Born and raised in New York, Donna Gans presently lives and works in Montana. She received her MFA from Pratt Institute and has exhibited in galleries and collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Art and climbing are two of the most consistent passions in Craig Muderlak's life. Both elicit adventure and inspiration, and influence his life dramatically. These two pursuits feed off each other and create valuable human experiences through the virtues of creativity, passion and exploration. Craig Muderlak is an outdoor enthusiast and artist who merges these two passions. He finds great meaning in adventure and expresses this passion with climbing and creativity.
Craig is an illustrator, painter, musician, and filmmaker. He has created award winning films and regularly sells his art domestically and internationally. Although he works in a variety of mediums and styles, all his inspiration originates from the desire to explore his connection to expansive landscapes, often originating from the pursuit of climbing. Many of his illustrations are marked with lettering. This style developed out of his passion for journaling and exploring his deep connection to these landscapes through the written word. The text is usually illegible, comprised of jumbled letters or words without literal meaning, implemented as a pattern or compositional element. Through the spontaneous and compulsive use of color, text and contour, he tries to share something more than simply a depiction of beautiful landscapes. Instead, he uses his illustrations as an outward expression of the obsession, yearning, emotions and questions associated with his connection to these landscapes. Whether its illustration, painting, photography, music, or film; This desire to share the valuable human experience present in climbing and creativity is represented throughout his art.
Arlo Coles was born and raised on a farm in Southeastern Idaho. He was a veteran of World War II. After the war, Arlo was not content to carry on the tradition of the family farm. His love of life and nature and his ability to capture it through art led him to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and later a Masters degree from BYU School of Fine Arts.
In 1967, Arlo accepted a position as professor of art at Brigham Young University-Idaho (formerly Ricks College). He quickly became a distinguished member of the faculty, admired by both students and faculty alike. Arloʼs style of painting was also reflected in his teaching style, “bold and non-conformist”. His broad, strong brush strokes and his daring use of colors are what made him a brilliant artist. He taught his students, “Standards and rules in art are only the beginning, a starting point. Do not allow them to become shackles”. Many of his students have gone on to be very successful artists themselves.
While Arlo was a masterful teacher, he was also an avid student. The artist who had the most influence on Arloʼs own work was Sergei Bongart, a Russian impressionist who lived in Los Angeles but ran an art workshop each summer in Southeastern Idaho. Arlo trained under Sergei and was also hired by him as an instructor. He and Sergei would teach at the workshops and then spend countless hours painting together.
Arloʼs career as a professor of art continued for 23 years. During that time he was Chairman of the Art Department for six years and also served as the head of art procurement for the University. Many of his works are currently on display at the campus and he is perhaps their most featured artist in the University’s Permanent Collection.
His work is also held in several private collections throughout the United States and on display in a number of public exhibits. Throughout his teaching career and into retirement, Arlo spent his own time painting, creating works of art inspired by the natural beauty that surrounded him in Idaho, Montana, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. He also lived and painted in Arizona, Hawaii and California. His ability to capture this beauty in oils and watercolors was truly a remarkable talent.
Born and raised in the deep south, Rob moved to Montana in 1976 to study fine arts at Montana State University and graduated with a degree in 1979. While there he studied under notable influences such Deborah Butterfield, John Buck, Mike Peed, John Catterall, and Rick Pope, Bob DeWeese and others. Following this period Rob worked for Flatiron Mandolins for several years making musical instruments where craft became the central theme that has been integral and essential to him in 30 plus years working as professional photographer.
Never one to shy away from a good challenge, technical or otherwise, Rob worked through the heyday years of film photography but progressed early into digital imaging in the mid nineties. During this time he has had the pleasure of working for prestigious clients such as: Gibson Acoustic Guitars, Simms Fishing, Dana Design Backpacks, H.S. Trask Shoe Company, Hewlett-Packard, Cleveland Clinic, Cherry Tree Design, Scientific Angler, Great Harvest Bread Company, and has photographed and documented the works of celebrated artist such as John Buck, Deborah Butterfield, Clyde Aspevig, Daniel Smith, Jacqueline Reider Hud, DG House, Susan Dabney, and Steve Huston to name only a few. His acute sense of color and meticulous detail have earned him the praise and loyalty of many artist throughout the country and which carries through to his own personal work in photographic landscapes.
During his 30 year tenure in professional photography Rob has also enjoyed having his personal work published in the following publications: Audubon, Backpacker, Sierra, Big Sky Journal, Montana Magazine, NY Times, LA Times, Marie Claire, Yellowstone Country, National Geographic Books, US Post Office, Runners World, Montana Magazine, Discovery Channel, Knopf, Snow Country, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Smithsonian Books, and Children’s Press.
Rob’s fine art photographic prints reside in private collections and have been exhibited in such distinguished places as the Bigfork Fine Art and Cultural Center of Montana, Sundance Ranch, Lightwriter Gallery, and others.
During college Kainz worked in many disciplines of the arts including ceramics, glass blowing, bronze casting, but metals stole her heart.
At Southern Illinois University she completed her BFA specializing in metalsmithing.
Her work in precious metals never quite fit the jewelry scale and once her training in blacksmithing started it was evident that her work would grow in scale. Kainz's work the captures and emulates the true and wonderful of this world.
Her work is featured in public and private collections all around the Nation and is represented by several galleries.
Kirsten continues to engage with the challenge of creating art while raising her four beautiful girls.
Bob Newhall began his life as an artist in Montana. As a child he took in the great landscapes with every breath — mountain ranges in every direction, living drama in the sky, rich palettes of color. Outside every day he had the freedom to construct his own life. Newhall began to watercolor at age 12, and have never stopped making art. His architecture degree gave his a strong foundation in design and aesthetics.
Moving through different media — oils and watercolors, sculpture, and furniture — gives Newhall an endless pathway to explore themes and ideas. He wants to add beauty to the world, and each piece offers the hope that he just might succeed."
JC has defined her unique artistic style as 'Alter Art'. JC collects everything and anything she can get her hands on, taking salvage items such as discarded bottle caps and buttons, broken doors, cracked mirrors, old windows, cabinets, former light fixtures, syrup containers, suitcases, mismatched paint, dolls, discarded roadside items and old print materials and creates intriguing, complex and conversational art pieces.
JC was never formally educated in fine art but her paintings, decoupage and sculptures are a testament to her incredible folk art talent. When approaching a new piece, JC puts it together with no expectations, only that... what will be will be.
Though each piece that JC produces is one of a kind, there are underlying themes that course through her work. JC has an affinity for the frontier west, women and religion. Many of JC's paintings and sculpture showcase the Madonna, the hardworking cowgirl and the strong, though slightly mysterious, business women of the frontier such as innkeepers and tattoo artists.
JC has called southwestern Montana home for almost four decades, raised her family here and continues to enjoy the wide-open spaces, the land and the wildlife of the area.
Chris Vance grew up in a family of artists, moving across the country to follow his father’s work at museums from Boston to Los Angeles. After completing a degree in English at Ithaca College in the 1980s, he moved West, settling in Jackson hole for a time, then on to California, where he made his home for more than two decades. Chris received his masters of furniture design from San Diego State University, and then went on to study under furniture luminary Garry Bennett. Chris’ love of nature, design, and fine craftsmanship come together in his unique style of furniture, which he is currently creating out of his Bozeman, MT, studio.
Tim Crawford began working as a photographer, shooting actors’ composites, models’ portfolios, film-set stills, magazine assignments, and architectural photography, in southern California in the late 1960s. He photographed two California lifestyle books: one on hot tubs and one on beaches, in the ‘70s. In recent years he has worked on several conservation projects with aerial photography, while still doing some magazine and product work. He has a permanent exhibit in the Northern Plans Resource Council Building in Billings, and his photographs of local ranchers are on display at the Open Range restaurant in Bozeman.
