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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Tag: Jackson Hole Public Art

FoundSpace

Jenny Dowd

For the past few years I’ve been a participant in FoundSpace - a public art initiative co-sponsored by the JH Land Trust and JH Public Art. This project invites artists to interact and activate public land, you can check out my projects from 2017 and 2018, each a collaboration with writer Matt Daly.

I thought it would be fun to check in on what is happening this year for FoundSpace at Rendezvous Park (or R Park)

After citing strange noises and sightings in the park, the staff of R Park brought in Observator R. Park to investigate.

Not much is known about Observator, however, their passion for discovery and documentation is apparent. Observator seems perfect for the job of discovering the secret lives of the imaginary creatures that call R Park home.

In order to aid in the task of documentation, Observator has set up a field station at the entrance to the park and is inviting visitors to help discover and catalogue the mysterious creatures inhabiting the park.

From the sounds of it, this field station will be at R Park all summer - so if you are in the area, check it out. Be sure to take a look at the field guide, located in one of the lockers, as it contains all notes and descriptions of creatures found so far in the park.

This Friday the 21st is a Solstice Celebration at R Park, this event will be from 5-8pm. I’m sure Observator will be eager to share some of their discoveries and will also recruit explorers to help throughout what looks to be a busy summer.

Observator R. Park seems to be easier to find online than in person - though, they are often at R Park studying specimens - the discoveries can be followed on Facebook and Instagram at @rparkobservator and also YouTube

Or send Observator an email with questions or information / images / video of your own discoveries in R Park: rparkobservator@gmail.com

Here are short videos of 2 creatures that have been found so far, I grabbed these off Observator’s YouTube channel - since they are busy out in the field I thought I’d help get the word out:

FoundSpace 2018: Part 1

Jenny Dowd

FoundSpace 2018 is ready to be explored! 

Now in its Fourth year, this project is a collaboration between the JH Land Trust and JH Public Art. FoundSpace offers the opportunity and challenge of interpreting conserved public land in creative and interactive ways. This year FoundSpace is at Emily Steven's Park just outside of Wilson, WY.

Last year I collaborated with Matt Daly, (see our project here) we had such fun that we decided to work together again. Inspired by the optical combination of words and images in thaumatropes, Matt wrote 12 short poems, one for each month, that highlight the overlooked (and often introverted) mini-fauna found in this area. 

I illustrated each poem, which has been challenging since the magic behind the thaumatrope is 3 drawings- one on each side, plus a combination of the 2 when the disk spins.

The image had to be clear enough to read, yet the multiple parts allowed for slightly more information. I was so excited about telling the stories that I missed an important step- the image has to be perfectly registered on each side so that when the disk flips the image is not blurry. Oops.

I drew the image on paper, transferred it to plywood with carbon paper, then registered the image using holes in the side of the disk. (As seen by the highly technical use of drill bits...) 

Each little critter has such personality and imagery created through Matt's words, it was easy to imagine the story and what I wanted to visualize. I am so excited to be part of this project and to work in collaboration with another creative who sees the world from a different angle. I'm already learning a lot about some of the mini-fauna that I was not aware of! 

The thaumatrope is made cut disks from plywood in a diameter to fit discarded bike wheels that Matt scavenged. I drew and painted on the primed surfaces and made cranks so they can be turned by hand. The stands were made by Matt from discarded fence posts, and all stand at different heights.

We've started with 4 thaumatropes, and will install all 12 within the next month. So stay tuned for updates, and if Emily Steven's Park is part of your normal routine be sure to check back periodically.

There are 3 more artists who have installed artwork in the park: Bronwyn Minton, Bland Hoke, and Brittany Hill. Check back for my post on Saturday June 9th for a full update!

And if you are in the area, stop by Thursday June 7th from 5-8pm for the opening event. (You'll be able to make your very own small thaumatrope!)

FoundSpace 2017 - Part 2

Jenny Dowd

It's here, FoundSpace 2017!

