With the sun and the rise in temperatures, those of us who live along the Bighorns finally may realize the rewards of harvesting from garden to table, the pleasure of laying a fly on a stream surface, the adventure of a new hiking trail or a lazy afternoon on the water. Since both feed my soul and offer a challenge, I am always torn between choosing time in nature and time in my studio.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in my studio with California-based Beverly Kleiber, granddaughter of Dayton’s Hans. A few generations removed from her grandfather, she realizes the value of documenting individuals during their lifetime, while memories and stories are still fresh. This is certainly the case with the art work, photographs, furniture and studio supplies preserved in the Kleiber Museum in Dayton.
An artist with exhibitions in computer graphics and skilled in electronic technology, Beverly proposed a video project to Ken Schuster at The Brinton Museum. Ken immediately was supportive and supplied her with a list of 22 artists in Sheridan County to interview and document. She wasted no time and set up appointments.
Some of the artists toured her around favorite spots where the landscapes inspired their work, while others comfortably sat in their studios for the video taping sessions. Beverly was quick to respond to the individuality of each artist and the differences in their art practice. Reflecting on my experience, I imagine everyone felt time with her was time well spent and honored to participate in the project.
Thanks to the various art and culture centers in the area, we have numerous opportunities to hear artists talk about their work in conjunction with art exhibitions at The Brinton, Ucross, SAGE or the Carousel Center. Jentel Presents monthly features visual artists and writers sharing aspects of their creative process, their influences and references, and new work in process.
Searching YouTube offerings late one evening out of curiosity, I typed in University of Wyoming Art Museum and discovered 49 videos listed. Most were artists discussing their work in reference to major exhibitions scheduled over the years. In fact, three included Neltje: an art exhibition, an exhibition of her Papua New Guinea artifacts and a reading from her memoir.
I quickly realized that for many who may juggle day to day responsibilities, work and family, they are pressed for time to take advantage of evening or weekend art activities. This, UW offers another opportunity for those seeking a better understanding of the arts through artists’ presentations, an opportunity as close as their iPad or laptop. Yes, and I look forward to when we all may enjoy an introduction to area artists and insight into their creative lives.
At this most beautiful time of the year in Wyoming, I opt to seek out the nourishment and renewal that nature offers during the daylight hours and then tuck myself away in my studio after dusk. In the future, however, I will look forward to pulling out my iPad on a break and selecting a new video from Beverly and The Brinton. I hope you will enjoy the same.
Lynn Reeves is program manager for Jentel Foundation.