Jesse Greenwood was born in Nevada City, CA in 1989. Shortly after, he moved with his parents to the eastern Sierras, where he grew up with his three younger brothers. In 2008 he moved to Los Angeles to study painting and graphic design and painting at Biola University. He graduated in December of 2012 with a B.F.A.
Many of Jesse's pieces are noted for their captivating balance of worn, textured surfaces and fine figuration. Often working from found photographs and old images, he utilizes a broad range of subjects and styles, exploring the concept of man’s integration with his surroundings through the phenomena of time and place within memory.
The influence of natural landscapes and life, as well as Jesse's fascination with exotic flora and fauna and faraway places, are apparent in all of his works. He invites us to dwell on the sense of place and events that compose his pictures, whether they exist in private or public fields of vision, in personal or shared memories. One might also see in these works a measurement of the gaps between thought and image, as well as the idea of painting as edifying to both the artist himself and to observers as a communal experience.
“I am continually inspired by the knowledge that I practice an ancient artistry, creating objects at once functional and sacred. Intact indigenous cultures all over the world still weave and fire their work as I do. That art has provided beauty and sustainability from the first moment. I see myself as standing in a long, line of artisans creating these vessels. As time moves forward, my work will become a part of the natural evolution of this art’s history."
Wyoming artist Valerie Seaberg describes herself as “an ocean child” destined for mountain life. Her mixed media vessels are like great, tumbled beach-combing finds, undulating clay forms encircled by pine needles or horsehair. They are high country marriages between an ancient ocean and raw land. Valerie Seaberg's works are muscular, sensual and convey a deep sense of time, earth, and element.
Seaberg discovered basket making while living and teaching in a remote northern California healing arts school. She was thrilled to craft vessels from the grasses at her feet. “Coiling is slow art. It takes a long time to express an idea and to see the movement of a form realized. It is both meticulous and profoundly meditative work. I enjoy teaching this craft to others as I believe slow art to be one of the antidotes to the franticness of modern life.” A desire to work more spontaneously led Seaberg to working in clay. She began replacing basket centers with clay forms. The hand built centerpieces became so large that they are now an integral part of her work.
“With clay, I feel unfettered I can express ideas with great energy and relative ease. It is currently the great love of my life. Art making has been a source of incredible joy. I am amazed at my good fortune to be doing the work of an artist. I love that my job entails spending whole days down by the river harvesting or hunkered down next to a smoking pit fire. I am grateful for the way this work surprises and informs me, and always leads me to points as yet unknown. My intention as an artist and as a person is to look at the world with curious eyes and to be guided by the natural intelligence of the art process.” Seaberg, welcomes risk as an essential learning tool. Risk brings exploration, and exploration, illumination. Valerie Seaberg’s intimate art springs from her ever-inquisitive mind and heart. In all her endeavors Valerie Seaberg joyously bears discovery’s weight.
Jenny Dowd grew up in Kansas where she developed a strong interest in collected objects and their relationships to each other. Epic car trips, constant reading and creative, inventive parents encouraged her to explore the world through art.
After studying ceramics at Kansas State University, Jenny earned an MFA in ceramics with a minor in fibers at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught and exhibited her art around the country; in 2014 Jenny was the Ceramics Artist in Residence at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Currently Jenny teaches ceramics and drawing at the Art Association of Jackson Hole. She lives in Alpine, Wyoming with her husband, Sam, where they co-own the small art and pottery business, Dowd House Studios.
Shannon Troxler is a graduate of the Schuler School of Fine Arts and the Art Student's League in NY, where she learned a deep appreciation for the craft of classical art while grinding pigments for paint and making her own charcoal. These days she continues to explore new mediums and methods, her latest passions are works on gold leaf and encaustics. Troxler's work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions across the country including Arts for the Parks top 100, Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, The National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Governor's Capitol Art Exhibit, her work is in the permanent collection of the Wyoming State Museum.