Wyoming Arts Council

"Power Switch" project — Western landscape as "a source of power"

power switch
Pinedale artist Sue Sommers posted this recent Google Earth image on Facebook which shows the Pipeline Art Project’s “Power Switch” in Sublette County (see top center of photo). The big switch is not as visible now as it will be when it bursts forth with wildflowers in the spring. More info is below.


This is Pipeline Art Project’s first land art collaboration. Artists JB Bond, David K. Klaren and Sue Sommers are working with staff from the Natural Resources Conservation District and Sublette County Weed and Pest to inscribe a power button in a private pasture near Daniel, Wyoming. The next two growing seasons will see crops of wildflowers illuminate the shape, proposing our western landscape as a source of power.

The location’s panoramic setting is the same one used by Alfred Jacob Miller in his famous painting, Rendezvous Near Green River – Oregon, 1837 (University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, Everett D. Graff Collection #4912).

The artists feel privileged and proud to live near the headwaters of the Green River, a landscape that has invigorated American painting for almost 200 years and brought acclaim to Miller, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and many others. Yet the area is remote and little-known to outsiders.

Pipeline Art Project believes that rural Wyoming, with its energy-based economy, is ripe for contemporary art that engages the rest of the nation in a conversation about energy sources, development, and use. Wyomingites are not alone in their dependence on fossil fuels and the energy marketplace. But we are uniquely positioned to initiate an informed, multi-layered, and diverse conversation.

Contemporary Wyoming artists can speak to contemporary Wyoming issues that expand into world issues. That’s power.

Subsequent phases over the next two growing seasons will include planting and maintenance to achieve a power button design in wildflowers.

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