Spring in Jackson Hole means quiet trails just thawing out, wildlife sightings galore, and the chance to get in shape for summer adventures.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about who you surround yourself with,” General Manager Kevin Kavanagh reflects. The Clear Creek Group has protocols in place for homes losing power, running water, or heat, but they had never executed all of them at once in such a large number of homes in three different regions throughout the valley.
Our portfolio of luxury rentals provides the perfect homebase for settling into the Jackson Hole groove and making the most of your time in the valley. Even better, we have ideas for how to get out there, whether you’re pursuing a banner week in the snow or something a little more supine. Here’s Vacationing Jackson Hole, cut four ways.
Working with our inspired friends at WRJ Design, we co-presented an exhibition of Maria Teresa Meloni’s photographs and Marco Caratelli’s tempera paintings. The opening, graciously attended by more than 50 guests, became a celebration of Italian aesthetics.
One could be excused for confusing Jackson itself with a gingerbread village sporting snow-dusted evergreen trees, deep powder, and a Town Square merrily twinkling with Christmas lights. Of course, the elk antler arches are a hint that this is the holidays alright…yet with a magical twist. Our Clear Creek Group concierge team is on hand to advise and connect our guests with some of the exceptional resources and services. We’re dreaming of a white (and stress-free) Christmas for you and yours.
The word “hearth” is a cognate of Dutch, German, and Old English origin that dates roughly to 900 A.D. Clearly, humans have been trying to get this fireplace thing right for awhile. In Jackson Hole, the quest for the coziest, most hot-cocoa-and-mulled-wine friendly fireplace continues unabated.
There’s something all-too-familiar and yet bittersweet about the shift to fall air in Jackson Hole; it’s that new found edge on the breeze, the twilight deepening at ever-earlier hours, and–if you happen to be in town at the moment–you may notice an influx of visitors blowing in on the autumn wind as well.
These would be the artists, collectors, and curious patrons of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, a joyous celebration lasting from September 7-18. Despite being firmly on the valley’s cultural roster for 32 years, the Festival never ceases to feel new. The events, some inside, some out, allow visitors and locals alike to stretch the fall days just a little bit further with revelry and art of international caliber. Of the myriad events–many pairing local galleries and foodies–a few stand out as outstanding opportunities to collect, mingle with fellow western and wildlife arts aficionados, and steal a glimpse of the design story unfolding in homes throughout the valley.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Jackson Hole Art Auction Turns 10
The Jackson Hole Art Auction is a bit like the star each event of the Festival orbits, anchoring the festivities with a truly unparalleled opportunity for dedicated collectors to bid on rare canvases, some up for auction for the first time. 2016’s event marks the second year that sales will be split over two sessions, both held at the Center for the Arts. The tenth anniversary auction is stronger than ever, with nearly 390 lots and a dual approach to the sale. Session I (held on September 16 at 12 p.m.) is targeted towards those dabbling their toes in collecting for the first time, offering a range of smaller works by established western masters as well as contemporary works.
It may just be love at first sight.
Session II (September 17 at 12 p.m.) features works that are sure to spark intense one-upmanship. “The atmosphere at the sales is infectious,” says Auction Coordinator Madison Webb. “Anytime a piece soars above the high estimate or an intense bidding war comes to an end, the crowd inevitably breaks out in applause–filling the auditorium.”
For both sales, Webb offers a preview into some of the works already generating buzz. “Each of our sales is carefully curated,” she says. “We strive to bring only the best western and wildlife art to market.” It’s worth perusing the catalog yourself or attending the previews in advance of each sale. It may just be love at first sight.
Walter Ufer (1876–1936), October, oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 47 1/4 in. Estimate: $300,000–$450,000
Ernest Blumenschein (1874–1960), Rock of Fire – Morning, Ghost Ranch (ca. 1925), oil on canvas, 24 x 27 in. Estimate: $300,000–$450,000
“This year’s sale is very strong in Taos masterworks. For the first time ever, we have works from all six founding members of the Taos Society of Artists (Oscar E. Berninghaus, Ernest Blumenschein, Eanger Irving Couse, William Herbert Dunton, Bert Geer Phillips, and Joseph Henry Sharp)! Important Taos highlights include Walter Ufer’s October and Ernest Blumenschein’s Rock of Fire – Morning, Ghost Ranch, both of which are fresh to the auction market and will be offered at $300,000 to $450,000.”
