Monday, August 31, 2009

Paintings by interned World War II veteran featured at Western Heritage Center in Billings

Paintings by Montana's Ben Steele documenting his experiences in Japanese concentration camps during World War II will be on display through Sept. 19 at the Western Heritage Center, 2822 Montana Avenue, Billings, Mont.

Here's some background on Steele featured in the Billings Gazette:

Ben Steele, of Billings, Mont., was one of thousands of American soldiers captured in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II. His three and one half years as a prisoner of war began with the infamous "Bataan Death March," a 60-mile march that occurred after the three-month Battle of Bataan, part of the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42). He was later interned under the severe conditions of several Japanese labor camps. His captivity ended after working in a Japanese coal mine less than 80 miles from the ground zero of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

During his internment, he began drawing images that recorded the extent of human degradation. The consequences of being caught making these drawings could have resulted in severe punishment or execution. He did drawings on whatever scraps of paper he could find and with whatever he could use to make a mark. The drawings were hidden and kept, but all but two were destroyed in the sinking of a transport boat that was taking the prisoners to the Japanese Mainland. Steele then produced more drawings and several oil paintings that graphically document the suffering shared by the prisoners.

Several of the larger oil paintings will be on display at the Western Heritage Center this summer. Tears in the Darkness, a new book featuring Steele’s life story, written by Michael and Elizabeth Norman, has been receiving national acclaim and Steele was recently interviewed by the New York Times and Washington Post.


"Cowboys & Outlaws" airs on History Channel

Cheyenne actor, playwright and teacher Rory Mack sends this news:

These are the dates for the Tom Horn and Cattle Kate documentaries that the History Channel filmed parts of here in Cheyenne. Several locals were included in the filming (including yours truly). Should be fun to see!

Conor McCarthy sent this update:

We have officially received the airdates for the History series "Cowboys and Outlaws" a.k.a., "The Real Cowboys". Thanks again for all you hard work and please check with others you know who were involved.

The shows appear to have been blocked in three 2-hour specials, but I do not know the order in which they will air.

"Cowboys and Outlaws" schedule (subject to change, so please continue to check for updates on

November 22, 9-11 p.m.
November 29, 9-11 p.m.
December 6, 9-11 p.m.

I'm assuming these are EST. Check out the History Channel web site for details.

Accreditation Celebration at NIC today

Holly Turner, director of the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper, sends this invitation:

Please join us Monday (today) between noon and 7 p.m. for Accreditation Celebration Day!

We will be celebrating the museum's recent accreditation by the American Association of Museums. We will be offering all visitors:
  • A first glimpse at the 24th annual Rocky Mountain Invitational Exhibition,features 85 works by about 60 artists from across the region
  • Special “behind the scenes tours” of the museum – at 2, 4 and 6 p.m.
  • A free gift for the first 50 visitors through the doors
  • Chances to win museum memberships and other great prizes
  • In the Discovery Center, Preschool Picassos (which is held from 1-2 p.m.) will be free
  • Free ongoing, silk screen printing workshop in the Discovery Center
  • Chance to enter prize drawing in The Museum Shop at the NIC

Says Holly: “We hope everyone will drop by, for a few minutes at least, to have a cookie with us, enjoy the art and see why the NIC has earned the highest national recognition for a museum.”

Call for entries: AVA Center Mini Show

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Join Sept. 17 camera safari to the Tetons

From a press release:

Wildlife artists Lindsay Scott and Leo E. Osborne will accompany a unique ‘Mini Safari’ into Grand Teton National Park on Thursday, September 17. The early morning camera safari – led by Wildlife Expeditions, a division of non-profit Teton Science Schools – is part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Western Visions fundraiser, for which Scott and Osborne are 2009 Featured Artists. Guests will enjoy firsthand advice and commentary from the artists as they travel by customized safari-style vehicles through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, experiencing a variety of native birds and animals during prime early morning viewing hours.

The Mini Safari takes place from 6:30-11 a.m. on September 17, departing from the museum, 2.5 miles north of Jackson. Tickets for the event are $125 for museum members, $150 for non-members; call 307.732.5412 to register. A discounted lunch will be available in the Rising Sage Café at the museum following the trip. Western Visions is the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s largest annual fundraiser. Signature Western Visions events including the 22nd Annual Wild West Artist Party, also on September 17, and the 22nd Annual Miniatures and More Show & Sale, September 18, coincide with the popular Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

In addition to their Mini Safari participation, New Zealand-based painter and conservationist Lindsay Scott and U.S. sculptor Leo E. Osborne will present live demonstrations, participate in a Featured Artists Panel Discussion, and have specially created pieces sold at live auction during the Miniatures and More Show & Sale, September 18. For a full schedule of Western Visions events, visit

A member of Museums West and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe and has been featured in media including the L.A. Times and New York Times. A complete schedule of exhibitions and events are available online at

Media Contacts: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, 307.734.5335,; Zeenie Scholz, National Museum of Wildlife Art, 307.732.5437,

Help wanted: Wyoming Arts Alliance

The Wyoming Arts Alliance is looking for an executive director. Here's the job description:

The Wyoming Arts Alliance is seeking an energetic, self-motivated and fearless individual to help create and lead an outstanding arts advocacy organization for Wyoming. Wyoming Arts Alliance is a statewide 501(c) 3 consortium of artists, arts organizations, presenters, educators and advocates. The mission of the Wyoming Arts Alliance (WyAA) is to uniquely combine arts advocacy, professional services and information to advance a creative and culturally vibrant state. The new Executive Director for WyAA must have a passion for the arts, great communication skills, fundraising ability, a willingness to travel the state of Wyoming and beyond, capabilities in both organizational and event planning and good IT skills.

To achieve its mission, WyAA advocates for the arts at local, state and national levels for legislation beneficial to the arts and arts education. It provides education opportunities for its constituency regarding issues which effect arts and arts education. WyAA convenes an annual conference of presenters and performing artists and it provides professional development opportunities for its membership.

WyAA seeks to expand its support of artists and the arts in Wyoming through increased membership and participation from all arts disciplines and creative industries. The Executive Director of WyAA will lead the organization in this expansion, including development of new programs, professional services, legislative agenda and advocacy strategies. Creating an advocacy network throughout the state of Wyoming and the expansion of services to visual, literary and performing arts makes this a challenging and rewarding opportunity.

The position is three-quarter time and features a flexible schedule determined by the individual. The Executive Director can work from any location in the state and will have the additional advantage of being able to work from home.

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and will have full authority and responsibility as the chief executive officer of the Wyoming Arts Alliance, (WyAA). Responsibilities include:
* Provide leadership for developing and effectively implementing WyAA’s mission. This includes building an advocacy organization, agenda and strategies; increasing outreach to artists, educators, presenters, employers and advocates; and managing the annual presenters conference.
* Lead WyAA’s fundraising efforts, including expanding the donor base, cultivating relationships with individuals and foundations, grant writing and soliciting major gifts.
* Provide a high degree of visibility throughout the state. The Executive Director will serve as chief spokesperson for WyAA; establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with critical regional entities, state government, presenter organizations, Chambers of Commerce, libraries, educational organizations and institutions, regional galleries, cultural organizations, and donors; positioning WyAA to be the advocacy and education organization for arts in the state.
* Partner with the Board for effective long-term governance and leadership of WyAA; help to identify, recruit and develop the Board; direct the administrative management of WyAA; implement a staffing plan as needed for the expansion of the organization; develop strategic plans and program evaluations.
* Managing the organization in a fiscally responsible manner within the Board-approved budget and in accordance with accepted financial accounting practices.

