Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hagy nominated for High Plains Book Award

From a UW press release:

A University of Wyoming professor has been nominated for a prestigious women's writing award from the Zonta Club of Billings.

Alyson Hagy's latest book, "Snow, Ashes," is one of three finalists in the second annual Parmly Billings Library High Plains Book Awards. The winner will be announced Friday, Oct. 17, at the club's banquet in Billings.

The High Plains book awards were established to recognize regional authors and literary works which examine and reflect life in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The Zonta Club of Billings is a member of Zonta International, a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women through service and advocacy.

In "Snow, Ashes," Hagy reveals the intricacies of a profound friendship between two very different men in an engaging exploration of survival and failure.

Hagy has won numerous accolades for her writing, including a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the National Education Association and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Five Points and Shenandoah, among other publications.

Hagy's first novel, "Keeneland," was released in 2000. She also has written three collections of short stories.

An associate professor in the UW Department of English, Hagy earned a B.A. in English (1982) from Williams College and an M.F.A. in creative writing (‘85) from the University of Michigan.

Eric Jones reception Aug. 1 at Gillette's AVA


Concert to raise funds for Pinedale FAC

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The rise of the "artists' district" in Phoenix

You have to admire the chutzpah shown by the artists of Phoenix.

At the turn of the century, the Phoenix downtown area had about a dozen artist spaces. Five years later, there were more than 100.

"The change has been dramatic," says Greg Esser, founder of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. "We didn't want an arts district but an artists' district -- a vibrant urban community."

And that what Esser and other pioneering Phoenix artists have created with their "front-porch activism." It's a lively city neighborhood with live-in and exhibit spaces for artists with the coffee shops, restaurants and bars that go along with it. The Roosevelt Row First Friday Art Walk draws up to 20,000 people. It's become so popular that the group started a Third Fridays Gallery Night.

Esser spoke to a July 25 gathering of visual arts coordinators from the West, a meeting sponsored by Denver's Western States Arts Federation. Mike Shay was there to represent the Wyoming Arts Council. Esser's PowerPoint presentation included before-and-after images of the neighborhood -- and plenty of tips on "adaptive reuse" of old buildings.

When the artists first looked out upon Roosevelt Street just north of downtown's high-rises, they saw abandoned bungalows that housed squatters and crack dealers. It was such a dangerous neighborhood that, even after the first arts space opened, artists and arts-lovers were afraid to go there after dark. As more and more buildings were bought (or leased) and renovated, and traffic changed from drive-by drug buyers to drive-in arts patrons, the Roosevelt Row artists faced new problems in the form of city regulations -- and lack thereof.

"We had a lot of public resistance initially," says Esser, "and no public funding, at least in the beginning."

The initial resistance came from the City of Phoenix, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, the Arizona Tourism and Sports Authority, and developers who thought the neighborhood would be a great place for a new football stadium. The land had been purchased and demolition had already begun in adjacent areas. Voters had passed a bond issue to fund the stadium in one of four locations in the valley, which included downtown.

But the battle was on. Artists were opposed to a new stadium being dropped on their heads. They wrote letters and attended meetings to voice their opposition. They also told their story through art. Esser's first installation at the new studio was on its floor. He designed a replica of the proposed stadium's 40-yard-line right at the very spot it was supposed to be. It brought home the fact that this very gallery was due to be replaced by a stadium that would be used a few weekends a year, and the rest of the time would sit there like a big silver barrel cactus, a native plant (the green kind, not the silver variety) that the architects allegedly used for inspiration.

The Phoenix Cardinals Stadium, host of the 2008 Super Bowl, now sits ten miles away from downtown in Glendale.

But, for Esser and the other Roosevelt Row artists, there were more meetings to attend and more paperwork to be filled out. Not all artists like the nuts-and-bolts of creating an artists' district.

"Engagement is a choice," says Esser. "Someone has to go to the city meeting. First, you have to find out which ones to go to." By going to these meetings, Esser became the de facto "artists' advocate" and schooled himself on the arcane laws of the city bureaucracy. It was rough going at first, especially when faced with zoning regulations.

"One of our big challenges were official policies that encouraged post-World War II single-family residences and the development that followed," according to Esser. "This city was not used to adaptive reuse." Phoenix had no old warehouse district to be renovated. These districts have been key to redevelopment in cities such as Denver and Baltimore. Ironically, the rise of downtown artists' districts in these cities were spurred by construction of retro-style baseball stadiums that either copied or used old brick warehouses in the facilities.

All is not sunny for artists in the Valley of the Sun. Old houses and buildings are still being torn down and, says Esser, "we're still surrounded by blight." While they now have allies in city hall, even an Office of Customer Relations to help citizen-artists find the right meetings to attend, they have to keep on their toes, lest new regulations be enacted that can derail their progress.

Artists in other urban areas can learn a lot from the Roosevelt Row experience. It takes money and time and persistence to create an artists' district. All that takes time away from your art, but can lead to your own live-in gallery in a thriving city neighborhood. It also offers many lessons in the civic engagement which is crucial to democracy.

For more on the Roosevelt Row CDC, go to http://www.rooseveltrow.org/. Of particular interest is the "planning" page at http://www.rooseveltrow.org/downtown.html. It includes a 2004 study of downtown Phoenix by Richard Florida's consulting firm Catalytix.

"King John" at Botanic Gardens Aug. 2

The Wyoming Shakespeare Company from Lander will perform "King John" on Saturday, Aug. 2, 4:30 p.m. at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens in Lions Park. The event is free and open to the public.

Here's a blurb about the play from the Botanic Gardens' web site:

As Cheyenne's political season draws near, pull up your lawn chair or blanket and see what one of the great political philosophers had to say about power- how it is gained, lost or held onto for dear life.

"Arts in the Park" Aug. 2 in Laramie

Laramie photographer Doc Thissen alerted wyomingarts about the following event:

You are invited to Laramie’s third annual arts and live music festival in Undine Park.

On Saturday, August 2, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., artists and musicians will gather in Undine Park for a family-oriented outdoor festival.

The festival will be free to the public. Funds raised from artists and food vendors will be given to the City of Laramie for additional amenities for Undine Park.

Please mark you calendar and join Friends of Undine Park on August 2nd during the dog days of summer in Laramie.

Minerva Teichart Invitational Art Show and Sale just around the corner

Roping The Bear


August 15-16, 2008 in Cokeville, Wyoming

This art show takes place in Minerva Teichert's hometown of Cokeville, Wyoming, where she raised her family while producing marvelous murals, western and religious paintings. during last year's show, nearly 30 original Teichert paintings were displayed along with an invitational show featuring some of the top western sculptors and painters. This show provides the unique opportunity to view her work as well as interact with Minerva Teichert's contemporaries in the small Wyoming community where she created her artistic legacy.


Invited artists include Dave Wade, Kathy Wipfler, Clark Kelley Price, Grant Redden, Linda Christensen, Ken Packer, David Koch, Steve Johnson, Julie Rogers, Kelly Donovan, Aaron Jones, and Charles Dayton

The Fall, 2007 issue of the Wyoming Arts Council's newsletter, Artscapes, featured the town of Cokeville and talked about Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), the artist. If you haven't checked out her artwork on line or at the BYU Art Museum, you'll be captured by her vision and the images she painted.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No "Authors' Day" at State Fair, but you can sell your books at the fair's store

Kim Porter at the Wyoming Business Council has notified us about the cancellation of “Author’s’ Day” at the State Fair. Here are the details:

Dear Wyoming Authors:

We have been evaluating Wyoming Author's Day at the Wyoming State Fair and have regretfully decided to cancel this event. The conditions are not ideal for this type of event and the competition with other events has been a challenge. We would like to continue to support the authors in the Wyoming Products Pavillion. There has always been the opportunity for authors to sell their books in this store, but it may be a little known fact. In order to highlight Wyoming authors, in 2008 we plan to put a "book store" in the products pavilion. This gives you the opportunity to sell your books for six days. Please call Annie Wood at 777-8244 for more information.


