June 14th, 2012, on a Thursday afternoon, Jackson Hole Public Art hosts “Bike In” celebrations for two community-painted underpass mural projects: the Garaman and N. Hwy. 89 pathway underpasses. The celebration is timed for ‘after work,’ and the first 50 cyclists to zip through get free burgers! I assume these are good old classic cow burgers—but they may be turkey burgers, or tofu, or elk, or bison burgers! And I don’t know if you get cheese with that, or onions, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, chips on the side….It’s a free burger, folks! Just go with it! The murals were painted by local artists Mike Tierney (scheduled to speak at this week’s Culture Front Cocktail Hour discussion at the Rose, a Culture Front event production!) and Abby Paffrath. 80 kids also worked on these murals, and I believe some other local artists may have been initially involved.
Here’s how the evening will go:
5:30 PM – Visit/show up/bike to the Garaman Underpass. These murals are “symbols of hope and inspiration and represent solutions to today’s challenges,” says JH Public Art. Then….
7:00 PM – North Highway 89 Underpass: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to mark the completion of Don Rambadt’s public artworks titled, “Aspen Gateway, Sky Play and Communities.” Then….
7:30 PM – National Museum of Wildlife Art: Celebrate the unveiling of sculptor Sandy Scott’s “Presidential Eagle.” That’s the end of your ride, and at the end riders will be treated to the sounds of live music with Screen Door Porch, Rising Sage Café goodies,….and that’s where the free burgers come in! www.jhpublicart.org
Way before the bike ride is the Art Association’s opening of Michele Oka Doner: Earth Fire Air Water. This exhibition will be on display June 1 – July 27th, 2012, with an opening reception June 1st, 5:30 – 8:00 pm. This opening has a cover charge: $5 for members, $10 for non-members. The evening includes a dance performance by Dancer’s Workshop Contemporary Dance Wyoming troupe, and emphasizes the deep connection between dance and visual arts.
The show, curated by Camille Obering, highlights Oka Doner’s life-long interest in “connecting nature and humanity through art practice and design objects.” Obering notes that “the selected pieces reflect Oka Doner’s own interpretation of the elements. The show will include five 96 x 48 inch (works), one 72 x 36 inch, and two 46 x 46 inch relief prints [created from] organic materials such as grasses, roots and branches, representing earth.” In other words, the prints are towering. The reason for the show’s title will become apparent; attendees will view and experience energy-emitting “star bases,”—explosions— created from a base of tree detrius and wax. In the upstairs gallery, “air/bird like prints…embedded in abaca paper will surround a fish bowl containing water.”
I don’t want to preempt this show by describing what sounds like an intensely intricate process and derive visitors of sensations they’ll certainly experience. Oka Doner is especially noted for her dynamic public art installations; this exhibit counts among them.
Oka Doner’s work is inspiration for the evening’s dance performance, which will take place in both Art Association galleries. A larger dance piece related to the exhibit will be performed at Center Stage Theatre at the Center for the Arts, June 15th and 16th. On July 12th, Michele Oka Doner will give a talk about her work at the Art Association’s gallery space.