The beating artistic center of the old West

Camille Obering and Agnes Bourne fan the flame of contemporary art in Jackson Hole

The beating artistic center of the old WestExterior of the National Museum of Wildlife Art

Located in the heart of the United States, Wyoming is the embodiment of the stereotype of the Old West. Being the least populated state in North America, it is also one of the most spectacular natural spaces in the country. Jackson Hole is known worldwide for lovers of winter sports, for its ski slopes, but times are changing and in a few years it may also be an important meeting place for lovers of contemporary art.


The main meeting points of the city exemplify the image that many lovers of the western have in their minds. Buildings with wooden structures, decorated without any scruple by taxidermy pieces and canvases of surrounding natural landscapes. And is that the only museum space in the area is the National Museum of Wildlife Art (which contains pieces dating from 2,500 years BC) apart from the Arts Center, a non-profit institution that has spaces for performance and also rental rooms for cultural groups. Still, the city suffers from a huge lack of space for long-term studios for individual artists and for visual art exhibitions indoors.


But just as it usually happens in all those places where personalities with a certain purchasing power and a contemporary and philanthropic mind reside, the art scene is also gaining importance among the inhabitants of Jackson Hole. For this reason, last year the Jackson Hole Art Fair was inaugurated, in which those art lovers attracted by curiosity began to shyly show themselves, although it still had a very low presence of great collectors and investors.


This remarkable change in the artistic and cultural environment of Jackson Hole is due to the insistent work of two experts and art collectors who are slowly making their mark on the artistic panorama of the environment.


The beating artistic center of the old WestHanging Pieces (1989) by Mary Obering



This remarkable change in the artistic and cultural environment of Jackson Hole is due to the insistent work of two experts and art collectors who are slowly making their mark on the artistic panorama of the environment.


Camille Obering is an art curator, consultant and distributor who, after a long professional career in New York, decided to return to the city where she grew up to develop a more personal project, in relation to the expansion of the art scene in the "west "

For this reason, she decided to change the landscape a little, opening spaces for contemporary art shows in which educational programs are also developed for anyone who is interested.

In 2019 she opened her Guesthouse, a small property in her name that serves as an art gallery and temporary residence. With a small kitchen and a guest room, this elegant space with views of outdoor nature also functions as an exhibition space for some of the pieces that make up Obering's private collection. A selection of works built with a very specific meaning: the feeling and personal sensations that the collector has lived throughout her life and the impact that some people have had on her. Her favorite authors include: Michele Oka Doner, Mary Obering (who was her father's first wife), Neil Jenney, Kiki Smith, and Tamara Donovan.

In addition, Obering also organizes annually with the artists Matthew Day Jackson and Andy Kincaid an event called "full moon ski", which is attended by artists from all over the country. An evening of art and skiing at the light of the moon that, little by little, is opening the doors of the city to a world of creativity and contemporaneity.


Agnes Bourne is another of the great promoters of contemporary art in Jackson Hole. Renowned designer, collector and philanthropist, she has built her first residence in the center of the city to function as a meeting place and a venue for all those artists associated with the artistic center.

Her work focuses on creativity and community, creating opportunities to capture the attention of those interested in contemporary arts and build relationships around them. In her private collection, both works and furniture have a very special meaning. The names of: Ben Roth, Katheryn Turner, Mike Piggott and John Cage among others stand out.

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