If you’re a Wyoming writer and you’re looking for a venue where you can read from your books and sell them too, you may want to sign up for a spot at the book fair set for Sept. 20 during the Equality State Book Festival in Casper. Anyone with a book in print can reserve 15-minute spot for a reading and signing at the book fair on Saturday, Sept. 20. Works from anthologies will be accepted for readings as well.

To sign up, contact kcoe@caspercollege.edu

Across-the-border poetry event Aug. 5

If you find yourself in Salt Lake City next week with nothing to do, check this out (courtesy of Guy Lebeda, the Utah Arts Council's lit guy):

Chris Ames, an American-French poet from Utah currently residing in Paris, will be reading and performing his work at the Mestizo Cafe, 631 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, on Tuesday, August 5 at 8:30 p.m. This is a one-time poetry performance in a special setting. Come and enjoy.

Tim O'Brien headlines Targhee festival

The 21st annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival, known as "the grandfather of bluegrass festivals in the northern Rockies," will be held August 8-10 at Grand Targhee Resort near Alta in Teton County.

Headliners for 2008 include:


  • Tim O'Brien
  • Spring Creek
  • The Infamous Stringdusters
  • Tony Trischka with his Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular band
  • Darrell Scott with band
  • Sam Bush Band
  • Blue Highway
  • Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet with Bela Fleck, Casey Driessen & Ben Solle
  • Jeff Austin & Friends (from Yonder Mountain String Band)

The Banana Slug String Band will play on Sat., Aug. 9, in a children's show. The band brings science and conservation to audiences using music and humor.

Great food, arts & crafts, games and on-site activities are part of the festival. Tent camping at Grand Targhee is available. Music jams and contests round out the weekend. Take the free shuttle service and leave your vehicle in Victor or Driggs. Or save on gas, be more sustainable, and carpool ($5 parking fee per car; FREE parking for weekend passholders).

For schedule, go to http://www.grandtarghee.com/summer/music-festivals/bluegrass-fest.php

Monday, July 28, 2008

"Women of Mystery" series begins Aug. 10

From a press release:

"Women of Mystery," a new reading and discussion series, kicks off at the Laramie County Public Library in August.

The first session takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10, in the library’s Windflower Room. The opening session features a film (instead of a book) examining the three authors featured in the series: Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller and Sara Paretsky.

Elaine Hayes leads the sessions, which explore the role of women as crime scene investigators - particularly those that relate to social issues.

Registration is required and can be done by calling 634-3561 or by visiting the "Ask Here" desk on the library’s first floor.

The library is located at 2200 Pioneer Ave. in Cheyenne.

Additional information about this and other programs for adults can be found at www.LCLSonline.org

"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" almost complete

"Horsepower," John Kearny's welded steel sculpture, 8 x 10 x 4.5

Two sculptures from the University of Wyoming Art Museum collection are scheduled to be installed at two locations in Laramie. On Wednesday, July 30, Chicago artist John Kearny’s sculpture, Alligator, will be placed at the Laramie City Annex at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Grand Street. Robert Russin’s bronze sculpture First Steps will be located at Undine Park before the annual Art in the Parks in early August.

Kearny is known for his fanciful sculptures of animals created from welded steel car bumpers. Kearny is represented in major collections in the U.S., including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; and the Detroit Children’s Museum. Since 1951, he has had numerous one-person shows in the U.S. and Italy. Awards include a Fulbright Award to Italy and an Italian Government Grant (both in 1963-64), and a Wallace Truman Price at the National Academic of Design (1953). Kearney studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and the Universita per Stranieri (Perugia, Italy). His studio in Chicago is part of the Contemporary Art Workshop, a non-profit organization which supports and promotes Chicago and vicinity emerging and mid-career artists. Alligator was created in 1973 and was gifted to the Art Museum by Mr. Harris J. Klein in 1974.

Russin’s sculpture First Steps will join other works on permanent view locally including the artist’s most prized depiction of Abraham Lincoln at the summit of I-80 between Laramie and Cheyenne, the Wyoming Family on Prexy’s Pasture, and Ben Franklin near the Arts and Science building on campus. Smaller works may be seen at the Laramie Recreation Center (XXXX) and Ivinson Memorial Hospital. An Emeritus Professor of UW and an A&S Outstanding Former Faculty Member, Russin was born in New York City and earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at the College of the City (New York). He had a graduate fellowship at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design. He taught at Cooper Union College before moving to Laramie in 1947 to become a faculty member of the Art Department where he taught for nearly 40 years. He is fondly remembered by his students whom he motivated and inspired. Russin died in December of 2007, at the age of 93. First Steps was created c. 1972 and was gifted to the UW Art Museum in 1991 by Isadore Familian.

Alligator and First Steps are two of 17 works that comprise Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational, an exhibition of public art on the UW campus and in Laramie organized by the UW Art Museum. The exhibition officially opens with an opening celebration on Friday, September 12, from 4 – 6 p.m. on Prexy’s Pasture and will continue through July 2009.

"Imagine learning from the masters" is a guiding principle of the UW Art Museum’s programs . The Art Museum and Museum Store are located in the Centennial Complex at 22nd and Willett Drive in Laramie. Both are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the summer. Admission is free.

For more information, call (307) 766-6622 or visit www.uwyo.edu/artmuseum or the museum’s blog, http://www.uwartmuseum.blogspot.com/

Douglas Invitational Art Show and Sale

Accomplished artists from three states will be featured during the 17th Annual Douglas Invitational Art Show and Sale at the Wyoming Pioneer Museum, August 8-11 a.m. The show begins Aug. 8 with an opening night reception at 7 p.m. The evening features a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Tickets for the opening reception are $25 each.

The show continues on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A special youth art activity will be held at 10 a.m. called "Let’s Draw a Line." The project is patterned after the Wyoming Health Department’s campaign "Where do you draw the line" that is appearing throughout Wyoming this summer. Art lessons will be held into fair week at the Pioneer Museum at 2 p.m. Aug. 12-14.
Also, Aug. 9, the popular Quick Draw event will begin at 2 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception. During the Quick Draw, artists are given an hour to produce a piece of art. These artistic pieces are then auctioned beginning at 4 p.m.

The show continues on Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Artists’ mediums include watercolor, acrylics, oils, bronze, woodcarving and pottery. For more information about the art show, or to make reservations for the opening reception, please call 307-358-9288.

The following artists, from Wyoming, Colorado and Texas, are expected to participate in the show:
Guadalupe Barajas, Gwen Bruner, Ginny Butcher, B.J. Durr, Casey Hunter, Karen Henneck, Diane Harrop, William Hugh Jennings, William Rogers Jennings, Linda Johnson, Beck Johnson, Gary Keimig, Art Kober, Kristine Koss, Alice Marlatt, Michele McDonald, Tom Moncure, Dorothy Reland, Gisele Robinson, Barbara Schaffner, Dustin Stephenson, Pam sharp, Carla Stroh and Sam Thiewes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

How poetry heals

In an email from Cathy Malchiodi, PhD [c], ATR-BC, LPCC, CPAT:

For a look at how veterans are using poetry as therapy and writing as repartion, go to the link below. It’s a form of emotional reparation that goes by many names: poetry therapy, poetic medicine, and creative journaling, to name a few. And veterans of recent and past conflicts are using words to bear witness, find their way through horrific memories, and to ultimately win their wars within.

Listen to Larry Winters recite his poem, Confession.

http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-arts/200807/words-war-words-peace-writing-therapy-part-i

Or see home page teaser at http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gala Dance Concert at UW July 26

From a UW press release:

Some of the nation's top professional dancers will perform in the Gala Concert Saturday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Wyoming College of Arts and Sciences auditorium in Laramie.

Tickets for the concert, the final performance in the UW Department of Theatre and Dance annual Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival, cost $10 for the public or $7 for students and senior citizens.

