Friday, February 26, 2010

New West: Why Cody, Wyoming is the New Literary Capital of America

Jenny Shank has a lot of fun exploring Cody's literary contributions to the world in New West:

Claiming Ground, a memoir by Cody’s Laura Bell, is due out March 9, and it comes with glowing blurbs from Rick Bass, Kent Haruf, William Kittredge, and Mark Spragg. Haruf writes, “This is a book that compels you to the last sentence, both because of its sheer beauty and its profound meaning.” Spragg writes, “Laura Bell’s Claiming Ground is the finest memoir I’ve read.” I guess I’d better read it myself.

Knopf will publish [Mark] Spragg’s third novel, Bone Fire, on March 11. Spragg is also from Cody, (population 9309), which means that .0215% of Cody’s population will publish a book in March. To put that in perspective, writers in New York City (population 8,363,710) would have to publish 179,820 books in March to keep up with Cody’s per capita output. Even if you include self-published writers, I doubt New York’s scribes could produce that many volumes, especially given that about 172,000 books were published for the entire year in the United States in 2005, the most recent year for which UNESCO’s publishing statistics are available.
The column also addresses a new book by Laramie's Alyson Hagy. It's been a pretty good year for recipients of Wyoming Arts Council creative writing fellowships. Bell, Hagy and Spragg all have won WAC fellowships.

Read the entire New West column here:
Why Cody, Wyoming is the New Literary Capital of America

Don't miss The Ultra-Amazing Ozymandian Improv Show March 6 at the Atlas

From a press release:

Tell your funny bone that it is about to get slapped in its smug boney face!

Ozmandian Theater is back with an all new improv show coming your way on March 6th! This show will be all improvised so that means we will be making it up as we go along. We promise you a night of comedy that will not leave a carbon footprint. Unless of course, you want us to leave one...and if that is the case we will be giving a full bottle of hairspray for each audience member so they can spray it into the ozone right after the show. Take that ozone!

This show is part of The Cheyenne Little Theater Player's "Saturday Nights Live at The Atlas." The cost of the show is $5 for students and $8 for adults. The proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Historic Atlas Theater. As always our shows are rated PG-13.

If that is not enough to plant you in our audience here is an extra bonus: Ozymandian Theater is excited to announce that they will be joined on stage by the awesome East High School Improv Club. Come and support the next generation of comedy as they hit the stage with Ozy!

So here are the details:

Ozymandian Improv Show (with special guests from the EHS Improv Club).

This show is part of CLTP's "Saturday Nights Live at The Atlas"@ The Historic Atlas Theater (211 W. Lincolnway)March 6 @ 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7). Ticket Price is $8 for adults and $5 for students.

The show is rated PG-13


As always we can purchase tickets online or learn more about Ozymandian Theater at our brand new website:

For more information on all the cool things happening at the CLTP, visit

Birthday party for Buffalo Bill at BBHC

From the BBHC web site:

On Friday, February 26, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody invites the community to a free “Family Friday” birthday party from 5–8 p.m. The highlight of an evening filled with activities for everyone, the dramatic reading of the dime novel Buffalo Bill’s Victories begins at 6:30 p.m. with an open invitation for anyone to join local celebrity guests and step up to the mic to read a page or two from the adventure.

But first, the party kicks off with the rousing tunes of the Buffalo Bill Band, under the direction of Dr. Mike Masterson of Northwest College, playing music of the Wild West show era. The band performs from 5-7 p.m. in the breezeway to the Cody Firearms Museum.

To make the evening especially family-friendly, kids of all ages can make their own memento of the celebration by creating a Wild West show poster to take home, with the original, larger-than-life posters on exhibit in the Buffalo Bill Museum as inspiration.

At 5:30 p.m., Buffalo Bill Museum Curator Dr. John Rumm offers a glimpse into the workings of the Wild West show in his presentation "Backstage with Buffalo Bill." Colorful stories and vignettes drawn from Rumm’s research into first-person accounts, diaries, historical photographs, and period newspaper articles illuminate the workings of Cody’s large and logistically challenging show. The program takes place 5:30-6:15 p.m. in the Coe Auditorium.

The McCracken Research Library shares some of its original material related to Buffalo Bill—memorabilia acquired by the library recently that has not previously been on exhibit. The items will be on display outside the Coe Auditorium, and include, among other things, photographs, a Wild West program and other show ephemera, and an 1879 serialized dime novel.

Buffalo Bill Museum Reinstallation Exhibit Designer Nick Paffett provides a preview of upcoming design plans for the renovation of the gallery in 2012. An innovative blend of traditional yet engaging museum exhibits with technology, the new gallery will appeal to an audience of all ages and interests. Paffett will talk about themes, floor plan, and the planning process, and answer questions throughout the evening.

Edible fare for the festivities includes Buffalo Bill’s favorite dish, fried chicken—Buffalo Bill wings served up by the Historical Center’s Mustang Grill, along with other refreshments and birthday cake. A cash bar is also available.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now operating its winter schedule through February 28: open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, closed Monday through Wednesday. Spring hours of 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily begin March 1. For general information, call 307.587.4771 or visit

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Little kids' art en EspaƱol at AVA Center

Essayist John D'Agata will read from his work March 4 at UW Art Museum

John D'Agata, described as "a young writer of rare intelligence and artistry... redefining the modern American essay," will read and sign his books Thursday, March, at 7 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie.

This free event, sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing, will feature D'Agata's new book, "About A Mountain."

He has been an editor at the Seneca Review and "The Next American Essay" and received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. D'Agata taught writing and literature courses at Colgate College, UW, California Institute of the Arts and the University of Iowa, where he now serves as a permanent faculty member of the nonfiction program.

D'Agata received his B.A. from Hobart College and his MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop in both nonfiction and poetry.

For more information, visit the MFA Web site at or e-mail Beth Loffreda at

Jared Rogerson launches new CD, "Bad Hay," Feb. 27 in Pinedale

Wyomingarts just heard a fine new song, "Straight for the Storm," by Jared Rogerson of Pinedale on KUWR's "Morning Music."

Jared's CD "Bad Hay" will be released Friday, Feb. 26. He will conduct an acoustic performance at the Wind River Brewing Company in Pinedale on Saturday, Feb. 27, to celebrate the CD release. Music starts at 8 p.m.

Here's some bio info from the musician's MySpace page at

Jared Rogerson's music stems from his love of riding bucking broncs and exploring the great outdoors. Ironically, it was a rodeo injury in 2007 that spurred Jared into taking his music more seriously. “I’ve always wanted to make music. I remember pulling myself up off the arena dirt and thinking, it’s time.” In 2008, Jared recorded his first single, ‘Boomtown’, which received airtime on Wyoming Public Radio; he also performed it on international television. His first full-length CD, ‘Bad Hay’, features songs like ‘Glad I Took This Ride’, ‘What a Way to Go’, and ‘Above the Timberline’ reminiscent of John Denver’s ‘Rocky Mountain High’, bringing us to reflect upon our deepest roots. "We all have experiences from time to time that put the big picture back in perspective. That happens to me every time I get on a horse and ride into the mountains- I love it!"

