Friday, February 27, 2009

"Jump Into Jewels" Feb. 28 in Cheyenne

Habitat for Humanity Women Build Project presents "Jump Into Jewels" on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 1126 White Water Court (The Pointe) in Cheyenne. More than 15,000 new and lightly used jewelry have been donated to to this Habitat project.

There will be VIP Champagne Brunch and Preview Party between 10 a.m.-noon. Tickets are $15 per person. You can purchase tickets online at, or by calling 307-214-1457.

From noon-8 p.m., "Jump Into Jewels" is free and open to the public.

Call for entries: Creative Nonfiction Magazine

Call for Submissions: "When Doctors and Lawyers Connect—and Collide."

For a collection to be published by Southern Methodist University Press, Creative Nonfiction is seeking new essays written by or about doctors and lawyers, exploring the two professions’ similarities as well as their divisions and points of conflict. What intrigues, interests, or annoys doctors and lawyers—and, potentially, others—about each other? The objective of this project is to capture the complex relationship between these two professions. Essays must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with a significant element of research or information. We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice. Creative Nonfiction editors will award $2,500 for best essay.

Guidelines: Essays must be: unpublished, 5,000 words or less, postmarked by March 15, 2009, and clearly marked “Doctors and Lawyers” on both the essay and the outside of the envelope.

There is a $20 reading fee; $25 includes a 4-issue CNF subscription. Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the U.S. (though additional subscription postage costs do apply; email for rates).

Please send manuscript, accompanied by a cover letter with complete contact information, SASE and payment to: Creative Nonfiction, Attn: Doctors and Lawyers, 5501 Walnut Street, Suite 202, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Please email any questions to

Information can also be found at

Humanities Festival: "Mountain as Metaphor"

Writing and riding at Vee Bar Ranch

Page Lambert's "Writing & the Landscape of the Horse" retreat will be held this summer at the Vee Bar Ranch near Laramie.

Crazy about writing? Wild about horses? Come explore both passions in Wyoming with us!

The 2008 retreat sold out quickly, so for 2009 we're offering two optional dates. Week one is May 24-29; week two is May 30-June 4.

As we learn more about how a horse communicates with the world, we develop a deeper awareness of how we communicate with the world. During this retreat, not only will we ride across the Vee Bar's beautiful Wyoming landscape, we'll also journey into the mysterious dimension between the verbal world and the non-verbal world. This retreat isn't just about riding horses, and it isn't just for women. For five days, we will write about, read about, and be about horses.

All levels of riding and writing experience welcome.

SIGN UP HERE. Or call Page at 303-842-7360.

Happy birthday to us

The WAC's wyomingarts blog turns two on Sunday, March 1.

The first post of 1,863 was on March 1, 2007, about the National Endowment for the Arts' $10,000 grant to Young Musicians, Inc., in Evanston. That's 900-some a year, with posts made every working day and some weekends. Over time, we've grown better at this job, especially when it comes to posting photos. Now we just have to figure our videos and podcasts. We're now on Twitter (see bottom of right sidebar), which gives us yet another e-venue to promote the state's artists and arts organizations.

The blog has its roots in the weekly Wyolitmail e-mail newsletter I wrote and edited from 1999-2006. Later, my former colleague Liliane Francuz started Artmail for visual artists. We discontinued both of those in late 2006, and replaced them with wyomingarts and a new full-color quarterly print newsletter, Artscapes.

Please e-mail us your news and events listings and photos. We'll put them on the blog. Often we pick up news from blog posts for Artscapes.

Thanks for joining us on the blogosphere.

---Michael Shay

Grandma, what big teeth you have!

Missoula Childrens' Theatre will wrap up its residencies in Park County with performances of "Little Red Riding Hood" on Saturday, Feb. 28, 3 and 7 p.m., at the Powell High School Auditorium in Powell. Sponsored by the Park County Arts Council, recipient of a 2008 Wyoming Governor's Arts Award.


"Three Cs" illuminate "Three Rs" at UW event


The “Three Cs” that describe the “Teaching Creativity” conference this past week at the University of Wyoming.

The academy brought in artists, entrepreneurs and inventors to share their insights. Wyomingarts was there taking notes on Feb. 25.

Eddie Henderson is a professional jazz trumpeter who passed through careers in medicine and figure skating before deciding on a music career. His fate may have been sealed at nine years old when he saw Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet at New York’s Apollo Theater. Armstrong came to the house to visit Henderson’s mother, who performed at the famous Cotton Club. Armstrong took a few minutes to let the creative kid blow a few notes on a well-seasoned trumpet.

“Creativity is a byproduct of what you do,” says Henderson. “Love is a part of it.”

He sat on a “Moments with Creative Minds” panel with fellow musician Shabda Noor and African-American poet Evie Shockley. Panel moderator was UW’s J. Scott Turpen, who knows a little bit about music himself – and won a 2004 performing arts fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council.

What about this creativity question?

Noor pondered it: “Can we teach creativity? No, we just accept it when it tries to come in.” He’s not a big fan of the ways schools teach, sacrificing creativity for standardized learning. “Turned me from a human being into a human thinking – that’s what the education system did to me.” Still, he’s a musician with a doctorate in music, and is always exploring ways to meld his teaching with creativity.

For Henderson, who became an expert in medicine, figure skating and music, it’s the discipline that’s crucial. “When one learns discipline at an early age, one can do any number of things well.” During his time in Laramie, he taught a class at one of the local high schools and at UW.

Evie Shockley knows a bit about discipline. She always loved writing but took a detour from poetry to attend law school. Her discipline can be heard in the music of her poetry. She launched into a reading of “Celestial,” a poem about the meeting of jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and Actress Marilyn Monroe in 1950s L.A. Monroe helped Ella “break the color barrier” at one of the city’s largest nightclubs, the Macombo. The poem had a jazz beat, and a theme that kept returning to “star” as in movie star, as in singing star, “Ella,” “Stellar,” “Celestial.”

The last of her four poems focused on black history and featured a mix of reading and singing, some of the verses being twists on old nursery rhymes – and how they applied to African-American history.

It is Black History Month. We could all learn more about history and creativity and music and poetry. Now is a good time. So is tomorrow, and the next day, and next month and next year.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You've never seen Flaming Gorge like this

Wyomingarts sometimes posts work by Wyoming artists just because the piece brightens a windy, cold afternoon in February -- and we like looking at it.

This photograph by Larry Friedman of Green River is an example. It's of Red Canyon in Flaming Gorge south of Rock Springs/Green River. The orginal hangs in the offices of the Sweetwater County Recreation Department.

For more of Larry's work, go to

New novel by Jackson's Tina Welling

Tim Sandlin alerts us that a fellow Jacksonian, Tina Welling, has a new novel coming out this week.

Fairy Tale Blues, published by NAL/Penguin is about Annie Laurie McFall who searches for "Happily ever after" by leaving her husband temporarily on a marriage sabbatical. It's written with humor, explores the mysteries of intimacy from both the man and woman's point of view, and comes up with five marriage rules that may or may not allow Annie to return home again.

Concludes Tim: "Buy one. Buy several."

You can do just that during June. Tina will be joining Tim at the Jackson Hole Writers Conference June 25-28 at the Art Center in Jackson. Tina also will be a presenter at the annual Wyoming Writers, Inc., conference June 5-7 in Casper.