The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following:
* A passion for all of the arts, and experience in visual/performing arts and/or arts management.
* Leadership abilities, especially a high level of initiative, strong interpersonal skills, creative and flexible problem solving skills, the ability to partner with the Board, and the capability to direct and lead future staff.
* Ability to successfully fundraise.
* The capability to develop and maintain positive relationships with community leaders; strong political acumen; the ability to maneuver in the state with comfort and credibility.
* The capacity to implement the vision for the Alliance, including innovative programming, professional practices, consensus-oriented management, effective decision-making, strategic visioning, and practical implementation.
* Effective financial management skills.
* A strong work ethic, good sense of humor, sincerity, and a high energy level.

Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities would be qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities would be: Five to six years in visual and performing arts with increasingly responsible supervisory and/or administrative duties. Prior experience in grant writing is advantageous.

Individuals interested in applying for this position should send a letter of interest and resume to: Only email applications will be accepted.

Preparations underway for October's National Arts & Humanities Month

This article by Adrian Versteegh was in today's edition of the New York Daily News Online:

Preparations are underway for the seventeenth National Arts and Humanities Month, a country-wide smorgasbord of public events, open houses, and media coverage coordinated each October by the nonprofit advocacy group Americans for the Arts. The official partner for the 2009 installment is Art21, the contemporary visual arts organization behind the Emmy-nominated PBS series "Art21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century."

“Everyone recognizes the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities,” Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts and national coordinator of Arts and Humanities month, said in a press release. “National Arts and Humanities Month offers us a chance to celebrate the often overlooked economic, educational, and civic engagement values that the arts impart in our daily lives.”

Recognized by Congress and held annually since 1993, the month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which was begun in 1985 under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts. National Arts and Humanities Month subsumes a host of cultural events across the country, including the Creative Conversations program, which features emerging arts leaders in local communities, and the National Arts Awards. Honorees at this year’s ceremony -- slated for October 5 in New York
City -- include Salman Rushdie, who will receive the Kitty Carlisle Hart Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Arts, and Robert Redford, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

arts + skiing = economic revitalization

The following article by Tessa Schweigert appeared in today's edition of the Powell Tribune. The grand opening of the Plaza Diane Community Center for the Arts will be held Thursday (today), Aug. 27, 6-10 p.m. at the corner of 2nd and Bent in Powell. Dance music by The Fireants from Buffalo, a group on the WAC's artist roster. "Powell's Portraits" exhibit will be in the gallery, featuring the artwork of John Giarizzo and and poetry by Burt Bradley. This collaboration portrays the lives of long-time area residents. The event is free and open to the public. Wine, beer, soda and food will be available for purchase.

Here's the article:

Throughout the past year, money, sweat, hours, ink and dedication have gone into two major revitalization projects in Park County. This week, both projects — a downtown art center and a North Fork ski slope — are gaining steam.

Powell residents will celebrate completion of the Plaza Diane/Community Center for the Arts renovation with a grand opening event today (Thursday). The World War II-era filling station underwent a major facelift over the past year, thanks to a grant from the Wyoming Business Council and private donations. The downtown space was revamped to become an indoor/outdoor venue for organized events, such as art shows and classes, or impromptu get-togethers, such as afternoon picnics.

The plaza’s namesake, Diane Bonner, was an advocate for economic and cultural advancement in Powell. With the commitment of residents young and old, the community arts center has the potential to rejuvenate the downtown area for years to come.

As Powell celebrates Plaza Diane’s completion, another revitalization project outside of Cody also is being recognized this week. The Sleeping Giant ski area on the North Fork is the subject of a National Geographic show highlighting its restoration. Film crews captured helicopters flying the new ski-lift towers into place. The ski area’s opening is slated for this fall, and residents countywide have worked toward making it a successful, profitable destination for recreation.

Both Plaza Diane and Sleeping Giant could have become forgotten eyesores. Rather than decaying, they will be places of new life — where locals and tourists alike can gather and enjoy an art exhibit or an afternoon of skiing.

The dedicated residents, who formed nonprofit groups, raised funding and toiled to reopen better versions of each project deserve, recognition and thanks for their commitment to revitalize valued community spaces.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Northwest College Korean Expo features arts & crafts, food and interactive games

The first Korean Expo will be held at Northwest College in Powell at the Dewitt Sudent Center on Thursday, Aug. 27, 6-9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

It features an extensive Korean tasting menu, demonstrations of Korean arts and crafts, and interactive Korean game displays. The expo is jointly hosted by Glacier Bay Training of Ten Sleep and the Incheon 40, a group of visiting South Korean teachers who are studying English in Wyoming for a year.

FMI: Susan Watkins, 307.250.7073,

UW sculpture project to air on Wyoming PBS

A documentary by UWTV, "Imagine Learning from the Masters: Public Art and Community Partnership" will air on Wyoming PBS on Sunday, Spetember 13 at 5:30 p.m. The film, narrated and filmed by UWTV's Mary Jung, features interviews with several of the artists who contributed work to the exhibition, "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." In addition to hearing from artists such as James Surls, Patrick Dougherty and John Henry, the documentary includes comments from UW and city administrators.

"Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational" was organized by the UW Art Museum in the summer of 2008, during a time when the Museum's galleries were closed for renovation. The exhibition has sparked an over-year-long discussion on public art and continues to receive enthusiastic responses. A public art symposium was held in April, during which time the documentary was first shown. The Wyoming Arts Council was a co-sponsor of the art symposium.

Photo: Artwork from "Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational." John Kearney (American, b. 1921), "Alligator," chrome plated steel, welded 26.5"x115"x24", UW Art Museum collection, gift of Harris P. Klein 1973.4.

Japan Arts Day in Casper features Akemi Iwase

"Japan Arts Day" features Akemi Iwase on Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., in the John F. Welsh Auditorium at Natrona County High School in Casper. This event is free and open to the public.

Here's more info from the ARTCORE web site:

Akemi began composing music at age 12, and at age 16, she created many original songs with Shuji Someno, a poet. During a folk song boom, she performed the original songs, and when she was 18, she formed a jazz band and performed at a nightclub in Ginza, Tokyo and in jazz cafes.

She formed a rock'n'roll Band, the Foxy Lady, with Keiko Watanabe. At age 20, Akemi moved to the U.S.A. with great aspirations. She lived in New York and Hawaii and got married. She performed piano and sang in the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. In 1974, she moved to California where she accompanied a magician and gave concerts. Inspired by traditional Nairobi music by Hamza El Din, she started arranging Japanese traditional folk songs, Minyo. While raising two children, she held many concerts with Shakuhachi, Koto, Cello, Tabla, and Sitar players in Northern California, as well as with members of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo.

Moving to Los Angeles in 1981, she composed and performed "Peace Song" for the event of the "Peace Day" arranged by Governor Brown. This song was often heard on KPFK Radio. She performed Jazzy Japanese Minyo and Latin music regularly at the "Comeback Inn," a Jazz Live Club.
In 1992, she moved to Colorado and managed the Westminster Dinner Theater and acted as a stage producer, while she held her own concerts.

She founded Moon Blossom Records and formed a music band, the Tokyo Tribe.Presented by The Consulate General of Japan in Denver in collaboration with Honorary Consul General Mariko T. Miller, ARTCORE and Natrona County School District No. 1

Call for entries: AVA Community Art Show

Gene Gagliano: "B is for Bookfest"

Children's author and Wyoming Arts Council roster artists Gene Gagliano from Buffalo will be one of the presenters at the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 19 in Cheyenne. Gene is featured on the book festival web site. Go to

Cheyenne Arts Council seeks executive director

The newly-formed Cheyenne Arts Council in Cheyenne is seeking a part-time Executive Director. It is anticipated that as the organization grows that this position will have the potential for full-time employment.