Jared's debut release also includes tunes like ‘Ridin' Wild Ponies’ and ‘I Can Fly’ that rely on his experience traveling the rodeo circuit. Jared had his first “rodeo wreck” at the age of 3 that left him with a broken arm. “My dad pretended to be the bull and I was the cowboy, I just couldn't get him covered." Years later, Jared competed on the high school rodeo team and went on to earn a Bachelor's degree with the support of an academic and a rodeo scholarship riding bareback broncs. Afterward he competed at a professional level and continued his rodeo career while earning a Master's degree in Biology.

While on the rodeo circuit, Jared packed his guitar and wrote songs to pass the time. "I've written and sang songs ever since I was a little kid, I just didn't write them down on paper. After a while I'd forget 'em, then I'd make up new ones." Jared is now writing and recording songs with all the energy he put into rodeo by means of a certain ‘I can do it’ attitude he picked up along the way. “If I had to pick one singer/songwriter that has influenced my life the most, it would be Chris LeDoux. His music inspired me at a young age to dare to live my dreams. I try hard to make decisions based on the positive adventures I see connected with them. That’s where my music comes from."

"The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World"

From a press release:

"The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World" will be presented on Thursday, March 4, 7-8 p.m. in the Cook Auditorium at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson. The program is free and open to the community with support from donations, large and small, to the Teton County Library Foundation.

Join wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski as he shares his portfolio of slides capturing the polar bear in its wild arctic habitat. The presentation is based on his book, "The Last Polar Bear" (February 2008, Braided River) and traveling exhibit now on display in the library gallery.

Kazlowski is the only wildlife photographer to date who has extensively photographed the Alaskan polar bear and its critical Arctic coastal habitat, something he wishes to continue throughout the international Arctic - an area rapidly being affected by climate change. His compelling images present a range of perspectives from the anthropological to the scientific and the political to the indigenous. National magazines from Audubon to Newsweek have published his pictures.

Find out more at:

For information about this program, contact Adult Humanities Coordinator, Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135 or, or visit Teton County Library online at

Doc Thissen expands his photo horizons

Laramie photographer Doc Thissen is working on his B.F.A. by taking online classes offered by the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He's shooting some differenent subjects along the way. This one he calls "Shadowplay" and says "it was inspired by Paul Strand." He's revamping his web site and has a new blog at

You can bring Doc -- member of the WAC artists' roster -- to your community for presentations and workshops on photography. Apply for a Wyoming Arts Council Arts Across Wyoming grant at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flores de Colores presents "The Music of Feasts" at Humanities Festival

Wyoming Arts Council roster artists Flores de Colores Dance Troupe of Cheyenne will present "The Music of Feasts/Folkloric Dance" at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 25 at Durham Hall, Casper College. This presentation is part of the 25th annual Casper College Humanities Festival and Demorest Lecture Feb. 24-26. For complete schedule, go to

Cheyenne's John Warburton in concert

Cheyenne singer/musician John Warburton will perform with special guest Brandon Warburton at the The Midtown Tavern (Anderson’s Other Corner), 1303 E. Pershing Blvd., Cheyenne, on Friday, February 26, 7:30 p.m.

Other upcoming solo shows by John Warburton at The Midtown Tavern will be held March 20 and April 10. Both shows at 7:30 p.m.

Bio info from the musician's web site:

Born in Cheyenne WY, John began his musical career at the age of 10 the moment he held the $25 Sears guitar his grandaddy had given to him. He went on to form and perform in local bands playing both covers and original music. After playing the local scene, John developed a need to see what else was out there. He decided to put his chops to the test in Phoenix AZ, but the heat seemed to be more of a constant than gigs. So after little less than a year, he inevitably found himself in Los Angeles clamoring to be noticed in a sea of musicians and bands. After playing and recording in original, cover, blues and quasi punk bands, John gave up the 'band mentality' for awhile and struck out on his own. He picked up his resonator, slide and a new attitude of sorts. After ten years in LA he moved to the San Francisco area for 2 years before coming full circle back to Cheyenne.

John's music is akin to the likes of artists such as Chris Whitley, Jeff Buckley, Lyle Lovett, Tom Waits and bands like Led Zepplin, & Alice in Chains to name a few. All of which have colored and continue to cast various hues on his music, which lyrically tends to be an observation of life through introspective lenses. Musically, John's heavy use of open tunings combined with a structured yet whimsical approach to creating music allows his songs to breathe, letting listeners in that are willing to 'listen' and 'listen' again. John believes some of the best songs transcend basic pop formulas to intrigue the listener into giving the song a 2nd, 3rd, 4th... chance, until, for whatever reason, that song is a part of the person listening to it, making it a milestone in that person's life, never to be forgotten.

FMI: and

"Meet the Artist" March 1 at Crazy Woman Fine Art Gallery in Buffalo

You are invited to “Meet the Artist” on Monday, March 1, 7-8 p.m., at Crazy Woman Fine Art Gallery, 5 N. Lobban St., Buffalo.

Meet Jenny Wuerker, a nationally-known artist who employs what she calls “X-sport” working methods to create large-scale Wyoming landscape paintings from direct observation out-of-doors. She will discuss her paintings, personal history, and vision. Her paintings are currently on view at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Mont., and are included in collections across the U.S. Don’t miss this informal, free, presentation.

This program is supported through the generosity of the members and donors of the Johnson County Arts & Humanities Council.

FMI: (307) 620-9055

WOW holds Starving Artists Seminar 4/15-17

Works of Wyoming in Laramie announces this:

Starving Artists Seminar Series, April 15-17, 2010

WOW would like to invite you to participate in learning how you, as an artist, can become more successful in all areas of promoting yourself as an artist, including topics such as creating an artist statement, pricing your work, writing a business plan, access to capital, legal issues for artists, and many more.

Register by March 19 to receive the early bird special of $80! (includes all seminars and lunch)

Please call with your information and credit card ready
Monday-Friday 9:00 am- 1:00 pm 307.766.3084
1:00 pm- 5:00 pm 307.742.6574

"Jentel Presents" March 2 in Sheridan

Spring looks like it might be coming to greet the new residents at Jentel Artist Residency in the foothills of Banner. Jentel is pleased to present this month’s multi-talented residents in an event open to the public. “Jentel Presents” will take place Tuesday, March 2, 5:30-7 p.m. at Sheridan College Downtown Campuson Main Street. This month’s presenters include a sculptor, a collage artist, a sound artist, a fiction writer, a printmaker and an essayist. “Jentel Presents” is a community outreach program that features visual presentations and readings by the visual artists and writers at the residency.

Presenters include:
  • Elizabeth Emery, Cleveland Heights, OH; a sculptor, Elizabeth loves food and honors Billie Jean King and wishes she were as fit as when she raced bicycles.
  • Gail Grinnell, Seattle, WA; a collage artist, Gail’s work explores the relationship between the early reality of the body and the lightly tethered spirit.
  • Yann Novak, Los Angeles, CA; a sound artist, Yann is interested in the emotional effect audio recordings have on us.
  • Val Phillips, Gardner, CO; a fiction writer, Val has lived in England, Palestine and most recently a tipi in Southern California. She passionately loves social justice, great food and astrophysics.
  • Fanny Retsek, San Jose, CA; a printmaker, Fanny is a tiny thing in a big world. Lots of little things make up the big things. She loves that.
  • Zachary Watterson, Seattle, WA; An essayist, Zachary grew up in New York City and New Jersey and has taught prisoners in county jails and state prisons in Michigan and Washington.