You can bring Tina (a WAC roster artist) to your town for a reading or workshop through our Arts Across Wyoming grant program. For more info, go to

Call for entries: Outdoor Arts & Crafts Show

Wyoming and Front Range artists and crafts persons are invited to participate in the Wyoming State Museum Volunteers’ 32nd Annual Outdoor Arts and Crafts Show August 15 on the grounds of the Barrett Building in Cheyenne.

One of the largest and longest running arts and crafts shows in the area, crafts persons from throughout the Rocky Mountain region participate each year. The one-day festival, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., features music, food and a variety of crafts.

Vendors wishing to participate in this year’s event can do so by sending an application and a $40 registration fee to the Wyoming State Museum Volunteers. Registration forms may be downloaded at

For participant information, please contact Carolyn at 307-632-8244,

Information about this and other State Museum programs is available by calling 777-7022.

Casper College's "King Lear" set in Middle East

The Casper College Department of Theatre and Dance presents “King Lear” on Feb. 27-28 and March 3-7 at 7:30 p.m. on the McMurry Mainstage of the Gertrude Krampert Theatre in Casper.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children/students. Two tickets may be purchased for the price of one on Tuesday and Wednesday and $2 discounts apply for groups of 20 or more.

Tickets may be purchased at the Krampert Theatre box office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. Tickets will be mailed for $1 per order.

For an illuminating article on the production, see the Feb. 25 story in the Casper Journal at

Call for entries: Riverton Art Show and Sale

The Riverton Artist Guild is now accepting entries to the Riverton National Art Show and Sale. The show will be held July 10-19 at Central Wyoming College, 2660 Peck Ave., Riverton. Entry form and fees are due by June 19. For info and entry forms, call 307-856-7574.

This show is open to all artists, 18 years of age or older. Artwork must be original and completed within the last three years (2006–present) with the exception of sculpture which must be completed within the last six years (2003–present). Artwork previously shown in our art show is not eligible.

Fee is $10.00 per entry. Up to five entries may be submitted.

Contemporary or traditional art accepted. Show committee reserves the right to refuse any art piece that may be offensive to the public

1. Abstract.
2. Portrait/ Human Form.
3 Floral/ Still Life.
4. Domestic Animals
5. Wildlife.
6. Landscape.
7. Seascape.
8. Urban. (City scenes, Market scenes, etc.)
9. Three Dimensional.

Nita Kehoe reveals "hidden parts of the human form" at LCCC Gallery exhibit

"Melancholic Gallbladder" by Nita Kehoe, Riverton

A reception for the exhibit of work by Nita Kehoe, “Blended Essentials,” will be held on Tuesday, March 3, noon, in the Esther and John Clay Fine Arts Gallery at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. Free and open to the public.

Kehoe teaches art at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.

From LCCC: "Using a variety of materials, Nita Kehoe creates forms that beautify parts of the human body that society may consider ugly and puts them in a different light."

Artist statement from Nita Kehoe’s web site:

I have always been interested in the human form and how the definition of its beauty changes with culture and time. In an effort to try to be beautiful, most of us hide the “imperfections” that we have. Since the beginning of time man has focused ridicule on these imperfections in the form of superstitions. Once such example is that the physically deformed were said to be cursed and had the ability to give the evil eye. I believe that we should reveal and embrace these wrinkles, rolls of fat, scars, etc. in a celebration of our uniqueness. This body of work is the result of research into superstitions, curses, and blessings from all over the world along with my continued research into the human form via historical anatomical illustrations. Using a variety of materials I try to create forms that beautify what society considers ugly and push into the light what is usually hidden.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chinese poetry of Li Po translated by Ezra Pound

The River-Merchant's Wife

While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chokan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.

At fifteen I stopped scowling,
I desired my dust to be mingled with yours
Forever and forever and forever.
Why should I climb the look out?

At sixteen you departed,

You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies,
And you have been gone five months.
The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead.

You dragged your feet when you went out.
By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses,
Too deep to clear them away!
The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind.
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
If you are coming down through the narrows of the river Kiang,
Please let me know beforehand,
And I will come out to meet you
As far as Cho-fu-Sa.

Chamber Music America application deadline April 3

Chamber Music America offers support to ensembles, presenters and festivals for commissioning American composers to create new chamber works. The program provides funding for the composer's fee, the ensemble's honorarium and copying costs.

CMA defines chamber music as music for small ensembles (2-10 players) whose members perform one to a part, generally without a conductor. Works may represent any of a diversity of styles, including contemporary art music, jazz, world music, and electronic music. New works created through this program must be performed a minimum of three times in the U.S.

Guidelines and application forms, in MS Word format, can be downloaded and printed from the CMA website, here )

(Applications must be submitted in hard copy.)

Deadline: Applications must be received in CMA-s offices no later than Friday, April 3, 2009, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Contact Susan Dadian, program director,
CMA Classical/Contemporary
(212) 242-2022, ext. 13 (

Chamber Music America's Commissioning Program is generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music

Precious Metal Clay workshop at The Nic

Lennie Poitras is the Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Center's Artist-of-the-Month for February. She will present a workshop Feb. 27-28 on creating jewelry using Precious Metal Clay, according to Curator of Education Linda Lyman.

Poitras - a Rio Reward Certified Artisan - specializes in Precious Metal Clay, a finely powdered silver in an organic binder with water. The material can be worked like clay, which means it can be rolled, stamped and textured as well as combined with other materials to make a variety of items such as earrings, beads or rings. "When it is fired it becomes a solid piece of silver that is .995 pure," Lyman said.

The cost of the workshop, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 28, is $90 for museum members and $110 for non-members and supplies are included.

For more information or to register, contact Lyman at (307) 235-5247 or

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"New Horizons Clarinet Tour" in Wyoming

In April, U.S. Air Force musicians from Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska, will travel to Wyoming for the “New Horizons Clarinet Tour.”

On Sunday, April 5, 3 p.m., the group will perform at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. This event is being arranged by UW music professor Jerome Fleg. On Monday, April 6, 7 p.m., the tour moves to the Platte Valley Community Center in Saratoga. Both concerts are free and open to the public. Tickets in Saratoga are on a first-come basis, and available from Stephanie Jeffers at 307-326-7822.

FMI: SSGT Crystal L. Proper at

New WAC roster artist Chuck Larsen

Cowboy poet Chuck Larsen realized he loved the horse and cow lifestyle after growing up on his Dad’s place in South Dakota, "doing it all" when it came to working livestock. He began writing and performing in 1990, and has since performed at some of the most well known gatherings in Elko, Denver and Valentine, Nebraska. One of the founding committee members for the Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering in Wyoming, he has been master of ceremonies every year since its inception six years ago. In school workshops, Chuck entertains students first, then encourages and helps them work with words and phrases to write and present their own poetry. Go to to read more of Chuck's poetry.

Blue Cowboy Moon by Chuck Larsen

Out there, darkness and moonlight intertwine.
Somewhere an old coyote howls and yips.
Layin' back I take a drink of the night,
Savor its bouquet, drinkin' in sips.

I silently toast all comrades,
Those with "Cowboy" in their soul.
Coyote cousins with the moon
Beckoned by a spur rowels toll.