The purpose of the Cheyenne Arts Council is to connect and strengthen the arts and culture in Cheyenne to make it a center of creativity in the region.

Summary of Responsibilities: Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will serve as the chief executive officer and will be charged with providing leadership to the Cheyenne Arts Council guided by its mission and values. The Executive Director will be the organization’s chief spokesperson to its many constituencies, internal and external. The scope of responsibility will include external and community relations, fund development, strategic planning, program policy and operational, financial, and administrative management. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Board of Directors, will be responsible for the development and implementation of the strategic vision.

Preferred Requirements:

  • Creativity and the ability to take initiative with minimum direction.
  • Ability to relate to diverse public, artistic and civic groups
  • Demonstrated administrative and management ability.
  • Experience writing grants and proposals.
  • Experience in business and/or not-for-profit operational and financial management or related field.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Familiarity with web site management.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software.
  • An undergraduate degree or experience in arts management

Compensation: This is a part-time position with potential for full time and benefits. The compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Application Process: Submit cover letter and resume to by 9/21/09

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Celebrating the West of Wallace Stegner

This press release comes from Kevin Holdsworth in Rock Springs:

In an event marking the centennial of his birth, Wallace Stegner’s literary work and legacy will be celebrated at the Wallace Stegner Centennial Summit, September 24-25 in Rock Springs.

Speakers will include writers Page Stegner, Will Bagley and Lynn Stegner. Events will be held at the Rock Springs Museum and Western Wyoming Community College.

“Stegner’s preeminence among American writers who deal with the West cannot be seriously questioned,” said Kevin Holdsworth, co-organizer of the summit. “For many readers and writers, Stegner is an essential guide to understanding our region.”

Wallace Stegner (1909-1993) won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. He wrote numerous books including Angle of Repose, Crossing to Safety, The Spectator Bird, Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, The Sound of Mountain Water, The Gathering of Zion, The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Mormon Country.

“We are fortunate to be close to South Pass and the Green River, places he wrote about in important books,” added Holdsworth.

“We are trying to highlight several areas where his influence remains strong,” said Jennifer Sorensen, summit co-organizer. “These include writing—both fiction and nonfiction, history, conservation and teaching. We have invited speakers uniquely qualified to discuss each of these areas.”

The event will begin on September 24 at 6 p.m. at the Rock Springs Museum with an informal reception followed by a showing of the 2009 KUED documentary, "Wallace Stegner." On September 25, sessions will be held from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. in room 1302 of Western Wyoming Community College. All events are free and open to the public.

Speakers include writer/teacher and WAC fellowship recipient Holdsworth, who will open the sessions with remarks about Stegner as a mentor and note different types of political change in the West. Historian Will Bagley is set to address the historic and cultural importance of South Pass and propose ways to maintain it as “a good place to sit on a rock and feel history.” Linda Baker of the Upper Green River Valley Coalition will discuss issues related to resource development in Sublette and Sweetwater Counties. Mary Lynn Worl, chair of Citizens United for Responsible Energy Development, will talk about returning to her hometown of Pinedale and organizing citizen involvement to achieve healthier air quality.

In the afternoon sessions, writer and teacher Jennifer Sorensen will discuss her own relationship to the places Stegner writes about and reflect on her experiences in teaching his work. Writer and teacher Lynn Stegner will provide an appreciation of Wallace Stegner’s fiction. Writer Page Stegner will relate anecdotes and challenges involved in the process of collecting and editing his father’s correspondence for The Selected Letters of Wallace Stegner.

The Wallace Stegner Centennial Summit is made possible by grants from Chevron and the Sweetwater Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Other sponsors include the Rock Springs Museum, the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, and WWCC’s Western American Studies program.

FMI: Kevin Holdsworth at (307) 382-1724 or Sorensen at (307) 382-1716 or email

AVA marks end of summer with Aug. 28 Jalan Crossland concert

Monday, August 24, 2009

Deadline Sept. 9 for Arts Summit 20:20

This reminder comes from the University of Wyoming Art Museum blog:

The deadline to submit images for 20:20 is Wednesday, September 9. This means that there is still plenty of time to sign up to give a presentation! Images must be submitted in a PowerPoint format to Assistant Curator Rachel Miller at They can also be mailed on a CD to Dept. 3807, 1000 E. University Dr., Laramie, WY 82071 or dropped off at the Art Museum. Sign up is on a first come, first served basis.

This 20:20 is for statewide visual and performing artists, art organizations, educators, musicians and writers. It is being held in conjunction with the Wyoming Arts Council Art Summit, so the hope is to get a diverse group of presenters! 20:20 will be held on Wednesday, September 23 from 7-9 p.m. at the Little America in Cheyenne. If you're attending the Arts Summit, registration is that same evening, immediately preceding 20:20.

20:20 is a program that was begun by the Art Museum in April. The idea behind the program is to provide Wyoming artists a forum for presenting new works, projects and accomplishments. It's a chance for folks from around Wyoming to stay up to date with the arts, network with colleagues and share ideas. Presenters are allowed 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds, resulting in a 6 minute and 40 second presentation. The format allows for multiple presentations within a short (usually 2 hour) time period.

For more information, or to sign up, contact Rachel at 307.766.6621 or

Thomas Pogge discusses "Health Care Reform for the U.S. and the World's Poor"

Widely-published author and philosopher Thomas Pogge will discuss "Health Care Reform for the U.S. and the World's Poor," Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m. in Room 133 of the University of Wyoming Classroom Building in Laramie.

A prolific writer and lecturer, Pogge who has written extensively on moral and political philosophy, including books on cosmopolitanism, global justice and extreme poverty. His book "World Poverty and Human Rights" is regarded as one of the most comprehensive works on global justice.

Pogge also heads a team that is developing a complement to the pharmaceutical patent regime that would improve access to advanced medicines for the poor worldwide. He received his Ph.D. at Harvard University.

For more information, e-mail UW Philosophy Professor Ed Sherline,

"Jentel Presents" Sept. 1 at Sheridan Library

From a Jentel press release:

New residents at Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner have arrived, along with the dog days of summer. Jentel is pleased to present this month’s residents in an event open to the public. “Jentel Presents” will take place Tuesday, September 1, 5:30-7 p.m. at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library Inner Circle. This month’s presenters include an oil painter, a non-fiction writer, a mixed media artist, a painter, a novelist, and a printmaker. “Jentel Presents” is a community outreach program that features visual presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include: Diane Bywaters, Stevens Point, WI; An oil painter, Diane has participated in artist-in-residencies all over the world, not just painting the landscape – sometimes it’s the occasional bear or skunk, and other times, being in an Alaskan wilderness emergency giving herself stitches with needle and thread; Nancy Rawlinson, Brooklyn, NY; A memoir writer, Nancy is the daughter of English hippies, the granddaughter of two fantastic grandmothers who are both pushing ninety, and the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Darwin; Joy Nagy, New York, NY; A mixed media artist, Joy’s greatest inspirations are nature, working as a teaching artist with New York City students, travel to new and familiar places…adventures, family and friends, and the New York City subway; Michael Andrew Caines, Brooklyn, NY; A painter, Michael seems to make religious art but he is not particularly religious. He has been obsessed with dogs in recent years and tends to look at them rather than people on the streets of New York. He eats too fast; Natania Rosenfeld, Galesburg, IL, A novelist, Natania grew up in a small town in Ohio but is really a city person and an avid traveler who’s spent time in Germany, and Israel, London and briefly – Poland and Lithuania; Sally Schuh, Seattle, WA; A printmaker, Sally focuses on visual interpretations of Gertrude Stein’s writing, Sally’s work centers on creating a stammer or stutter where hesitancy, vulnerability and strength come together.

