Monday, June 7, 2010

Jump-starting public art in Teton County

ArtSpot v2.0 while still in the studio.

Bland jump-starting the winch to lower ArtSpot v2.0.

Bland and lowered contraption, ready for artwork to be installed.

Under rainy June skies, Jackson artist Bland Hoke today demonstrated ArtSpot v2.0, his unique outdoor art display.

Using an old ski lift pylon, Bland configured a unique way to display work by local artists. The stanchion is held in place by metal blocks cut from an old bank vault. Counterweights are cast-offs from Wyoming Department of Transportation snow plows. The 30-foot-tall display can be lowered with a winch hooked to the truck battery in Bland's truck. Bland explained that this is a much easier to install new displays than hanging art at the top of an extension ladder.

The "frame" that holds the art is a work of art in itself. Bland used a torch to cut designs in the metal and to fashion aspen leaves along the sides. Bolts line the inside of the frame to hold the art.

Next exhibit will be glass art by a local artist. Sixty glass panels will be installed in a specially-built framework. The outdoor exhibit will be up and ready to view on the Summer Solstice -- June 21. When the exhibit comes down later in the summer, the sixty glass panels will be auctioned off to support local public art projects.

Bland says that WYDOT 2007 figures show 30,000 "drive-bys" at this location along West Broadway. The site is on the right side of the street (coming in from the south), just past The Virginian Lodge and Restaurant.

Check it out when you're in Jackson this summer.