Yellowstone to Yukon ~ The Journey of Wildlife and Art at Museums and On-line

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artwork: Charles M. Russell - "To the Victor Belong the Spoils", 1901 - Oil on Canvas - 31 1/2" x 44 ½" - National Museum of Wildlife Art collection. On view in "Yellowstone to Yukon: The Journey of Wildlife and Art" until August 14th (and on-line at the y2y.net website).


Jackson, WY.- The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming is proud to host “Yellowstone to Yukon: The Journey of Wildlife and Art”, organised by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Iniative, and on view at the museum until August 14th. This exhibition presents paintings and sculptures from the permanent collections of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. In addition, as a special commissioned part of the show, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative sent acclaimed artist Dwayne Harty into the field to discover anew the landscape and wildlife along the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor. The exhibition will also be on view at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta, Canada in the summer of 2012. However, it can also be seen at any time on-line at the Yellowstone to Yukon
website: http://www.y2y.net

For three summers, Dwayne Harty traveled and painted in some of the most remote regions of the area, capturing scenes that few, if any, painters have sketched firsthand. 140 years ago, Thomas Moran painted vibrant watercolors of the Yellowstone and Grand Teton region as the official artist accompanying the 1871 Hayden expedition. His sketches, along with photographs by William Henry Jackson, helped convince the United States Congress to establish Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park.Since that time, artists have explored the natural corridor leading from the Wind River Range up through the Rocky Mountains to the Yukon Territory, capturing the pristine nature, dramatic scenery, and abundant wildlife of the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor. Works by deceased masters including Carl Rungius, Charlie Russell, Walter Phillips, and Bob Kuhn and living artists such as Robert Bateman, Tucker Smith, and Maureen Enns are featured in the show alongside Dwayne Harty’s commissioned work. Though still remarkably intact, in places human incursion has broken apart the prime contiguous habitat of the corridor. The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative was formed to ensure that the world-renowned wilderness, wildlife, native plants, and natural processes of this region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, capable of supporting all of its natural and human communities.

artwork: Carl Rungius - "Fall Storm", circa 1935 - Oil on Canvas - 24" x 32" National Museum of Wildlife art Collection. © Estate of Carl Rungius.

In 1984, 10 founding trustees chose Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with its abundant wildlife, beautiful mountain setting, and high tourism, as a unique and appropriate setting for an art museum focused on images of wildlife. The original museum opened as Wildlife of the American West Art Museum on May 16, 1987 on Jackson’s Town Square. By 1992, the NMWA had outgrown its three-gallery, 5,000 square-foot storefront. A capital campaign was launched to raise $10 million for a new facility and $2 million for an operating endowment. In September 1994, the NMWA opened its new facility, a 51,000 square-foot state-of-the-art building that allowed for expanded exhibition space, museum programs, and educational programming. Representing the culmination of a lifetime of study and collection of wildlife art by Joffa and Bill Kerr who, over a 30-year period, developed a collection of wildlife art unsurpassed in the United States, the Museum is comprised of 14 exhibition galleries, an interactive gallery for children, a conference room, two full-sized classrooms, a 200-seat auditorium, the Rising Sage Café, Members’ Lounge, Library & Archives, and administrative space. The Museum’s permanent collection of over 5,000 cataloged items includes paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by over 100 distinguished artists ranging from early American Tribes through contemporary masters.

The Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions are augmented with innovative educational and scholarly programs emphasizing art appreciation, art history, natural science, creative writing, and American history. The Museum has become an important educational center and meeting place for the Jackson Hole region. In 1994, the National Museum of Wildlife Art received the Wyoming Humanities Award for exemplary efforts in fostering the humanities in Wyoming. More than 76,000 people visit every year, and over 10,000 children visit the Museum each year, often as part of their school curricula. Situated on a dramatic cliff overlooking the Jackson National Elk Refuge, the National Museum of Wildlife Art appears to emerge from the earth like a natural outcropping of rock. The Museum’s location provides a rare opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat, as does the artwork that pays tribute to it. Constructed of rough stone to blend seamlessly into the native terrain of Jackson, Wyoming, the building captures and reflects the area’s natural beauty. The resulting 51,000 square-foot building is original, contextually relevant, and timeless. Although the red Arizona sandstone and low profile of the building are reminiscent of the ancient architecture of the desert Southwest, the profile of the Museum’s building was inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.wildlifeart.org

artwork: Robert Bateman - "Rocky Wilderness Cougar", 1980 - Acrylic on Masonite - 36" x 48" National Museum of Wildlife Art collection. - © Robert Bateman

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is a joint Canada-US not-for-profit organization that seeks to preserve and maintain the wildlife, native plants, wilderness and natural processes of the mountainous region from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon Territory. Y2Y takes a scientific approach to conservation and is recognized as one of the planet’s leading mountain conservation initiatives. Y2Y was officially established in 1997 and has two offices located in Canmore, Alberta and Bozeman, Montana. Combining science and stewardship, we seek to ensure that the world-renowned wilderness, wildlife, native plants, and natural processes of the Yellowstone to Yukon region continue to function as an interconnected web of life, capable of supporting all of its natural and human communities, for now and for future generations. Y2Y connects and supports a network of organizations, agencies, and individuals doing on-the-ground conservation work in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. These groups are known as our partners. Without a unified vision for this deeply interconnected landscape, local conservation efforts may be isolated and less effective. Y2Y seeks to ensure conservation efforts throughout the region are aligned in support of large scale objectives, and therefore become continentally significant. Visit the iniative’s website at … http://www.y2y.net