Features

Wyoming Arts Council

Winners of the Governor’s Arts Awards were announced this week. For the first time in many years, the winners are all visual artists.

Governor Matt Mead made the final selections based on recommendations from the Wyoming Arts Council board. In a news release, Governor Mead said “These three artists...are representative of the many wonderful artists we have in Wyoming who contribute to a thriving arts economy.”

Diana Denison

Laramie-based jazz guitarist and vocalist Peter Queal visited on November 19th with Grady Kirkpatrick on Morning Music. They talked about the Queal’s new CD Humility and played a few tracks.

Caroline Ballard

Protesters filled Simpson Plaza in front of the University of Wyoming last Thursday. They were calling for an end to police brutality and racism, following grand jury decisions to not indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in New York. Protesters and observers had a variety of viewpoints:

Every four years, the University of Wyoming stages the classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. It’s a major undertaking involving the Department of Theatre and Dance, the UW Symphony Orchestra, and the Lab School Treble Choir, as well as numerous community members. In all, it takes 200 people to put on the show. Director Marsha Knight says the production is set at the Ivinson Mansion, in Old West Laramie, as it has been since 2006.

Studio Sessions: Thunder & Rain

Dec 8, 2014
Anna Rader

Since forming in 2013, Thunder & Rain has quickly made a name for itself along the Front Range. The band’s “mountain made Colorado country” sound hangs strong hooks and catchy harmonies on classic bluegrass instrumentation.

Their debut album is scheduled for release in January 2015, with tours to follow.

I'm Gonna Belong

Smile Kid

Jonas Slonaker

The holidays are approaching and with them, high hopes for the perfect present. So here’s a story about a kid who dreamed of his perfect Christmas gift... but it was only decades later that he actually got it.

NPR

Wyoming Public Radio invites you to vote for your Top 5 CD picks of 2014. We'll add up listener picks and compile the Top 20 of 2014 to play back on Morning Music. Choose your Top 5 by 12:00am on December 27th. There's also an additional list in a separate category, the top CD's from Wyoming artists.

Choose your Top 5 favorite albums of 2014. If your favorite album of the year is not listed here, use our write-in question at the bottom of the poll.

Relative Theatrics

In the year since its founding, Laramie-based theatre company Relative Theatrics has made a name for itself with numerous Wyoming premieres. For its size, Laramie has plenty of theatre offerings, thanks in large part to the University of Wyoming. But Relative Theatrics founder and director Anne Mason says her company's growing success comes partly from its commitment to contemporary plays.

Studio Sessions: The Raven And The Writing Desk

Nov 26, 2014
Anna Rader

Drawing their name from Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, The Raven and the Writing Desk have taken their own circuitous journey to arrive at their current four-piece configuration and self-described “dark pop” style.

Here are songs that perfectly capture the Denver band's new sound.

Running

On A Wire

Melodie Edwards

With goats flocking all around him for ear scratches, you could say Terry Hayes is a happy rancher. He’s the owner of the largest goat ranch in Wyoming, Open A Lazy S outside Riverton, and he says in the last few years his business has tripled. He says it’s because more people all the time are embracing the urban homesteader’s lifestyle. They’re raising backyard chickens, canning sauerkraut and knitting scarves. The number of backyard goats has also been on the uptick.

phideltatheta.org

When the renovations to the double A are complete, the main feature of the grand entrance will be a monument to one of Wyoming’s most prominent athletes.

In 1994 University of Wyoming Botany Professor Dennis Knight wrote a book about Wyoming’s landscapes and some of the challenges they may be facing. Now 20 years later, Knight is joined by other authors to provide an update. The book is called Mountains and Plain: The Ecology of Wyoming Landscapes. We spoke with Knight when he wrote his first book and today he admits to Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that some of the challenges the state faces today were not on his radar.

Wyoming Arts Council

In September, Michael Lange was selected to lead the Wyoming Arts Council. Lange was promoted from within the organization, following the retirement of the previous manager, Rita Basom. Lange stopped by our studios to discuss his vision for the organization and to play some music that’s shaped his own development as an artist and administrator. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Al Hubbard

Last week, the Lander Art Center hosted an opening for its second annual Native American art exhibit. The show runs through December 20 and boasts more than 50 artists, most of them from the Wind River Indian Reservation. One artist in the exhibit is Al Hubbard, a 42-year-old Navajo and Arapaho artist who says traditional Native American images are fine, but Hubbard says he’s more interested in using pop art and other contemporary styles to express his ideas about tribal history and spirituality.

The Laramie Artists Project’s biennial group exhibition is this weekend. Touchstone 2014 features work by 39 professional artists from Albany County.

Every two years, since 2006, local artists have been renting a block of hotel rooms to create small galleries.