Tonight I am back amongst the cattle,
Layin' back a bedroll for my bed.
Stretched out on grass and earth,
A million stars twinklin' over head.

Bone weary, sleep should come easy,
But I lay awake all open eyed.
In the moonlight the horses stand,
While moonbeams dance on shinin' hide.

I have come to do some searchin',
Call it a lackin' or call it a need.
To regain a life lost within me,
Where it lays dormant like a seed.

A sense of belongin' is buried deep,
Out here where lonely coyotes croon.
I only cowboy now when I can,
Every once in a blue moon.

The cook fire has long gone out,
The other boys lie around sleepin'.
Only the old man in the moon,
Knows the thoughts that I've been keepin'.

See I'm livin' the other life,
And I've given alot of given.
Oh it's true that I'm not dyin',
But it's true that I'm not livin'.

I'm a child of the horse and saddle,
Born to work this life I miss.
Birth rights to sun, grass and dirt,
Born to embrace the winds harsh kiss.

Tonight you'll find me amongst the cattle,
Thankful for a coyotes lonely tune.
Like me he gets drunk on the night,
Every once in a "Blue Moon."

WAC Guide to Grant Programs now online

The Wyoming Arts Council's new 2009-2010 Guide to Grant Programs book is now available on the WAC web site. It includes important information about matching funds and new grant programs, and will be current through June 30, 2010. Click here to view a printable copy of it.

If you would like a hard copy of the 60-page book, call the WAC at 307-777-7742.

Elton John performs April 3 benefit concert in Laramie for Shepard Foundation

Elton John has announced that he will perform April 3 in Laramie at UW's Arena Auditorium. It's a benefit concert for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, an organization founded by Judy Shepard after the murder of her son, Matthew.

Tickets for the Laramie show, $35-$85, will go on sale at 8 a.m. Monday at

Here's a statement about the event from Judy Shepard: "Ten years ago, Sir Elton did a concert in Laramie to benefit the Foundation. It was wonderful beyond description. He is a gracious and generous human being. We are sincerely grateful for his continuing support."

In case you're wondering, the evening concert does not conflict with any of the events at the arts symposium at the UW Conference Center April 2-4.

Deadline nears for WAC visual arts fellowships

Postmark deadline for applications to the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2009 visual arts fellowships is March 6. Printed forms have been mailed to visual artists on the WAC mailing list. Printable applications are available on the WAC web site at or on the WAC blog. You can have a paper application mailed or faxed to you by calling WAC offices in Cheyenne at 307-777-7742.

The competition is open to Wyoming residents only. You must be 18 or older. Full-time students pursuing high school, college or university art-related degrees are ineligible.

Judging the submissions will be Gina Ruggeri, a painter from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Denver’s Lawrence Argent, a sculptor and arts professor at University of Denver; and Greg Esser of Phoenix, an artist, curator and arts advocate.

This year’s judging session will be held in conjunction with “Public Art & Community: Inspiration and Reflection” April 2-4 at the UW Conference Center in Laramie. The fellowship winners will be announced at the symposium, which is co-sponsored by the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Wyoming Arts Council.

FMI: Michael Shay, 307-777-5234 or

Pianist Jeffrey Jacob debuts work by Casper College's Jianjun He

Pianist Jeffrey Jacob will debut a commissioned composition by Casper College's Jianjun He on Wednesday, March 18, 7:30 p.m., in Durham Hall, Aley Fine Arts Center, Casper College.

Here is some background information on the event from the ARTCORE web site:

Jeffrey Jacob heard a composition for flute by Casper College’s Jianjun He at a conference in Montana. He asked if Jianjun wrote for piano and, consequently, recorded one of his works on a CD which was released in Vienna. Then, Jacob commissioned Jianjun to write a work. Jacob will premiere that piece, depicting the Himalayas, in Casper in a recital which will be the prelude to the Casper College Humanities Festival and Demorest Lecture which also chose mountains for its theme. The recital also will include works by Debussy and Chopin.

Described by the Warsaw Music Journal as “unquestionably one of the greatest performers of 20th century music,” and the New York Times as “an artist of intense concentration and conviction,” Jeffrey Jacob received his education from the Juilliard School (Master of Music) and the Peabody Conservatory (Doctorate) and counts as his principal teachers, Mieczyslaw Munz, Carlo Zecchi, and Leon Fleisher. Since his debut with the London Philharmonic in Royal Festival Hall, he has appeared as piano soloist with over 20 orchestras internationally including the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Seattle, Portland, Indianapolis, Charleston, Saõ Paulo and Brazil National Symphonies, the Silesian, Moravian, North Czech, and Royal Queenstown Philharmonics.
Ticket information:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Matt Flint: New art, new website, new gallery

Matt Flint of Lander, winner of a 2008 Wyoming Arts Council visual arts fellowship, has some news:

First I have a new website at the same address but with a new look and feel. I have uploaded some new work to the site and am now able to upload content on a regular basis.

I have a new gallery representing my work as of March, Veilleux Fine Art in Santa Fe, NM. Go to I am really excited to work with Veilleux and the gallery owner is fantastic. So if you are in Santa Fe please stop in and visit.

Lastly, I have two new works. The piece shown above is a part of the "Postcards from the Wild West" Fund-raiser for the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper. For more, go to my blog at

Lucky 13: New artists selected for WAC roster

The Wyoming Arts Council is pleased to announce 13 new additions to the WAC artist roster:

1. Doug Andrews, Sheridan, vocalist
2. Julianne Couch, Laramie, non-fiction writer
3. Richard Gould, Lander, traditional hitching
4. Chuck Larsen, Saratoga, cowboy poet
5. Robert Martinez, Riverton, painter
6. Macey Mott, Jackson, theatre
7. Roy Pilcher, Devils Tower, chainsaw artist
8. Georgia Rowswell, Cheyenne, paper artist
9. Steve Schrepferman, Cody, ceramicist
10. David Shaul, Cheyenne, harpist
11. Daniel “Doc” Thissen, Laramie, photographer
12. Laurie J. Vigyikan ("V"), Cora, musician
13. Judith Weikle, Jackson, vocalist

We will profile all of these artists on the WAC blog during the next few months.

The print version of the 2009-2010 roster will be mailed in May. The on-line version will be featured on the WAC web site by June 1. Go to

"Jentel Presents" March 3 in Sheridan

Featured at Jentel Presents March 3 (left to right): Ashley Butler, Christine Bourdette, David Hicks, Lenora Ditzler, Suzanne Unrein, Mark Lavatelli

From the Jentel Foundation:

Jentel is proud to present this month’s residents in an event open to the public. "Jentel Presents" will take place Tuesday, March 3, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Sheridan College Downtown Campus on North Main Street. This month’s presenters shall include a mixed media sculptor, an essayist, a mixed media painter, a fiction writer, an encaustic painter, and an abstract painter.