For anyone looking for a stimulating evening, come join the crowd at SCFPL Inner Circle. 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 or call Jentel at (307)737-2311.

WWInc member at CIPA book sale & signing

Kathleen Guler of Steamboat Springs, Colo., a new members of Wyoming Writers, Inc., sends this news:

For anyone who will be in the Denver area on the evening of Thursday, August 27, CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association—my publisher is a member) is having a FREE open house and book sale/signing. I will be participating with my three novels and taking orders for the forthcoming book that's coming out at the end of September. Come join us for a great time and meet some great writers!

Time: 6-9 p.m.
Where: Red Lion Inn (I-70 & Quebec), Denver
Cost: Free
Food: Appetizers and cash bar available

FMI: Kathleen Cunningham Guler,

Studio Wyoming wants you!

Pinedale artist Sue Sommers has started a Facebook page called Studio Wyoming. Administrators are Susan Thulin, Jackson; Susan Moldenhauer, Laramie; Wendy Ellen Bredehoft, Laramie; and Sue. It's an open group so anyone can join, although its geared toward the visual artists in the state.

To join, go to

Mark Spragg's new book due out next spring

This info about Mark's Spragg's new novel, Bone Fire, comes from the Knopf spring 2010 catalogue (via Fans of Mark Spragg Facebook page):

Ishawooa, Wyoming, is far from bucolic nowadays, as the sheriff, Crane Carlson, is reminded when he finds a teenager murdered in a meth-lab. His other troubles include a wife who's going off the rails with bourbon and pot and his own symptoms of the disease that killed his grandfather.

Einar Gilkyson, taking stock at eighty, counts among his dead a lifelong friend, a wife and his only child, and his long-absent sister has lately returned home from Chicago after watching her soulmate die. His granddaughter, Griff, has dropped out of college to look after him, though Einar would rather she continue with her studies and her boyfriend, Paul. Completing this extended family are Barnum McEban and his ward, Kenneth, a ten year old whose mother (Paul's sister) is off marketing enlightenment.

What these characters have to contend with on a daily basis is bracing enough, but as their lives become even more strained, hardship foments exceptional compassion and generosity, and along with harsh truths come moments of hilarity and surprise and beauty.

No one writes more compellingly about the modern West than Mark Spragg, and Bone Fire finds him at the very height of his powers.

Mark Spragg is the author of Where Rivers Change Direction, a memoir that won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award, and the novels The Fruit of Stone and An Unfinished Life, which was chosen by the Rocky Mountain News as the Best Book of 2004. All three were top-ten Book Sense selections and have been translated into fifteen languages. He lives with his wife, Virginia, in Wyoming.

Artist Bill Alther Exhibit at Carbon Co. Museum

An exhibit by Denver artist Bill Alther will be on display Sept. 1-Oct. 24 at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins. His work includes many wonderful landscapes as well as pictures of many of the nation's wild animals.

At the Carbon County Museum, 904 W. Walnut, Rawlins.

FMI: 307-328-2740 or

MPIBA offers literacy grants up to $1,000

This press release comes from the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association in Fort Collins, Colo.:

To support non-profit literacy programs in our region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association offers grants of up to $1,000.

Since 1990 MPIBA has awarded $85,000 to literacy programs.

Applications are available from the MPIBA website. Completed applications must be received in the MPIBA office by September 1. All applicants will receive information on the disposition of grant monies by October 9.

Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association is a non-profit trade association whose mission is to support independent booksellers in our region and to raise awareness of the value of independent businesses within our communities.

FMI: Lisa Knudsen, 1-800-752-0249.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NIC wins accreditation from American Association of Museums

The Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Center became one of six museums in Wyoming to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The museum's executive director, Holly Turner, made the announcement at a press conference Friday morning to the applause of Nic staffers, volunteers and board members.

The museum, normally closed on Mondays, will be open Aug. 31 from noon until 7 p.m. for free to anyone wishing to partake in the accreditation celebration.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Artscapes, summer issue

It's almost in the mail, but if you just can't wait, go to our homepage at and click on the Artscapes link to read the PDF version of the WAC's latest editon of the quarterly newsletter.

Board chair Bruce Richardson writes another satisfyingly saucy article about audience reaction to arts events. Love him, love his writing!

Manager Rita Basom brings it home with why we gather together around a common interest and why this is so important, striking a comparison between the "state" of gathering to the "state" of Wyoming. Nice one, Rita!

Look for articles on our featured individual artists George Vlastos, Robert Martinez and Fat City Mardi Gras Band; Native Emerging Artists Training; Wyoming's Art of the Hunt initiative; the town of Pinedale; deadline (Oct. 1) for Governor's Arts Awards nominations; the application period for the artist roster; National Assesment of Educational Progress for the Arts; Community Art Partners (CAP) grant; bronze casting class; October is Arts and Humanities month; Poetry Out Loud; a list of grants awarded in various categories; and the WAC calender on the back page.

For those of you already on the mailing list, you should be getting yours in the mail by the end of August. For those of you who'd like a hard copy, call us at 777-6393 and we'll get you on our mailing list.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

UW Art Museum names new master teacher

From the UW Art Museum blog:

Heather Bender (shown in photo) is the new master teacher at the UW Art Museum.

She has extensive experience in museums and education, including classroom teaching, curriculum development, and teacher training that utilize museums as original resources for educational benchmark goals. During her five years at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, she developed and implemented the Museum Discovery Program, a partnership program with Cody High School. She taught social studies at Powell Middle School, Wyoming, and Maces Lande Middle School, Cambridge, Maryland. Most recently, she was the director of the LCSC Center for the Arts & History, Lewiston, Idaho.

As master teacher, Heather will work with faculty and teachers statewide to integrate coursework goals and school benchmarks using the museum as a primary resource for a variety of disciplines. She holds a BA in Art and History with an Education minor from Salisbury University, Maryland.

Call for entires: NPR "3-Minute Stories"

National Public Radio sends this:

Send Us Your Original Short Story

For the second round of our writing contest, we want you to send us original works of fiction that begin with this sentence: "The nurse left work at five o'clock."

One entry per person, and no more than 600 words please! Stories must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

We'll post a favorite story every week until James Wood picks this round's winner and reads his or her story on the air. The winner will also receive a signed copy of Wood's book, "How Fiction Works."

Happy writing!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pre-Summit workshop addresses arts-based development in the rural West

The Wyoming Arts Council is hosting three pre-Arts Summit workshops in Cheyenne on Sept. 23.

The WAC's Community Development and the Arts Program Specialist Randy Oestman is the planner for "Creating and Sustaining Arts-Based Development in Small Town Rural West." It will be facilitated by Dan Wecks on Wednesday Sept. 23, 1-5 p.m. Location TBA (and we'll have it on the blog when it is). This workshop is free to registrants of Wyoming Arts Summit 2009

Here's some background on the workshop:

More than ever communities across Wyoming are realizing the importance of Community Development and the Arts with may of the same questions being raised. Where do we start? How do we determine and communicate the importance of arts and creativity? What are possible projects? How do we attract participants? How do we fund this project and make it sustainable?

This will be an open discussion exploring successful and unsuccessful examples of Community Development and Arts projects from smaller communities with an opportunity to glean information from a very successful Community Development Leader. This meeting will also provide an opportunity for community leaders with similar visions to network and connect for assistance in making things happen throughout Wyoming.

Dan Wecks has a broad background of experience including government, non-profit, and private business. Before deciding to follow his heart to do what mattered to him, he was President of a large real estate and development company. He was elected to the Manitou City Council and later as its Mayor. During this time he became the Executive Director of the Business of Art Center, a business incubator for artists and arts organizations in Manitou Springs.. Dan’s twin loves are assisting arts/community organizations, schools and government in looking to creative solutions to community issues and helping build "Strength-Based" organizations through the development of their people.