“We have a crew that moves out all the beds, and we rent extra rooms to store them in,” says Linda Lillegraven, co-chair of the Laramie Artists Project, the group organizing the exhibition.

www.uwyo.edu

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, paving the way for the reunification of East and West Germany. The University of Wyoming continues its commemoration of the event with a faculty recital on Sunday, November 9, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall. Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer spoke with violinist John Fadial.

An opening reception on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Lander Art Center will launch a new exhibit of Native American art work. It’s the show’s second year in a row and comes in honor of National Native American Heritage Month. The exhibit will showcase over 50 artists, mostly from Wind River Indian Reservation. Director Lisa Hueneke says, this year, about half the artists are students from reservation high schools. She says the exhibit demonstrates a wide diversity of artistic styles. One of the artists on display is Al Hubbard, a Northern Arapaho and Navajo artist.

Last month, Wyoming’s wolves were put back on the Endangered Species list, after a court ruled that the state’s management plan was inadequate. It’s the latest battle in a long-running conflict over wolf management in the West. Author Nick Jans has been following that conflict for decades and jumped into the fray earlier this year with his new book, titled “A Wolf Called Romeo.” As he told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard, he wasn’t always a wolf advocate.

stephensonmusic.com

In classical music, there’s a long list of composers who are also conductors. One of them is Chicagoan Jim Stephenson. What sets Stephenson apart is that the audience will help him compose the music the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra will play at its family concert on November 8th. Stephenson has performed the ‘Compose Yourself’ program hundreds of times since 2002, but this performance will only be the second time with a full symphony orchestra.

Caroline Ballard

If you’re handing out candy to trick-or-treaters tonight, you might see a lot of little girls in the same costume.

Since it came out last December, the Disney movie Frozen has been catching the attention of girls everywhere. It’s ice-queen princess Elsa is a favorite among them, especially for her number one anthem “Let it Go” The song has been everywhere. 

uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra performs its second concert of the season this week. Music Director Michael Griffith says the concert challenges some common assumptions about classical music. “We’re starting the concert with a Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp, which is really unusual. You don’t think of harp as a soloist and you certainly don’t think of harp and a flute together as dual soloists.”

Micah Schweizer

Nearly 150 years ago, Mormon pioneers set out from the Midwest, bound for Salt Lake City. They walked, pulling their belongings in wooden handcarts. Two groups got a late start and were stranded in Wyoming by a devastating October blizzard. And for the past 20 years, thousands of Mormon teenagers have been returning to that site to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.

When the blizzard struck on October 19th, 1856, the lagging handcart companies were still weeks from Salt Lake City. More than 200 people died of exhaustion, hunger, and cold.

karenabbott.net

The book “Liar Temptress Soldier Spy” was released last month by Harper Collins. It follows four Civil War spies – and all of them are women. Karen Abbott, the book’s author and historian, spoke yesterday at the Teton County Public Library and will be leading a workshop in Nonfiction writing today. Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard spoke with Abbott about her book, and how she discovered the lives of these women.

John D. Lukacs

Nearly 70 years after World War II, a little known story of war-time heroism is surfacing. The book “Escape from Davao: The Forgotten Story of the Most Daring Prison Break of the Pacific War” and the documentary film “4-4-43” tell the story of ten American soldiers and two Filipino convicts who escaped a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

Luke Bell: Rattlesnake Man

Oct 6, 2014
wkms.org

The University of Wyoming’s annual contemporary music festival begins Monday, Oct. 4. New Frontiers: The Laramie Contemporary Music Project is a week long celebration of modern classical music and living composers. Festival director Anne Guzzo says it’s about celebrating the integrity of classical music while introducing new sounds.

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s 2014-15 season will see many soloists joining the orchestra on stage. Opening Night, Thursday, Oct. 2, features a pianist and a singer--and some little-known portions of a well-known work. Conductor Michael Griffith stopped by to chat with Wyoming Public Radio’s Micah Schweizer.

Melodie Edwards

Is a bamboo fly rod “art?” A new exhibit in Cheyenne proposes that it is. The Wyoming State Museum has assembled over 70 crafts, all related to hunting and fishing like engraved rifles, pack saddles and taxidermy that highlights Wyoming’s long history of outdoor life. But many of the artists were skeptical about having their work displayed as art since most of them build their work only to use in the field. Laramie bamboo rod builder, Jerry Johnson, who has a fly rod in the show.

“You just take it, put a knife, put whatever you’re going to split with…”

Miles Bryan

When it opened in 1963 Sheridan’s King’s Saddlery was a small shop serving surrounding ranching and horse backing community. In the forty years that followed King’s became an institution. Founder Don King’s distinctive Sheridan style leatherwork is the finest in its class, and enthusiasts come from around the world to see the saddlery and the attached museum.

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