“Another of the clear highlights of this year’s sale is N.C. Weyth’s He Rode Away, Following a Dim Trail Among the Sage. Painted in 1909 for a Redbook Magazine article, the painting is a rare example of Wyeth’s early love affair with the American West.”
N.C. Wyeth (1882–1945), He Rode Away, Following a Dim Trail Among the Sage (1909), oil on canvas, 38 x 25 in. Estimate: $500,000–$700,000
Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926), Brüllende Löwen, oil on canvas, 44 3/4 x 83 1/2 in. Estimate: $200,000–$300,000
“We have an impressive group of work by German wildlife master Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert this year. Kuhnert was the first European artist to travel to Africa in order to observe and depict the animals in their natural habitat. Prior to World War II, his body of work included over five thousand paintings, but currently only around one thousand are known to be in existence—making it all the more remarkable that we have nine works in this year’s sale. Among the Kuhnert collection are two monumental canvases titled Brüllende Löwen and Kafferbüffel am Tümpel, which are both estimated at $200,000-$300,000.”
“Session I contains a number of lesser known gems like E.W. Deming’s Indians in Flight and Leland Curtis’ Teton Landscape. Another striking piece is Albert Bierstadt’s Western Landscape—at just 6 x 8 ½ inches, it truly is a little gem.”
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Western Landscape, oil on paper mounted on board, 6 x 8 1/2 inches. Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Ringman during the 2015 Jackson Hole Art Auction. Photo Credit: Jackson Hole Art Auction, Jeffrey Kaphan
The Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes Beckons Guests Inside 4 Unique Valley Homes
At the Clear Creek Group, residential design questions are second nature to us. It seems intuitive , then, that one Fall Arts event has turned its focus to the intensely personal canvas of the home. Hosted by Homestead Magazine, the Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes offers a two-day self-guided tour (September 16 & 17, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.) of four diverse valley residences that express everything from the spare and contemplative to the homey and lodge-inspired. The beauty of the homes themselves, however, is not the only draw:
“The main aspect of the Showcase that sets it apart is the ability to have face-to-face conversations with the designers and craftspeople that have created these one-of-a kind masterpieces,” explains Megan Jenkins, who has been coordinating the home tours since their inception four years ago. With two full days to explore, you can wander as long as you like at each stop, tracking down answers on everything from tile selection to the inside architectural scoop. In addition, all ticket proceeds support local charities selected by the homeowners themselves.
“I think the ideal two days would include combining stops on the Showcase tour with other Fall Arts Festival events,” Jenkins says. “Linger at each property for food, drink, and conversation while enjoying a leisurely drive around the valley during what I feel is the most beautiful time of year.” With an itinerary that takes in some of Jackson Hole’s most scenic roads–often lined with turning aspens and western maple–this is an excellent suggestion indeed.
“The main aspect of the Showcase that sets it apart is the ability to have face-to-face conversations with the designers and craftspeople that have created these one-of-a kind masterpieces,”
“I think the tours reveal that the understanding that ‘home’ can mean very different things to different people. Creating a ‘home’ is in fact an art to be admired and shared. I am always amazed how people tend to come away from the tour with such a heightened appreciation and awareness for different styles of design and architecture they never even knew they might like.”
An injection of urban mystique in a mountain setting at a Wilderness Ranches remodel, designed by and featuring Howells Architecture + Design, Designed Interiors, Dembergh Construction, Willow Creek Woodworks, and Brandner Design.
“This stop is not to be missed!” says Jenkins. Meet local legend John B. Mortensen, whose Fish Creek compound offers a treasure trove of his bronze sculpture work, Native American artifacts, and an original 1913 dwelling listed with the Teton County Historic Preservation Board.