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

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

    The Jentel Artist Residency Program accepts applications twice a year from visual artists in all media and writers in all genres for a one-month residency. A residency includes a comfortable accommodation; common living, dining and recreation areas; a private workspace and a stipend to help defray expenses during the program. For more information please visit or call Jentel at (307)737-2311.

    Photo (back row, left to right): Zachary Watterson, Gail Grinnell, Yann Novak; (front row, left to right): Val Phillips, Fanny Retsek, Elizabeth Emery.

Governor's Arts Awards: W.E.S.T.

Wyoming Educators of Secondary Theatre (W.E.S.T.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Governor's Arts Awards: Naoma J. Tate

Naoma J. Tate, arts patron from Cody

Watch Naoma J. Tate in Travel & Culture  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Cowboy Trouble, right here in Capital City

Cheyenne author Joanne Kennedy will be signing copies of her first book, "Cowboy Trouble," on Tuesday, March 2, 6-8 p.m., at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 1851 Dell Range Blvd., Cheyenne.

Here's info and reviews from Joanne's web site:

Cowboy Trouble, ISBN 9781402236686, Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99

Atlanta journalist Libby Brown’s transition to rural living isn’t going exactly as planned. Her Wyoming ranch and its picturesque outbuildings are falling to pieces all around her. So is her resolution to live a self-sufficient, independent life–thanks to the irresistible allure of her neighbor’s fringed leather chaps and the town sheriff’s shiny badge. When the town’s only unsolved mystery falls in her lap, Libby can’t resist partnering up with the hunky sheriff to search for a missing teenager–but her neighbor, rancher Luke Rawlins, has other ideas.

Luke is a genuine Wyoming cowboy who looks like Elvis, talks like John Wayne, cooks like Martha Steward, and is almost impossible to resist. While Libby adjusts to a life where high fashion means wearing your Wranglers in “slim fit” instead of “cowboy cut,” her small-town beat leads her deep into the heart of her new hometown, where she discovers that everyone has their secrets, and some of them are as dangerous as they are surprising.


“Ms. Kennedy’s debut novel is a winner. Her characters are refreshing and different…A little romance, a little mystery, good looking guys and wide open spaces are a perfect combination for a really good story and Cowboy Trouble definitely reflects this. I’m really impressed with this first book and can’t wait to see what’s next.” –Night Owl Romance

“Contemporary western fans will enjoy this one!” –Romantic Times

“There’s plenty of wacky humor and audacious wit in the mystery-laced escapade that provides a fresh take on the traditional contemporary Western.” –Library Journal

“Sometimes running away from your troubles is the worst thing you can do, but it brings the greatest rewards. What happens when you have more than one man interested in helping you find your happily ever after and you can’t choose? Now throw in a crazy or two for flavoring. You have one heck of a problem. Sound interesting? Then you need to read Cowboy Trouble. –Wendy Zwaduk, Romance to Make Your Heart Race

Governor's Arts Awards: Duane Evenson

Mayor Duane Evenson, Gillette

Wyoming organizations eligible for Laura Jane Musser Fund grants

From a press release:

The Laura Jane Musser Fund’s Arts Funding Program helps nonprofit arts organizations develop or sustain exceptional artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music, and performing arts.

Grants are provided to organizations in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Wyoming.

The Arts Collaborations component of the program supports partnerships of arts organizations with other community nonprofits or schools in order to provide participatory arts activities that spark a new interest in the community and engage participants in the creation of art. The Rural Arts component supports arts organizations located in rural communities in the targeted states. Priority is given to organizations that increase access to the arts through scholarships, hands-on activities, or community venues. The application deadline for both components of the program is March 24, 2010.

Visit the Foundation’s website to review the program guidelines:

Grants available for innovative artist spaces

From a press release:

Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), in collaboration with MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and supported by a funding partnership of the MetLife Foundation and the Ford Foundation, announces an open call for entries to the 2010 MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Awards, a grant-making program of Space for Change: Building Community through Innovative Spaces.


Launched in 2009, the MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Awards is a competitive national funding program that recognizes outstanding efforts in the design and development of affordable space for artists. The program emphasizes the benefits artist spaces yield for both artists and their communities. In the awards’ concluding round of grantmaking, leading artist spaces will be selected from across the country to receive unrestricted awards ranging from $10,000-$50,000, along with access to technical assistance and a learning community of peer institutions.


To learn more about the Awards, including the guidelines for how to apply, please visit All application materials must be received by April 23, 2010 at 5pm EST.


Applications may be submitted by non-profit organizations, individual artists, public agencies, or a combination of the three, for artist space projects that:

Provide affordable space for artists to work, or to live and work
Are designed for multi-use or share space with a variety of tenants
Have been in place for a minimum of one year
Demonstrate a positive contribution (social, economic, cultural) to the community in which it exists
Promote ownership or significantly favorable lease terms for artists

Governor's Arts Awards: Louise Wesswick

Arts patron Louise Wesswick, Rock Springs

Watch Louise Wesswick in Travel & Culture  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Deadline is March 15 for Nic's "Sensational Small Stuff Invitational"

From the web site of the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper:

Our "Sensational Small Stuff Invitational" (formerly "Postcards from the Wild Wild West") exhibition is coming up April 15-30, with the party and auction set for Friday evening, April 23. We hope that you'll participate by submitting your art and then join us for this important and fun event.

Here is how SSSI submission works:

Since the exhibition and auction is a fundraiser for the museum, your work is a donation to the museum. The proceeds – over $15,000 last year – are specifically dedicated to supporting our educational and outreach programming.
The deadline for submission is Monday, March 15, 2010. All entries must be mailed or delivered to the museum by that date.
Submissions are limited to 3 per artist and a completed application must accompany each submission. An application is enclosed which can be copied or you can print one from our website
Works in any media are welcome; size is the only limiting factor. We ask that your work be no larger than 5 x 7 inches. Especially welcome are small sculptural and three-dimensional works –wood, ceramics, metal, glass, jewelry, etc – but please adhere to the roughly 5 x 7 inch proportions for height, width, and depth
We can accept only original work. No prints or reproductions will be accepted.
Please frame your work and prepare it for hanging or display.

Get your registration form here.

The exhibition will be open for the week prior to the auction to enable our visitors to begin bidding on the works. On the night of the auction the bidding is fast, furious, and lots of fun – and all submitting artists are invited to be our special guests for all the excitement! Please call (307-235-5247) or email ( in advance if you plan to attend.

If you know of an artist who might like to participate in the Sensational Small Stuff Invitational, please pass along these guidelines. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to call us at 307-235-5247 and ask for Val or Ingrid.

"Reading Lolita in Tehran" author to conduct free talk March 24 in Jackson

Beginning on March 3, you can get free tickets for a March 24 talk at the Center for the Arts in Jackson with Azar Nafisi, author of the international bestseller “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Presented by Teton County Library Foundation. Free tickets available with the presentation of a Teton County or Wyoming library card or card number beginning at 10 a.m., March 3, at the main library front desk or at noon at the Alta Branch Library. Tickets limited to one per card; available first-come, first-serve. Patrons may claim tickets for friends or a spouse but must bring a library card or card number for each ticket they wish to claim. Contact: Library Foundation Associate Director Pauline Towers-Dykeman, 733-2164 ext. 217.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Celtic Ensemble performs March 13 at Teton County Public Librarry

Wyoming Arts Council roster artist Judith Weikle and her Celtic Ensemble will perform on Saturday, March 13, 7 p.m. at the Teton County Public Library in Jackson. This event is free and open to the public.

Enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music in a small setting. Vocals, harp, fiddle, bodhran and guitar combine in an ethereal, uplifting blend of ballads and jigs in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The band includes, Judith Weikle, Arla Burbank, Deb Carpenter, Liz McCorquodale, Karen O’Connor and Mimi Smith.

Hot apple cider and shortbread provided by Friends of the Library.

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

Governor's Arts Awards: Don Butler

Don Butler, saddlemaker from Sheridan

Watch Don Butler in Travel & Culture View More Free Videos Online at

Jalan Crossland performs solo in Hartville

Jalan Crossland will be playing solo performances at the Miner's and Stockman's Bar, 608 W. Main St. in Hartville on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19-20.

Hartville is dangerously close to Glenrock, which Jalan sings about in "Don't Taze Me Bro." Those were dangerous days last summer when "Farmer Bud drove a tractor... in the Deer Creek Days Parade" in Glenrock. Farmer Bud ran afoul of the law and what ensued was a "low speed tractor chase." When the cops caught up to the lawbreaker, the elderly tractor jockey begged "Don't Taze Me Bro."

All for naught.


Reception tonight for "Our Home Town"

Reception will be held tonight (Friday, Feb. 19) from 6-8 p.m. at the AVA Center in Gillette for the exhibition "Our Home Town." Free and open to the public. FMI:

Outside Mag: "Biting characters" drive Mark Spragg's new book, "Bone Fire"

Cody's Mark Spragg was awarded creative writing fellowships from the Wyoming Arts Council in 1989 and 2000. He was the recipient of a Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award in 1999. Amongst all the accolades, Mark has written award-winning novels and screenplays and memoirs. His latest novel, "Bone Fire," hits the shelves in March.

Here's a review from the March issue of Outside Magazine (via Mark Spragg's Facebook fan page):

There’s plenty of horseback riding and bucolic prose in Mark Spragg’s novel Bone Fire (Knopf, $26), but there’s nothing sentimental about his story of northern Wyoming, set in the fictional town of Ishawooa. This is New West all the way – a place to escape from, not to. Those who populate the modest ranches include an art-school dropout caring for her grandfather, a ten-year-old growing up quick in the absence of his mother (who’s off selling New Age enlightenment at the behest of her “Guides”), and Crane Carlson, a sheriff suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Early on, a murdered teen is discovered in a meth lab, and Carlson’s plodding investigation forms the backbone of Spragg’s narrative. But it’s the author’s endearingly biting characters, not the slowly unpacking whodunit, that drives the book. You root for these people no matter how much dysfunction they leave in their wake, mostly because they’re always saying things you’d never have the guts to utter out loud. “You want me to talk with [your manager] about this attitude you’ve got going on?” a woman asks a motel clerk who’s just implied that he knows she’s there for a tryst. “No ma’am,” he replies. “Then try not being such a smutty little s***-head.” [wyomingarts edits]. Spragg, who lives in Wyoming, understands how people endure the state’s harsh lifestyle: Hard times go down easier when you’ve got a bitter sense of humor. – Christopher Keyes

2010 Visual arts fellowship applications available on WAC web site

The printable application and guidelines for the 2010 visual arts fellowships is available on the Wyoming Arts Council web site. Go to

Applications will be mailed on Tuesday, Feb. 23, to those on the WAC mailing list.

This year, the WAC will award up to three fellowships of $3,000 each to honor the work of Wyoming visual artists that reflects serious and exceptional aesthetic investigation. Painters, sculptors, printmakers, potters, media artists, craftspeople, video, film and others (see guidelines) are invited to apply by submitting images of their work.

Postmark deadline is April 1.

Jurors for this year's competition are sculptor Kate Budd from Akron, Ohio; Sue Johnson, mixed-media artist from St. Mary's, Maryland; and photographer Mark Klett of Tempe, Ariz.

SAVE THE DATE: Please join your colleagues and the visual arts fellowship jurors in Casper for an awards reception and jurors’ roundtable on Saturday evening, April 24. More information about this free event will be mailed to those on the WAC’s visual artists’ list, and will also be posted on the WAC web site and the blog at

Poetry Out Loud state competition March 1-2

Getting ready for Poetry Out Loud, I've asked people if they could recommend any poetry books to give to our student contestants. A big thank you to Nancy Curtis of High Plains Press who sent Learn to Love the Haze (1996) by former Wyoming Poet Laureate Robert Roripaugh; Circle of Light (1995) by Charles Levondosky; Wyoming Promises (1984) and Cowpuncher Poetry (1986) both collections edited by Nancy. I also received, from mom (thanks, mom) who has had them stored in her shed for years, Wordweavers (1986), a collection of poetry by Wyoming Writers published through Wyoming Writers, Inc., a statewide writing organization. Look for info put up by Mike in earlier posts about this year's conference to be held in Cody, June 4-6.

This volume has many wonderful Wyoming writers in it and their bios--Patricia (Midge) Farmer from Gillette, who would go on to write, for the city of Gillette, the proclamation proclaiming April 22 as Poetry Day, the only town in Wyoming to do so; John Nesbitt, who back then was "now teaching at Eastern Wyoming College...and has published short stories, literary articles, book reviews, a few poems and magazine articles," all this before John would be publishing several (more than 20 to date) trade westerns; and Orval Meier, who wrote a humorous poem, titled:

Parking Space

You cruise the crowded parking lot
Hoping to find a parking spot,
One that's somewhere near the store,
So you won't have to walk a mile or more.
Things look bad, and you despair, but
You finally spot one over there.
You mentally shout, Oh, Boy! Oh, Boy!
And leaps your heart with boundless joy.
You rush the space a mile a minute,
Only to find a motorcycle in it.

Students from all over the state will come to Cheyenne March 1-2 to compete in the state competition. Wyoming's winner and a chaperon will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national final, April 26-27, 2010. The students have worked hard to memorize and inhabit the poems they've chosen from the POL website, which lists more than 400 poems for students to choose from. Wyoming POL is sanctioned by the Wyoming High School Activities Association. The events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Alyson Hagy passed on to me Vol. 1, Issue 2 of The Jackson Hole Review, which she brought back with her after a visit there in February with Philip Gourevitch and other UW writing staff and creative writing grad students.

A forum for local artists and writers in the Jackson Hole area, it is co-edited by Amy Early, Marcia Casey and Susan Marsh, (and Jason Kroman in the first issue); comes out bi-annually in the spring and fall. Submissions are accepted year round. The website has full submission guidelines, and their first issue is their also to peruse.

This issue features several poetry selections by poets Emily Paul, Jessica Flammang, M. Joseph Irwin, JEAL, and John J. Hanlon; a fiction short story by mary Billiter and essays by Elisabeth Ward, Stella Cabot-Wilson, Emily Paul, Jessica Flammang and Linda Hazen, and smattered with B & W photos and other artwork.

Banff Mtn. Film Festival at UW Feb. 24-25

The Banff Mountain Film Festival world tour brings the spirit of outdoor adventure to the University of Wyoming Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24-25, at 7 p.m. in the Arts and Sciences auditorium.

