From Nature to Concrete
Above: Exploded Rose | Integrally colored concrete | 48” x 71” – 33 lbs | Jon Nasvik
Art critic Jerry Saltz calls art a culturescape that reflects the times we live in, capturing our hopes, dreams, and anxieties. WHJ’s art feature documents the culturescape of Jackson Hole and beyond. In Jackson’s Gallery Wild, artists and owners Carrie Wild and Jason Williams offer clients curated works from over 30 artists embracing the themes of wildlife, conservation, and the Western landscape.
In a material contrast to the paintings, photography, and sculpture at Gallery Wild, Jon Nasvik pioneers the medium of concrete in fine art. His landscapes reveal a novel lightness and the artistic potential of a material traditionally typecast as a solid utilitarian one, challenging our perceptions in a remarkable way. We hope you enjoy learning more about these artists and contemplating how their work will add to your collection.
Wild, Wild West
by Lori Currie
In the heart of Jackson Hole, where the grandeur of the Teton mountain range meets the geologic wonders of Yellowstone National Park, Gallery Wild stands as a beacon for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The brainchild of artists and owners Jason Williams and Carrie Wild, the gallery is located just a block from town square, opposite the historic Wort Hotel, beckoning passersby to step into a world where the beauty of the natural world converges with artistic expression.
“People visit Jackson Hole to witness the magic of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and through that they have unforgettable experiences with wildlife and the western landscape,” says Wild. “When they step into our gallery, after visiting the parks, they take a deep breath, and all of the memories of those special moments come rushing back. Our hope is that, if they take a painting or a sculpture home, the inspiration from their time here will never fade. Through the enjoyment of their art every day, they will be encouraged to consider the importance of preserving wild places and the animals that live there.”
“When they step into our gallery, after visiting the parks, they take a deep breath, and all of the memories of those special moments come rushing back. Our hope is that, if they take a painting or a sculpture home, the inspiration from their time here will never fade. Through the enjoyment of their art every day, they will be encouraged to consider the importance of preserving wild places and the animals that live there.”
–Carrie Wild, Owner, Gallery Wild
Gallery Wild’s commitment to conservation and wildlife is not merely a theme; it’s a driving force behind the gallery’s success. Wild emphasizes the gallery’s role in fostering a love for wildlife and open spaces through art. The majority of the gallery’s artists draw inspiration from nature. The name of the gallery itself, “Wild,” symbolizes the artists’ experiences during countless hours in the field, studying and observing wildlife and landscapes. “It’s hard not to be inspired in this environment,” says Wild. “The colors, sunlight, winters with snow and ice—all contribute to an atmosphere that practically demands creativity.”
Gallery Wild takes pride in its talented roster of artists, both established and emerging, who bring their unique backgrounds, styles, and techniques to the table. Representing over 25 painters, sculptors, and photographers, the gallery offers a rich selection for collectors seeking that perfect piece that resonates with their individual taste and evokes emotions that transcend the canvas.
The upcoming exhibits at Gallery Wild promise to be a feast for the senses, showcasing the talent and diversity that define the gallery’s identity. One such exhibit is the eagerly anticipated “Depths,” featuring the award-winning artist, Aaron Hazel, taking place December 28. Hazel’s work, known internationally and featured in esteemed galleries and publications, promises to offer a fresh perspective on the underrepresented minorities of the West. It’s an exploration that goes beyond the canvas, delving into the stories and experiences often overlooked in mainstream academia. Through his evocative creations, Hazel reshapes the narrative of the West, ensuring that his subjects’ stories are not only seen but also felt on a profound and global scale.
Following this, the gallery is set to host Carrie Penley’s exhibition on January 18. Penley’s canvas is a playground where subtle hues, expressive brushstrokes, and carefully incorporated collage materials converge to form a mesmerizing fusion of realism and expressionism. Her unique artistic approach is a testament to her keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the emotive power of color and texture. Rooted in her love for the outdoors, wildlife, and music, Penley’s contemporary style serves as a conduit to bridge generations, weaving a narrative that captivates the senses and instills a passion for nature and conservation.
On February 15, Gallery Wild will be hosting a group show called, “Snowscapes,” capturing the essence of winter in Jackson Hole. All of the galleries’ artists have been invited to create one to two pieces for this show, offering their interpretation of wintery magic. From serene snow-draped landscapes to the untamed beauty found within these frost-kissed realms, the exhibition promises to be a visual journey into the heart of winter’s allure.
The gallery will welcome artist Taryn Boals on March 21. Boals found her artistic roots amidst the expansive farmland, majestic horses, and boundless skies of her rural Illinois upbringing. Fueled by the beauty of the countryside, she developed an unwavering passion for art, dedicating herself to drawing from an early age. Boal’s distinctive painterly style has evolved over the years, achieving a harmonious blend of traditional Western art themes with a contemporary flair. Drawing inspiration from the breathtaking landscapes of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she now resides, Boals captures the essence of the Teton mountain range, the awe-inspiring wildlife, and the vibrant artistic community that surrounds her.