Western Visions Brings the Party to Its Superb Gala Fundraiser
Few museum fundraisers truly walk the talk when it comes to their fancy events and parties. Western Visions, now in its 29th year, is a storied exception. Year after year, the program and events team at the National Museum of Wildlife Art manifests the Museum’s mission to enrich humanity’s relationship to nature by inviting a premier selection of living artists depicting traditional or conceptual wildlife subjects into the halls of the Museum itself. These artists include vanguard up-and-comers hanging right alongside seasoned stars of the genre. Plenty of beloved local painters including Kathryn Mapes Turner, September Vhay, Amy Ringholz, Bill Sawczuk, and Jennifer L. Hoffman will also be in attendance.
A spirit of generosity abounds…
Spanning two evenings (with the opportunity to preview the exhibition by visiting the Museum beforehand), the Artist Party on September 15 is the splashy, social affair of the two, offering gourmet hors d’oeuvres, the chance to discuss works with the artists themselves, and live music worth tapping a boot to. On September 16, the Annual Show & Sale provokes serious bidding as excitement permeates the Museum and patrons drift through the halls to socialize and sip wine. Outside, sunset blushes against the backdrop of the National Elk Refuge and Sheep Mountain.
A spirit of generosity abounds as the Museum Trustees add to the lively atmosphere by putting their heads together each year to sponsor the purchase of a new work for the Museum’s permanent collection. Thus, the Museum continues its conversation with the wildlife of its backyard, and the trace of wildness we all sense in the transition to a fall breeze.
Nicola Hicks, Untitled Horse Studies, 2010. Sketch – Pen on Paper, 15 x 22 inches, Opening bid $4,000.0 Nicola Hicks was born in London in 1960. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and completed postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art. In 1995 she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to the visual arts. Over 2013, Hicks has had work included in a Hayward Touring exhibition culminating at The Venice Biennale, exhibited at St Paul’s Cathedral, and had a solo exhibition at The Yale Center of British Art.
Nicola Hicks, Untitled Horse Studies, 2010. Sketch – Pen on Paper, 15 x 22 inches, Opening bid $4,000.0
Nicola Hicks was born in London in 1960. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and completed postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art. In 1995 she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to the visual arts. Over 2013, Hicks has had work included in a Hayward Touring exhibition culminating at The Venice Biennale, exhibited at St Paul’s Cathedral, and had a solo exhibition at The Yale Center of British Art.
Jim Wilcox, Icons of String Lake, Painting – Oil on Canvas, 9 x 12 inches. Opening bid $2,800.00
Jim Wilcox is inspired by subjects throughout the world, and light, atmosphere, and design are his primary interests. His awards include the Prix de West purchase award in 1987, the Remington award for excellence in painting in 2002 and 2007 in the same show, seven awards in the Arts for the Parks show, including the 1994 purchase award, the Buffalo Bill Art Show purchase award in 2001; the Masters of the American West purchase award in 2013, and many others.
Diana Reuter Twining, Pear Study, Sculpture–Bronze on wood base–Edition of 50, 8 x 11.25 x 6.5 inches. Set price $1,500.00 Diana Reuter-Twining’s architecture and art is founded on principles of geometry and rhythm. She has come to understand art as an exploration of memory and image. She attributes her love of nature to apprenticing with her father, a surgeon and photographer who freelanced for National Geographic. As a young teenager, she accompanied him to East Africa, where he took photographs for the magazine’s book, The Animals of East Africa. With more than 30 trips to Africa since, her notebooks are full of inspiration.
Diana Reuter Twining, Pear Study, Sculpture–Bronze on wood base–Edition of 50, 8 x 11.25 x 6.5 inches. Set price $1,500.00
Diana Reuter-Twining’s architecture and art is founded on principles of geometry and rhythm. She has come to understand art as an exploration of memory and image. She attributes her love of nature to apprenticing with her father, a surgeon and photographer who freelanced for National Geographic. As a young teenager, she accompanied him to East Africa, where he took photographs for the magazine’s book, The Animals of East Africa. With more than 30 trips to Africa since, her notebooks are full of inspiration.
