Thursday, June 30, 2011

Daily hard-hat tours of renovation work at National Museum of Wildlife Art

Another good reason to visit Jackson this summer:

Beauty is being restored to the rugged National Museum of Wildlife Art façade one carefully placed piece of Oakley Quartzite (shown in photo) at a time as the museum’s construction projects continue on schedule. More than 37,000 square feet of the multicolored stone, mined in Idaho, will eventually sheathe the building’s façade as part of summer improvements that include a new roof and initial work on the new sculpture trail in addition to the upfit to the exterior walls, with capital improvements to the building scheduled for completion by October 31, 2011.

The museum remains open on its regular schedule during construction, and visitors can check the work-in-progress on the new sculpture trail via free “hard hat tours” daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The three-quarter-mile-long outdoor art venue designed by renowned landscape architect Walter Hood will showcase nearly 30 permanent and temporary artworks and is slated to open September 2012. A special installment of the tours will be led July 1 at 10 a.m. by museum Director of Security and Facility Service Joe Bishop, who will share museum history, fun facts and hard-to-believe stories from his more than 20 years on staff.

In addition to the capital improvements and new sculpture trail, work has been underway on a new underpass to allow easy biker and hiker access to the museum from the Jackson-to-Grand Teton National Park North Highway 89 pathway. A panel including the museum’s Curator of Art Adam Harris recently selected artwork featuring playful ravens by Wisconsin sculptor Don Rambadt for the new underpass’s retaining walls.

Read this intriguing article about trailblazing landscape architect Walter Hood in Fast Company magazine.

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