The free showing, sponsored by the UW Outdoor Program, features award-winning films and audience favorites from approximately 300 films entered in the annual festival in Banff, Canada.

This year's tour features a collection of the most inspiring action, environmental and adventure mountain films. It provides an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world.

The schedule of films to be shown at UW can be viewed on at

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, produced by Mountain Culture at The Banff Center, will visit in about 285 communities and 30 countries across the globe.

The UW presentation is made possible through the Student Activities Council, Cross Country Connection and the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

For more information, call the UW Outdoor Program at (307) 766-2402 or go to

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sessions for non-profit boards at CVC

Center for a Vital Community at Sheridan College sent this announcement:

The following sessions will take place at the Sheridan College Main Street campus training room in Sheridan. Lunch will be provided. Registration Fee: $40 (This will cover your cost for the entire series. We encourage you to attend all 4 sessions. If your schedule changes, please notify the CVC as this affects our limited space.)

March 10
Creating Boards that Lead -- 5 key functions for board members, 5:30-7 p.m. Board members are encouraged to attend and dinner will be provided

March 11
Best Practices for you Board -- interactive session with a take home assessment plan- tips, and tools, 10 a.m.-noon. Staff and directors are encouraged to attend.

Keynote Presentation: Terry Profota is a Founding Board member of the Montana Non-profit Association, professor at MSU for 5 years, wrote and teaches the Nonprofit Management courses through MSU Terry Profota's business and nonprofit experience spans over 30 years. Her company Sage Solutions Nonprofit Consulting, LLC has been helping small to mid-sized nonprofits improve their operational, organizational, and fundraising effectiveness for over five years.

April 14
Your Leadership Cycle, noon-1:30 p.m. Keynote: Jenny Craft, CVC


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

John D. Nesbitt reads Friday at WWCC

Rick Kempa sent this from Western Wyoming Community College:

Western writer John D. Nesbitt will read from his work on Friday, February 19. The event will take place at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs in Room 1302 at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Nesbitt lives in the plains country of Wyoming, where he teaches English and Spanish at Eastern Wyoming College. He has had more than twenty books published, including short story collections, contemporary novels, and traditional westerns, as well as textbooks for his courses.

His most recent work consists of "Dead for the Last Time," a novella; "Poacher's Moon," a contemporary novel; and "Not a Rustler," a traditional western.

Nesbitt has won many awards for his work, including two awards from the Wyoming State Historical Society (for fiction), two awards from Wyoming Writers for encouragement of other writers and service to the organization, two Wyoming Arts Council literary fellowships (one for fiction, one for non- fiction), a Western Writers of America Spur finalist award for mass-market paperback original novel for "Raven Springs," and the Spur award itself for his novel "Trouble at the Redstone."

The event is made possible by the support of the Arlene and Louise Wesswick Foundation and the Wyoming Arts Council. It is the second in a series of readings planned for the spring, which will also include essayist Peter Anderson from Crestone, Colorado on March 5; and fiction writer Vicki Lindner, formerly of Laramie and now from Denver, on March 26.

These writers will also be offering workshops prior to their readings, in which they facilitate writing exercises, share writing experiences and tips, and answer student-generated questions. Nesbitt's workshop is scheduled from 2-5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, in Room 1408.

FMI: Contact WWCC Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa at or 307-382-1731.

Sighted at 2010 Governor's Arts Awards Gala...

Wyoming U.S. Sen. John Barrasso attended the Feb. 12 Governor's Arts Awards Gala sponsored by the Wyoming Arts Council. In a brief address to the crowd of 400 at Little America in Cheyenne, he sang the praises of the arts in Wyoming. Here he is shown at the event with constituents. Wyoming's lone U.S. Representative, Cynthia Lummis, dropped in to say hi during the pre-banquet social hour. Photos by Evangeline Bratton, WAC Staff.

Wyoming Arts Council Board member Susan Stubson of Casper (left) and Bobbi Brown Barrasso, wife of Sen. John Barrasso. This shot was taken at the Governor's Residence reception.

Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen and wife Diane

Former Wyoming Secretary of State Thyra Thomson (at the Governor's Residence)

Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson of Cody

Sara Needles (center), administrator of the Wyoming Division of Cultural Resources, with WAC Board members David Kathka (left) of Rock Springs and David Neary of Lander.
Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jim McBride (center) at the Governor's Residence reception.

Call for entries: Wyoming Short Film Contest

From a Film Wyoming press release:

The 2010 Wyoming Short Film Contest is open for entries. Film makers can submit their videos online at A $25,000 first prize will be awarded to the winning entry with a storyline that takes place in Wyoming, features Wyoming, or presents the state as a major character.

All submissions are due on or before April 30, 2010 and there is no entry fee for the Wyoming Short Film Contest. Entries may be any style or genre of film and shall not exceed 15 minutes running time. The winner shall receive $25,000 towards the production budget of their next project shot in Wyoming.

Wyoming Film office staff has made the process easier this year by using popular video contest software. The new program allows the general public to vote on their favorite entry. A judging panel will then decide the winner based on the top ten most popular entries. Some criteria that the judges will keep in mind when viewing the films include production value, script, acting when relevant and Wyoming tourism value.


Jurors announced for 2010 Wyoming Arts Council visual arts fellowships

Applications for the 2010 visual arts fellowships will be mailed by the end of this week. Printable apps will also be available by Feb. 19 on this blog and on the WAC web site at

Postmark deadline is April 1, 2010.

Here are this year's jurors:

KATE BUDD was born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1969. She received her bachelor’s degree from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1990, and her MFA in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University in 1995. She has received two Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council and her work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibits in the U.S. and U.K. Solo exhibits include “tableau” at William Busta Gallery in Cleveland; “Thorny” at Rudolph Poissant Gallery, Houston; “Kate Budd: On Site Ohio” at the Akron Art Museum and “Honey” at The College of Wooster in Ohio. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, New Art Examiner and Sculpture magazines and she is currently represented by William Busta Gallery, Cleveland. Before coming to teach at the University of Akron, Kate taught in the sculpture department at the University of Texas for three years. She is now an Associate Professor of Art at the Myers School of Art where she has taught 3-D Design and Sculpture since 1998. FMI:

SUE JOHNSON earned a BFA in painting from Syracuse University and an MFA in painting from Columbia University. She has had one-person exhibitions at the Tweed Museum of Art, Jan Cicero Gallery, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Midwest Museum of American Art, Swarthmore College, Anderson Gallery/VCU, The Rosenbach Museum and Library, and University of Richmond Museums. Grants include awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts/Mid Atlantic Foundation Fellowship, and four Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. Selected residency fellowships include the Arts/Industry Program, John Michael Kohler Art Center, Millay Colony, Art Omi International Artist Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, City of Salzburg/Salzburg Kunstlerhaus Residency Fellowship, American Philosophical Society/Andre Michaux Library Research Fellowship, and American Antiquarian Society research fellowship. Johnson is a professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History at St. Mary's College of Maryland where she has taught painting, drawing, printmaking and book arts since 1993. FMI:

MARK KLETT photographs the intersection of cultures, landscapes and time. His background includes working as a geologist before turning to photography. Klett has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Buhl Foundation, and the Japan/US Friendship Commission. His work has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally for over 30 years, including a 2000 show at the University of Wyoming Art Museum entitled “Witness to an Occupied Land.” His work is held in over 80 museum collections worldwide. He is the author of thirteen books including Saguaros (Radius Press and DAP, 2007), After the Ruins (University of California Press 2006), Yosemite in Time (Trinity University Press, 2005), and Third Views, Second Sights (Museum of New Mexico Press 2004). Mark Klett is Regents’ Professor of Art at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. FMI:

Dialogue Clinic with Shawn Klomparens

From a press release:

Attend a free "Dialogue Clinic" with writer Shawn Klomparens on Saturday, February, 27, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., in the Center for the Arts Conference Room in Jackson.