The concert's first half will feature festival participants performing repertoire works by festival faculty Vincent Brosseau, Lawrence Jackson, Susan Israel Massey, Jacob Mora, Kaye Richards, Keith Saunders and Ellie Sciarra. The second half features performances by professional artists in residence. Featured performers are principal artists from Ballet West and David Dorfman Dance.

Dance students from around the region participate in the annual festival, which offers intensive study with professional dance faculty and performers. In addition to daily ballet, modern, jazz, and tap technique classes at various levels, festival activities include classes with guest faculty, student showcase performances, guest faculty lectures, discussion groups and special performances and concerts.

Photo: Principal artists from David Dorfman Dance will be among the performers during the UW Gala Concert on Saturday, July 26. (David Dorfman Dance Photo)

Anne Fadiman at Teton Co. Library Aug. 1

Teton County Library in Jackson invites you to meet Anne Fadiman (shown in photo at right) at a reading and book signing on Friday, August 1 from 7-8 p.m. in the Ordway Auditorium. She will read from her bestselling collection “At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays,” a compilation of 12 essays. The talk will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The evening program is free and open to the public.

" 'At Large and At Small' is a charming book, and Anne is the type of writer you wish you could bring home for a long dinner – clever, funny and thoughtful,” says Oona Doherty, the library's adult humanities coordinator.

Her book “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” (1997), an account of the cross-cultural conflicts between a Hmong family and the American medical system, won a National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as many other awards. She followed it up with “Ex-Libris” (1998) and a second collection of essays “At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays” (2007) and edited “Rereadings: Seventeen Authors Revisit Books They Love” (2005). Fadiman was also a writer and columnist for “Life” and Editor-at-Large for “Civilization.” For seven years, she edited the venerable literary quarterly, “The American Scholar.” She is the only writer to win National Magazine Awards for both Reporting (1987) and Essays (2003).

Her first job after graduating from Harvard in 1975 was teaching mountaineering skills at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander. She now lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, the writer George Howe Colt, and their two children. As Yale’s Francis Writer in Residence she teaches nonfiction writing and serves as a mentor to writing students.

All three of Fadiman’s books are available at the library. You can search for and reserve them online at http://tinyurl.com/6qjtx2 or from the library’s site http://www.tclib.org/.

For more information about Fadiman’s program, contact the Adult Humanities Coordinator at 733-2164 ext. 135.

Washakie Museum announces new season

We just received a brochure of upcoming events for the 2008-2009 season at the Washakie Museum in Worland.

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra will perform for the first time in Worland on Oct. 12, 7 p.m., at the Worland Middle School Auditorium. Later in the season will be "Cause for Applause II," a residency and performance by the Missoula Children's Theatre, and a "Celebration of Maxine Watson" at the museum's spring luncheon.

Worland Community Concerts will be performed on Sept. 28 and Oct. 28, 2008, and March 17 and April 18, 2009.

For more information on all of these events, go to the museum web site at http://www.washakiemuseum.com

Call for entries: Salon Show at Night Heron

Terry Reid at NorthernFront announces that the third annual Salon Show at Night Heron Books and Gallery in Laramie will be held during August and September. Reception will be on Friday, Aug. 1, 6-8 p.m. Artwork for the show is being accepted now through Wednesday, July 30.

FMI: Terry Reid at reidman8@yahoo.com, or go to http://www.northernfront.net.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Vaudeville!" at Ark Creative Arts Program

The Creative Arts Program at Ark Regional Services in Laramie presents "Vaudeville!" at 1174 N. 4th St. Performances are Friday and Saturday, Aug. 8-9, Thursday, Aug. 14, and Saturday, Aug. 16. All times are 7:30 p.m.

For ticket information, contact 307-742-6641 ext. 333 or tickets@arkregionalservices.org.

Old Timer's Celebration in Hyattville July 26

The 99th annual Old Timer's Celebration will be held in Hyattville in Big Horn County on Saturday, July 26.

It includes a street fair during the afternoon, and the Hyattville group will be joined this year by the Guardians of the Range organization. July 26 has been designated National Day of the American Cowboy. The Old Timer's Association and the Guardians have numerous events scheduled throughout the day to honor local old timers as well as cowboy culture.

WAC roster artist Hub Whitt of Thermopolis (shown in photo) will perform cowboy music on the downtown stage from 2-3 p.m.

For more information on National Day of the American Cowboy, please click here.

For more information on the day's events, click here.

Dougherty speaks at Albany Co. Library

Artist Patrick Dougherty will discuss his work Wednesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. at the Albany County Public Library, 310 S. 8th St., Laramie. Admission is free.

He will explain the evolution of his creative process working with saplings and the site-specific sculpture that is nearing completion on Prexy's Pasture. His sculpture is made from locally-found and harvested saplings that are woven into forms that are a response to, and inspired by, the site on which they are created.

Dougherty's sculpture is one of 17 works that comprise "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." Sculptures are being installed on the UW campus and in Laramie. The exhibition's opening celebration will be held on Friday, Sept. 12, at 4 p.m. on Prexy's Pasture.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gene Gagliano and Zak Pullen at Barnes & Noble

(l) Gene Gagliano and (r) Zak Pullen
Down at Barnes & Noble in Cheyenne today, Gene and Zak were quite busy signing books and talking to the crowd gathered around the book table about their creative process. Zak dashed off a few illustrations to pass the time between customers. Gene and Zak have recently collaborated on two children's books. One is at the publisher as this is being written. Gene and Zak met at the Wyoming State Library convention a couple years back, and a friendship and professional relationship was born.

Gene is a Wyoming Arts Council roster artist, known by his many students as the teacher that danced on his desk. Gene's many books include C is for Cowboy: A Wyoming Alphabet, Four Wheels West: A Wyoming Number Book, Inside the Clown, Falling Stars, and Secret of the Black Widow. Gene has two new books coming out very soon, in addition to the collaborative efforts with Zak.

Zak has had great success as an illustrator, and has begun to write the stories that he illustrates. His books include The Toughest Cowboy (2004), written by John Frank and illustrated by Zak. Zak has authored and illustrated The Greatest Game Ever Played (2006), and Friday My Radio Flyer Flew (2008). Zak also has a couple of new offerings on the way.

Rattlesnake Jake doesn't live up to his name!

Outside at the Wyoming State Museum, Rattlesnake Jake set up his amplifier and microphone in the shade of a cottonwood, and began entertaining the semi-circle of visitors who had made this one of their stops in Cheyenne during Frontier Days. People even took off their shoes and nestled their toes in the semi-cool green grass; "Really feels good," the woman from South Dakota grinned. It was a 90-degree day, after all. Jake regaled his audience with such crowd-pleasers as "You Are My Sunshine," to which he encouraged everyone to sing along while he accompanied, and in between songs, enlightened the crowd with bits of western wisdom and lighthearted jokes. For instance, did you know a mule can see all four of its legs, while a horse cannot? For his rendition of "Stairway to Heaven Polka," he brought up several children to play a variety of instruments. Ethan from Denver did a rock star job on the washtub, single string bass, while Ethan on the other end, from Cheyenne, definitely had a bit of beatnik rhythm on the bongo drum. Jake thought the little girl in the pink hat had a classical bent to playing the mini cymbals.
You can catch more of Rattlesnake Jake down at The Historic Plains Hotel every night from 5 to 7:30 pm during Frontier Days. He's a delight!

Blogging -- in print and on the Internet

Fiction writer Warren Adler, who splits his time between Jackson, Wyo., and New York City, has been blogging since 2007 at http://warrenadler.blogspot.com/. He's been writing his monthly E-sheet newsletters online for at least 83 issues, going back to June 2001. In his latest blog post, "Blog Away, brothers and sisters," he says that he was a blogger way before the Internet ever existed.