FMI: Randy Oestman, WAC, 307-777-7109.

P.S.: The other two pre-Arts Summit workshops will be on arts education and writing WAC grants. More info later...

Atwood takes new approach to book tour

Dystopian novelist Margaret Atwood is putting on a show as part of her book tour for "The Year of the Flood," which is set in a post-pandemic future.

Here's a story about Atwood by Bruce DeMara in the Toronto Star:

Margaret Atwood is radically redesigning the concept of a standard book tour. The acclaimed Canadian author is using a live performance with original music, local actors and the author herself as narrator to promote her latest novel, The Year of the Flood, her publisher announced yesterday.

Her tour for the book will feature six Canadian stops, including St. James' Cathedral at 65 Church St. in Toronto on Sept. 24.

"It's a chance to break free from the traditional structure of a book tour," Atwood said in a statement. "I felt this particular novel deserved a more complex presentation. It's also a great chance to work with other creative minds and see their interpretation of the story come to light." Ellen Seligman, publisher of fiction at McClelland & Stewart and editor of Atwood's 13th novel, which will be released Sept. 22, called the project "unprecedented" in the annals of publishing.

The Year of the Flood, a follow-up to Atwood's novel Oryx & Crake, is set in a future where the world has undergone dramatic change as a result of decades of evironmental degradation. The final blow comes in the form of a pandemic that decimates virtually all of humanity, leaving a scattering of survivors.

But Seligman said, despite the book's dark nature and theme, "there is definitely a sense of hope (by the end) because it's people gathering in groups together." That's where the idea of live performance and bringing together people from local community meshes with the book, she said. "The idea of this performance and gathering the public – these are public performances and very inexpensive tickets – is a way of kind of joining everybody together in this global concern, which is our world and life as we know it."

The hour-long performance will feature 14 hymns – one for each chapter – which Atwood wrote, to the music of L.A.-based composer Orville Stoeber.

A three-person cast will perform along with a choir, all of whom will be local talent. Atwood has helped to design an interactive website for the book tour, including a blog and a Twitter feed. In her first entry, Atwood said she and husband Graeme Gibson are travelling to the U.K. by ship and said two Coronation Street cast members will perform with her in Manchester. Events will also be held in Ottawa, Kingston, Sudbury, Calgary and Vancouver, with proceeds going to Nature Canada.

Details of the Toronto cast have yet to be finalized. Ticket information is available at

Three summer concerts remain for Nicolaysen's "Wednesday Night Live" series

"Wednesday Night Live" continues at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper every Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Schedule of remaining performances:
August 19 - Runnin Wild Band
August 26 - Bryan Ragsdale, WAC roster artist
September 2 - Hub Whitt, WAC roster artist (rescheduled from July 29)

NIC staff encourages you "to bring your lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of one of Casper's great outdoor summer events!"


Monday, August 17, 2009

UW Art Department and Art Museum team up to sponsor new series

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming Art Department and the Art Museum are pleased to announce the new Visual Arts Series, a joint effort to promote the arts on campus and in the Laramie community.

Both art entities are leaders in bringing contemporary artists on to campus and this new partnership allows for further promotional and educational opportunities.

The Visual Arts Series is a string of events including Art Talks, Gallery Walk Throughs, hands-on demonstrations by contemporary artists, and more at the Art Museum and at the Fine Arts Building. A complete list of events for the fall is on the Art Museum blog at

Look for posters around campus and town, and in your mailbox in the coming weeks. Please join us this fall for one, some or all of these great art events!

For more information, call the UW Art Museum at 307.766.6622 or the UW Art Department at 307.766.3269.09.03

AVA holds kids' photography show

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center collects art and artifacts from former internees

From an article by Ruffin Prevost in the Billings Gazette (via the Casper Star-Tribune): A piece of scrap wood has been burned in fine detail to depict a scene of camp barracks and the Heart Mountain in the background. The artwork, created by a former internee, is one of many artifacts donated Saturday by volunteers working to expand the historical archives for a museum being built at the site of the former internment camp in Park County, Wyo. (Ruffin Prevost/The Billings Gazette). Read entire story in Sunday's Casper S-T at

Patti Andre conducts Artists' Guild workshop

Patti Andre, an award winning Colorado artist, will conduct a two-day instructional workshop on tools and techniques for painting in oils and acrylics. It will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Cheyenne Artists Guild, 1701 Morrie Ave., in Cheyenne's Holliday Park. Participants are expected to bring their own supplies and a suggested materials list will be available at the Guild.

Cost is $80 for both days or $40 for one of the two days. Advance payment is required.

You can view Patti's work at

FMI: 307-632-2263.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wyoming Bookfest will feature "Authors' Fair"

From a Wyoming State Library press release:

The Wyoming State Library is looking for authors interested in participating in the Authors’ Fair for the 2009 Book Festival.

The 2009 Wyoming Book Festival will be held at Lions Park in Cheyenne from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept, 19. The festival will have eight featured authors in addition to an Author’s Fair.

“The Authors’ Fair is a great chance for authors to get the word out about their work and participate in the festival,” says Tina Lackey, Publications and Marketing Manager for the Wyoming State Library

Authors can sign up for a 15-minute slot to showcase their work. There is no fee for the Authors’ Fair. Authors may sell books and do book signings within this allotted time. Authors participating in the Authors’ Fair will not have their books sold by book festival vendors. However, for a fee, authors may sign up as a festival vendor.

Cheyenne East High School DECA Chapter is coordinating vendors for the festival. They are donating all money earned from vendors to Muscular Dystrophy.

For more information the Authors’ Fair, contact Lesley Lipska at (307) 777-7283 or To become a vendor contact Manuel Flores at East High School, (307) 771-2663,

Sublette County likes WAC roster artists

The Pinedale Fine Arts Council has announced its fall 2009/winter 2010 schedule. On tap are two residencies by Wyoming Arts Council roster artists. Matt Daly (pictured at right) will travel from Jackson to conduct poetry and writing workshops at middle schools and high schools in Pinedale and Big Piney. Ceramist Steve Schrepferman will also conduct workshops in Pinedale and Big Piney. More details will be announced soon at

But summer isn't over yet. Another WAC roster artist, musician Bryan Ragsdale of Green River, will be performing in concert on Thursday, August 27, 4 p.m. at American Legion Park in Pinedale. This is part of PFAC/Sublette Chamber of Commerce Mixer event. Free and open to the public.

Other upcoming PFAC events include a residency by Missoula Children's Theatre (Nov. 16-21), a theatre workshop with Jackson's Bob Berky (Feb. 22-26) and a workshop and performance by African-American storyteller Diane Ferlatte (March 1-5).

For more information on the PFAC, call 307-367-7322. For info about the artist's roster, go to WAC web page.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Look for a "Wyoming Arts Community" profile of Pinedale in the August issue of the WAC Artscapes print newsletter. If you're not on our mailing list, call 307-777-7742.

Details for 2009 Northwest Booking Conference

Here's information for Wyoming arts organizations and performers interested in the annual Arts Northwest conference:

The 29th Annual Northwest Booking Conference will be the largest gathering of artists, their management and presenters of the performing arts in the region. In 2009 hundreds of participants from the Northwest and well beyond will attend the conference in Boise, Idaho, October 12-15, 2009.

