the previous Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibitions.

This year’s juror will be Ivar Zeile, owner and director of the Plus Gallery in Denver. He brings to the gallery a diverse background rooted in the creative arts and collaboration. Community involvement has always been an important facet for the gallery and Zeile is heavily involved in the cultural scene of Denver and the Rocky Mountain West. Zeile serves on the board of a variety of prestigious local art groups including PlatteForum, the Denver Art Museum’s DAM Contemporaries, and community arts incubator Redline. Zeile has been a member of the Denver Mayor’s Commission for Cultural Affairs since 2006.

Postmark deadline for the competition is Feb. 13, 2009. Applicants will be notified by March 20. Works are due at the State Museum in Cheyenne April 6-10 and the exhibit opens April 20. The museum hosts an evening reception on May 1, 5-7 p.m., and award winners will be announced (up to $10,000 in prizes expected). The exhibit will close on June 6.

Artists will pay for shipping to and from the State Museum, or will arrange for hand delivery. Deliver accepted work to: Wyoming State Museum, c/o Dominique Schultes, Registrar, Barrett Building, 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82002.

FMI: Wyoming State Museum at 307-777-7022 or

Ceili at the Roundhouse Festival in Evanston

Evanston is offering something new and interesting for 2009.

The "Ceili At The Roundhouse Festival," Wyoming's Indoor Celtic Frestival, will be held on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20-21, 2009, in the Machine Shop at the Historic Roundhouse Complex in Evanston. Action begins at 3 p.m. on Friday and wraps up on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The event will feature music, entertainment, Celtic dancing, workshops, food, merchandise, and historic demonstrations. Admission is $2.

Dervish, a Celtic band from Sligo, Ireland (pictured above), will perform on Friday at 7 p.m. at David Middle School. Advanced tickets $5 students, $10 adults; at the door $10 students, $15 adults. Note that Dervish concert tickets are not included in festival admission.

Presented by the Uinta County Concert Series, in partnership with the City of Evanston.

For more info, go to If you are interested in participating (pageantry, weaponry, clans, guilds), contact

To register as a vendor, click

For info about hotels, RV camping, restaurants, etc. visit or print out a brochure at

Monday, December 8, 2008

Julene Bair is "Out in the cold"

During the years she lived in Laramie, writer Julene Bair won a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, a Willa Award from Women Writing the West, a Mid-List Press First Series Award, the Wyoming Arts Council’s Blanchan Award, the Adler Short Story Award and an Individual Artist Professional Development grant. She also served as a mentor to other writers, and helped found Laramie’s Silver Sage writers group.

Alas, Julene moved south to Colorado. She’s as busy as ever. Her essay, “Out in the Cold: Selling the family farm severs connection with place and past,” is featured in the Dec. 8 issue of High Country News. Julene says that her original title was "Selling Out, Buying In." That's the way it goes sometimes. Her essay focuses on her decision to sell the family farm in western Kansas.

Here’s an excerpt:

Several inches of month-old snow sheathed the fields, and there'd been a fresh dusting the night before. Ground blizzards swirled across the interstate. I dialed in my hometown radio station. The man who'd owned it for as long as I could remember listed the closings caused by ice and near-zero March cold: livestock auctions, a senior get-together, even I-70. Had I left my home in Longmont, Colo., 10 minutes later, I would not have gotten through.

"But once again, folks," continued the voice from my childhood, "if you're looking for some good farm equipment, drive on out to the Harold Bair farm sale. We had a call from the manager out there and the roads are not bad."

There I was in one of the most anonymous places on earth, inside a car driving down the interstate, and I'd been accosted by the public announcement of an intimate betrayal. My betrayal, of my father. I imagined him bolting upright in his grave. If strangers traveling to places like New York and Chicago had heard that announcement, surely he had too.

Read the entire article at

Julene’s web site is at

Photo: Sale day at the Bair family farm in Kansas. Photo by Julene Bair.

AVA sponsors "Art Fun for Little Ones"

LCCC "Holiday Gala" on Dec. 12

Laramie County Community College stages its annual holiday music gala on Friday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m., at the Cheyenne Civic Center, 510 W. 20th St. Free and open to the public.

Here’s a short description from the LCCC calendar: “The LCCC choirs and bands will perform an assortment of classic tunes to help put you in the holiday mood. This concert is LCCC’s holiday gift to the community.”

FMI: LCCC, 1-800-522-2993; Cheyenne Civic Center, 307-637-6363.