Another eagerly anticipated exhibit at Gallery Wild is by artist Jenna von Benedikt, taking place June 20. Born outside of London, von Benedikt’s paintings draw inspiration from her European roots, the places she has lived and traveled, and her current surroundings in the Rocky Mountains. Animals, a recurring theme in her work, play vital roles in the stories her paintings tell. Von Benedikt’s ability to seamlessly integrate the essence of different cultures and the majesty of nature into her art reflects a harmonious coexistence of her past and present, resulting in a body of work that resonates with universal themes.
Gallery Wild isn’t just a place to view art; it’s a narrative woven into the fabric of Jackson Hole’s artistic and conservation ethos. Through its diverse exhibitions, commitment to conservation, and dynamic connection with the community, the gallery stands as a testament to the power of art in fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.
Art lovers can also view the carefully curated works of Gallery Wild at the nearby Four Seasons Hotel. The gallery has been collaborating with the Four Seasons, replacing art collected over the years with more place-based work. This ever-changing exhibit, aptly named Wild, features over 50 new paintings from Gallery Wild and Altamira Fine Arts, recently acquired by Wild and Williams. The rotation ensures a dynamic display that remains in constant conversation with the hotel’s environment.
Gallery Wild isn’t just a place to view art; it’s a narrative woven into the fabric of Jackson Hole’s artistic and conservation ethos. Through its diverse exhibitions, commitment to conservation, and dynamic connection with the community, the gallery stands as a testament to the power of art in fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world. As the upcoming exhibits promise to unfold, Gallery Wild continues to be a guiding light for those who seek the intersection of creativity, nature, and community in the heart of Jackson Hole.
Jon Nasvik On Concrete Art
Exploring Artistic Boundaries
by Sabina Dana Plasse
“Concrete art in particular has a certain essence of attraction. It’s sort of like being a method actor.”
–Jon Nasvik, Artist
When exploring fine art as décor or a collectible, it’s worth mentioning the unusual path with concrete that Sun Valley, Idaho, artist Jon Nasvik offers. A lifetime of experience with concrete has naturally inspired Nasvik to use it as a uniquely functioning art form. “I’ve reached a point as an artist where needing to produce, grow, and improve, and speak to what I’ve learned and feel have all come together,” he says.
The creative process for Nasvik is an extension of himself. It challenges him to push the boundaries into unknown areas. Because of its versatile cellular structure, concrete is a natural medium for expanding on the notions of art. As a foundation, it can provide an entirely new perspective with diverse textural opportunities that board and canvas don’t offer.
“I like to think of myself as an inventor searching for ways to express myself. This process seems to offer endless (toolbox) discoveries, motivating me to raise the bar and go farther,” says Nasvik.
The idea of art and its role in our lives, coupled with Nasvik’s unique and evolving process, fuels creative appetite and begs conceptual questions like: What will it be, why is it important, is concrete the best choice for a particular idea, and how can the process be improved?
One of the rewarding moments in creating concrete art is the suspense of its unveiling. Usually, a piece is done upside-down and backward. Planning is limited because as layers of colored cement add up, previous layers get buried until, eventually, the whole piece is just one color. The unveiling comes after the artwork reaches its full 1/8” thickness and has had 24 hours to harden fully. Then, it gets flipped over and peeled off the plastic-coated plywood it was cast on to reveal the image—like how a print is done. If desired, there are options to apply more colored cement, stains, sanding, cutting, and grinding.
“Some clients view my work and appreciate the contemporary paintings. Others prefer my landscapes. They enjoy the look and feel, and, of course, they are surprised by what they’re made of,” Nasvik explains. “It takes viewers on a different adventure because it’s on its own path. I like that.”
“I thoroughly enjoy pioneering this art medium. Discovering new artistic elements in concrete doesn’t get old. Pushing through to new dimensions and experimenting has a very satisfying allure for me. And for others interested in discovering concrete art, I think it is an exciting find.”
–Jon Nasvik, Artist
He adds, “A common misconception about concrete art is its weight. I can’t stress enough that it does not have to be heavy. Most of my work is only an eighth of an inch thick, and it usually weighs about 1.25 pounds per sq foot. There is plenty of art on the walls where the frames and glass can weigh more than that.”
In a new work, Nasvik captures the mood of a central Idaho evening of fly fishing with definition and an enticing palette. As a landscape, the painting provides a cross-section of colors and textures to capture a moment in time. Color and forms move throughout the peaks and valleys of the concrete, adding dimensions and angles the individual can interpret in their own way. Nasvik’s contemporary piece has an airy, floating sensation with brilliant shades of red petals dancing in darkness.
“When I begin working, I can’t help getting lost in it,” says Nasvik. “Concrete art in particular has a certain essence of attraction. It’s sort of like being a method actor. While working on the landscape, I could almost feel the sun on my face, the stillness in the air, and the cool water at my feet.”
Jon Nasvik’s background as an artist has included working with various mediums: ink, oil, watercolor, lithography, photography, pottery, wood, metal, glass, and plastic; but, for the time being, concrete is just different enough to maintain his interest.
“I thoroughly enjoy pioneering this art medium,” says Nasvik. “Discovering new artistic elements in concrete doesn’t get old. Pushing through to new dimensions and experimenting has a very satisfying allure for me. And for others interested in discovering concrete art, I think it is an exciting find.”
To learn more about Jon Nasvik and his concrete art, visit jonnasvik.art.