I hadn't realized it, but I have been blogging for decades. I used to write a column called "Pepper on the Side" for the Queens Post, a weekly newspaper in New York. I was 22 years old, and because I was the editor, there was no one but myself to screen or edit my columns. My own youthful judgment was final. That circumstance, aside from the technical way my so-called pearls of youthful wisdom were delivered was, by any definition in today's parlance, a blog. Frankly, I prefer the old fashioned definition of such compositions. Essay sounds a lot classier.


Yes, we bloggers tend to run wild, at times, especially those of us who have their own blogs and act as writer, editor, graphic designer and delivery person. Most are much more informal, true to the name web log, later shortened to "blog." There are millions of people across the globe who believe there is an e-audience for their personal journals, complete with ground-breaking posts about high school reunions and baby's first tooth. There are millions of potential readers out there, and all kinds of interest groups, from UFO abductees to Barbie collectors.

Some bloggers are writers who wouldn't think of dashing off a blog or essay without thinking it through, and then revising and editing it. This does take away some of the spontaneity of blogging. It also makes blogs easier -- and more enjoyable -- to read. The big challenge is to be lively and literate at the same time.

Blog on, Warren!

P.S.: I just dashed this off, but came back and revised it 10 minutes later.

Pollock-Krasner Fndn. offers artist grants

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., was established in 1985 for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to individual working artists of established ability through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstract expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation's dual criteria for grants are recognizable artistic merit and financial need, whether professional, personal, or both. The foundation's mission is to aid those individuals who have worked as professional artists over a significant period of time. This program has an open deadline.

AVA launches Memory Fence Project

Sara King, board member of the AVA Center in Gillette, sends this news about AVA's Memory Fence Project, which is being spearheaded by Edie Reno (find a link to her MySpace page on right sidebar), a Campbell County artist whose work just won a purchase award at the Governor's Capitol Art Exhibition in Cheyenne:

The Gillette News Record published a wonderful article about this project
(get details at
http://www.fencebook.com/node/8) and interviewed the driving force behind this project, award-winning local artist Edie Reno.

As stated in the article, “most fences are designed to separate things, but the Memory Fence is designed to bring people together." Bronze figures, brazed to a wrought iron fence at the AVA building, will uniquely tell the stories of how people came to Campbell County. By telling their stories, they will tell the history of the area. The actual stories will be available in a book inside the AVA building, which will also be available in Braille and audio format. Each of the 36 iron panels, created by local welder Joe Liffert, will feature a map of Campbell County and the many roads that lead to and from it. The idea is to braze the bronze symbols to the roads so that every person who submits their story to AVA will be immortalized on the Memory Fence.

We need your help to prepare the Memory Fence for an official ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for July 31. Installation of the first six panels will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday July 27. Landscaping will be conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 29-30 at 5:30 pm.

The following items will be need on these days:

  • Two strong people to lift and move fence panels and operate power auger
  • Three bags Quickcrete to cement fence posts
  • Landscape materials including drought resistant plants/ shrubs, large decorative scoria rocks and other natural landscape items
  • Shovels, buckets and work gloves

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Memory Fence will take place on July 31, 5:30 pm at the AVA parking lot. There will be live music provided by the Gillette Guitar Guild and an Old Fashioned Pie Social. All proceeds from the social will benefit the ongoing Memory Fence Project. If you are interested in helping with the installation and/or landscaping of the fence or would be interested in contributing homemade pies or other goodies for the pie social, please contact me at 307-660-1820.

Deepest thanks to all those who have volunteered their time and services thus far to make the Memory Fence possible. The Memory Fence will serve as a living legacy for past present and future generations. It will commemorate the people and places that make this area such a beautiful place to live.

Meet the bookfest authors: Jack Gantos

Wyomingarts is pleased to participate in the Equality State Book Festival Sept. 18-20 in Casper. On these blog pages, we will profile the poets, writers and editors featured at the bookfest.

Here's info on children's writer Jack Gantos from the bookfest web site:

Jack Gantos is the author of dozens of books for children, including the Rotten Ralph Rotten Readers, the Joey Pizga books and the Jack Henry books, and books for young adults, including Hole in My Life, (Farrar Straus, 2002), a memoir of crime, prison, and his emergence as a writer. For more on his books, see his website.

His publications can take a reader from "cradle to grave" -- from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. Mr. Gantos is known nationally for his educational creative writing and literature presentations to students and teachers. He is a frequent conference speaker, university lecturer, and in-service provider.

Gantos will be presenting to Natrona County School District children both at Casper College and the local schools on Thursday, Sept. 18 and Friday Sept. 19. He will also be presenting a free workshop on writing children's books on Thursday and will give a reading and talk on Friday afternoon. Both of these events will be held at Casper College. A local bookstore will be on hand to sell his books and Gantos will be available to sign them following his Thursday and Friday presentations.

"Jentels Presents" at Sheridan College Main Street campus on Aug. 5


From Lynn Reeves at Jentel:

The Jentel Artist Residency Program is proud to present this month’s residents in an event open to the public. "Jentel Presents" will take place Tuesday, August 5th, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at Sheridan College Main Street Campus, 171 North Main. This months presenters include a sculptor/papermaker, an oil painter, a water based painter, a poet, a poet/publisher, and an installation/video artist. "Jentel Presents" is a community outreach program that features slide presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include: Melissa Craig, Chicago, IL; Melissa is a sculptor in handmade paper, and a book and installation artist, often combining these disciplines. Her current work is based on a recent research trip to Scotland; Jennifer Mazza, Newark, NJ; In Jennifer’s small figurative oil paintings it is as if a layer of skin has been peeled back, revealing not only the blood and bone beneath, but an emotional core; Nina Rizzo, Dekalb, IL; Nina works in water based media. Her work uses this liquid material exploration to examine how we understand space and the experience of viewing paintings; Andrés Rodríguez, Kansas City, MO; A poet, Andrés can’t express the anticipation he feels to walk the Wyoming countryside (another world to him), hoping to get a sense of what life is here; Ravi Shankar, Chester, CT; Ravi has sold knives, traveled on four continents, chanted Sanskrit mantras, scored hat tricks, published award-winning collections of poetry and founded an international online journal of the arts, Drunken Boat. He does not play the sitar; Robin Starbuck, New York, NY; Robin’s current studio orientation is in installation with aspects of time based media, sculpture, and comic image painting.

For anyone looking for a stimulating evening, come join the crowd at Sheridan College Main Street Campus, 171 North Main Street. There is no admission charge for "Jentel Presents" and refreshments are available.

The Jentel Foundation offers dedicated individuals a supportive environment in which to further their creative development. While at Jentel, visual artists and writers have the opportunity to experience unfettered time to allow for thoughtful reflection and meditation on the creative process in a setting that preserves the agricultural and historical integrity of the land.

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 http://www.jentelarts.org.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Int'l opportunities for Wyoming performers

Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation announces a major expansion of USArtists International (USAI) effective immediately. The Foundation received grants of $500,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and $100,000 from the Trust for Mutual Understanding in support of USAI.

A program of Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, USAI is the only national initiative solely dedicated to promoting the work of American performing artists abroad. Formerly limited to supporting dance and music ensembles invited to perform at international festivals in Europe, USAI will now encompass festivals anywhere in the world outside the United States. The program will also be open to support American theater companies and solo performances in all performing arts disciplines.

New guidelines for USAI are available online at www.midatlanticarts.org. The deadlines for the program are September 8, 2008 for projects taking place between November 1, 2008 and October 31, 2009; January 9, 2009 for projects taking place between March 1, 2009 and February 28, 2010; and May 4, 2009 for projects taking place between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.USAI is committed to ensuring that the impressive range of expression of the performing arts in the United States is represented abroad. The program works to strengthen the creative and professional development of American dance, music and theatre artists by providing support for their performances at significant international festivals. Through the participation of exemplary American performing artists, USAI helps develop audiences for, and greater appreciation of, the excellence, diversity and vitality of the American arts.