Invited by the JH Land Trust and JH Public Art I joined 4 other artists to create artwork designed to engage and enhance the pathway from the Wilson School to the Stillson lot. This busy pathway is a beautiful spot for walking and biking, enjoyed by dogs and their people, and even horses!

Matt Daly and I have been collaborating on a project that features lost objects and the stories behind their loss. Mailboxes became collection points for these objects and also added to the surrounding nostalgia. Living in a small mountain town means mail is not home delivered, so most of my days include a trip to the post office to check my PO box. Plus a mailbox in the middle of a field with a red flag up invites a look-see.

After months of thinking about this project and making plans our installation day finally arrived! Matt delivered the mailboxes to spots along the path where we attached them to fence pots and trees. With all the parts involved we were lucky to have an assistant, Brittany Hill helped immensely! 

Each mailbox contains a kit for writing love notes to objects that have been lost- tags to tie onto found objects plus pencils and sharpeners. You will also find paper that can be used to make rubbings from the poems on the ceramic tiles. (Check out last week's post for details on how these were made.)

During the opening event Friday night we hung a collection of found objects (lost items as well as some natural found objects) in the JH Public Art Mobile Studio. We invited people to write poems to the objects and place them in the mailboxes so they can be found. It was such fun watching people interact with the mailboxes and to hear about what they found inside!

There is much to discover along the path...

Silent Fallen Tree: Ben Roth carved a tree into a chain and also a bench, a perfect spot to sit and contemplate.

Get-togethers have been carved by Bronwyn Minton and create places to find interesting objects both found and made. An invitation to play, perhaps they with gather different objects over the summer.

Willow Wheel by Bland Hoke is a kinetic sculpture woven from willow, while turning in the wind it makes a beautiful and subtle sound as it rustles and glides through the water. Interesting from any angle, however I should have crossed the creek to take a photo!

There is plenty of time to experience the artwork along the path, come back to interact, see what has been changed, find something new! The artwork will be on site until August 14.

Passages

Jenny Dowd

A few weekends ago, with the help of Jackson Hole Public Art, I installed Passages over the patio of Persephone Bakery. This installation will be up through Jackson's Fall Arts Festival, so if you are in Jackson be sure to stop by!

Passages is part of a series I have been working on since 2009, each installation is unique with its own challenges (see them here.) This is the first opportunity I have had to install these pieces outdoors, I found the main challenge to be working in a public space. I strove to find a balance between visibility while not creating hazards in a busy, popular restaurant. 

Each form is welded steel that has been dipped in Egyptian Paste and fired in a kiln. I strung them from a spiderweb of wires stretched between the canopy of trees that makes this patio so cozy and inviting. The boats (or leaves or fish or birds or bats...) form lines and groups, drips when they meet a tree and swirl around overhead. Sometimes they seem to hide in nooks between branches, offering moments of discovery.

I am so happy to have been able to add something extra to one of my favorite spots in Jackson; every installation of Passages offers new ways to activate space. This has been beautifully written about by Katy Niner on the Persephone Blog

Next time you are looking for a coffee or beautiful baked treat, be sure to stop by Persephone... then see if you can find all the boats!

Tiny Art Show

Jenny Dowd

This week a mobile pop-up gallery opened its doors at the Jackson Hole People's Market. The gallery features a Tiny Art Show composed of tiny art created by 10 local artists and curated by Alissa Davies and Meg Daly.

For this show I played off the theme of a Farmer's Market and made a 16 x 16 inch flower stand out of corrugated cardboard. The stand includes tiny porcelain vases and flowers and customers are invited to make their own bouquet or select from a variety of handmade vases with arrangements.

 

The Tiny Art Show will also be at the People's Market August 10 & 17, from 4 - 7pm. Be sure to come by and check it out! I'm not sure what flowers will be available next week, perhaps some different colors will pop up in my studio.

A few details from the Tiny Art Show, plus work by a few of the artists: