Commissioning your local artists
Story Tia Crabtree Photo Ashley Fristche
Those that commissioned artwork historically did so to show wealth and prestige – now it’s more common to commission an artist for a painting of your pet or favorite place. One of the largest commissioners is cities – to revive or add to the community vibe as they did with the art traffic boxes in Eagle.
We asked each artist about their traffic boxes, what local artists they admired, and what their first piece was – if they remembered.
A very grounded individual, Monna’s art represents freedom of expression, experimentation, passion, and a commitment to continue to grow.
“The wide-eyed expressive cow can fill you with the joy of the simple things – laughter, pleasure, surprises, and abundant blessings. I have people laugh and cry with emotion when they view my work and it reminds them of a certain person, time, place, or situation”, says Monna.
Zella Bardsley is her favorite artist. “She has a wonderful imagination and is not afraid of trying new things. She makes wonderful things out of items that others would throw away and she is not afraid of what others think. I am always in awe when I see a new work by her.”
“I made a piece of pottery, a vase, that contained a lot of texture and I fired it blue. I sold it because I was moving and I’ve always regretted it. The second piece of art I created was called – Self Portrait. I was getting ready to paint from some pictures I had taken and I sat down to tie my shoes. I was wearing old jeans and a shirt with paint on it. I was instantly attracted to the folds in the cloth, the bright colors, the lines in my tennis shoes, and the fact that this was just there. I still have it.”
Don and Crane Johnson
The creative married duo work on many projects together. Both imaginative minds work together to inspire meaning and purpose.
The traffic box of the aspen stand was a photograph-turned quilt that was displayed for two years at the United States Embassy in Africa – called the Bow River Aspens Quilt. Also, very profound now that scientists are discovering that aspens have stopped reproducing due to animals eating the germ seeds.
The bluebird, also a photograph of Don’s incredible work was captured on the bluebird trail near Fairfield, Idaho on the Elma Goodman Mountain off Bennet Mountian Road. If you want to see a plethora of bluebirds, this is your 2023 summer excursion.
Don and Crane love the local work of Kate Masterson, a local painter that has a very distinctive style. They highly recommend you view her work. When asked, “What was your first piece of art?” neither can remember and hope others have forgotten as well.
A very upbeat person by nature, Bonnie expresses her work as realistic, optimistic, and very colorful. ‘I look for the positive themes in everyday events or places. I look for beauty in life. I agree with Pierre-August Renoir that “There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is, without creating still more of them.”
Bonnie’s traffic box is a little girl at a tulip festival. Her delicate touch captivated the artist as well as her overall demeanor.
Being an advocate for artists and once the president of BOSCO, she can’t just name one artist she loves. “Lisa Cheney for drawing and painting, Jill Storey for pastels, and Sue Latta for sculptures – all talented in their own field.”
“It’s hard to remember my first piece of art, as I have been creating since I was a child. One piece I still have is a portrait of Beethoven. It’s a pencil drawing. I guess I have always been drawn to depicting people.”