Wyoming Arts Council

Visit The Nic now — and again in January when new exhibits go up

Eric Wimmer at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper sent along a reminder of the museum’s current exhibits and those opening in January. In case you are new to Wyoming, the Nic, as it’s called by its pals all around the West, is a terrific arts venue and well worth a visit next time you’re in Casper for work or play. WAC staffer Mike Shay attended the Shawn Rivett opening in September and sang its praises. He viewed Michael Olson’s work and other exhibits. He also made the obligatory stop in the gift shop. The WAC is proud of its long-time support of The Nic. It’s located at 400 E. Collins in downtown Casper and is open every day but Monday. Web site: http://www.thenic.org. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thenicmuseum

Here’s info about the exhibits:

Shawn Rivett: No Trespassing

Through Dec. 27, 2015

McMurry Gallery

Shawn Rivett is a Wyoming-based, large-format artist, whose western contemporary works convey a different view on the rustic lifestyle of Wyoming. Rivett’s current collection of works displayed in No Trespassing showcases a modern twist on Wyoming Life. The twenty nine foot antler piece, along with large format photography, represents the vast scale that is Wyoming. Shawn Rivett’s No Trespassing will take you to parts of Wyoming you have never seen. It’s a glimpse into the foundation of what makes Wyoming special.


“Parco Winter Lights,” watercolor, 21 inches by 14 inches, Joel R. Johnson

Joel R. Johnson: Town and Country

Through Jan. 17, 2016

Mary Durham/Bordewick Galleries

Joel Johnsons’ work is a reflection of his childhood growing up in the refinery town of Sinclair, in southeastern Wyoming. He was visually exposed to the Spanish Colonial style of architecture of its hotel, church, library, and central plaza with fountain. These were later to influence his paintings of southwest imagery, particularly the missions of New Mexico and Arizona.  This interest continued on into Italy and paintings of Venice and other country towns. The area landscape around Sinclair including the Platte River, the Snowy Range and Elk Mountain areas, notably in the fall and winter, became subjects for many of his paintings including his more mature current work. The clear light of Wyoming has played an integral part of the design, mood, and a sense of place the artist has sought to convey through his paintings.

Michael Olson: Kindergarten to College

Through Jan. 17, 2016

Ptasynski Gallery

“This work expresses something felt but inexplicable.  The creative process grants the time to search for meaning and fulfills a curious need to occupy the days and mind.  This history is recorded in the plastic memory of the clay.

The objects derive from ancient and primitive artifacts, tools, ritualistic objects and weapons.  They reflect a solemn and elegant quality, a timeless mysticism and awe that certain rocks, bones and ruins share.  Like the meditative process, they are both fragile and precious.

Chance, repetition, and reaction to occurrences inform the evolution of the work.  Earth, water, air, fire, thought and time combine to create a simple but complex object.  This is a magical paradox that entices the search further into the unknown.” – Michael Olson

moon above wheat field kimmerle

“Moon Above Wheat Field,” photo by Chuck Kimmerle

Chuck Kimmerle: The Naked Landscape

Jan. 15-May 8, 2016

McMurry Gallery

Reception and artist talk: April 15, 6-8 pm

“The only true voyage of discovery . . . would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes . . .”   —Marcel Proust

“Between the distant vistas of loud, prismatic, neon-coated grandeur (and often inside them) lie the often bypassed landscapes of simplicity and subtlety.  Quiet areas whose significance is spoken in soft whispers rather than self-aggrandizing shouts. These landscapes are straightforward and honest, stripped of any façade, and unapologetic in their reticent presentation. To paraphrase a certain spinach-eating sailor, they are what they are.

I find a great deal of significance in these areas. Their juxtapositions of organic and unnatural, large and small, light and dark, soft and sharp, offer a more realistic view of the western landscape than the common postcard photograph. In keeping with the aura of the landscape, I photograph primarily in black and white, and in a straightforward style no doubt influenced by my background as a photojournalist.” – Chuck Kimmerle

Patricia Aaron and Alicia McKim: From the Outside Looking In

Jan. 29-May 1, 2016

Ptasynski Gallery

Reception and artist talk: April 15, 6-8 pm

Looking to the north we Coloradans typically view Wyoming as a space filled predominately with sagebrush and cowboys. Outside of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons most parts of Wyoming lay undiscovered to us. We are from the outside looking in with our own prejudices and myths. Patricia Aaron and Alicia McKim each through their own experiences, have come to see that this sparsely populated landscape imparts spacious skies and vast lands that extend to the horizon line, often times with brutal wind, bearing extreme temperatures. As artists they have found that this intense climate creates profound beauty in the everyday landscape, as it molds the people who inhabit this area. This collection of monoprints is their studio interpretations of the fragile and ever-changing landscape of Wyoming.

Candace Forrette: Meditation/Reflection

Jan. 29-May 1, 2016

Bordewick and Durham Galleries

Reception and artist talk: April 15, 6-8 pm

“This current body of work is informed by my feelings for and observations of the land.

I am interested in exploring smoke fired ceramics, and in the combining of natural materials – also of the earth and of fire, notably copper and muscovite (mica).

The somewhat minimal, yet made-by-hand qualities of the work reflect my feelings about the landscape and about our place within it. This use of minimal form and the repetition of elements allows for a space for meditation, reflection and belonging.

Over the years, I have worked with a variety of media. I am interested in using whatever materials I need to express what I want to “talk about” and so, have been lead to employ many different materials and methods. For me, art is very much about process. The best pieces are a result of working with my ideas while “listening” to what the materials suggest. I like the idea of working between having control and giving up control. This is one reason the smoke and woodfire processes intrigue me. I can coax the results, but in the end, the firing presents me with something of its own – something I didn’t expect, but really like – or- something not quite right, which requires me to continue with the process.

Like many of those who make their home in the West, the natural world sustains me. Its contemplation often becomes a form of prayer.” – Candace Forette

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