Attendees will enjoy activities including dynamic performance showcases, an expanded roster of late night showcases, keynote speakers, professional development seminars, workshops, block-booking sessions, networking opportunities, a packed exhibit hall, sales spotlights and social events, all adding up to four fun and highly productive and professional days. Presenters of the performing arts can discover untapped resources, ideas and inspiration. Performers / artist's management have a medium that allows them access to the presenting organizations and individuals throughout the northwest, and helps get them in front of the audience most capable of booking them into the western U.S. market!

Who Should Attend the Arts Northwest Booking Conference?

Performing Arts Presenters: The Annual Northwest Booking Conference allows you as a performing arts presenter, to see, hear and meet with hundreds of artists, their agents and management in a friendly yet professional setting. From the well seasoned and well known, to the cutting edge and the “about to be known”, you will find artists and ensembles to fit you every need and budget. Participate in the block booking activities to get a jump on your season or event.

Performing Artists, Managers, and Agents: Share your work with western based performing arts presenting organizations – theatres, festivals, community concert associations, college presenters and more. Spend time with the presenters, widening your network of connections, educating them as to your work, or that of the artists you represent. Broaden your skills and take advantage of the possibilities that will allow you to plan tours, performances and residency activities in the many communities they represent.

Arts Associates and vendors to the performing arts: (any individual, business or organization supportive of the performing arts or active therein).

All Attendees will enjoy extensive professional development opportunities, along with opportunities for networking and conversation with peers and colleagues. Enjoy keynotes, social activities and the opportunity to renew, refresh, and remember why it is you do what you do with commitment and passion.

Click here for a PDF of the 2009 Conference Registration Brochure.
Click here for the Schedule at a Glance.

Ian Tyson performs at UW August 28

From a UW press release:

Legendary singer-songwriter Ian Tyson brings his distinctive sound to the University of Wyoming for a concert Friday, Aug. 28.

Tyson's concert, sponsored by the UW College of Education, begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center concert hall. Tickets, $35 for adults and $25 for students and senior citizens, are available by calling (307) 766-6666 or by visiting the Fine Arts Center ticket office.

Tyson celebrates five decades of performing during his 2009 tour. With shows planned from coast to coast in both Canada and the United States, he performs his songs that range from his classics -- "Four Strong Winds," "Someday Soon" and "Navajo Rug" -- to his newest works.

In addition to his long solo career, Tyson also is known as a member of the popular singing duo, Ian and Sylvia.

Tyson has long been one of Canada's most respected singer-songwriters. A pioneer who began his career in the early days of the first folk boom in the 1960s, he was one of the first Canadians to break into the American popular music market. In the years that followed he hosted his own television show, recorded some of the top folk albums, quit the music business and became a rodeo rider and successful rancher.

At age 75, Tyson maintains a busy touring performance schedule which he combines with the work on his Alberta ranch, which is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains south of Calgary.

No alibis for missing Alibi Americana Festival

The Alibi Americana Festival will feature four bands and will take place at the Alibi Pub, 404 S. 4th St., Laramie, from 2-10 p.m., on Sunday, Aug. 16. Tickets are $12.

The festival features these fine Americana bands, three of them from Wyoming:

More info at 307-745-9738.

Jonny Lang, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi headline Snowy Range Music Festival

"Breath & Language" artists' talk Aug. 15

The Wyoming Arts Council's Camellia El-Antably and Colorado artist (and one-time Wyomingite) Jennie Kiessling Michler will be discussing their work in connection with the "Breath and Language" exhibit on Saturday, August 15, 2 p.m., at Valhall Arts, 201 S. College Avenue, Plaza Level 2, Fort Collins, Colo. This is located in the basement of the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art (old post office), right off the Oak Street Plaza. Free and open to the public.

FMI: or 303-589-7372

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Plein Air events Aug. 15 in Cheyenne

Mike Beeman of Cheyenne and Patrice Walker of Santa Fe, N.M., are just two of the artists featured in Wyoming Plein Air events on Saturday, Aug. 15, in Cheyenne.

The day kicks off with a "Quick Draw" from 8-10 a.m. at the Historic Cheyenne Depot, followed at 11 a.m. by a "Quick Draw Auction." The show opens officially at 1 p.m. and awards presentation will be at 4 p.m. at Deselms Fine Art downtown location next to the Plains Hotel.

FMI: and

"An Evening with Don DeLillo" in Jackson 9/29

The University of Wyoming, Teton County Library Foundation and Jackson Hole Writers Conference present a rare evening with Don DeLillo, the author of 14 critically-acclaimed novels, on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

DeLillo is the winner of the 1985 National Book Award for "White Noise," and his novel "Underworld" was runner-up on the New York Times survey of best American fiction of the past 25 years.

This is a free event at the Center for the Arts, Center Theatre. Contact: Adult Humanities Coordinator, Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135 or

Last weekend for "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

The newly-formed Shake in ChyWy presents William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14-15, in Cheyenne's Lions Park. The performances are free and open to the public.

Shake in ChyWy is also looking for locals interested in auditioning for its production of "MacBeth," set to open in February 2010. As director (and Carey Junior High theatre teacher) Angel Katen says: "We are looking for people over the age of 18 willing to attend rehearsals in the evening and on the weekends, excited to help build the inside of a castle in one week's time, overjoyed to create a head that looks like the lead actor, to research Shakespeare and Scotland, and to have a good, healthy, sober time of it all."

If that sounds like your cup of tea, call 307-214-3405 and leave a message.

Cirkoo presents "danger but no singing" Aug. 22

On Saturday, Aug. 22, 5 p.m., the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens presents "Cirkoo! A Circus of Sophisticated Silliness," featuring Jim Jackson and Birgitta DePree. The event is free and open to the public. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic.

The duo's motto: “Balance! Juggling! Danger! But - no singing!”

World-class clowns, Jim Jackson and Birgitta DePree don their red noses, pack their suitcases and tromp into a fantastic circus ring where hilarious misadventure, comic mayhem and slapstick silliness abound. “Cirkoo” is first rate entertainment for the whole family.

USAI application deadline Sept. 8

USArtists International includes support for American dance, music, and theater ensembles and solo artists invited to perform at significant international festivals anywhere in the world outside the United States and its territories. The application deadline for the first grant round of the 2010 program will be Tuesday, September 8, 2009 for projects taking place between November 1, 2009 and October 31, 2010. For a copy of program guidelines and application click here. Questions about USArtists International should be directed to Nicole Russ, at or via telephone at 410.539.6656 x120.

Trompe l'oeil techniques class at AVA

Wyoming Arts Council board meets Aug. 20-21 at the Afton Civic Center

The Wyoming Arts Council will hold its next quarterly board meeting on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 20-21, at the Afton Civic Center in Afton.

The board invites individuals and organizational representatives to attend any part of the meeting to observe the board process, and to address the board during the public comment session at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20. Comments about the agency's policies, funding priorities, on-line granting system, and other arts-related topics are welcomed.

Friday’s session will be devoted to drafting the WAC’s next long-range plan for 2010-2015.

For a detailed meeting agenda, please contact the Wyoming Arts Council office at 307-777-7742.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s session, a free public reception for members of the community will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Afton Civic Center. Host for this event is the Star Valley Arts Council.

FMI: Camellia El-Antably, WAC,, 307-777-7742, 307-256-0500 (cell).

Wyoming Film Festival Aug. 20-22 in Saratoga

The Wyoming Film Festival will be held next week in Saratoga. The event is partially funded by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council. The Aug. 12 Casper Star-Tribune featured an article about the festival. Read "Film festival gives forum for Western themes" at

Here's some info about the event from its web site:

The Wyoming Film Festival is a unique venue for the community to come together as filmmakers, film lovers, volunteers, corporations, and other organizations from across the state and beyond to celebrate the valuable contribution that film makes to our cultural and economic lives. Our plan is to present film and video productions that interpret the past, present, and future of the American West in way that embrace the festival themes of environment, equality, and family.