In the United States, the public and private sectors work collaboratively to support the arts. USAI continues that important tradition with support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. For the 2008 cycle, USAI is supporting thirty-three ensembles at festivals throughout Europe. Festivals include the North Sea Jazz Festival, Netherlands; International Tanzmesse, Germany; 8th World Symposium on Choral Music, Denmark; IDANS - Istanbul International Contemporary Dance Festival, Turkey; Hellenic Festival, Greece; Cheltenham Jazz Festival, UK; 10th Open Look Festival, Russia; and the Lyon Dance Festival, France. Grantees range from the Seattle Chamber Players of Washington to the Rebirth Brass Band in Louisiana and from the Trisha Brown Dance Company in New York to Alonzo King's Lines Ballet in California.

A complete listing of artists and festivals can be found at www.midatlanticarts.org.

The Clumsy Lovers return to OysterGrass

The Clumsy Lovers from Canada are the headliners for Saturday, July 26, 10 p.m., at the Oyster Ridge Music Festival at Triangle Park in Kemmerer. The free festival is July 25-27.

Here's more info from the festival's web site:

The Clumsy Lovers are the hottest band coming out of Canada today. Their "Raging bluegrass Celtic rock," style has inspired other neighbors to the north such as The Duhks. Often imitated but never surpassed, Clumsy has released their seventh album "Smart Kid".

The band has spent much of the last ten years on the road with more than 1,500 live shows to its credit.

The Clumsy Lovers have been a festival favorite since the beginning, having graced our stage on five previous occasions. We feel like the whole OysterGrass experience is somehow embodied in these talented and deep spirits. Don't miss their triumphant return for an unprecedented sixth appearance on Sat. July 26.

Clumsy Lovers My Space

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Ballad of Gopher Gap" on stage in Buffalo

The Johnson County Arts and Humanities Council presents the summer melodrama "The Ballad of Gopher Gap" on July 23, 24, 25, 30 and 31 and Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m., at the New Hope Worship Center (old Masonic Lodge), 185 N. Main St., Buffalo. Tickets at the door are $4. Advance tickets are $3 apiece through the Chamber of Commerce.

FMI: JCAHC President Colleen Donahue, 307-684-2559.

Lila McConigley performs in hometown Casper

Lila McConigley (shown at right) and Tenors UnLimited will be featured in a concert on Wednesday, July 23, 7:30 p.m., at Natrona County High School in Casper.

Here’s some background on the event from the ARTCORE web page:


In fourth grade, Lila McConigley volunteered when Marcia Patton asked who from the Casper Children’s Chorale was trying out for a solo. A year later, she sang a duet with her sister, Nina, when the Chorale and the Wyoming State Choir performed "Carmina Burana" in Avery Fisher Hall. From that night, she set her sights on becoming a performer and going to New York.

Lila studied music at St. Olaf College, singing and touring with the world famous St. Olaf Choir. She then moved to New York and worked at Sesame Street, as well as singing in a choir at Juilliard and directing a children’s play at Lincoln Center. Still greatly inspired by opera, Lila went to Florence, Italy to study and perform with famous maestro and renowned Italian tenor, Franco Pagliacci, for three years.

In the spring of 2003, Lila was accepted into London’s Royal Academy of Music’s post-graduate course in musical theater. She graduated with distinction and went straight into her West End debut in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Bombay Dreams.” She has sung with Elton John, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and she is the regular guest Diva of famous British opera group, Tenors UnLimited.


Here’s another bit of news from Nina McConigley, Lila’s sister:


Lila is performing with the London-based group, Tenors UnLimited. They perform across Europe and are known as "The Rat Pack of Opera."

It's a funny twist, as Lila is marrying one of the "Tenors," Paul Martin, in Casper a few days post-concert. So the concert is a fun way for Lila to introduce Wyoming to his group. They are having a Western wedding, but the concert will be a fun mix of classical and non-traditional music.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band headlines Beartrap

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will perform at this year's Beartrap Summer Festival on Casper Mountain at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 20.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is Jeff Hanna, guitars/vocals; Jimmie Fadden, drums/harmonica/vocals; Bob Carpenter, keyboards/accordion/vocals; and John McEuen, banjo/fiddle/guitar/mandolin.

The band recently won a Grammy for Best Country Instrumental for "Earl's Breakdown." The song features Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Jerry Douglas and the late Vassar Clements. The band is touring the West in July and August, playing old favorites and music from the critically acclaimed CD "Welcome To Woody Creek," which celebrated the NGDB's 40th anniversary in 2007.

The band's official web site is The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Shakespeare's "King John" tours Wyoming

The Wyoming Shakespeare Festival has been performing “The Life and Death of King John” by William Shakespeare around Wyoming since July 2. Here are the remaining performances:

July 18, 6:30 p.m., Court House, 731 C Street, Rock Springs
July 19, 4 p.m., Green River, Stratton Meyers Park
July 20, 2 p.m., Pinedale, American Legion Park
July 23, 6 p.m., Lander City Park
July 25, 6:30 p.m., Gillette College, Gillette
July 30, 6 p.m., Lander City Park
July 31, 12:30 p.m., children’s performance, “Hamlet,” Location TBA
August 1, 7 p.m., Casper, Nicolaysen Art Museum
August 2, 4:30 p.m., Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

FMI: http://www.wyoshakes.com/

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pullen & Gagliano talk books July 22 at B&N

Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 1851 Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne, continues its summer reading celebration with a book signing and presentation by author Eugene Gagliano of Buffalo and author/illustrator Zak Pullen of Casper on Tuesday, July 22, 2 p.m.

Eugene Gagliano is a Wyoming Arts Council roster artist and author of children's books "C is for Cowboy" and "Four Wheels West," and books for teen readers.

Zak Pullen's illustrations have been featured in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times Book Review, Esquire, and many other publications. His new book, "Johnny Appleseed -- A Trail of Trees," will be out in the fall. His illustration of a cowboy and horse reading a book together is the logo of the Equality State Book Festival in Casper.

FMI: B&N at 307-632-3000.

Hawaiian Pa'ina Party at Plains Hotel

The Historic Plains Hotel in downtown Cheyenne presents a "Wyoming Pa'ina Party" on Friday, July 18, 6-9 p.m.

Planned to tie in with Cheyenne Frontier Days and its celebration of the Hawaiian cowboys' contribution to the event, the Plains Hotel party features entertainment by Ekolu Na Paniolo, hula dancers, and Jon Chandler and the Wichitones.

Dinner will include salads, pulled pork, Chicken Pineapple Bake, corn on the cob and cobbler.

Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the Plains (307-635-3311) or at The All Around, 8214 Hutchins Dr. (seven miles east of Cheyenne, I-80 and Campstool Rd.), 307-632-9053.

Call for entries: Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City

The Dahl Arts Center is looking for artists working on innovative approaches to traditional or contemporary forms of "The Art of Personal Adornment."

Don't miss this opportunity to show your work in the newly renovated and expanded Dahl Galleries in Rapid City, S.D., opening in January 2009.

Artists from states within 500 miles of Rapid City, S.D. are welcomed to submit materials to be considered for an inaugural exhibition in the newly expanded Dahl galleries.

Artists are required to submit four (high-quality digital) images representative of work created in the last two years. All work must be original, made by the artist, and completed within the last two years. Submitted works are open to a full range of processes and materials. Categories include but are not limited to: beadwork, metalsmithing, lapidary, natural materials, non-traditional materials and glasswork. Invitations to participate in the exhibit will be based on creativity, innovation, quality, consistency and craftsmanship of the work as shown by the images submitted. Entry Fee: $25. Jurors: Ken Bova, Elizabeth Bucheit and Bently Spang.

One of a trio of shows celebrating the grand opening of the newly expanded Dahl Arts Center in January 2009, this exhibit is designed to explore the breadth and depth of personal adornment through objects created by artists in South Dakota and its adjacent states. Cash awards will be presented. On-line and printed publications will be produced in conjunction with the exhibition.

Entry postmark deadline - August 15, 2008

Dahl Arts Center, 713 Seventh St, Rapid City, SD 57701

Download entry form with exhibit details at http://www.thedahl.org. Call 605-394-4101 x200 to request one by mail.