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

Presenters include: Christine Bourdette, Portland, OR; A sculptor, Christine is a passionate traveler, fascinated by the mystery of individuals, the evolution of cultures and the transformative power of landscape. Ashley Butler, Austin, TX; An essayist, Ashley was born and raised in Virginia. She has a collection of essays, Dear Sound of Footstep, coming out in October 2009. Lenora Ditzler, Chicago, IL; A mixed media painter, Lenora is a painter, fisherwoman, and traveler. In between fishing jobs and travel adventures she teaches and creates art that responds to her seasonal lifestyle. David Hicks, Boulder, CO; A fiction writer, David is a native New Yorker who ten years ago saw the (sun)light and moved to Colorado. His stories have appeared in the Colorado Review and Glimmer Train. Mark Lavatelli, Buffalo, NY; Mark paints encaustic (ancient beeswax technique) tree abstractions. He lived in Dallas before Buffalo, and likes blues, golf, and teaching. He is married and has two beautiful daughters. Suzanne Unrein, New York, NY; A painter, Suzanne loves art, books, and films. She is currently working on abstracted paintings inspired by old masters. She has made films, had art in films, and recently storyboarded a film, The Open Road, with Jeff Bridges.

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

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.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Register now for Public Art Symposium

Ready to register for the symposium, "Public Art and Community: Inspiration and Reflection," at the University of Wyoming Conference Center April 2-4 in Laramie?
Printable registration forms are available at the UW Art Museum web site at

Advance registration fee (by March 15) for the entire conference is $100. Day passes also are available at $60 each.

Know a better way to spend a spring weekend?

The event is sponsored by the UW Art Museum and the Wyoming Arts Council.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Arts jobs supported in American Recovery Act

Here's the text of a letter sent 2/19/09 to all state and regional arts agencies by Johnathan Katz, CEO of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). It concerns the arts components included in Pres. Obama's "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." The Wyoming Arts Council is a NASAA member.

On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Here is language from H.R. 1 regarding the grants and administration of the National Endowment for the Arts that is pertinent to state arts agencies and the diverse constituencies they serve:

$50,000,000, to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn: Provided, That 40 percent of such funds shall be distributed to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations in a manner similar to the agency's current practice and 60 percent of such funds shall be for competitively selected arts projects and activities....

NASAA staff worked closely with the membership and our colleagues to provide decision makers with timely information clearly demonstrating how public support for the arts contributes to a healthy work force, preserves and creates jobs, and strengthens the economy overall.

By their action, members of Congress demonstrated that they got the message NASAA focused on: that an arts job supports a household and the economy just as other jobs do. Members of Congress demonstrated they understood that every state -- cities, suburbs and rural areas -- benefits when performing visual, literary and media artists, stage managers, sound and lighting technicians, marketing staff, costume designers, carpenters, electricians and those who teach the arts-as well as employees of the companies, concert halls, restaurants, ticket sellers and tour operators who depend on them-bring paychecks home to their families.

NASAA members believe that broad and deep participation in the arts is best supported at the federal level by a combination of direct grant making and grant-making through states. The specific allocation of $20 million to state arts agencies and their consortia verifies that Congressional leaders agree. Members of Congress demonstrated they understood that the portion of federal dollars that goes through state arts agencies can be targeted efficiently to those local places where jobs can be saved and created, can reach deeply into local communities and school systems, can assist arts organizations to make it through the recession and artists to market their products and services.

NASAA staff asked you several times in the past few weeks to communicate to your representatives the cultural needs of your state, the vision of your agency for your state's cultural life, and what they had to do in this economic environment to keep that vision alive. You did it. Congratulations!

In the days and weeks ahead, NASAA will work with our NEA colleagues to keep you informed of the range of opportunities for you and your constituents to participate in the programs funded by the stimulus bill-including updates on the timing and process for the distribution of stimulus funds slated for state and regional arts agencies.

Working together through NASAA, state arts agencies will do their part to assist the recovery of-and reinvestment in-the American economy.

Thank you for your public service and for your active participation in the federal budget process.

Reporter T.R. Reid addresses health care

On Friday, March 20, 7-8 p.m., Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid will talk about "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care" at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson. This event is free and open to the public.

Reid has a book coming out later this year entitled "The Healing of America." He's a frequent guest on NPR’s Morning Edition, and his recent work on health care has been featured in the 2008 documentary “Sick Around the World,” and the upcoming film “Sick Around America.”

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

We invite you to "Inspiration & Reflection"

The University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Wyoming Arts Council have joined forces to co-sponsor "Public Art and Community: Inspiration and Reflection" April 2-4 at the UW Conference Center in Laramie.

Ten of the artists in "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" will present sessions on their work. Nearly 30 additional presenters will discuss other public art programs in Wyoming, various aspects of planning and installing the sculpture exhibition in Laramie, how the exhibition has been used in the classroom, and offer creative responses to the sculpture.

The symposium also offers opportunities for Wyoming’s artists to gather for the announcement of the Wyoming Arts Council’s Visual Arts Fellowship Awards and to participate in roundtable discussions with Wyoming Arts Council staff to discuss WAC programs and artists’ needs.

Two sessions of the symposium on Thursday, April 2, are free and open to the public:

Art Slam features internationally renowned artists John Henry, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Jesús Moroles in a discussion about their work. A special opportunity for any conference attendee to share their creative work or information about the arts in their communities will follow.
20:20 is an exciting and energetic format whereby presenters will be able to show 20 images for 20 seconds for each image in a PowerPoint presentation. Advance sign-up is required for artists and organizational representatives who wish to contribute to this kaleidoscopic view of the arts in Wyoming.

Presenters will include artists John Henry, Jesús Moroles, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Steven Siegel, Charmaine Locke, James Surls, Charles Parson, Carl Reed, Linda Fleming, and Stan Dolega; Wyoming Fellowship jurors Lawrence Argent and Greg Esser; Phil Harris, UW VP Administration; Howard Major, Dean, Art & Humanities, Laramie County Community College; Pam Wolfe, Chair, Green River Arts Council; Nita Kehoe, Professor of Art, Central Wyoming College, Riverton; Melanie Howlett, Art Teacher, Starrett Junior High School, Lander; Duane Evenson, Mayor, Gillette; Ben Hornok, Haselden Construction; Terry Cooper, ARK; UW Faculty Harvey Hix, Margaret Wilson, Rod Garnett, Ashley Hope Carlisle, David Jones, Allen Trent, and Peter Moran; UW students Travis Ivey and Jedadiah Cracco; Rachael Sisneros, Joe Sanchez, Albert Haskins and Pat Jones, UW Physical Plant; and more.

Registration for the symposium is now open. Forms may be downloaded from the UW Art Museum webpage at or may be requested by calling the Art Museum, 307-766-6622 or the Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-7742. Early bird registration ends March 15, 2009. A special rate for students is also available.

The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 Willett Dr in Laramie. The museum and Museum Store are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

FMI: 307-766-6622,,

PHOTO: Ursula von Rydingsvard's "Doolin Doolin" on the sculpture terrace of the UW Art Museum. Photo courtesy of the UW Art Museum.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Buffalo Bill Band recreates "Wild West" music

Mike Masterson, chair of the Northwest College Visual and Performing Arts Division in Powell and former Wyoming Arts Council board member, performs with a group of musicians that recreates the repertoire featured in performances of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show more than 100 years ago.

Here are some excerpts of a story about the group from the Billings Gazette by Ruffin Prevost:

"It was the Wild West show and Buffalo Bill that brought that notion of what an American citizen was like to the rest of the world, and the music was a big part of that," said Masterson, a trombonist and music instructor who also teaches music history.