BBHC invites Wyoming K-12 students to submit Yellowstone art March 15-April 15, 2009

Friday, December 5, 2008

Governor's Arts Awards announced

Governor Dave Freudenthal's office just issued this announcement:

Two arts organizations and two individuals will be celebrated by Gov. Dave Freudenthal and other state leaders for their contributions to the arts at the 27th Annual Governors Arts Awards banquet on Feb. 13, 2009. This year's recipients are the Park County Arts Council, Cody; Jerry Palen, Saratoga; Diane Springford, Lander; and Tandem Productions, Sheridan. They will be honored at the Little America Hotel and Conference Center in Cheyenne at a banquet beginning at 6 p.m. on Feb. 13.

For more than 25 years, the Governor's Arts Awards have provided a forum to recognize those who dedicate their time, passion and financial support to Wyoming's cultural life, as well as the importance of the arts in daily life. Details about the awards are available from the Wyoming Arts Council at 307.777.7742.

"I am delighted to be able to recognize these two groups and two individuals for their invaluable contributions to our state," Gov. Dave Freudenthal said. "Through their work, they foster art, theatre and music in our communities and inspire Wyoming's young people to get involved in these rewarding pursuits. In the case of cartoonist Jarry Palen, his particular mode of expression allows us to laugh at ourselves and somehow gain a greater appreciation for our western way of life."

Recipients include:
  • The Park County Arts Council, which was established in 1984 to support and encourage arts activities in the county by providing arts programming through performances and educational opportunities in Cody, Powell and Meeteetse. Performances include in-state, regional and international groups along with extensive Arts Education offerings that include in-school and after school performances, residencies and workshops.
  • Jerry Palen is an acclaimed cartoonist whose characters appear in the national syndicated series "Stampede." He is also an accomplished bronze sculptor, who has bronzes on display at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, on the Wyoming Capitol lawn and on the University of Wyoming campus.
  • Diane Springford established the Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company in 2000, the only theatrical touring company in Wyoming that criss-crosses the state each summer performing full-length production of Shakespeare and the works of other notable playwrights. Springford also produces and directs performances for schools in Fremont County.
  • Tandem Productions, Richard and Tami Davis, conducts a wide variety of programs, including theatre, musical theatre and arts education opportunities for the youth of Sheridan County. Tandem also offers summer theatre camps for children, sponsorship of professional touring companies, which offer school visits, and partnership with the Sheridan YMCA for after-school programs.

Lecture: Apatosaurus returns to Wyoming

Dr. Brent Breithaupt, director of the UW Geological Museum, will talk about "The Return of Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) to Wyoming" on Thursday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., in the Wyoming State Museum Multipurpose Room in Cheyenne. It's free and open to the public.

Dr. Breithaupt will relay the story of the University of Wyoming's display of an Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) skeleton (pictured at right) – 150 million years in the making. Dr. Breithaupt has worked for the past 27 years at the UW Geological Museum. His research focuses on the history of paleontology in Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West and the documentation and understanding of Mesozoic Era and Paleogene Period vertebrate faunas. Currently, he is involved with various dinosaur and pterosaur ichnology projects, especially utilizing state-of-the-art documentation methodologies for the interpretation of tracks and trackways.

FMI: 307-777-7022.

Book signings part of BBHC open house

Book signings by Buffalo Bill Historical Center "staff and friends" will be held from 2–4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the BBHC in Cody.

Invited authors: Mindy Besaw, Whitney Gallery of Western Art; Lynn Houze, Cody; David Kennedy, "Guns of the Wild West;" Dr. Charles R. Preston, "Spectacular Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks," "Golden Eagle: Sovereign of the Skies," "Unbroken Spirit: The Wild Horse in the American Landscape," and "Red-Tailed Hawk;" Bob Richard, "Cody to Yellowstone and Yellowstone Country: The Photographs of Jack Richard;" Sen. Alan K. Simpson, "Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press;" John Rumm, Buffalo Bill Museum.

This is part of the Holiday Open House at the BBHC from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Dec. 6. It includes free admission to the BBHC's five museums, musical/storytelling entertainment and sales at the museum store. For more info, go to

Paul Taylor performs and conducts school residency in Pinedale

On Friday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., award-winning Australian storyteller (and Wyoming Arts Council roster artist) Paul Taylor of Laramie will perform at the Community Church in Pinedale. While in Sublette County, Paul also is conducting a two-week residency in the Pinedale Middle School.

Presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council, which conducts a full slate of arts events. FMI:

For more info on Paul, go to his website.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sue Sommers reception Dec. 10 at CFAC

"Beyond What the Eye Can See: Landscapes by Sue Sommers," will be on display through Jan. 16, 2009, at the Community Fine Arts Center, 400 C St., Rock Springs.