"Wyoming Ranches" doc airs tonight on PBS

Dean Peterson, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources videographer, sends this notice:

Tonight at 7:30 our department-produced documentary, "Wyoming Ranches: Twilight of a Legacy," will air on Wyoming PBS. Produced by Dean Petersen and Nancy Weidel in association with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, this half-hour documentary examines the changing face of ranching across the Cowboy State. This is the second half-hour documentary we have shown on TV this year and hope to keep them coming.

FMI: Dean Peterson at 307-777-3740.

Wyoming photos just what "Doc" ordered

"Lake Marie Sunrise," digital photograph by Doc Thissen, 2007

Daniel "Doc" Thissen of Laramie is the latest addition to the Wyoming Arts Council's Artist Image Registry (AIR). Doc spends a lot of time traveling the roads and back-country of Wyoming "seeking unusual photographic opportunities." He took the above photo of Lake Marie in the Snowy Range just at sunrise. Although Lake Marie may be one of the most photographed spots in the state, what makes this shot different, Doc says, is the stillness of the lake in a spot notorious for its constant wind. This photo earned Doc first place in the "waterscapes" category of the 2007 photography contest sponsored by the Albany County Tourism Board. The Laramie Chamber of Commerce used "Lake Marie Sunrise" on the cover of its 2008 guidebook. Doc runs his own photo studio in Laramie. For more info, go to http://www.docspix.com/.

For info about joining the WAC Artist Image Registry, call Mike Shay at 307-777-5234.

Kennedy essay in fall issue of Puerto del Sol

A new essay by Laramie's Jeffe Kennedy, "Hemlock & Mistletoe," will appear in the fall issue of Puerto del Sol magazine, published by New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Here's an excerpt from Jeffe's website:

For the first time in my life, I could not decorate for Christmas. It almost makes me weep to type the words, yet I could not bear to pull out one strand of lights. Once David convinced me to cancel our annual extravagant party, because I was too fragile for the additional pressure of cleaning and decorating and cooking, I had thought I might do simple things as the mood struck me. Perhaps I'd decorate our six-foot bougainvillea with some of the pearl lights our guests admired every year, perhaps add the clear glass balls I bought just a few weeks ago, with an eye towards replacing the tatty gold and red satin ones. But I couldn't do even that little. Our friends are
understanding of our canceled party - even the ones to whom I'd given invitations already, then reneged. They're disappointed - "You know your party is the event of my Season," said one - but supportive. I feel like I've let my neighbors down, with our dark house and invisible trees. But all you have to tell people is that your dad - though they may know the relationship hasn't always been an easy one - is dying and they forgive you any breaches.

But I have a Christmas secret I dare not speak aloud: Leo has chosen to die. He picked out the date.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jeffe is a recipient of a WAC creative writing fellowship and a Blanchan/Doubleday writing award. She's also featured on the WAC Artist Roster. You can bring her to your community for a reading, workshop or presentation through an Arts Across Wyoming grant. FMI: http://wyoarts.state.wy.us/artistroster0809/artistroster.htm#kennedy

Californian Kay Ryan named U.S. Poet Laureate

The Library of Congress announced on Thursday that California poet Kay Ryan will serve as the 16th U.S. Poet Laureate, succeeding New England poet Charles Simic.

Ryan was born in California in 1945 and grew up in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert. She received both a bachelor's and master's degree from UCLA.

Ryan's awards include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union League Poetry Prize, the Maurice English Poetry Award, and three Pushcart Prizes. Her work has been selected four times for The Best American Poetry and was included in The Best of the Best American Poetry 1988-1997.

Since 1971, she has lived in Marin County in California. She has taught the same remedial English course at the College of Marin in Kentfield, for more than 30 years.

(Thanks to Guy Lebeda of the Utah Arts Council for forwarding this announcement.)

AVA fired up about Raku workshop


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Day July 19 at UW Art Museum

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Art Museum's second annual Family Day is scheduled for Saturday, July 19.

Families are invited to meet internationally-known artist Patrick Dougherty, observe his work-in-progress on Prexy's Pasture and create their own sculptures.

Dougherty will talk with families about his unique sculpture created from saplings. Families will have the opportunity to learn more about Dougherty's creative process and how he forms locally-found and harvested saplings into a sculpture that is a response to, and inspired by, the site on which they are created. Families may then return to the museum to create their own sculptures from saplings or other materials provided by the art museum.

Two sessions with the artist are scheduled. The first session begins at 10 a.m. and the second session begins at 1 p.m., both at the art museum; then, accompanied by Education Curator Wendy Bredehoft, participants will travel to the installation site to talk with the artist. Families returning to the museum will be able to work on their sculptures until 4 p.m.

"It has been fascinating to watch this sculpture take form over the past two weeks," Bredehoft says. "On Saturday it should be at that stage where viewers can still see the construction process undertaken by Patrick and his Laramie assistants while imagining what the final sculpture will look like."

Dougherty is on location to create a sculpture for the Art Museum's exhibition of public art, "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." Seventeen large-scale sculptures are being installed on campus and in Laramie over the summer.

The Wyoming Arts Council sponsors Family Day activities. Additionally, the museum store's inaugural Trunk Show will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the museum's lobby. Laramie jeweler Jennifer Durer is the featured artist.

"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 22nd & Willett Drive in Laramie. The museum and store are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

FMI: www.uwyo.edu/artmuseum or the museum's new blog, www.uwartmuseum.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Auditions Aug. 4-6 for "Oliver!" in Cheyenne

Auditions for the Cheyenne Little Theatre Players' production of "Oliver!" are August 4, 5 and 6, 6:30 p.m., at the Mary Godfrey Playhouse in Cheyenne.

Children and young people (5-18 years old) ONLY on August 4. Adults, children and young people may all audition August 5 and 6, with child and youth try outs first each evening.

Everyone should bring a 90-second recording of a song of your choice and be prepared to do a cold reading from the script. Accommodations will be made for children who are not yet reading.

"Oliver!" will be directed by Becky Tish.

FMI: Rose Wagner at
rwagner@cheyennelittletheatre.org.

C.J. Box joins bookfest fiction panel

C.J. Box, author of the Joe Pickett mystery novels, will join the Equality State Book Festival's panel of fiction writers Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper. Box's eighth book, Blood Trail, the latest in the travails of Wyoming Game and Fish Warden Joe Pickett, came out in May from Putnam to still more favorable reviews.

Don't miss Box and novelists Tina Welling, (Crybaby Ranch), Bob Roripaugh (The Legend of Billy Jenks), and Laura Pritchett, (Sky Bridge), judge of this year's Wyoming Arts Council fiction fellowships, speaking about their lives and craft on a panel called "Making Up Stories in the West", starting at 2:45 p.m. Novelist and University of Wyoming fiction instructor Alyson Hagy (Snow, Ashes) will moderate.

Mark your calendar now! The festival runs three days at Casper College and various spots around town. Check www.equalitystatebookfest.com for all the details.

Registering for workshops, the banquet, and for exhibit tables at the day-long book fair is now even easier. Just click on the "Register" link at http://www.equalitystatebookfest.com/index.php/pages/registration/, and you'll be taken to a secure server where you can pay by credit card. Or if you prefer, print out the form and send in a check. But sign up soon--workshop space and exhibit space are limited.

And if you are an author with at least one book in print and would like to reserve a 15 minute reading slot between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, please contact Kathy Coe to set up a time. And tell your friends! People who sign up soon will have their names listed in our big festival program that goes out to 50,000 subscribers to the Casper Journal and the Casper Star-Tribune.

Questions? Contact Laurie Lye, chair, at Llye@caspercollege.edu.

Dean Peterson wins two Telly bronze awards

Dean Petersen, the very talented videographer with the State Parks and Cultural Resources Public Information Office, recently learned that he won two Telly bronze awards for his documentaries, "Wyoming Folks: Folk Art Encounters in the Cowboy State," and "Lee Alley: Back From War."