The Wyoming Film Festival is held in the Platte Valley Community Center in Saratoga, Wyoming. For an inside look at this venue, go to or click on the PVCC entrance photo below.

Highlights of the 2009 Wyoming Film Festival include:

  • “Sky High” – a silent western film with accompanying live musical performance by the Starting and Stalling Orchestra from the University of Wyoming
  • The Wyoming premier of “In Pursuit of a Dream” – a documentary that recreates the crossing of the Oregon Trail, produced by writer Candy Moulton of Encampment
  • Selected short films including “The Deer and the Antelope” and “A Return Home”
  • Featured speaker: Two-time Emmy-winning screenwriter Kirk Ellis

Read the complete program schedule.

FMI: Mark at 307-326-7822, ext. 236 or Tera at 307-328-9274

Curator of Collections hired by UW Art Museum

Nicole Crawford (shown above) has been named the new curator of collections at the University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie.

She is the former gallery director at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. During her eight years with the gallery, she supervised staff, conducted research and worked with numerous collectors. In her role as curator of collections for the Art Museum, she will oversee the development of the museum’s collection, curate exhibitions from the collection for the museum’s exhibition programs, enable internship opportunities in collections research and scholarship, and chair the museum’s Collections Advisory Committee.

Crawford has an MA in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Nebraska. Her scholarship focus is American Modernism, but she has conducted research and written extensively on many other art genres, including Western American Art.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Parents' Night" at AVA Aug. 14

Deadline Oct. 1: Millay Colony for the Arts

The Millay Colony, located on the former property of Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, N.Y., offers one-month residencies between April and November, 2010, to six visual artists, composers, and writers in all genres. Residents are provided with room, board, and studio space, as well as access to the sprawling estate. To apply, send an artist statement, a brief biographical statement, work samples, and a $35 processing fee made out to the Millay Colony for the Arts. Deadline is Oct. 1.

Advice for fiction writers: naming characters

Cheyenne fiction writer Joanne Kennedy wrote a recent blog post about the methods she uses to choose names for her characters, especially the villains:

I’ve been struggling with the antagonist in my new book. So has my protagonist, of course, but she seems to be winning. Up until today, I wasn’t doing so well.

It’s hard to write a villain without resorting to stereotypes. You set out to create a believable character, and before you know it, you’ve got a moustache-twirling, hard-eyed Bond villain, or a woman with all the depth and subtlety of Natasha in Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Serendipitously, Donald Maass addressed this problem in a workshop at the RWA conference. One of his suggestions was to find the character’s defining quality, and then think of its opposite and find places where she can demonstrate this quality as well.

Read the entire post at

Full disclosure: Joanne is a member of the Cheyenne Area Writers Group (CAWG), which also includes your humble blog editor, Mike Shay (me).

Burt Bradley writes review of Craig Arnold's "Made Flesh"

Burt Bradley, poet and English prof at Northwest College in Powell, wrote a review of Craig Arnold’s final book for Sunday’s Billings Gazette. Here’s the opening section:

One can't help reading Craig Arnold's second book of poetry, "Made Flesh," without thinking that this is his last book of poetry.

On April 26, Arnold disappeared while hiking to a volcano on a remote Japanese island. Despite government and professional searches, he was never found and is now presumed deceased.

"Made Flesh" is comprised solely of poems about past and present relationships, and it is a terrible irony that this award winning poet, whom former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky described as "one of the most gifted and accomplished poets of his generation," would have his life end alone far from loved ones.

The relationships in "Made Flesh" are portrayed through a remarkable mix of contemporary rhetoric and mythic imagery, which express, in Pinsky's words, "a tremendous emotional underworld, distinctive and memorable."

For entire review, go to

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

National Museum of Wildlife Art hosts variety of events for Western Visions fundraiser

From a press release:

The National Museum of Wildlife Art offers fine art for sale by more than 150 leading artists, ranging from photography to jewelry to painted miniatures and more as part of its 22nd annual Western Visions fundraiser. Arts-related events include a series of shows and sales, artist demonstrations and galas, with the majority of activities taking place September 16-18, during the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. New to this year's festivities are a "Mini Safari" in Grand Teton National Park in the company of featured artists Lindsay Scott and Leo E. Osborne, and the raffle of a MINI Cooper at the Miniatures and More Show & Sale.

The 2009 Western Visions schedule of events includes:

  • Fifth Annual Photography Show & Sale and Third Annual Sketch Show & Sale: A mix of black-and-white and unusual color photographs in the museum's King Gallery include landscapes and portraits; sketches and studies by Western Visions artists in the Wapiti Gallery range from pencil to oil; August 29 – September 27; included with museum admission.
  • 11th Annual Jewelry & Artisan Luncheon: A sneak peek and first chance to buy one-of-a-kind jewelry and textiles; September 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Teton Pines Resort and Country Club; $100, register online or call 307.732.5412 to attend.
  • Jewelry & Artisan Show & Sale: Held in Johnston Hall and Wapiti Gallery, featuring fine handmade jewelry and accessories; September 17 – 18; included with museum admission.
  • Mini Safari: Capture Grand Teton National Park's glorious wildlife and landscapes with a morning camera safari in the company of Western Visions featured artists Lindsay Scott and Leo E. Osborne and guided by Wildlife Expeditions, a division of non-profit Teton Science Schools; September 17, 6:30 – 11:00 a.m.; $125 for members; $150 non-members. Call 307.732.5412 to register.
  • Featured Painter Demonstration, Lindsay Scott: Scott demonstrates painting techniques in Johnston Hall; September 17, 1 – 4 p.m.; free for members or with museum admission. Art produced during the demonstration will be available for purchase. Registration not required.
  • Featured Sculptor Demonstration, Leo E. Osborne: Osborne demonstrates sculpting techniques in Johnston Hall; September 18, 1 – 4 p.m.; free for members or with museum admission. Art produced during the demonstration will be available for purchase. Registration not required.
  • 22nd Annual Wild West Artist Party: meet and mingle with artists, with food by Rising Sage Café; place your bids on the artwork, purchase photography and jewelry, and enjoy live music; September 17, 6:30 – 10:30 p.m.; $200, register online or call 307.732.5412.
  • Featured Artists Panel Discussion: Lindsay Scott and Leo E. Osborne talk about artistic processes in lively panel discussion in Cook Auditorium; free for members or with museum admission. Registration not required.
  • 22nd Annual Miniatures and More Show & Sale: final opportunity to place bids in silent auction for works by over 150 of the country's leading artists; don’t miss the live auction of two pieces by the Featured Artists. Drinks and fun accompany announcements of winning art bidders, and someone may drive home in raffled 2009 MINI Cooper; September 18, 5:30 – 9:30 p.m.; $100, register online or call 307.732.5412.

Some Western Visions events require prior registration as noted; register at the special $500 Benefactor level to gain admission to multiple and exclusive events. Registration tends to fill up quickly and closes September 10; for online event registration, visit Patrons who wish to bid on art but can't be present may take advantage of the new Bid by Proxy option. For more information on events, registration or bidding by proxy, contact Jennifer Lee at 307.732.5412.

A complete schedule of exhibitions and events are available online at

Media Contacts: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, 307.734.5335,; Zeenie Scholz, National Museum of Wildlife Art, 307.732.5437,

Pat & John Patton perform at Casper College

Pat and John Patton will perform on Saturday, Aug. 22, 7:30 p.m. in Durham Hall at Aley Fine Arts Center, Casper College.