The Center will host a free gallery talk and reception on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 5-7 p.m.

FMI: CFAC at 307-362-6212.

Sue lives in Pinedale. For more info on her work, go to

Prime Real Estate

Photo by Linda Coatney

Found these ducks vying for paddling rights in the only open water on the lake in Lion's Park in Cheyenne. They were having quite a time.

KEAG Gallery hosts Kikut reception Dec. 5

KEAG Gallery will hold a reception for Patrick Kikut's exhibit, "Featured Attractions," on Friday, Dec. 5, 6-8 p.m., at the gallery, 414 Grand Ave., Laramie. The event is free and open to the public.

David teaches at the University of Wyoming. Here's how he describes his background: "I was raised in a small beach town in Southern California. I left California in 1987 and have lived and worked through out the West. I earned a BFA from University of Colorado in 1990 and went on to earn my MFA in 1994 from the University of Montana."

FMI: 307-745-3308.

Wyoming native's artwork on White House card

This post is excerpted from a Dec. 4 article in the Casper Star-Tribune:

Wyoming native T. Allen Lawson has created the 2008 White House Christmas card image [see photo above provided by Bush Administration], first lady Laura Bush announced Wednesday.

Lawson, 45, is the first Wyomingite to create a Christmas card for a first family, according to Sue Simpson Gallagher of the Simpson Gallagher Gallery in Cody.

An obviously elated Simpson Gallagher said Lawson was having dinner at the White House on Wednesday and couldn't be reached for comment. She chuckled and labeled herself Lawson's "western United States representative."

"Lawson's image is powerful," Simpson Gallagher said. "His perspective is unique, as it is from the inside looking out. "There is an intimate view, one that only White House visitors would enjoy. It is a glimpse of the National Mall, known as America's front lawn, from the Truman Balcony of the White House."

Lawson was commissioned by Laura Bush last spring to paint a piece for the first family's final Christmas card.

Lawson was born and raised in Sheridan before spending time in Jackson. He currently lives in Rockport, Maine.... Lawson attended the American Academy of Art and the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. His work is on display at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody; the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine; and the Forbes Collection in New York, among others.

"Skeletal Biology" book explores Wyo. history

From a UW press release:

A new book by a team of University of Wyoming authors explores the prehistory and early history of the Northwestern Plains through a collection of about 370 partial and full sets of skeletal remains gathered over the past 40 years by UW researchers.

"Skeletal Biology and Bioarchaeology of the Northwestern Plains," published and distributed by the University of Utah Press, features submissions from UW anthropology professor emeritus George W. Gill and 11 of his former students, including Rick L. Weathermon, a research scientist in the UW Department of Anthropology, and Douglas W. Owsley, a UW graduate who now serves as division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

"I'm not sure there's anything that's ever been done exactly like this, a regional story told through the bones," says Gill, who wrote or co-wrote three of the book's 19 chapters. "This may be a first in the country, because I'm just not sure anybody's ever taken a local region and told as much of the story of prehistory and early history just from skeletons and burials. That's what we've done."

He adds, "It's quite the story of Wyoming and Montana over a 10,000-year period."

Gill and Weathermon will sign copies of the book at two Laramie locations Friday, Dec. 5. The first signing is from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the UW Bookstore in the Wyoming Union; the second signing is from 3-5 p.m. at Grand Newsstand, 214 Grand Ave.

Photo: Skeletal remains at a site near the Laramie River in southern Wyoming (UW photo).

Poetry for a snowy day

American Life in Poetry: Column 193 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
The first two lines of this poem pose a question many of us may have thought about: how does snow make silence even more silent? And notice Robert Haight's deft use of color, only those few flecks of red, and the rest of the poem pure white. And silent, so silent. Haight lives in Michigan, where people know about snow.

How Is It That the Snow
by Robert Haight

How is it that the snow
amplifies the silence,
slathers the black bark on limbs,
heaps along the brush rows?

Some deer have stood on their hind legs
to pull the berries down.
Now they are ghosts along the path,
snow flecked with red wine stains.

This silence in the timbers.
A woodpecker on one of the trees
taps out its story,
stopping now and then in the lapse
of one white moment into another.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation(, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c) 2002 by Robert Haight from his most recent book of poetry, "Emergences and Spinner Falls," New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2002. Reprinted by permission of Robert Haight. Introduction copyright (c) 2008 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture.