According to sponsoring organization's web site:

"The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web. Since 1978, our mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. The 28th Annual Telly Awards received over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents."

In his spare time, Dean is an independent filmmaker.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Food costs put crimp in arts program

A plea from the AVA Center in Gillette:

Higher Food Costs are Hurting AVA’s Art & Leadership Program!

If you have extra food to donate, the Art & Leadership Program can use your help.

We could use fruits, veggies, bread, wraps, granola bars, bagels, crackers, pretzels, lunch meat, cheese, etc. If you bring it, we'll use it. Homemade food is always welcome.

Part of our program is to encourage healthy eating, so no junk food please.

Also, donations to the Art & Leadership program are welcome to help us make it through this summer’s high costs.

For this first session (July 14-24) we have 35 people to feed two snacks and one lunch per day, for the next session (July 28-August 5) we have 45 people to feed each day. Food can be delivered to AVA Community Art Center, 509 W. Second St., anytime during business hours, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Thanks for your help!

FMI: Ariane, AVA Center, 307-682-9133 or info@avacenter.org

Craig Johnson's book tour by motorcycle

Mystery writer Craig Johnson of Ucross has hopped on his motorcycle and is continuing his regional book tour on two wheels. Here's the schedule:

I'll be in Missoula, MT tonight (Monday, July 14) at Fact and Fiction at 7 PM with Neil MacMahon. Seattle Mystery Bookstore on Wednesday, July 16 at noon and then at Whodunit Books in Olympia at 7 PM on July 17. In Portland, I'll be at Murder by the Book at 6 PM on July 18, which is a Friday, and then I'm off to Paulina Springs Books in both Redmond (4:30) and Sisters (6:30) on Saturday, July 19. It's on to Sunriver July 20 for a Sunday signing/barbecue -- love those events with food -- at Sunriver Books at 5 PM. On to Utah and Salt Lake City at The King's English on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 PM and The University of Utah Bookstore at 12:30 PM July 23. Back to the home state on Thursday, July 24 with an event in Cody at the Newstand there and at the library at 7 PM. Meeteetse the next evening with a library event at The Chocolatier at 7 PM. It's the library at Powell the next day at 1 PM and then home and almost August. Hope to see some of you on my travels.

"As You Like It (Redux)" in Laramie

From a University of Wyoming press release:

A new drama troupe, The Merely Players, will bring to Laramie Shakespeare's "As You Like It (Redux)," July 18-20 at 4 p.m. in Washington Park, off the corner of Rainbow and 19th streets.

The Bard's humorous tale of true love and brotherhood follows a noble family as it exchanges the intrigues of the court for the charms of a pastoral life. This outdoor production is free and open to all ages.

The Merely Players is an ensemble devoted to bringing Shakespeare to the people who were the first to enjoy his work: people of every class, creed and level of education.

"We want to take Shakespeare ‘off the pedestal' and provide a fast-paced, accessible adaptation of his work in a relaxed setting," says Anna Brownsted, who helped to adapt the script and create the stage directions for the outdoor venue. "Presenting this play in a found space has allowed us to create a unique production that emphasizes the actor/audience relationship, making the action up-close and personal."

This program is appropriate for audiences of all ages. With a cunning cutting of the original text, the players give the often hard-to-understand language of a conventional Shakespearean play a more modern sound. Though the play still uses the Bard's original language, it has been made more accessible to a modern ear, and it is great for those with little to no previous experience with Shakespeare.

The Merely Players' producer, Kari Kontour, stresses the event's informality.

"We invite everyone to find a blanket, bring your family and friends and perhaps even a picnic lunch, and enjoy theatre in a more ‘coming-on' disposition," says Kontour. "The production runs only three days. Don't miss your chance to be a part of the most refreshing theatre the summer has to offer."

Big West Fest combines art and music

The Big West Arts Festival Aug. 2-3 at Sheridan College in Sheridan features booths by more than 50 artists and a variety of talented musicians from throughout Wyoming and the West. You'll see some familiar names from the Wyoming Arts Council artist roster in Jeff Troxel, Fireants, and Laughing Bird. For more on the WAC roster, go to http://wyoarts.state.wy.us/artistroster0809/artistrosterlist08.htm

These are the performers for the 2008 Big West Arts Festival:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2
9:30 – Bob Wyatt – Bagpipes
10:00 – Jess & Brandon
10:30 – Tabitha Horsley
11:00 – “Auntie Annie’s Antelope Play” or “Ham on the Range”
Noon - The Pickin’ Chicks
1:00 – Ethan Chartier
2:00 – Doug Andrews
3:00 – Jeff Troxel
4:00 – Fire Ants
5:00 – “Auntie Annie’s Antelope Play” or “Ham on the Range”
6:00 – Gary Small & the Coyote Bros.
7:00-9:00 – The Craft Brothers
9:00-11:00 – Jalan Crossland

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3
9:30 – Bob Wyatt – Bagpipes
10:00 – Church Family Singers
11:00 – “Auntie Annie’s Antelope Play” or “Ham on the Range”
Noon –J & M Blue Routes Review
1:00 – Laughing Bird
2:00 – Jeff Troxel
3:00 – “Auntie Annie’s Antelope Play” or “Ham on the Range”
4:00 – Down from the Mountain
5:00 – 7:00 – Powder River Boys

Correction: New home for Gillette melodrama

On June 18, we posted an item about performances of the Gillette Community Theatre's summer melodrama. We listed the wrong venue! Mary Wegher, GCT board members, tells us that the melodrama has moved from the WPA Building in Cam-plex Park to the New Life Wesleyan Fellowship Hall, 1000 Comanche Avenue in Gillette. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, July 18, 19, 25 and 26, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 27.

Tickets are available at the Gillette Chamber of Commerce, 314 South Gillette Ave. FMI: 307-689-4341.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Free band concerts in the park

The Cheyenne Community Band will perform on Thursdays, July 17 and Aug. 7 and 21, 7-8 p.m., at the William N. Brimmer Amphitheater, 4603 Lions Park Drive, Cheyenne.

These events are free and open to the public.

Kids: Play in the mud at AVA Center!

The AVA Center in Gillette announces its "Mud Week! Kids' Pottery Workshop" July 21-25, 3-5 p.m.

Here’s a description:

Come play in the mud with us! Learn how to make a pot on the pottery wheel and make slab, pinch, and coil pots. Use the extruder and slab roller to make items you can use. Class fee: $60; Members: $55. Please contact our office for member discount. Scholarships are available upon request, and pre-registration is required. The registration deadline for this class is July 18.

FMI: 307-682-9133.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Artist reception 5-6 p.m. today at Cheyenne Y

The Cheyenne Family YMCA is holding a reception from 5-6 p.m. Friday, July 11, for artist Bob Child of Fort Collins, Colo. (his painting, "Camron Ram" is featured in photo). Child is the YMCA's featured artist of the month for July. The reception is free and open to the public (you don't have to be a Y member to attend).

FMI: Chris Shay, 307-634-9622.

No fiction -- "Pulp Function" at the NIC

Paper, that humble material that we use daily and take for granted, becomes material for art in Pulp Function, on exhibit at the Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Center in Casper from July 11 through September 28 -- with an opening reception on FRiday, August 8, starting at 6 p.m.

This exhibition explores all aspects of paper as a medium for art, including vessels, jewelry, clothing, furniture, books and sculpture.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The "Pulp Function" exhibition will be on display during the 2008 Equality State Book Festival in Casper Sept. 18-20. The book fair and other bookfest events will be held at the Nicolaysen Art Museum on Saturday, Sept. 20.

New roster artist: Carolee Bowen, Evanston

Carolee Bowen is an oboist from Evanston. For several years, she's appeared on the WAC artist roster with her chamber music group, Trio Dolce.