Great dialogue brings life to fiction, but how is it written? How can passages of dialogue feel realistic without being dull, or convey action without seeming forced? Join author Shawn Klomparens ("Jessica Z.," "Two Years, No Rain") for a workshop on crafting tight, narrative-propelling dialogue. The group will read and analyze examples of good and bad dialogue, work through writing and revision exercises, and receive suggestions for further reading. Participants are welcomed (but not required) to submit up to five pages via email by February 25 for possible discussion during the session at Space is limited.

Klomparens has been called “the master of dialogue” by the Sacramento Book Review. He studied English Literature and Geological Sciences at Ohio University before coming to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1994 for what he thought would be a one-year visit for skiing and cycling. He ended up staying in Jackson where he now resides with his wife and two children, and is working on his third novel.

This workshop is compliments of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference and part a series which will include poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction with writers Cecily Parks, Patti Sherlock, Lucy Flood, Karol Griffin-Young, and others.

FMI: Nicole Burdick,, 307-413-5235

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Deadline is April 2 for WWInc writing contest

Wyoming Writers Inc. (WWInc.) is seeking participants to enter the annual Writing Contest.

Prose entries are limited to 3,000 words and the categories are:
Adult Fiction (which includes genre fiction such as science-fiction, mystery, romance, but no horror or erotica)
Fiction for Children
Novel Segments
Non-fiction (includes articles, essays, and creative non-fiction)

Poetry entries are limited to 40 lines and the categories are:
Traditional Poetry
Free Verse

Entry fees are $2 per entry for WWInc. members and $5 for non-members.

All entries must include an entry form and be postmarked on or before Friday, April 2, 2010.
Mail your entries to: Ms. Chris Williams, WWInc. Contest, 3229 NW Gumwood Ave., Corvallis, OR 97330.

Winners will be announced at WWInc.'s 2010 conference held June 4-6 at the Holiday Inn in Cody. Certificates will be awarded. Winning entries will be published on the WWInc. web site.

Contest rules and entry form can be found on the WWInc. web site,

Casting call for film by Cheyenne's RFG

Reveur Film Group is casting seven men and three woman in their 20s and 30s for a short sci-fi film. Auditions will be held on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 22-23, 6-8 p.m., at the Historic Atlas Theatre, 211 W. Lincolnway, Cheyenne. Callbacks on Feb. 24.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dancers' Workshop presents "Friday Night Fever" in Jackson Feb. 19

Dancers' Workshop presents Friday Night Fever: A 70s Dance Party On the Center Theater Stages, complete with swirling lights and a disco ball.

Friday, February 19, 8-11 p.m. Age 21+. Tickets: $5 in advance/$8 at the door. Available at Dancers' Workshop, Center for the Arts, 240 S. Glenwood, 2nd Floor, Jacksosn.

FMI: 307-733.6398 for further details

Call for entries: Central Utah Art Center


Current Utah residents and artists with ties to Utah can apply to the "Utah Ties Juried Art Exhibition" at Central Utah Art Center in Ephraim.

All media are accepted.

Deadline: Feb. 24, 2010

Notification: March 3

Opening Reception: March 12, 6-8 p.m.

Prizes: $500/$300/$200

Juror: Tim Hawkinson: James Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles

To Apply: Submit 3-plus images, artist statement, CV

Fees: $20 for 3 images, $5 per each additional image.

Apply online

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Important Notice

Creede Art Council's National Small Print Show
The dates for the 2010 NSPS are:
April 1st: Prints, entry form and fees due
May 28th: Opening of Show and reception
June 29th: Exhibition Closes

For questions or prospectus, contact Diane Knutzon
719-658-0312 or

Call For Sculpture Announcement

April 15, 2010
Soliciting on-loan (for sale) sculptures for one year outdoor exhibit, beginning in June 2010 ending May 2011. $500 honorarium. Entry fee.
Fachon Wilson
Public Arts Committee
Sheridan, WY

More announcements can be seen at

Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center

Casper's Discovery Center Gets A New Look

The Discovery Center, located within the Casper's Nicolaysen Art Museum, inspires fun and exploration for all ages. Through their hands-on activity stations, classes and special events, the center combines science and art with fun and learning.

In October 2009, the Discovery Center reopened with a fresh new look, including new paint and flooring, as well as five new discovery education/activity stations: Erosion Explosion, Spinning Your Wheels, Build It, Renewable Usable, and City Escape. These stations were sponsored by GSG Architecture.

"The center's programs bring art and science to life in a way specially formatted for children, utilizing the senses and stimulating the mind to work in new and interesting ways."

The Nicolaysen Art Museum's reputation for education and prestige in contemporary art is known throughout the region, and its family activities add to the variety of programs they offer the community of Casper and state of Wyoming. Bring the family the next time you are in Casper!


Festival of Winds begins at UW Feb. 18

From a UW press release:

The University of Wyoming's annual Festival of Winds starts Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center concert hall in Laramie with a concert featuring the Department of Music's top wind bands.

Michael Griffith will conduct the Wind Symphony and Brad Williamson will conduct the Symphonic Band for this free concert. Jennifer Turpen will perform as a saxophone soloist.

The Wind Symphony's curtain-raiser will be Caesar Giovannini's "Overture in B Flat." Then Turpen will perform Maurice Whitney's "Introduction and Samba," a showpiece for the alto saxophone. Next is Daniel Buckvich's "In Memoriam Dresden," followed by H. Owen Reed's "Michigan Morn." The Wind Symphony will perform music from the Broadway musical, "Cats."

The Symphonic Band will open with Robert Jager's "Esprit de Corps," a tribute to the United States Marine Corps Band. Next is "Of Sailors and Whales," based on Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Dave Walsh, the "Voice of the Cowboys," will narrate this work. "The Jig is Up," by Daniel Kallman, will be played next. The Symphonic Band will close with Robert Sheldon's "Metroplex."
Turpen, lecturer in the UW Department of Music, completed her M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in saxophone performance at the University of Georgia. She has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and in various quartets and is now the alto player in UW's Globe Saxophone Quartet.

For more information, call Griffith at (307) 766-3069.

Photo: Saxophonist Jennifer Turpen is the concert's featured soloist.

Sixth grade art show at Laramie Co. Library

From the Laramie County Public Library in Cheyenne:

The Laramie County School District No. 1 6th Grade Art Show has taken over our building! Art is hanging on all three floors, and all of our glass display cases are filled to the brim with sculptures and clay pieces. Some "Chihulys" are hanging from the ceiling on the 2nd floor and ancient Egypt has come to life on the 3rd floor. And there's so much more - it's a real feast for the eyes!

All are welcome to come view the art any time during regular library hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-9pm, Friday & Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday 1-5pm.