Pre-order new thriller by Cheyenne's C.J. Box -- and get a free copy of "Blue Heaven"

Tom Rea pens series on "Wyoming's Mormons"

Wyofile is featuring a series of articles on "Wyoming's Mormons" by Casper writer and historian Tom Rea. Tom's most recent book is "Devil's Gate: Owning the Land, Owning the Story," from University of Oklahoma Press.

Here's some info on the series from Wyofile:

Beginning Monday, Casper journalist/historian Tom Rea looks at the significant role played by Wyoming's large Mormon population in the state's culture, politics and business.

The first part of the three week series on focuses on Wyoming's beautiful Star Valley, where Mormons migrated in the late 19th Century to avoid arrest under anti-polygamy laws. Rea interviews prominent Mormons and those who have fallen away from the church in a compelling portrait of an LDS stronghold.

Subsequent articles will explore the conflicts between temple and state along the Mormon Trail; the growing LDS population in Laramie and the increasingly powerful political influence of Wyoming's Mormons who count for about 12 percent -- one of nine Wyomingites -- of the state's population.

Quadra Dangle Society in Laramie holds tornado recovery fund-raiser

Remember the tornado that ripped through Laramie last spring? It damaged a number of buildings. One of them houses the Quadra Dangle Society, a square dance group.

The Quadra Dangle Society is holding a Square Dance Lagacy Gala Tornado Recovery & Special Projects Fund-raiser on Saturday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m., at the Ramada Inn, 2313 Soldier Springs Rd. (intersection I-80 and U.S. Hwy. 287), Laramie.

The event will feature dinner, entertainment and a live auction of an original oil painting by internationally renowned Laramie artist Robert Seabeck. Robert received a 1990 visual arts fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council.

Tickets are $50. Deadline for reservations has been extended until Dec. 9. Mail checks to Quadra Dangle Society, 1402 E. Curtis St., Laramie, WY 82072. Attn.: Wilma Harnden.

FMI: Wilma Harnden, 307-745-3700 or Betty Mann, 307-745-8480.

"Amahl and the Night Visitors" at LCCC

Amahl and the Night Visitors, a one-act opera commissioned by NBC and written for television by Gian Carlo Menotti, was first televised in December 1951 and was shown every year until 1966.

Laramie County Community College music and theater majors will perform this opera at the LCCC Playhouse on Sunday, Dec. 7, 3-5 p.m. Tickets are $5.

FMI:; 307.432.1626 or 307.778.1158.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WAC announces choral music grant program

The Wyoming Arts Council announces the American Masterpiece Commissioning Choral Music Grant Program which provides up to $3,000 to support and encourage the commissioning of new choral music from American Master Composers.

Wyoming non-profit organizations and tax exempt educational institutions may apply for up to one-half of the costs to commission a new choral work by an American Master composer. Grant funds received must be matched with cash and/or in-kind donations by the grant applicant.

Applications will be accepted immediately for Choral Commission projects that will take place through November 1, 2009. The grant program encourages Wyoming choral music groups to commission new works that they will perform. The groups may contract with American Master composers of their choice.

All American Master choral performance music, including music commissioned through the American Masterpiece Commissioning Choral Music Grant Program will be managed by the Choral Music Library within Laramie County School District #1. Commissioned composers of new and unpublished work must provide the Music Library with one copy of the work and permission for future copies to be made for Library use. If published, the new work will be purchased and permission must be granted by the composer to make copies for the library.

The grant may pay for composer fees, composer travel, and performance costs. Music may be of any length or style but applicants will need to explain how the composer of their choice is a master artist. Applications must be submitted at least two weeks (14 days) before the project start date. Drafts must be submitted at least five workdays prior to that.

To apply for this grant online, visit

Applicants are urged to call prior to applying because of a limited number of grants available.

For assistance with the Commissioning Choral Music Grant Program call Rita Basom at (307) 777-7473; FAX (307) 777-5499; TDD (307) 777-5964.

Liven up holidays with "A Taffeta Christmas"

"A Taffeta Christmas," music and lyrics by Rick Lewis and directed by Branda Lyttle, will be presented Dec. 5–7 and 12–14 at the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players' Mary Godfrey Playhouse in Cheyenne. Performances on Dec. 5,6,12 and 13 are at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 7 and 14 performances are at 2 p.m.

Adult tickets are $20, seniors $18, and students and children, $14.

Here's a play synopsis: "A Taffeta Christmas" tells the story of four sisters from Muncie, Ind., who have gone off to find fame and fortune in New York City with this new medium called television. Now the sisters have returned in triumph to Muncie to do a live broadcast (all TV was live then) from their hometown on the old Dumont Television Network. The play mixes the nostalgic music of the 1950s with some great timeless Christmas songs.