Carolee is familiar with standard woodwind quintet repertoire and as a freelance oboist, can sit in with your community or professional orchestra for concerts, or substitute in chamber groups, performing as if she had been playing with the group all season. She taught oboe at her private music studio for ten years, and also taught band in the public school system.

Carolee currently performs as principal oboist with the Murray Symphony Orchestra of Salt Lake City, Utah, plays in various chamber groups, such as Trio Dolce, and is in the progressive Celtic band Cranachan.

Contact: (307) 679-2348 or caroleebowen@gmail.com

New roster artist: Andy Nelson, Pinedale

Andy Nelson is a cowboy poet and performer from Pinedale who's a new Wyoming Arts Council roster artist.

An energetic and high-spirited cowboy poet and humorist, Andy offers the history, heritage and hilarity of the cowboy culture through traditional poetry and story telling. During his childhood and adolescence, Andy’s greatest influence was traveling with his father to his many farrier jobs. As an adult, Andy worked as a ranch hand in southern Idaho for several years.

Andy brings humor and authenticity to his performances, entertaining audiences across the U.S. and Canada. Most recently, he has performed as a featured artist for the Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Arvada, and at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada.

Writing on the river with Page Lambert

Page Lambert, WAC creative writing fellowship winner and former resident of Sundance, is working with The Women’s Wilderness Institute to run a five-day writing workshop for women Sept. 24-28 on the Green River. The retreat features daily, interactive writing seminars and one-on-one sessions with Page while canoeing through Utah’s Labyrinth Canyon.

Page is a veteran course leader who has inspired hundreds of women in their personal writing. One of her past courses was featured in the January 2006 issue of Oprah Magazine as “One of the Year’s Top Six Great All-Girl Getaways.”

“Page Lambert’s river writing trips provide a unique opportunity to examine, evaluate and energize both your work and life. Her love of western landscapes and respect for everyone attempting to understand, describe and preserve them are contagious,” said Sureva Towler, Writing from the River’s Edge 2007 participant. “The adventures Page shepherds spread insights and inspiration faster than tamarisk can invade a riverbank, and they’re fun.”

As guest teacher on The Women’s Wilderness Institute “Writing from the River’s Edge” course, Lambert brings years of experience working with women writers and a natural passion for the wilderness. She was one of fifteen writers selected to contribute to Writing Down the River: Into the Heart of the Grand Canyon. Her memoir, In Search of Kinship, was a Denver bestseller.

The five-day retreat includes an introduction to canoe travel, water safety and basic camping techniques and is appropriate for writers and canoers of all levels. The trip begins and ends in Grand Junction, Colorado. The price for the course is $850, which includes all meals, canoeing and camping equipment.

Page Lambert is available for interviews about the trip. Contact Wendy Gruenberg Wray, marketing director of The Women’s Wilderness Institute, at 303.938.9191.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Depot Museum offers concerts during CFD

The Cheyenne Depot Museum is hosting Rhythm by the Rails, Downtown Cheyenne’s Free Concert Series, on the Depot Plaza during Cheyenne Frontier Days from Friday, July 18th to the Saturday Night Street Dance on July 26. Regional bands will be performing, as well as a variety of headliners including Susie Luchsinger and Pake McEntire on Sunday, and Bitter Creek on Cheyenne Day/DDA Day at the Depot.

FMI: http://www.cheyennedepotmuseum.org.

West Nebraska Art Center features retrospective of Alice Sacks' paintings

"Wyoming Winter" by Alice Warfield Sack

The West Nebraska Arts Center, 106 E. 18th St., Scottsbluff, Nebraska, is featuring a retrospective of the work of Alice Warfield Sack Aug. 1-29. An opening reception will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1.

Sack died two years ago in Torrington at the age of 95. Much of her work features Wyoming landmarks, such as Devils Tower, the Tetons, and the Snowy Range. She was born in San Francisco and spent her early years on the Pacific Coast before moving to Denver in the 1940s. She spent her later years in Torrington, Wyo., and Scottsbluff.

According to a press release, Sack's work was featured in the Art Center's first one-person exhibit. She was a member of the North Platte Valley Artists' Guild and the Wyoming Arts Association. She showed her work throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nebraska, but also exhibited in New York City, Maine, and Massachusetts. She received more than 100 awards during the course of her long career.

According to long-time friend Amy Sadle in Gering, Neb., Alice Sack died with no dependents. So, all of the work in the exhibit is for sale. Profits will be used to provide scholarships for artists over 40 years old. CDs of the work are available by calling 308-632-2226.

The WNAC is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon-5 p.m. on Saturday.

FMI: http://www.nebraskarts.com/wnac/

Dougherty sculpture to be installed at UW

From a University of Wyoming press release:

Artist Patrick Dougherty will spend the next three weeks in Laramie to create a large-scale sculpture made of saplings for "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational."

The latest of 16 sculptures for the exhibition, Dougherty's artwork will be installed on Prexy's Pasture on the University of Wyoming campus.

This week, Dougherty began harvesting truckloads of saplings from Bath Ranch and Deerwood Ranch near Laramie. The saplings will be cut, sorted, bundled and transported by truck to UW. Within days, Dougherty's structure will begin to emerge as he and dozens of assistants assemble the saplings into a unique work of art.

Dougherty has created nearly 200 site-specific sculptures in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia over the past 20 years. His work has been displayed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash., and the American Crafts Museum in New York City, among other places.

Dougherty comes to Wyoming following his most recent installations for the Garden of the Arts in France, and Sculpture in the Parklands in Ireland.

He has received many honors and awards, including the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant, Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship and several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dougherty's work has been the subject of more than 100 articles and reviews in publications including The New York Times and the Washington Post.

In addition to the installation of his sculpture, Dougherty will discuss his work at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at the Albany County Library, 310 S. 8th St. A reception follows.
"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" is being organized by the UW Art Museum, various agencies in the City of Laramie and the Albany County Public Library. Sculptures will be placed or created on location through July. The exhibition will be on view from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2009.

"The exhibition will offer extraordinary educational opportunities for students of all ages to learn about the artists, their creative processes and the behind-the-scenes view of just how these large-scale works are created and placed," says Susan Moldenhauer, director and chief curator for the UW Art Museum.

For more information on "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational," go to the Web site at http://www.uwartmuseum.blogspot.com/.

IN THE PHOTO: Chief Preparator Sterling Smith, Artist Patrick Dougherty, and Museum Intern Jedediah Cracco deliver a truckload of saplings to Prexy's Pasture for the installation of Dougherty's sculpture. Photo courtesy of the UW Art Museum.

New Deal-inspired photos to tour Wyoming

From a Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources press release:

A traveling exhibit featuring the photos of New Deal inspired Wyoming projects will be on display at venues throughout the state beginning next month.

The exhibit, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal, features 14 large-format contemporary black-and-white photographs taken by Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources photographer Richard Collier. Wyoming Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Program Administration sites are depicted in the Collier photographs.

The New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s massive Depression-era program to put Americans back to work, resulted in an alphabet soup of federal programs. Millions of people took part in these programs resulting in a myriad of projects. Americans planted trees, created parks and zoos, wrote plays, recorded histories, created paintings and photographs, and built highways, bridges, dams, courthouses, schools and stadiums.

Among the structures chronicled in the photographs are the Museum and Castle at Guernsey State Park, a band shell in Lingle, a swimming pool in Veteran and the Wardwell Hanger in Bar Nunn.

The exhibit is currently scheduled to be on display at the following locations:

  • August-September, Carbon County Library, 215 Buffalo Street, Rawlins
  • October–November, Uinta County Museum, 36 10th Street, Evanston
  • December, Fremont County Library, 1330 West Park, Riverton
  • January, Park County Library, 1057 Sheridan Ave., Cody
  • February, Weston County Library, 23 West Main St., Newcastle
  • April, Sublette County Library, 144 South Tyler Ave., Pinedale

If interested in hosting the traveling exhibit during the coming year, please contact Nancy Weidel at 777-3418 or nweide@state.wy.us.