FMI: Jennifer Rife, 307.773.7218

View great vids about "Wyoming Folks" on Facebook fan site

Watch Wyoming Folks: Are Afraid in Travel & Culture  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Dean Peterson, the talented videographer for the Department of Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, let us know today about the new "Wyoming Folks" fan page on Facebook.

The page has links to the videos shot and produced by Dean. They include "Wyoming Folks: Are Afraid" (scary stuff) and "Wyoming Folks: Don't Hibernate" (The Great Outdoors) and other neat topics.

To become a fan, go to

Correction to application dates for Arts Northwest showcases

Correction on dates:

The deadline for applying for an Arts Northwest showcase this year is March 22, not the 8th as I originally posted. Please make a note of it!

The 2010 Northwest Booking Conference will be held Oct. 14--17 in Bellevue (Seattle), Washington. Visit the Arts Northwest website at or for more information and to apply. You (or your agent) must be a current member to apply for a showcase. To join, or to renew your membership, go to our web site.

The applications for the Northwest on Tour book will be posted online in mid-March. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Jean Gilliam, Arts Northwest, 360.457.9290,>

Valentine's Day Eve reception at KEAG

On Saturday, Feb. 13, noon-5 p.m., the KEAG Gallery, 414 Grand Ave., Laramie, is holding a "Heart Art" reception. There will be Valentine's cookies and tea.

KEAG will feature original works by Jodie Atherton, Wendy Bredehoft, Ellen Bredehoft, Ken Driese, Dona Fleming, Cari Flocchini, Susan Moldenhauer, and Muddy Mountain Pottery.

FMI: (307) 745-3308 or

Reminder: Reception this evening at Clay Paper Scissors Gallery in Cheyenne

Take a break from the legislative session and get on over to the Clay Paper Scissors Gallery in downtown Cheyenne for a pre-Valentine's Day reception for "Melting Into Spring -- Watercolors by Kandice Starbuck" from 4-7 p.m. today (Feb. 11). Free and open to the public.

Starbuck, a native of Wyoming now living in Fort Collins, has dedicated herself to painting daily. Her delicately painted watercolors capture the luminous winter light, the warmth of spring and the pleasure of flowers.

Her artwork will be on display through March 20.

Hours during the exhibit: Thursdays 4-7, Fridays 1-5, Saturdays 10-2

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Miss "V" at Pinedale Library March 9

Miss "V" the Gypsy Cowbelle will be be conducting a program to celebrate Women's History Month on Tuesday, March 9, 1:30 p.m. at the Sublette County Public Library in Pinedale. The event is free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day, "V" will be the guest at the library's story hour. She''ll entertain the kids with stories and songs on her homemade instruments. That afternoon, she'll perform for the library's after-school program.

You can bring Miss "V" to your library or school or community center through a WAC Arts Across Wyoming grant. Just click on and go to the "Grants" link on the left sidebar.

"Celebrate Pink" Feb. 12 in Cheyenne

DT's Tusker Bar in Cheyenne is hosting "Celebrate Pink" on Friday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. A portion of the night's sales will be donated to Art for the Cure. DT's is one of the sponsors for the 2010 Art for the Cure Gala in Cheyenne.

Wyoming Art for the Cure Gala will be held on Friday, April 23, from 6-9 p.m. at Little America Hotel & Resort in Cheyenne. The 2010 honoree is Susan Thomas.


Pictured: "Angel Wing Begonia," water-based media, by Jessica DeBall, the 2009 Art for the Cure "Best in Show" winner

Acting showcase at LCCC Feb. 12

Cheyenne actor and director Anna Katen sent this message:

This Friday, February 12, ADIOS will be presenting our Irene Ryan showcase at LCCC in Cheyenne.

The Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship is a part of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KC/ACTF) which members of ADIOS will be attending next week in Reno, Nevada.

Actors are nominated from college productions after an adjudicator from the region attends the show. These nominees then travel to the competition to compete against college and graduate students from all around the region. This year we have four Irene Ryan Nominees! Stephanie Haecker and Mark Schaad from Charlotte's Web the Musical and James Sweazea and Anna Katen from Coyote on a Fence.

Each Irene Ryan scholarship recipient prepares two scenes with a partner and one monologue to perform in rounds at the competition. This year, we're showing you what we're taking!! This Friday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the LCCC Playhouse, all four Irene Ryans and their partners will perform their full audition for the public.

Admission is free, so why not attend!!?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter Chamber Concert features string quartet

February 12 2010 @ 7:30PM

Walk Festival HallWINTER CHAMBER CONCERT: String Quartet

Judith Cox, violinRaymond Leung, violinJoan DerHovsepian, violaChristopher French, cello
String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 10

Festival Musicians from the Atlanta and Houston Symphonies return to Jackson Hole for an evening of music by Mendelssohn and Debussy for string quartet.
All winter concerts are just one hour in length and will be performed without intermission.
The winter concerts of the Grand Teton Music Festival play a vital role in the Festival's education and outreach programs with GTMF artists visiting local classrooms for private music lessons, master classes, and performances.

"New West" reviews Alyson Hagy's new book

Jenny Shank reviewed Alyson Hagy’s new story collection, “Ghosts of Wyoming,” in New West.

She concluded the review this way:
With the stories in “Ghosts of Wyoming,” Alyson Hagy makes a convincing case that restless and unquiet spirits haunt her home state. Or maybe it’s just the wind.

Alyson teaches at UW and is the winner of a 2006 creative writing fellowship from the Wyoming Arts Council. She will read from “Ghosts of Wyoming” at the Albany County Public Library in Laramie on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. She also will participate in a reading of Graywolf Press authors at the AWP Conference in Denver in April.

Read the entire New West review at

Tix available for tonight's Opera Colorado performance of "The Barber of Seville"

Attention opera fans in Wyoming:

It’s not too late to get tickets to tonight’s performance of "The Barber of Seville" by Opera Colorado in Denver. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

Friday is SOLD OUT!

Sunday is SOLD OUT!

Tonight is your LAST CHANCE to see the show audiences are saying is one of their all-time favorites.

Featuring an all-star cast! Isabel Leonard making her debut as a sparkling Rosina…Lucas Meachem as a charming Figaro…Brian Stucki as the romantic Count Almaviva…Thomas Hammons as a hilarious Doctor Bartolo…Wayne Tigges as the conniving Basilio.

Buy online or call 303.468.2030 for tickets now!

Free acoustic workshop with Bearfoot

Alaskan bluegrass band Bearfoot will be conducting a free acoustic workshop on Thursday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. in the Sublette County Public Library in Pinedale. Open to everyone so bring your guitar, fiddle or mandolin and talk shop with some real pros. If you don't want to participate in the workshop, you can still sit in.

Bearfoot will perform at the Pinedale Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m.

Brandon Mull in Jackson February 18

From a press release:

Teton County Library presents award-winning young adult and children's author Brandon Mull, writer of the best-selling Fablehaven series, for a talk and book-signing Thursday, February 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Colter School Cafeteria, 1855 High School Road, Jackson.

Mull will talk about the writing process and how he engages his imagination to create fantastical characters in his stories. He encourages students to strengthen their imagination through reading and writing during his "Imagination Can Take You Places" tour, which has reached more than 215,000 elementary school students to date.

Thursday's program is free and open to the community with support from donations, large and small, to the Teton County Library Foundation. Mull also will visit with Jackson students in the schools.

