Billings Montana is lucky to have the Yellowstone Art Museum commonly known as the YAM. The museum brings in thought provoking exhibits, community events and arts education. This December I got to see the outstanding exhibition, Remember Me by Jane Waggoner Deschner. I've seen articles about her work so when I got to see this instillation in person, I has intrigued and haunted by it. Hundreds of old headshots stitched over with embroidered text taken from obituaries made up the bulk of her work. In addition Deschner, created instillations portraying domestic life that dotted the galleries.
I believe that the presence of art and artists in a community is important. I'm happy to support my local museums and those like the YAM that are several hours away from Cheyenne. I first got connected to YAM through their annual art auction. Last year I had a piece accepted and this year I applied and got a piece accepted again. It's a large, well run auction that I'm proud to be apart of! They even have an online component so people across the country can bid. Stay tuned for that link to the auction for a chance to bid on Darkening Skies- Guiding Lights or any of the other wonderful artists represented.
If you live in Cheyenne and walk past my downtown studio window, over the last 4 months you've seen a large piece of artwork grow inch by inch. It was a commissioned piece for Dawn and Shannon Widdicombe of Billings Montana. The reference photo was of the majestic Crazy Mountains in Montana. When I create a commissioned piece of art one of the cool things my clients can do is send me meaningful textiles to include in the piece. Although it was worn and frayed, Shannon reluctantly contributed her lucky yellow, pinwale corduroy gambling shirt. I used it extensively in the foreground but saved a bit to give back to her. Shannon now has a lucky gambling pocket! As I used textiles they sent me, I would drape them over the easel so they could see what and where they were being used.
After 96 hours of creative challenge, the piece was completed. I was very pleased with the final results and more importantly so where Dawn and Shannon! They were a pleasure to work with. Thank you and enjoy your piece!
This Friday, Oct 14th from 4-5, the Laramie County Library will be hosting the final RoundUP WindUP mural making party. It's free and open to all ages. Come and wind up a circle or two and be a part of this interactive community mural.
The final four panel, RoundUP mural will hang in the future Children's Museum of Cheyenne.
Life Ring workshops have been a wonderful way for me and my students to connect with people and stories through textiles. October 7th will be the next Cheyenne Artwalk and I will be showing not only my Life Rings but some of my student's Rings as well. I'm looking forward to seeing the Rings again and reconnecting with students. Later in the month are two workshops scheduled at my studio. If the dates, place and times work for you I would love to have you join. The workshop is ALWAYS a special time for students to remember people and places from their past.
If you are a former Life Ring student of mine and would like your Life Ring in the exhibition please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The August Artwalk saw over 100 people come through the studio doors. Adults and kids made over 61 circular motifs for the RoundUP mural. Children's Museum board members were there to join in the fun and talk about the museum's progress. If you missed the August event you can be a part of the fun this Friday from 5-8pm.. The fun is happening at Blue Door Arts located at 1608 Capitol Ave.
Want to be a part of making an awesome, interactive community mural? Then join Georgia and board members from the Children's Museum of Cheyenne on August 5th and September 2nd during the Cheyenne Artwalk from 5-8pm. Grab some colored strips of fabric and WindUP a colorful circular motif. Completed circles will be backed with Velcro and ready to be attached and reattached to the 4 mural panels creating changeable, Unending Play opportunities. It's FREE and Family Friendly!
,What's ARPA you ask? It is the American Rescue Plan Act funding. The Wyoming Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyoming State Legislature are the entities that funded and/or handled the grant. 31 Wyoming artist received grants of various amounts to implement a variety of projects across the state. My project, of course revolves around textiles. The RoundUP mural is interactive in its construction and play value. The first RoundUP WindUP event is tonight, Friday May 13th at Makerspace 307 in Riverton WY. If you are nearby, stop in for some Antelope Chili and a fun night of art making! Event starts at 5:30 but stop in when you can. I'll be here working late. This is such a great space to be creative in!
Susan Grinels is an animal lover. Her Lander WY studio is dedicated to making art and caring for stray cats. She works with local veterinarians to neuter and spade the cats, then uses a portion of her studio building as a recovery and care unit. Susan recently received a Doris Day Foundation Grant to help in her mission to care for Lander's homeless cats and to control the population.
Animal's have been a part of her life since a child, (ask her about how she won a pony and convinced her parents to keep it)! It's no surprise that her depictions of dogs, horses, cows, sheep and more are sensitive and humorous!
Blue Door arts will be exhibiting Susan's pastels and collages for the month of April and May. Opening reception will be during the Thursday April 14th Cheyenne Artwalk with a closing reception during the NEW First Friday Cheyenne Artwalk on May 6th. Both receptions are from 5-8pm, other hours by chance or appointment. If no one is working at the studio you can contact Georgia at 229-546-5183.
For the past several years I have been hosting a paper snowflake making party at my studio and gallery, Blue Door Arts during the Cheyenne Artwalk. Folding, cutting and then revealing a beautifully intricate paper snowflake is so much fun. If you are in Cheyenne this Thursday, Dec 9th, I hope you can join my husband Dave and I. We will also have some homemade Holiday treats for you to enjoy while crafting your snowflakes.
Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.