Masterson has spent more than 20 years researching the music from the Wild West show, visiting spots as diverse as Circus World Museum in Wisconsin and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

"I've tracked a lot of it down by reading through old newspapers and programs. There is a long list of music that was played," Masterson said. The show included a mix of popular tunes that were familiar to audiences and songs arranged specifically for featured action in the arena. A brass band of about two dozen musicians typically played throughout the two-hour show, as well as before and after the show.

Because the Wild West began before effective recording or electrified amplification, it relied on an engaging live band to help set the tone for performances, Masterson said.

"They tried to match up with the emotional content, like a soundtrack in a movie today," he said.

Masterson will lead the Buffalo Bill Band on March 20 in Denver, during a featured performance for the annual conference of the Society for American Music. Paul Fees, a historian and former curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the BBHC in Cody, will narrate the performance, offering historical context and a slide show of images from the Wild West show. The band also plays March 18 at Northwest College and March 19 at Casper College.

P.S.: William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody's birthday is Feb. 26. He was born just west of the Mississippi River near LeClaire, Iowa in 1846.

Call for entries: "Reclaiming Our Voices"

Entries are due March 20 for "Reclaiming Our Voices," a juried art show focusing on the artistic representation of the effects of sexual and domestic violence on the community at large. The show will be exhibited April 6-17 in the Exit Gallery, SUB Room 212, on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman.

Two- and three-dimensional work accepted. Each artist can enter up to three images on CD. Entry fee is $5.

FMI: ASMSU Arts & Exhibits, ATTN: Stacey Ray, SUB 221, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.

Japanese Film Fest in Cheyenne & Laramie

The Japan-America Society of Wyoming (JASWY) will hold its third Japanese Film Festival at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne on Feb.28 and at the University of Wyoming in Laramie on March 7. Free Admission.

On Saturday, Feb. 28, in CCI Building, Room 120, at LCCC: "Hula Girls" (see photo), 1:30 p.m. "Always: Sunset on 3rd Street," 7 p.m.

On Saturday, March 7, at UW, Classroom Building Room 133, Laramie, "Always: Sunset on 3rd Street 2" (the sequel), 1:30 p.m.; "Hula Girls," 7 p.m.


Call for entries: Wyoming Short Film Contest

From Colin Stricklin at the Wyoming Film Commission:

With a grand prize of $25,000 and a winner announced each May, the Wyoming Short Film Contest offers filmmakers an excellent reason to
shoot the Cowboy State. The only requirement for entrants is that the film take place in Wyoming, feature Wyoming, or present Wyoming as a major character in the storyline. For more information and to view past winners, visit our blog at
Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2009.

FMI: Colin Stricklin, Film, Arts, & Entertainment Specialist, Wyoming Travel and Tourism, 307.777.2854 or

Children's art show accepting entries

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Musser Fund offers grants for collaborations

From a press release:

The Laura Jane Musser Fund offers grants.

In recognition of Laura Jane Musser's life-long commitment to excellence in the arts, and with awareness that pivotal and life-changing experience can occur for individuals through introduction to and participation in the arts. The Laura Jane Musser Fund hopes to encourage and excite a wider population to appreciate, learn, and participate in the arts.

In pursuit of this goal, the Musser Fund hopes to assist nonprofit arts organizations to develop, implement or sustain exceptional artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music and performing arts.

Grants are given to organizations in the following states: Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Wyoming and Michigan.

The Musser Fund is interested in funding arts collaborations.

Collaborations of an arts organization with other nonprofits or schools to educate, enrich, and provide participatory arts activities for their community. The Musser Directors are interested in supporting projects where these collaborations spark a new interest or dynamic quality in the art organization and in the community.
Priority will be given to projects that engage participants in the creation of art.
Priority will be given to collaborations that offer opportunities for more in-depth participation in the creation of art, and to those collaborations that unfold over longer periods of time.
Applicants may apply for up to $10,000.
Applications must come from arts organizations with operating budgets of $3 million or less.
Grants are for one year only and will not be eligible for additional Musser support for two years -the grant period.
Proposals must demonstrate that both partners are involved in planning and implementation of the collaboration.

Deadline is March 2, 2009.

FMI: 612-825-2024

"portraits [in]justice" exhibit opens March 7

Press release from the KEAG Gallery in Laramie:

The opening reception for "portraits [in]justice: facing social justice issues in post-war Liberia" is Saturday, March 7, 6-8 p.m. at Laramie's KEAG Gallery.

The exhibit features the photography of Jeminie Shell who, during the summer of 2008, was immersed in the politics, culture, and chaos of post-war Liberia. She spent nine weeks in the capital city and traveled into the country's rural areas as an intern with DUCOR Waste Management, an organization that works to improve the poor environmental health conditions contributing to Liberia's horrible health and mortality statistics.

Jeminie's portraits reveal the beauty and resilience of the poorest populations of Liberia as they face day-to-day social and environmental injustices and work to slowly improve their lives in post-war Liberia.A portion of the proceeds from this exhibit will be donated to water and sanitation projects in Liberia.

The exhibit will be open through March 31. KEAG is open Thursday through Saturday, noon to 5:30 and by appointment.

FMI: Sarah Ramsey-Walters, KEAG Gallery, 414 Grand Avenue, Laramie; 307-745-3308;

Cheyenne hosts "Black History Celebration"

The Cheyenne Depot Museum and Love & Charity Club are co-hosting thier first Black History Celebration. There are three main events which are all free to the public. All of the events will be held in the lobby of the Cheyenne Depot Museum in downtown Cheyenne.

It begins Friday, February 20, with a "Fashionable Tale of Black History." Local youths will be modeling authentic and reproduction costumes from the 1700s to today. Each of the youths will be making a presentation about his or her costume and the era that the costume represents. The Fashionable Tale of Black History will be held from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The second event – a Black History Presentation - will be held on Tuesday, February 24 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The Love & Charity Club will be displaying original art, a black doll collection, black inventions over time and providing a talk on Black History.

From February 20-27, the "Images of Black Wyoming" display from the American Heritage Center (University of Wyoming) will be available for viewing in the lobby of the Depot. This exhibit represents “a few of the noteworthy stories of African-Americans who have been influential in the State of Wyoming."

The Black History Celebration is supported in part by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council, through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature. This event is also sponsored by the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority and the Wyoming Humanities Council.

For more information on this event, please contact Pam Crochet, Events Coordinator for the Cheyenne Depot Museum, at 307-632-3905, or go to the web site at

Meet Lawrence Argent, fellowship juror

Schooled in classical sculpture, Lawrence Argent may best be known for his huge blue bear sculpture at the Denver Convention Center. This painter, public artist and arts professor spent January building an ice sculpture for Vail's Winterfest. Lawrence served as a juror for last year's visual arts fellowships and returns in that role -- and will speak at the UW Art Museum's Public Arts Symposium April 3-4.