Ron Kingswood, Autumn Song of the West, Painting — Oil on Canvas, 72 x 64 inches. Opening bid $38,00
Ron Kingswood’s playful yet carefully crafted paintings contain the natural world at their core. Born in 1959 in St. Thomas, Ontario, and after studying 2 years of art at H.B. Beal in London, Ontario, he then proceeded to study Bird Ecology and Ornithology at the University of Western Ontario. This education gave him a keener sense of his subjects and art itself. His portrayals do not aim to reveal empathy or contentment towards his subject – they are instead abstract compositions that reveal the pure and natural qualities of the space through the eyes of the artist.
John Banovich, Simply One Thing on His Mind. Painting – Oil on Belgian linen. 8 x 10 inches, Opening bid $6,200.00
John Banovich is known internationally for his large, dramatic portrayals of iconic wildlife. Banovich’s work can be found in museum, corporate, and private collections including the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Wildlife Experience Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Salmagundi Club and Society of Animal Artists traveling exhibitions. Under the umbrella of his Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, money generated through artwork sales has been channeled into the support of conservation efforts.
For more information about the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, as well as to learn more or purchase tickets to any of these events, please visit:
Tayloe Piggott believes people need art in their lives. By basing her blue-chip art business in this majestic environment, she finds resonance between people’s profound connection with place and the potential to profoundly connect with the art. Both art and nature sustain our souls. As they have hers: A Virginia native, she stopped in Jackson en route to California. Twenty-eight years later, she reflects on the art community as it was, is, and could be. Integral to the aesthetic future of the valley, we applaud the resonance of her resolve to share vanguard art with Jackson and beyond.
People laugh when I tell them I had a hard time deciding between vet school and art school. Having studied interior design a bit, I always loved art and space, and yet, I ultimately chose an academic path toward animals. After school, I set out for San Francisco and drove through Jackson. I thought I might spend a winter here before I landed a serious job. I arrived in October and that first day, met artist Mike Piggott. He had just left Los Angeles and was on his way to New York. We were both in transit.
I fell in love with Jackson that very first weekend—rafting down the Snake River, watching the kayakers at Lunch Counter, hiking in Grand Teton National Park, seeing the sunset at Dornan’s. Truly love at first sight. I stayed for the winter and learned how to ski, and come springtime, I felt I had earned a summer. And one season led to another.
After years of doing different jobs, Mike and I realized that we felt most at home in the local art community. And we knew that for us to maintain a life in Jackson as engaged creative people, we would need to help bring more contemporary culture to the valley. So we opened a frame shop, which quickly became a hub for local artists. They would stop by, drink coffee and talk about art outside of the Western art market. Jackson has always attracted many different types of artists, but back then, galleries didn’t reflect that diversity. Our friends needed a place to show their work, so we started exhibiting local talents alongside established artists. And so, the frame shape evolved into an art gallery. Tapping my early retail experience selling high-end luxury goods, I understood how to the grow the business into interior design and jewelry.
I channeled my passion for beautiful things into pushing the boundaries of what was possible in Jackson. Even now, I find myself constantly testing what the market can hold. I’m often three years ahead of the curve; I spend three years cultivating support for something – be it a new artist or designer – and then I see their work slowly gain acceptance. It’s been a patient process of supporting the community and building relationships with clients who understand my vision. Relationships are what make this business so compelling. Jackson Hole draws intellectual, business-savvy world travelers who know what they love at first sight.
Here, we live in place where so many people are jumping off cliffs for fun; I feel so grateful to be supported by my clients and my community as I jump off cliffs professionally. Jacksonites live with risk. There is so much risk inherent in building a business, in the volatile art world no less. A lot of self-education has taken place. My journey in the art world has revealed how small it ultimately is. Artists introduce me to other artists, as do like-minded galleries. Clients too: They see new work and share their encounters with me. An aesthetic thread connects us all.
Beyond introductions, travel helps me continually broaden my taste. By visiting international art fairs, museums and galleries. I have established an amazing network of other dealers, all of whom have been very supportive. And yet, doing what I do, where I do it is blessing. My clients have forged strong ties to Jackson Hole, and I have been able to be part of that experience. My clients connect deeply to the places where they live and to the artwork they collect.
