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The current exhibition at the Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, Western Traces: Tawni Shuler and Patrick Kikut, will be open to the public through Friday, December 19.

The show features works by two artists with deep ties to the High Plains, and both have been residents at the Ucross Foundation. Shuler teaches art at Sheridan College and Kikut is an Academic Professional in Painting at the University of Wyoming. The exhibit includes large mixed media collage pieces by Shuler, and paintings by Kikut that are part of a series documenting “high points on the High Plains.” The exhibition is supported in part by the Laura Jane Musser Fund.

In an essay for the exhibition, Rachel Sailor, who is a professor of Art History at the University of Wyoming, says of the artists, “Their individual, quiet and deeply personal responses expose a sophisticated understanding of what it means to be in and of a place. Through different conceptual approaches, both artists inhabit and explicate place masterfully.”

“I am inspired by memories of landscape,” says Tawni Shuler. “It is my goal to continue to cultivate my relationship to this land around me by destructing, dissecting, studying and lastly re-ordering and rebuilding all the elements into a singular reality. By creating this way, I will be able to further understand the human perception of the cyclical nature of landscape, its seasons and all its elements.” Shuler grew up on a farm in rural Wyoming. She has a BFA from the University of Montana (2005) and an MFA from Arizona State University (2008). Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the West and the U.S.

Patrick Kikut notes that “Western landscape painters have mostly ignored the High Plains…These landscapes often appear to me like empty stages where the actors have abandoned their spots on the stage and left the props of their actions strewn about the landscape/stage. They are powerful to witness as they often reflect an interesting interaction between our encroaching culture and the unpredictable forces of nature.” Kikut, who grew up in California, has a BFA from the University of Colorado (1990) and an MFA from the University of Montana (1997). His work is in the collections of the El Paso Art Museum, the Missoula Art Museum and the University of Wyoming.

The Ucross Foundation Art Gallery is located ½ mile east of the intersection of Highways 14 and 16 East in Ucross. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For further information, call (307) 737-2291 or email