The Jackson Hole Art Association kicks off its Summer Exhibitions this week, when artists Mark Newport, Jean Laughton and Taylor Glenn present their work. A reception for all three shows takes place Friday, June 3, 5:30 pm at the Center for the Arts. The shows remain up through July 29, 2011.
Mark Newport’s Sweatermen are giant, knit superhero costumes. Hand made knit goods are especially memory-provoking and connective. My own mother still knits, and a few Christmases ago she created a series of knit snakes. She gave them little black yarn smiles and tiny hats, lined them with panty hose and filled them with birdseed. She’d make a fortune turning them out by the dozen, but she indulged her vision. The snakes are a limited series.
That kind of tactile sensory stimulation, along with every child’s adoration of superheroes, combine to make these intriguing life-size costumes. An empty, dangling superhero suit begs to be filled out; we imagine ourselves inside each one, or a faceless, perfect somebody beneath the hoods. As I write, I realize we adults—particularly baby boomers, the first generation to make anti-aging a daily pursuit—are still drawn to comic book idols. We flock to the movies to see Ironman, Superman, the Green Hornet, Spiderman, Batman.
Artist and educator Mark Newport is the Artist-in-Residence and Head of Fiber at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He will give an artist’s talk that day, June 11, at 12:00 p.m. in the Art Association’s Main Gallery.
Taylor Glenn’s touching and beautiful images of China’s Mandarin Green Plastics Company capture assembly workers in an artificial flower factory. That fact does not minimize the poetry in these photographs. Far Chang humanizes a product Americans buy en masse; these flowers are somebody’s daily art. “We rarely give thought to how these products are made and the individuals who are responsible. These images are a personal and quiet observation of daily life at this factory,” says the Art Association.
Glenn will give a gallery talk on Thursday, June 7, at 7:00 pm.
Jean Laughton’s My Ranching Life caps off the summer shows with dynamic images of Western South Dakota ranching life; this American life. Laughton took these photographs in the Badlands of Interior, South Dakota. Laughton studied photography, simultaneously adapting to the hard tack of daily cowboy life. These are large-scale panoramic photographs, capturing the West’s superhero ranching lifestyle.
An esteemed colleague, a friend with an interest in urban planning and who works in the real estate industry on a global level, has sent me a list of books written by his own “urban planning heroes,” with synopses:
Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs – Jacobs wrote that “eyes and feet on the street” leading to direct human interaction is the key to successful neighborhoods. Auto-centric, civil-engineering-driven approaches kill neighborhoods.
City in History by Lewis Mumford – Mumford wrote that cities represent the best that civilization has to offer. Most of the advancements in the long history of humankind came from the exchange of ideas and commerce in cities. He valued the historic legacy of cities over the post-modernist destruction of the reminders of who we are and where we came from.
Triumph of the City by Ed Glaeser – Glaeser is a young Harvard economist who just appeared on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He writes that cities are one of the best inventions in humankind and that they are the key to living efficiently on the planet. He is a bit of an anti-planner in that he says planners often get it wrong (sprawl zoning from the 50s was built on bad assumptions that everyone wants a half-acre lot and a two-car garage and no sidewalks). But his ideas about how people express their desires in the real estate marketplace are really intriguing. And he does think that the marketplace would demand higher density, which is also more efficient, if sprawl zoning could be changed.
Coming to a gallery near you:
Altamira Fine Art welcomes Montana artist Ted Waddell and contemporary landscape painter Louisa McElwain, at an opening reception Thursday, June 2, 6-8:00 pm. Their joint show, Good Country, remains up through June 19. www.altamiraart.com
The Diehl Gallery celebrates its 10th Anniversary on Thursday, June 30. The 10th Anniversay Fête happens 5-9:00 pm at the Gallery. This summer, Diehl features artists Hung Liu, Ashley Collins and Sheila Norgate. The gallery will also travel to Art in San Diego September 1-4th. Cool! www.diehlgallery.com
Trio Fine Art begins summer hours on June 1. The gallery–which features the work of Lee Carlman Riddell, September Vhay, Kathryn Mapes Turner and Jennifer Hoffman–will be open Wednesday through Saturday, noon-6:00 pm. Stop by for tea. Shows throughout the summer! www.triofineart.com
The Jackson Hole Art Auction closes its 2011 Auction consignment period June 1. If you want to consign and you are reading this post May 31, 2011, you’ve got 24 hours to contact Lucy P. Grogan by phoning 866.549.9278. www.jacksonholeartauction.com