Here's a short bio:

LAWRENCE ARGENT was born in England and educated in sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, and has a MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the Colo. Council on the Arts; the Core Fellowship at the Fine Arts Museum, Houston; and has been an artist in residence at the John Michael Kohler Foundation. He is Professor of Art at the University of Denver, and was awarded the Distinguished Scholar award in 2002. He has exhibited internationally and is working on public art projects around the U.S. His art encompasses a breadth of form and materials, enveloping each with a path of consciousness through which the physical promotes the non-physical and the sublime emerges as a vehicle laying a slippery foundation in the gap between stimulus and response. Web site:

Find a printable fellowship application form at

Photo: Lawrence Argent's sculpture, "I See What You Mean," at the Denver Convention Center.

We dream of Bosler when we close our eyes

Doesn't everyone? That's for Jalan Crossland's fans in Bosler and all over the state.

The Ten Sleep musician and his band will be performing at the Rock Creek Wild! concert on Saturday, February 21, at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper. Jalan joins the Chad Lore Band of Casper for this concert to benefit the the Wyoming Wilderness Association. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

The Parkway Plaza is giving concert goers a discounted room rate of only $60 per night. When booking a room, be sure to mention the Wyoming Wilderness Association to receive this discounted rate. This rate applies to both Friday and Saturday night.

The concert proceeds will benefit WWA's
Rock Creek campaign.

Humanities Council seeks board nominations

Jenny Ingram sends us news from the Wyoming Hunmanities Council:

The Wyoming Humanities Council is currently seeking nominations for membership on its board of directors. The council’s board is composed of 20 volunteers with interest and expertise in the humanities. With primary funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the council sponsors grants and programs that explore and enrich the human experience.

Board members are elected from the general public. The council seeks a diverse board that represents balanced geographic, ethnic, age, gender and professional backgrounds. Availability of board member positions is variable from year to year depending on needs for balance, and routine attrition and renewal of board member terms.

The council accepts board member nominations all year long. Self-nominations are accepted. An application form is available at or
from the office of the Wyoming Humanities Council by calling 721-9243 or

"Taking Chance" debuts in Dubois Feb. 18

Reporter Addie Goss reports this on Wyoming Public Radio:

A film about a Wyoming soldier killed in action in Iraq will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Dubois. The HBO film "Taking Chance" tells the story of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, who died in 2004 while defending the rest of his convoy during a firefight outside of Baghdad. His body was escorted home to Dubois by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Strobl. Strobl says that journey was a remarkable one: "From the hearse drivers or the flight attendants or the cargo handlers, the ticketing agents, the pilots, they all were very moved by Chance and his sacrifice." The film chronicles that journey. It will be screened at Dubois High School on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle features reporter Karen Cotton interviewed actor Kevin Bacon (shown in HBO photo above), Lt. Col. Strobl and Chance's father, artist John Phelps, in a series of articles that you can read on her blog at

"Secret Spy" journal class at AVA

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Artful Governor" clip from Len Edgerly

Wyomingarts was on hand to schmooze with friends and colleagues at the 27th annual Governor's Arts Awards at Little America on Friday. Some 400 people made it to the event through freezing fog and snow and icy roads. It was great to see Len Edgerly, formerly of Casper and now of Denver and Cambridge, Mass. Len is a poet and fervent arts supporter. He won a creative writing fellowship from the WAC in the 1990s and once was a WAC board member. Len also reports on the latest doings in Kindle World (Kindle, the e-book reader) and posts podcasts and videos on his lenchronicles blog. He had his handy palm-sized HD digicam with him Friday. Here's a short clip of his entitled "Wyoming's Artful Governor":

Friday, February 13, 2009

Music from Ghosts of Predators Past

Wyomingarts heard a great song by Laramie band Ghosts of Predators Past on WPR's Morning Music show earlier this week. Tune was called "Jeffrey City," named for the almost-ghost-town along Hwy. 287 in southeast Fremont County. Their 2008 album is called "Mr. Sunshine Strikes Again." You can check out some of the group's music at its MySpace page at

Meet Gina Ruggeri, visual arts fellowship juror

Installation view of Gina Ruggeri's work at an exhibition at the Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, February-March 2008. The paintings shown (left to right) are Darktrunk, Treetrunk and Turfwave. All are acrylic on mylar cut-outs (various sizes).

GINA RUGGERI, Brooklyn, N.Y., is a painter and visiting professor in the Vassar College art department in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

She has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Va., the Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Red Dot in New York City and the Tenri Biennale in Tenri, Japan. Her work has been in a number of group shows, most recently in “Hyper-Nature,” SPACES Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio; “The Outer Space,” curated by Pedro Barbeito, Pluto Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y.; “Primary,” William Paterson University, Wayne, N.J.; “Running Around the Pool,” Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, Fla.; “Paper Now,” I-Space, Chicago; “The Eclectic Eye,” Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.

She’s received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Jentel in Wyoming. Gina received her MFA at the Yale School of Art.

She grew up in Milwaukee and got to know Wyoming on summer trips with her father, who performed with the Grand Teton Music Festival. Web site:

Arts funding remains in stimulus bill

The following "Legislative Alert" comes to us from Thomas L. Birch, Legislative Counsel for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. The Wyoming Arts Council is a NASAA member.

The Senate and House of Representatives are set to vote on final passage of the economic stimulus legislation – H.R.1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – which includes $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The compromise version of the bill with tax breaks and spending totaling $789 billion stipulates that the arts funding goes for grants to activities and projects “which preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn”, with 40 percent of the amount going to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations (“in a manner similar to the agency’s current practice”) and the remainder going out in competitive grants from the NEA. Matching requirements are waived.

House and Senate negotiators on the bill dropped the language prohibiting stimulus funds from going to museums, theatres, and arts centers which was included in the version of the bill passed by the Senate. However, the legislation still excludes support from going to fund projects at zoos and aquariums along with casinos, golf courses and swimming pools.

Congratulations and appreciation to all of you who contacted your legislators in Washington urging their support for the arts funding in the stimulus package. The House allocated the money for the NEA from the beginning of the process, but the Senate did not include the arts funding in its draft of the stimulus bill. Your advocacy and the insistence of our champions in the House and Senate made the difference.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet Greg Esser, visual arts fellowship juror

The Wyoming Arts Council is bringing in three great jurors for the 2009 visual arts fellowships. The adjudication will take place on Thursday, April 2, at the UW Conference Center in Laramie. While the jurors are making their decisions, registration for the Public Art Symposium: Inspiration and Reflection, will be going on from 1-5 p.m. in the Conference Center. The symposium's kick-off reception starts at 5 p.m. To register for the symposium, call the WAC at 307-777-7742 and we'll mail you a form. They're also available through the UW Art Museum.

Over the next week, we'll introduce to you our three jurors. Greg Esser of Phoenix will serve as a juror and speak at the symposium. Here's some info on Greg:

GREG ESSER (shown in photo) is an artist, advocate, and writer living in Phoenix, Arizona. He directed the public art program for the City of Phoenix from 1996 to 2004. In addition to serving as chair of the Public Art Interest Area and a co-founder of the Public Art Network, he served for two years as the Public Art Manager for Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading arts advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. He has developed numerous artist studio and exhibition spaces in downtown Phoenix including eye lounge gallery, 515 Arts, Sixth Street Studios and MADE Art Boutique. He is a founding member and the current chairman of the Evans Churchill Community Association and president of the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. Greg speaks internationally on public art and the role of artists in community revitalization. His writing has appeared in publications such as Art Papers, Public Art Review, Java Magazine, and Downtown Phoenix. His artwork is represented in public and private collections. He received a BFA in art and social change at Oberlin College and a MFA in intermedia at Arizona State University. Web site:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Salter coming to UW

The marvelous writer James Salter (r) will visit UW on Wednesday March 4th, for a reading and booksigning at 7:00 p.m. at Second Story Bookstore in Laramie. There will be more details about his visit at a later date.

