Local artist's piece selected for Governor's Capitol Art Exhibition


February 24, 2022

CHEYENNE — Some of Wyoming’s finest artists will be recognized during the 2022 Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition reception in the Wyoming State Capitol Extension tonight (Thursday) from 5 to 7 p.m. 

The exhibition will be on view through Aug. 14, and open to the public Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

This year 134 artists submitted 357 artworks and Juror Wade Patton of South Dakota selected 59 artists for inclusion in the show. Among the pieces selected was a fiber art piece titled, “Don’t Fence Me In,” by Rhonda Schmeltzer of Worland.

Schmeltzer said this is the second time an art piece of hers has been selected. A piece was selected in 2020 but the public exhibit was shortened due to COVID restrictions.

Artists in the exhibition will be honored at the public reception and awards ceremony on February 24, in the Capitol. Works receiving purchase awards, the Governor’s Choice Award and the Juror’s Choice Award, will be announced during the reception. 

Schmeltzer said she will be attending the reception.

She said, “It is an honor to be chosen.”

Photographer Jeb Schenck of Thermopolis also had a piece selected for the exhibit.

The 2022 Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibition opened Feb. 14, in the Wyoming State Capitol Extension. This biennial art show celebrating Wyoming artists was established in 2000 under an initiative by Governor Jim Geringer and is organized by the Wyoming State Museum with support from the Wyoming Arts Council and the Wyoming Arts Alliance. The juried exhibition is free to enter for any artist currently living or working in Wyoming. 

For each exhibition, a juror is selected from out-of-state to ensure impartiality and bring a fresh perspective to the current Wyoming art scene. 

This year’s juror is Wade Patton. Patton is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and grew up on the Pine Indian Reservation, in the southwest of South Dakota. He obtained a BA in Art from Black Hills State University, and had a solo exhibit during his senior year at the Sioux Indian Museum in Rapid City. 

According to Wade, “It took leaving South Dakota for me to find a voice in my most recent body of work. Yet, while pursuing other art opportunities on the east coast, I longed for home. Living on the east coast, I began expressing what I missed, the beauty and splendor of the Black Hills and the skies of South Dakota. I started to draw landscapes and clouds, as a reminder of home. The spare beauty of the prairie resonates in my work… Finally, I realized how much I needed to return, I missed my family and I wanted to pursue my art in the place where I find the most inspiration.” 

The Wyoming State Museum also purchases several works from the exhibition for its collections. These works are preserved for future generations as a record of the artists working in Wyoming today. Works purchased for the Capitol Art Collection are displayed in public offices of state agencies. 

All works in the exhibition are for sale to the public. Purchases can be made at the reception or at Wyoming State Museum during business hours for the duration of the exhibit. Purchased works will be available for pickup after the show closes on Aug. 14.

Artists selected for this year’s show are:

Anna Naig, Cheyenne; Ava Reynolds, Jackson: Bailey Russel, Laramie; Barbara Wolf, Cheyenne; Bria Hammock, Cheyenne; Carol Lucas, Story; Cerrina Smith, Cheyenne; Colt Duncan, Laramie; Corrina Johnson, Jackson; Cristin Zimmer, Lander; David McDougall, Dayton; Debra Zelenak, Lander; Donald Hendricksen, Cheyenne; Dwight Cushman, Cody; Elizabeth Thurow, Sheridan; Eric Krszjzaniek, Laramie; Gail Jones Sundell, Cheyenne; Georgia Rowswell, Cheyenne; Gerald Anthony Shippen, Cody; Ginnie Madsen, Laramie; Ismael Dominguez, Powell; Jeb Schenck, Thermopolis; Jeffrey Rudolph, Cody; Jenny Reeves-Johnson, Lander: Jerry Glassm, Laramie; Jim Jereb, Laramie; Jimmy Devine, Laramie; Joan Sowada, Gillette; Joanne Bornong, Sheridan; Joe Watkins, Thayne; Jordan Sauer, Laramie; Joseph Cipro, Alpine; Joy Keown, Laramie; Justin Hayward, Casper; Karen Henneck,  Casper; Karen Barton, Buffalo; Karla Bird, Pinedale; Kimberly Pezeshki, Laramie; Laureen Weaver, Sheridan; Lynn Jones, Casper; Mark Ritchie, Laramie; Marta Amundson, Riverton; Mona Monroe, Alta; Nathan Trampe, Sheridan; Nick Thornburg, Lander; Pat Trout, Sheridan; Phillippa Lack, Cheyenne; Rhonda Schmeltzer, Worland; Ricki Klages, Laramie; Robert Kirkwood, Laramie; Robert Vore, Beulah; Robert Martinez, Riverton; Rozmaring Czaban, Casper; Sara Willson, Cheyenne; Sarah Anderson, Gillette; Scott Badham, Laramie; Stephanie Rose, Powell; Sue Sommers, Pinedale; Susan Durfee, Jackson; Terry Kreuzer, Cheyenne.


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