Inspired by Nature

08 Apr 2018

Environment serves as muse for Minton

Winter 2017/2018

Written By: Kristen Pope | Images: David Bowers

Spending her childhood summers in Maine, Bronwyn Minton spent a lot of time exploring tide pools and became enthralled with the natural world. As a small child, she was fascinated by the negative space between a tree and its leaves, and she would often draw trees and use nature in her childhood sketches.

“Early on, I don’t remember not being obsessed with the natural world,” she says.

Today, Minton is a well-known local artist whose work often explores the patterns and textures of nature.

“One of the things I’m really interested in is the diversity of the natural world, and also the ways that a lot of systems and patterns overlap and are similar but are different at the same time,” she says.

Last summer, Minton joined a group of artists to create art on a Jackson Hole Land Trust property, using “found space” near Centennial Ponds to create a project involving 20 moveable tree rounds. She also joined the View 22 project to create ink prints from tree bark, making an abstract-looking pattern that documents a specific tree at a certain time in its life.

She’s created a variety of other public art pieces as well, from stackable cairn pieces made of balsa wood near a local bus stop to an installation in the windows of Persephone Bakery. She also makes handcrafted wooden necklaces.

In addition to creating her own art, she works with other artists to share and display their work. For 13 years, she worked at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, first in the education department and then as associate curator of art and research.

This fall, she started a new job with the Art Association of Jackson Hole as director of exhibits and programs.

Over the years, she has also taught art throughout the valley, from teaching elementary school-aged girls photography at Kelly School, to teaching adults drawing through Central Wyoming College, to doing school outreach with local nonprofit pARTners.

However busy she is working and teaching in the art world, she always finds time to create new pieces. One of her recent works, displayed at the Center for the Arts, features explorations of pattern and light, using white and translucent circles that move to cast shadows and create a dynamic and always-changing scene.

“It’s kind of interactive,” she says. “It alters the way people use the space.”

Minton enjoys interacting with a variety of mediums as she creates. Not surprisingly, her favorites are natural materials.

“I tend to gravitate towards clay, wood, graphite, paper, and wax,” she says. “Those things are really tactile and I really like to work with my hands. I want the piece to smell good and feel good. An idea might manifest in those things. Clay and wood are so elemental in a way, like the earth and trees.”

Her creative process is often circular. She finds herself working with similar materials and often delving into different aspects of her favorite subject: the natural world.

“I keep coming back to the things I’m obsessed with,” she says.

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