Jewelry, like art, evokes memories. Having carried jewelry from day one, I consider it another form of connection. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve watching my mother dress for a party: I would dip my hands into her bountiful jewelry box and offer glimmering gems for her to try. I reveled in her witnessing her transformation into a glamorous goddess. Later on, I’d listen for her return, signaled by the delicate jingling of her charm bracelet. I’d pretend to be asleep as she leaned over me, an angel awash in Shalimar perfume, and kissed me good night. Forevermore, jewelry has symbolized such beautiful memories. Similarly, art and memory are inextricably linked for me: My first experience with art was visiting my grandmother and always finding her in favorite chair with her favorite painting on the wall behind her. That artwork is an integral part of my memories of sitting on her lap, ensconced in happiness. Yes, art and jewelry are luxury items, but they are crucial to our emotional connections. I do believe people need art in their lives. Art tells the story of our time, the diary of our lives and our culture. Why did a person buy that painting at that point in their life? Collecting becomes part of their personal journey. It becomes a passion. Memories accumulate with each thoughtful acquisition. Art is a milestone that can be shared, not just with relatives and friends. It becomes the expression of a particular generation. It becomes part of a community. For me, the element of community makes the risk worth it. I feel better knowing perhaps the community will benefit from my leaps of faith. Without a contemporary art museum in Jackson, I hope to fill a bit of that role.
My art form is the curatorial side—how an exhibition comes together, how each piece is presented, how working with an artist over years makes the work all the more profound, how the vocabulary is expressed. When a work is installed in a home, it becomes part of that family’s conversation. I am grateful to my clients for trusting me to introduce new pieces into that intimate space. I can see what they need, and how a work might amplify their lives. I love the process of placement. That’s where my visual art comes in.
Above all, I believe in good painting—these days, it’s almost a lost art form. And I believe good painting can be found across the price spectrum. I’m always searching for virtuosic painters. I’m not swayed by recognition. It doesn’t matter to me who represents who; all that matters is that the painting represents a highly skilled hand. There are so many artists out there who are extremely talented but have yet to be discovered. I try to achieve a balance among the artists I bring onboard, a balance between established and emerging artists. Every day, I want to look at the walls of my gallery and feel good about the work and the artist we represent. I want to feel at peace in the space I’ve created.
My current exhibition, Beyond by Paul Villinski, epitomizes the many levels on which I work. It’s a good example of taking a risk: These are not easy pieces to place because they are so large and they thus require large spaces. Beyond is as much about offering the community the opportunity to see contemporary grand-scale work as it is about showing a museum-quality exhibition. Ambitious in scope, it shows that we, as a gallery, are standing on our own two feet: We believe in what we are doing, we believe artists should be able to make this kind of work, regardless of its marketability.
This exhibition is not just about selling art. It’s about supporting an artist in his need to create. Paul had to make this work. He couldn’t hold back, particularly if he wants to evolve into the best he can be. It is my job, my duty to allow artists to explore their creativity, to encourage them as they go for it. When I’m working with an artist on a large-scale exhibition like Beyond, there’s always an “Oh dear” moment. “Oh dear, this is going to cost a fortune,” or “Oh dear, the shipping is going to be outrageous.” In those moments, I remind myself: “Dammit, we have to do this.” The artist has been given a vision. The artist has to get it out. It’s my responsibility to make sure the public gets to experience that as a collective leap of faith, as a communal dialogue on pushing the limits of creativity. This body of work builds on a show Paul did several years ago in Jackson. It elicits such an incredible emotional response from all ages: A baby came in the other day, barely a year old, and his eyes were as big as saucers and he was pointing wildly at everything with such absolute awe. Days later, an elderly gentleman stopped by and spent an hour with the work. He left in tears, saying, “That was one of the most beautiful shows I have ever seen.” That’s when I know I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, when we, as a gallery, are doing exactly what we should. When it means something to people.