Also, fiction writer Jennifer Davis and poet Jake York will read in Mathison Library on February 17th at 6 pm.

Tips on selling work to national parks

Wyoming authors, artists and crafters might find this conference helpful:

Attend the Annual GRO-Biz Procurement Conference to learn about the procurement process from experts such as Jeff Sneddon who currently serves as the Northern Rockies Major Acquisition Buying Office (MABO) Lead Contracting Officer, located in Yellowstone National Park. The Northern Rockies MABO consists of twelve National Park Service locations in Wyoming, Montana, and Northern Utah. Jeff has a procurement certification at the FAC-C Level III with a $20,000,000 level Certificate of Appointment (Warrant).

Jeff is the keynote speaker for lunch on Feb. 19. Don't miss a chance to speak with him about your small business.

The GRO-Biz Annual Conference will be held Feb. 18-19 at the Holiday Inn in Cody. Pre-conference workshops will be held on Feb. 17.

For more information or to register for this event, visit

Listen to legislator debates

Here's the website for the state legislature listing all sorts of links. You can also listen to archived podcasts -- debates of bills.

About Abraham Lincoln

From one of my fellow graduate students -- This website will take you to The Economist's 1860-1865 coverage of Abraham Lincoln's election, assasination, and a retrospective briefly after (from their archives).

Call for entries: Spraygraphic poster show is calling for designers and artists to submit original posters for your favorite local bands from around the world.

According to a Spraygraphic release:

This show wants to showcase both the artist and the musicians they love by asking designers and artists to create a poster for their favorite local band. We expect to end up with a gallery full of diverse, compelling, and fresh posters from all over the world. More importanly, each poster helps support and spread the word about the hardworking local bands out there trying to make ends meet with their love for music. The show will be at Hoodlums Records in Tempe, Ariz., on March 28, 2009.

The deadline for entry is March 25, 2009. THERE IS NO ENTRY FEE!!!

Submission guidelines:

Poet Evie Shockley at UW Feb. 23-26

Poet Evie Shockley will participate in the UW Creative Writing MFA Program’s Visiting Writers Series on Monday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at Second Story Books, 105 Ivinson Avenue, Laramie. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a book-signing with the author after the reading.

Shockley is the author of a half-red sea (2006) and the chapbook The Gorgon Goddess (2001), both published by Carolina Wren Press, and a second chapbook, 31 words -- prose poems (2007), published by Belladonna Books. Her poetry has also appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.

The critic Nancy Kuhl has said of Shockley’s full-length collection, "united by a voice that is both sure and supple, the poems here consider individual and collective American histories through a complex of lenses; matters of sex, race, culture, nationalism, and power are turned in the poet’s hands, revealing smooth planes and sharp edges. The result of Shockley’s attentiveness to language and to a complicated cultural and emotional record is a moving and surprising book that is ‘prickly with bloodless truths.’"

Shockley is also a literary scholar and critic.

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Shockley now lives in Jersey City, N.J., and teaches African American literature and poetry at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

FMI: Contact Beth Loffreda at

Shockley will also participate in UW's "Teaching Creativity" conference Feb. 24-26.

"Naturally Nude" exhibit at Ciao Gallery

Ciao Gallery in Wilson invites you to the opening of its "Naturally Nude" show on Saturday, Feb. 14, 6 p.m. The gallery says that "Ciao is celebrating Valentine's Day with the 2nd annual Naturally Nude show. Join us on Saturday 2/14 from 6-9."


Kevin Holdsworth reads at Depot Museum

Kevin Holdsworth, winner of a 2009 creative writing fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council, will read from his work on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m., as part of the Cheyenne Depot Museum's Literary/Historical Series. The event is free and open to the public, and supported by a WAC grant.

Kevin is from Green River. His manuscript, “Silver Wings,” was selected for the fiction fellowship by novelist and short story writer Laura Pritchett of Colorado.

For more info about the Depot Museum series, contact Pam Crochet at 307-632-3905.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Call for entries: CHEST

CHEST, the Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, invites submissions of up to 3 previously unpublished, quality poems, maximum 40 lines, on subjects of some medical relevance. CHEST, with a subscriber base of 22,000 readers, just launched this new poetry section in January. E-mail submissions to

Call for entries: Carbon Co. (Mont.) Arts Guild

Carbon County Arts Guild in Red Lodge, Mont., announces a call to artists for the 2009 Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition.

This competition is open to all residents of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Idaho.

Artwork in the form of oils, watercolor, mixed media, graphite, and small 3-D scupture will be accepted. No photography, prints or crafts.

Awards valued at $850 will be distributed as follows: 1st - $500, 2nd - $200, 3rd - $100, 4th - $50, and 8 honorable mentions.The entry fee is is $30 for the first 3 entries and $5 for each additional entry.

Sue Simpson Gallagher of the Simpson Gallagher Gallery in Cody, Wyoming, will be the the juror.

All Arts Guild members will receive an application to this competition in the mail. If you are not a member and would like to enter this competition, please call 406-446-1370.

Romantic jazz at Coffee Friends in Gillette

Glass art on display through Feb. 15

Don't miss the final five days of the "Glass Art Celebration" at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

Wyoming's largest glass art show will be exhibited through Sunday, Feb. 15. Hours on Monday through Friday are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Alaska Museum looking for "anything fishy"

The Cordova, Alaska, Historical Museum hosts a juried national art show entitled "Fish Follies." Artists 18 years and older are invited to submit their work on "anything fishy -- oceans, water, fishing or seafood."

Postmark deadline is April 25. Exhibition dates are June 3-Aug. 27. Entry fee is $25, and you may submit up to two images.

Juror for the competition is Mike Webber, an Alaskan native or Alutiiq and Tlingit heritage.

FMI: 907-424-6665 or

Western Spirit Show kicks off on March 7

The 2009 Western Spirit Art Show and Sale will be held March 7-April 19 at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum in Cheyenne.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for museum members, $30 for non-members. A "QuickDraw" will be beld from 7-8 p.m.

During the day on March 7, a series of artist workshops will be held at the museum.

FMI: Kristin Ruck, 307-778-7289.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Artists make bowls to benefit homeless

The third annual Empty Bowls event is set for Monday, April 27, at the Holiday Inn, 204 West Fox Farm Road, Cheyenne, to benefit the COMEA House homeless shelter.

Cheyenne school children and youth, and local and national professional artists will create and decorate bowls that will be filled with a hearty soup, for the tax-deducible price of admission of $10. The soup will be accompanied with bread and a beverage.

The event is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and includes a silent auction, entertainment, and a keynote address by Wyoming’s First Lady, Nancy Fruedenthal.

Empty Bowls was begun by junior high school teachers three years ago to help raise awareness of poverty in Cheyenne.

