The Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Whitney Western Art Museum has a busy summer planned with a refreshed gallery, formal public lectures in the Center’s auditorium, and artists-in-residence scheduled in the museum’s gallery space to demonstrate their technique and talk informally with visitors. The lunchtime lectures are free; watching the artists-in-residence at their easels is included in the cost of regular admission.
From May 19 – June 2, artist Michele Farrier comes to the Whitney as the summer’s first artist-in-residence. Farrier was raised in California near the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but has lived in Alta, near Jackson, Wyoming, since 1993. “My work is done primarily on site—‘en plein air,’” she says. “I try to recreate not only what I see, but how it feels to be there.”
Working mainly with soft pastels and oil while in the field, Farrier returns to her studio to apply the finishing touches to her work. She notes, “I’m particularly drawn to shadows that create strong, natural compositions and balance.” During her residency in the Whitney, Farrier looks forward to the opportunity to talk about her art with visitors. She says, “I hope I can share some of the freedom that I find while working en plein air through my art.”
Farrier earned a bachelor of arts in Studio Art from the University of California-Davis, after which she worked on the technical staff in the university’s Design Department as slide library curator, curriculum development director, and manager of the textile studios. She later returned to school and received a K – 12 teaching credential in studio art, and taught junior high school in California and then in the Teton County School District in Wyoming. Farrier’s work is found in the Wyoming State Collection and at the Ivinson Hospital in Laramie, Wyoming. Find out more at www.michelezfarrier.com.
Also in May, the Whitney hosts Peter Hassrick, the Center of the West’s Director Emeritus and a Senior Scholar, for a lunchtime lecture at 12:15 p.m. May 22 in the Coe Auditorium. Hassrick, a prolific writer and speaker who has served as guest curator of several exhibits nationally and internationally, and is a former 20-year director of the Center, discusses Albert Bierstadt’s The Last of the Buffalo. This prominent piece in the Whitney’s western art collection has just returned from an exhibition in Georgia.
Additional summer lectures include June 26—Sandra Dal Poggetto with Hidden in the Wide Open: Abstraction in Western Art; July 24—John Giarrizzo with An Artist/Teacher at Work: Reflections on a Residency at the Whitney; and August 22—the Whitney’s Curator Mindy Besaw with Today’s West: Contemporary Art from the Whitney Western Art Museum. Future artists-in-residence for the Whitney include Gianluca Giarrizzo, June 15 – 30 and John Giarrizzo, July 14 – 18 and 21 – 25.
For more information on the Whitney Museum’s summer series of programs and artists-in-residence, visit the Whitney programs page of the Center of the West’s website at centerofthewest.org/explore/western-art.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.