For information about teen programs at the library, contact Steve Whisenand, Teen Program Coordinator, at 733-2164 ext. 247. To learn about library programs and find out about upcoming events, visit the library online at

Monday, February 8, 2010

Call for entries: High Country News

Do you have an image that reflects a quintessential example of the West's intrinsic natural beauty?

Then the High Country News wants your photo.

Submission deadline is March 1, 2010. Viewers to the HCN web site then vote for their favorite images by March 15. Winners will be featured on he web site and will be considered for the print version of HCN.


"Dont Taze Me Bro" sings the Jalan Crossland Band in Casper Feb. 12

Jalan Crossland Band
February 12, 2010 • 7:30 p.m.
John F. Welsh Auditorium, Natrona County High School, Casper

Co-Sponsors: GAPWEST Broadcasting and the Parkway Plaza.

Partial funding is from the Wyoming Arts Council through the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Schneider Fund in the Wyoming Community Foundation, the McMurry Foundation, Natrona County School District No. 1, and the City of Casper.

"There ain't much to see in a small town, but what you hear sure makes up for it" is the old adage. In Ten Sleep WY, population 307, what you'll hear - more often than not - is a clanky old banjo ricocheting off the storefronts and buttes, like a renegade .22 rifle shell. This clamor is Jalan Crossland, local trailer park troubadour, spinning yarns and painting portraits of the lives and people of the rural Rocky Mountain West. "Gossip is even better when you sing it" says Jalan.

Crossland's primary tool of musical expression has always been the guitar. In 1997, Jalan placed 2nd at the Winfield, KS. National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition, and 1st in the state flatpicking contest of his Wyoming home. These added to dozens of regional championship awards, attest that his playing is" dexterous that when he stops at the end of a song, you realize you forgot to breathe"--The Weekly News, Rapid City SD.

Crossland's songs are vivid, first-hand accounts of life in the small towns and backcountry of 21st century America. Like the people they portray, the songs are tough and honest. They also reflect the tremendous heart and soul of their colorful characters. The sound glides along on the wheels of a country music clearly not to be mistaken for mainstream. Old-time and bluegrass are present, but treated to the creative freedom of rock-n-roll.

"More than just a great picker, Crossland's performances feature graceful delivery and genuine character"--Planet Jackson Hole, Jackson WY.

Crossland and his band have recorded 3 CDs; 'Poorboy Shanty', 'Moonshiner', and 'Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies'. They perform full-time, throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. Jalan has opened on several tours with alt-country legend, Robert Earl Keen, and shared stages with many of the biggest musical acts in the nation.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Edward P. Jones is new eminent writer in residence at UW MFA Program

One of the top contemporary African American writers, Edward P. Jones, will read and sign his books Thursday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. in the University Wyoming Union ballroom.

His Wyoming visit is sponsored by UW's Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing Eminent Writer in Residence Program. During his residency at UW, Jones will teach a writing workshop, visit numerous university classes and offer readings on campus and elsewhere in the state.

Novelist Dave Eggers writes, "Jones' short stories have the ability to stun on every page; there are too many breathtaking lines to count."

Jones' first collection of short stories, "Lost in the City," won the 1993 Pen/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. His novel, "The Known World," won the 2004 National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Lannan Literary Award.

His most recent collection of short fiction, "All Aunt Hagar's Children," was a finalist for the 2007 Pen/Faulkner Award. Jones also publishes regularly in The New Yorker.

The Eminent Writer in Residence Program is funded by the Excellence in Higher Education Endowment. For more information, visit the MFA Web site at or e-mail Associate Professor Beth Loffreda at

"Melting Into Spring" at Clay Paper Scissors

Clay Paper Scissors Gallery & Studio in Cheyenne announces the "Melting Into Spring -- Watercolors by Kandice Starbuck" exhibit from February 11-March 20, 2010.

Opening reception on Thursday, February 11, 4:30-7 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Hours during the exhibit:
Thursdays 4-7 p.m.
Fridays 1-5 p.m.
Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Clay Paper Scissors
Gallery & Studio on Fifteenth
Downtown Cheyenne

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Survey Shows Pain of Recession for Artists

By Randy Kennedy
Published: November 23, 2009
A major new survey of American artists and how they are weathering the economic downturn has found that slightly more than half experienced a drop in income from 2008 to 2009, a blow to an already struggling group, two thirds of whose members reported that they earned less than $40,000 last year.
James Vira was recently laid off by an architectural firm but is enjoying doing other work, including designing furniture and other objects.
More than 5,300 practitioners in fields like painting, filmmaking and architecture participated in the online survey, a larger response than expected, providing a detailed look at the state of the country’s artists, a group that the Census Bureau numbers at more than two million.
Many of the findings — that working artists tend to work day jobs to support themselves; that more than a third don’t have adequate health insurance; that musicians and architects tend to do better than writers and painters — simply provide statistical support for what artists themselves have long known.
But it also found that the recession has been exceptionally tough for many artists. Eighteen percent of those who responded said their income had dropped 50 percent or more in the last year.
The survey was conducted in July and August and commissioned by a nonprofit artist-support organization called Leveraging Investments in Creativity, which worked with Princeton Survey Research Associates International and the Helicon Collaborative, a consulting firm that advises nonprofits.
The researchers found that in general very few artists’ incomes approach six figures. While the majority of artists have college degrees, only 6 percent said they earned $80,000 or more.
“A lot of the artists who were reporting were telling us, ‘I live in a recession all the time, so this downturn has really not been so different for me,’ ” said Judilee Reed, the executive director of Leveraging Investments in Creativity.
(The groups that conducted the survey, which was paid for in part by the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, publicized the survey through arts organizations and acknowledged that as a result it might not reflect the “experiences of the entire population of practicing artists in the United States.” But they added that the data were weighted to hew as closely as possible to Census Bureau demographics for artists.)
The artists surveyed tended to earn either very little of their overall income from their artwork or almost all of it. Slightly more than 40 percent said that in 2008 they earned 20 percent or less of their total income from their art.
But at the other end of the spectrum 28 percent said creative work accounted for 80 percent or more of their income, and those artists were often those whose incomes were higher, $80,000 or more. Visual artists (who made up half of the respondents) and writers were more likely to earn 20 percent or less of their income from art.
Even artists whose second jobs have carried them through the downturn relatively unscathed said that the climate for creative work was more difficult. Esther Robinson, a Brooklyn filmmaker whose 2007 documentary, “A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory,” was partly paid for with credit cards, money later recouped with an advance from a distributor, said, “This year there are almost no advances available for the same kind of film that is of a certain quality and that is theatrically releasable.”
Ms. Robinson, who also runs a nonprofit arts organization that she founded, said that she was concentrating on short films because “I don’t see a way to finance any of the feature ideas I have for documentaries right now.”
Perhaps because artists tend to have an idealistic bent, the survey found, however, that many also reported upsides to the downturn: that it has given them freedom to experiment and to spend more time on their art when avenues for making money are closed. James Vira, a Manhattan architect who recently lost his job in a round of layoffs at Cooper, Robinson & Partners, is trying to make it on his own by doing consulting work, taking on small projects and designing furniture and other objects.
“It’s allowing me to pursue things that I really want to pursue, and it’s working out so far,” said Mr. Vira, the father of two young children. “I’m very, very hopeful. But I still check the want ads — as a habit, I guess.”