Friday, July 22, 2011

David Klaren is living large with his dynamic drawings

David Klaren's Dire Wolf Studios is in a spacious old warehouse in Pinedale. His large drawings of dragon flies and mud crabs and pine cones and skeletal horses occupy almost every inch of wall space in the two-story building. His pen-and-ink drawings are spread out across a table. On the shelves are various fish sculptures awaiting completion. Lots of work to choose from for Wyoming Arts Council's fellowship biennial exhibit.

In his other life, David drives a truck for a drilling crew and installs floors and builds home additions and heads up Pinedale's nascent public arts program. Evidence of his construction background is evident in his two-story studio. He put in the windows and walls and floors. Stacked beneath his drawing are new wooden floors awaiting installation in the studio and at a customer's house.

He knows his materials, and can get them to do what he wants most of the time. Some drawings don't pan out. He started an ink drawing of a topographical map of Crowheart Butte and it turned out looking a bit like a Halloween decoration -- all black and white and frenetic lines. He gave it some thought and is working on a series of 3-D topo map drawings in which Crowheart Butte rises out of the paper in all of its topographical glory. Still a work in progress.

David has had exhibits all over the region, including shows in Colorado, Idaho and Nebraska. His work has been featured at the Governor's Capital Art Exhibition in Cheyenne. For the past two years, David and some of his fellow Wyoming artists have trooped to Art Basel in Miami Beach to discover ways to market their work internationally.

After the studio visit, we trooped over the the Sublette County Public Library. David showed us the fish exhibit. Fish a Titlist golf ball (complete with golf tee). Fish made from thousands of sunflower seeds. About a half-dozen of David's fish sculptures swim through the library. A very popular addition, especially with the kids.

Both the fish and the sculpture remain a big part of David's life. He was born in the old whaling town of New Bedford, Mass., but grew up in high and dry Pinedale, where trout fishing is king in the surrounding mountains. He attended one of the top sculpture programs in the U.S. at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

But these days, it always comes back to the drawings. A selection of them will be on display at the fellowship biennial show when it opens Nov. 4 at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.

Photos (top to bottom):
1. David Klaren and "Mud Crab," graphite on  Arches cover,  53x72 inches
2. "Black Iraq," ink on vellum, 24x18 inches
3. David Klaren shows his ink drawings to WAC fellowship biennial curator Nancy Bowen.
4. The fish sculpture section of David's Pinedale studio

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