The COMEA House provides temporary emergency shelter to single men and women, and short-term shelter for families with the support of United Way of Laramie County, the City of Cheyenne, federal funding, and a variety of local agencies, businesses, churches and individuals. The COMEA House also operates a Transitional Living Program for clients needing housing support as they transition into self-sufficiency.

The tax-deductible support of the COMEA House through Empty Bowls will help the shelter to give a "hand up" to people who find themselves without a home.

For more information concerning Empty Bowls, visit

For more information about COMEA House or about a donation, contact Executive Director Teresa Garrido at (307) 632-3174 or

Wyo. Public Radio features C.J. Box

On Friday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m., tune into Wyoming Public Radio (91.9 FM in Cheyenne and Laramie) or go to for an hour-long conversation (and some great tunes) between best-selling Wyoming mystery writer C.J. Box and WPR Music Director Grady Kirkpatrick.

C.J.'s new novel, "Three Weeks to Say Goodbye," was released in January. His 2008 novel, "Blue Heaven," has been nominated for an Edgar Award.

Knit-in planned for UW on Feb. 16

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Center for Volunteer Service will host its first knit-in, an evening dedicated to making wearable crafts for children in need, Monday, Feb. 16, from 5-9 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Family Room in Laramie.

Participants will knit, crochet and hand-stitch hats, scarves and gloves to donate to the Linford School in West Laramie. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Snacks, coffee and tea will be provided.

This event is BYOY (Bring Your Own Yarn). Participants are also asked to bring donations of pre-fabricated children's winter wear.

Everyone, regardless of ability, is encouraged to attend. Instruction, sample patterns, limited practice yarn, needles and hooks will be provided for beginners.

"Not everyone will finish a project at this event and that's fine," says Katie Kleinhesselink, program coordinator for the UW Center for Volunteer Service. "A knit-in is just as much about creating community as it is creating products."

FMI: Kleinhesselink at (307) 766-6871 or e-mail her at

Tom Rush launches tour for new CD

Legendary singer/songwriter Tom Rush (formerly of Jackson) kicks off a tour for “What I Know,” his first full-length studio album in more than 30 years with stops in neighboring states Colorado and Idaho. Here are the February dates:

Feb. 18 - Crested Butte, CO -
Center for the Arts - 8 PM
Feb. 19 - Aspen, CO - Wheeler Opera House - 8 PM
Feb. 20 - Denver, CO - Swallow Hill/Daniels Hall - 8 PM
Feb. 21 - Blackfoot, ID - Blackfoot Performing Arts Center -7:30 PM

For a complete list of tour dates, click here:

The official CD release date from Appleseed Recordings is Feb. 24. Here’s part of a press release:

Rush offers up an inspired fifteen track CD of songs handpicked by the artist and producer Jim Rooney and recorded in Nashville. The album is built upon Rush's uncanny ability to deliver emotionally charged narratives and deft performances on a joyous album that features stunning collaborations with Emmylou Harris, Nanci Griffith and Bonnie Bramlett.

In addition to his contributions to the folk rock music scenes of Boston and New York in the 1960s and being credited with introducing the world to the songs of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Jackson Browne through his interpretations, Rush continues to be instrumental in championing newcomers to the singer-songwriter community via his Club 47 Music Series -- which has been host to Allison Krauss, Shawn Colvin and many notable others.

Governor's Capitol Art Exhibit deadline Friday

Our SPCR colleague, Sue Castaneda, reminds Wyoming artists that the application deadline (postmark) is Friday, Feb. 13, for the 9th Annual Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition.

All artists living and working in Wyoming are invited to enter this juried competition. Selected pieces will be on display in the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne from April 20 through June 6. Additionally, all work submitted must be for sale with a maximum price of $5,000. Gov. Dave Freudenthal will present more than $10,000 in anticipated purchase awards at a public reception on May 1. Juror’s Choice and People’s Choice awards will also be presented.

Persons wishing to apply for the exhibit and/or Artist Image Registry can download applications from the Wyoming State Museum or call Sue Castaneda at 307--777-5810. Neither application requires an entry fee.

Registration info on UW Art Symposium

The UW Art Museum blog has released details about "Public Art and Community: Inspiration and Reflection," a symposium for artists, community leaders, students, and the public, at the UW Conference Center in Laramie April 2-4. The registration form will be posted to the UW Art Museum blog (and this one) by Friday, Feb. 13.

Advance Registration (postmark March 15, 2009) for the full conference (includes opening and closing receptions and two lunches) will be $100. A one-day ticket (includes opening OR closing reception and lunch) will be $60.

Regular Registration (postmark after March 15, 2009 and on-site) for the full conference (includes opening and closing receptions and two lunches) will be $125. One-day tickets (includes opening OR closing reception and lunch) will be $75.

Student Registration (copy of photo ID required) for the full conference (includes opening and closing receptions and two lunches) will be $50. One-day (includes opening OR closing reception and lunch) will be $30.

Hilton Garden Inn, 2229, Grand Ave, Laramie, WY 82072; $99 plus tax/night; includes hot breakfast in the American Grill Restaurant, 307-745-5500; request Sculpture Symposium Room Block Reserve by March 3, 2009
AmericInn Lodge and Suites, 4712 E Grand Ave, Laramie, WY 82070, $84 plus tax/night; includes hot breakfast, 307-745-0777; request Sculpture Symposium Room Block Reserve by March 3.
Baymont Inn, 1655 Centennial Drive, Laramie, WY 82070, $70 plus tax/night, Reserve by March 10; 307-742-6665; request Sculpture Symposium Room Block.

Friday, February 6, 2009

HB0218 update--passes first reading

HB0218 was read in the House this afternoon (ended 5 minutes ago, in fact). Rep. Harvey gave a nice introduction, and Rep. Craft spoke passionately in favor of the bill. She particularly complimented the teacher groups for all coming and supporting each other.

Rep. Harshman brought an amendment, ultimately withdrawn, which would remove foreign languages (and the arts) from the Hathaway altogether, saying that doing so would return the Hathaway to how it was originally intended to be. He said twice that HB0218 is a "special interest" bill. This amendment was withdrawn, but Rep. Harshman said he would introduce it again on Second Reading.

The bill did pass first reading. Second reading is likely to be Monday or Tuesday.

Have a nice weekend!

Call for entries: Open Minds Quarterly

Diane Laprairie, editor of Open Minds Quarterly, sends this announcement:

It's that time again, when poets pick up their pencils and enter the BrainStorm Poetry Contest for individuals living with mental illness. You can join in, too, by entering your best poetry by March 20, 2009. The top three poems, judged by a panel of mental health consumers and family members with literary interests, will be awarded prizes and be published in Open Minds Quarterly, a literary journal dedicated to publishing the writing of individuals living with mental illness.

Rules and entry form are available at or by calling 1-705-675-9193, ext. 8286.

The BrainStorm Poetry Contest is organized by Northern Initiative for Social Action, a consumer-run mental health organization in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. We offer a number
of occupational opportunities for people living with mental illness to focus on their own individual talents and gifts.

The BrainStorm Contest is intended as a fundraiser for NISA's psychosocial literary magazine
Open Minds Quarterly, as well as a way to support other consumer/survivors by awarding prizes to the top three winners. Prizes are $250 for first place, $150 for second place, and $75 for third place.