Patrick Patton is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Casper College. He is past chair of the department of Music and served as artistic director of the Choral Arts Ensemble of Casper. Currently, he serves as Chorusmaster for the Helena Symphony Chorale, a 100-voice civic choir that prepares significant choral literature for performance with the Helena Symphony. Dr. Patton holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and the Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Education degree at the University of Wyoming.

He has made over 400 appearances on four continents as guest conductor, adjudicator, and workshop clinician. The Casper College Collegiate Chorale has joined forces on numerous occasions for the presentation of major choral/orchestral works including the “Requiems” of Brahms, Verdi, and Rutter, the Dvorak “Te Deum”, the Vaughan-Williams “Serenade to Music”, and Orff’s “Carmina Burana”. The choir has joined with the Helena Symphony and Chorale in a presentation of the Poulenc “Gloria” “Carmina Burana”, Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” as well as many other major choral/orchestral works. In addition to the regularly scheduled concert series, Dr. Patton directs the annual Casper College Madrigal Feast and serves as co-director of the Casper College Jazz Festival. He has also been featured as guest tenor soloist with Casper and Helena Symphonies and Chorales.

John is the son of Pat and his wife, Marcia. He is a former member of the Casper Children’s Chorale, who has returned from Denver frequently to play percussion for the group’s concerts. Pat and Marcia toured with Up With People and the USO during their college years, and Pat was lead guitarist.

Hammocking as an art form

Go Hammocking! from Bland Hoke on Vimeo.


Troy Stende speaks about "College Success Secrets" Aug. 21 at UW

On Friday, Aug. 21, 9-10 a.m., Troy Stende will deliver the keynote address for "move-in week" in the Arts & Sciences Auditorium at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Troy Stende is the premier Student Leader Trainer on the college circuit and is a three-time recipient of the prestigious “Best Campus Speaker” award from Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. With his wife, he co-authored College Success Secrets: What They Don’t Teach You in the Classroom. Troy has also appeared on National Public Radio. His program will, according to a UW press release, "help you get better grades, accomplish life-long goals, feel a sense of peace/happiness, increase confidence, and create more meaningful relationships with family/friends."


Call for blogging entries: CNF Mag

From Creative Nonfiction magazine:

Creative Nonfiction is seeking narrative blog posts to reprint in an upcoming issue of CNF.

We’re looking for: Vibrant new voices with interesting, true stories to tell. Narrative, narrative, narrative. Posts that can stand alone, 2000 words max, from 2009. Something from your own blog, from a friend’s blog, from a stranger’s blog.

The small print: We will contact individual bloggers before publication and pay a flat fee for one-time reprint rights. Deadline for nominations: August 31.


Wyo. State Museum Volunteers hold 32nd annual Arts & Crafts Show and Sale Aug. 15

Wyoming State Museum Volunteers will hold their 32nd annual Arts and Crafts Show and Sale on Saturday, Aug. 15, beginning at 9 a.m.

This year's sale looks to be bigger and better than ever before with more than 35 registered vendors and possibly more. Events for the whole family; face painting, balloons, storytelling and food. There will be a variety of crafts for sale including woodwork, jewelry, crocheting, knitting, tatting, pottery, wooden toys, baskets, dolls and embroidery work.

Free admission for shoppers.

Venue: Grounds of the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne.

FMI: Carolyn at 307-632-8244.

"Step by Step Writing Seminar" with Page Lambert

From Page Lambert, long-time member of Wyoming Writers, Inc., and two-tkime WAC creative writing fellowship recipient, sent this info abiout an upcoming writing seminar in Colorado:

Give Your Story a Fresh Perspective. The Writer Magazine and Page Lambert present a "Step by Step" Writing Seminar on Saturday, September 19, at Mt. Vernon Country Club, Golden, Colorado.

This one-day, hands-on writing retreat spirals around Page Lambert's feature piece in the September issue of The Writer Magazine. Limited to 15 participants, this workshop will give you the chance to play around with point-of-view and perspective. Appropriate for fiction writers and memoirists, the goal of this mountain retreat is to help you:
1. Identify the underlying emotion fueling your desire to write your particular
2. Identify the desire, or motion, that propels each character forward (including
3. Determine which character has the most at stake in each scene; determine
how each scene affects each character (remember, even memoirs have characters)
4. Experiment by writing the same scene from different points of view; and
5. Learn how to direct the Point of View

WHEN:Saturday, September 19, 9:00-4:00 (8:30-9:00 visit/coffee/tea)
WHERE:Mt. Vernon Country Club (20 minutes from downtown Denver)
WHAT:All-day writing seminar taught by Page Lambert
INCLUDES: copy of The Writer Magazine, beverages, and catered luncheon overlooking
beautiful Clear Creek Canyon in the foothills just west of Denver
COST:$95 (register by August 15 and receive $10 discount)
OPTIONAL: Guided hike from 4:00-5:00 pm on Mt. Vernon's private hiking trails (non-strenuous hiking appropriate for moderate fitness levels, but fun for all!)
BRING: 5 pages of a work-in-progress (fiction or memoir) and/or 3 pages from a favorite
author's work that depicts a scene with at least two characters
Author, book doctor, and writing coach Page Lambert, winner of the 2009 Orlando Nonfiction Award, has taught over 150 workshops in the U.S. and B.C. Oprah's O magazine called her River Writing Journeys for women "One of the top 6 great all-girl getaways of the year."

Mt. Vernon, the mountain paradise where Page was raised and once again calls home, is only 20 minutes from downtown Denver, yet as soon as you turn off the highway, you'll be surrounded by thousands of acres of protected Rocky Mountain wild woodlands rich with abundant wildlife. Optional guided hike after workshop.

Read my latest blogpost at

Monday, August 10, 2009

Call for entries: HeART of Sublette County

A call goes out for art submissions for the HeART of Sublette County 2009.

The criteria are similar to the ones last year, with artists responding to their sense of place in this region of Wyoming. Please contact Callie or Sara Domek ("The Two Sisters from Cora") at or call 307.749.6956 to notify them of your art submission. DEADLINE IS AUG. 12. They can pick up your piece or you can drop it off in person at the Cora Post Office. The sisters anticipate an artist opening reception on August 29 at the Pinedale Branch of the Sublette County Library.

UW Vertical Dance returns to Vedauwoo

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming's 2009 Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival concludes Aug. 22-23 with three vertical dance performances at Vedauwoo.

In addition to watching dancers twist and turn from ropes dangling from Vedauwoo's rock formations, the audience will listen to a musical story of the history of the rocks, animals and plants in the area, narrated by Australian storyteller Paul Taylor.

Performances begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Tickets cost $6, and may be purchased at the Fine Arts ticket office or the Union ticket office. For more information, call the Fine Arts ticket office at (307)766-6666.

"Each year, we try to bring a new story or idea to the vertical dance performance at Vedauwoo," says Margaret Wilson, University of Wyoming dance professor who choreographs the event. "We are delighted to have Paul working with us this year. The story will add a narrative component that will augment the choreography."

The performance area is 14 miles east of Laramie on Interstate 80 off the Vedauwoo exit. Shuttle buses will take patrons from the outer, free parking area outside Vedauwoo to the trailhead leading to the performance setting. Patrons should plan to leave Laramie at least one hour before the start of the performance.

Vertical dance is a unique blend of modern dance using ropes and the natural contours of rock to allow free-flowing aerial movement. Since 1998, the presentations in the natural rock formations at Vedauwoo have offered audiences a breathtaking set to view dance, says Wilson. She is assisted by Neil Humphrey, UW geology and geophysics professor, who coordinates the rigging and choreography.

Photo: Kathryn Rochelle dances in the air during a previous University of Wyoming vertical dance performance at Vedauwoo. (Skip Harper Photo)