How gorgeous is this woodblock print? You can’t tell from this image of course; an electronic image rarely reveals art’s true nature. But trust me, artist Leon Loughridge’s woodblock print, Diablo Canyon Storm, is divine. This print, along with several others by Loughridge, is on view at the National Museum of Wildlife Art as part of 2010’s Western Visions. Loughridge’s passion is depicting the light, shadows and atmosphere of the Southwest. I at first took Loughridge’s work for a painting, a masterful watercolor.
The artist says that woodblock artists Arthur Wesley Dow and Kawase Hasui are primary influences, and in fact he has referred to his prints as “woodblock paintings.” If you’ve not seen Loughridge’s work, or visited the Western Visions collection, a nice chance to do so comes up Wednesday, September 29, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at “Art a’ Brewin'” at the museum. Many works are still available for sale, and you can see all them that day, for FREE.
Woodblock artist works (including several by Montana’s Russell Chatham) are on display in the Wapiti Gallery. www.wildlifeart.org.
And, speaking of Montana tonalists, another artist whose work is not represented in any of Jackson’s galleries (that I know of), Dave Hall, creates subtle, hypnotic landscape paintings of Yellowstone National Park and lower Montana.
I’ve not personally viewed his work, but I’ve seen many images on line and Hall looks like he’s got it. According to his website, he’s been painting full time for seven years; much of his work reminds me of Skorut’s, and his paintings of streams running through fields recall John Felsing.
Here’s what the artist says about his work and inspirations: “I am moved by the half light of dawn and dusk, and most of my paintings are of the southwest Montana and Yellowstone Park areas. A corner of my heart resides there, due in large part to the poetry associated with the convergence of family and friends, moving water and mayfly hatches. Influences include Utah artist and friend Connie Borup, Mark Rothko, Wolf Kahn, Russell Chatham, the Impressionists, and the American tonalists George Inness and Albert Ryder.”
Hall divides his time between Salt Lake City and Montana. See more of his work on his website, www.davehalllandscapes.com.
As I hope and pray you know, there’s a general election coming up. Recently somebody said to me that there’s a perception that Jackson and Teton County “have no real issues right now.”
No matter what we write in the papers, no matter the coverage, the population majority is not aware of issues—and they’re often not even aware of who is running until the last days—and sometimes hours and minutes—before they go to the polls. I fear young voters ask their buddies who THEY are voting for and vote the same way.
Elections like the one that just took place in Delaware tell us that too many Americans have no clue; we are involved only on the most superficial levels. Who is responsible for climate woes? We are, because we continue to use products that emit high levels of pollutants. Who is responsible for the people holding political office? We are. We are responsible for listening to candidates, being aware of issues, following voting records, keeping abreast of how those running for office speak to us. Do they really answer our questions? Will we push for better answers?
Or are we waiting for someone to tell us what to care about?
Nobody can control who chooses to become an informed voter, or what voter turnout will be, but we can certainly try to provide opportunities to listen to the candidates. It is impossible to fully appreciate or understand a candidate unless you hear them debate in real time. It’s hugely enlightening and has changed my vote many times. I’m hoping for more real-time opportunities, and I’m involved in trying to create opportunities.
Providing accessible, generous space for public debate is a great community service.
So, between now and November 2, 2010, this blog will devote space to election issues. It will try to present a balance of questions and opinions from voters and candidates. I’m not sure how much I can accomplish here, but I’m a C-Span fan and C-Span is my inspiration.
If you have a question for any candidate, send it to me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pass the question on to candidates on both sides of the issue. I will not print your name if you want to remain anonymous, so no repercussion fears. Your identity will remain confidential, I won’t divulge it on or “off” this blog. I will also jury the questions, so if a question is not clear, is rude, threatening or inappropriate, it won’t be considered. When candidates respond I’ll post the question and the response.
Onward and upward with the arts and politics! Stay tuned.