Artwork for podcast The Jackson Hole Connection
Episode 190 – Creating Public Art in Jackson Hole featuring Carrie Geraci
Episode 19018th May 2022 • The Jackson Hole Connection • Stephan C. Abrams
00:00:00 00:41:12

Share Episode

Shownotes

Carrie Geraci is the Executive Director of Jackson Hole Public Art, Jackson’s only non-profit dedicated to commissioning public art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. 

In this episode, Carrie tells the story of how she made her way out to Jackson over 30 years ago. She goes into how she transitioned into the non-profit world when she became the founding director at the Center of Wonder. Carrie shares her love for art and the incredible talent Jackson has to offer. Stephan and Carrie then talk about some of the beautiful installations that Jackson Hole Public Art has helped create, such as the giant troll installation at R Park, Mama Mimi.

Follow Jackson Hole Public Art on Instagram @jhpublicart

Find out more about Jackson Hole Public Art at JHPublicArt.org

This week’s episode is sponsored in part by Compass Real Estate, the region's largest and most dynamic real estate company in the valley. For more information and to view current listings visit COMPASS.com or at @compassjacksonhole

Support also comes from Teton County Solid Waste and Recycling, announcing the new commercial Curb to Compost Program for restaurants and other commercial food waste generators. More at TetonCountyWY.gov or at @RoadToZeroWaste.JH on Instagram

Want to be a guest on The Jackson Hole Connection? Email us at connect@thejacksonholeconnection.com. Marketing and editing support by Michael Moeri (michaelmoeri.com,@thatsamoeri).

Transcripts

Stephan Abrams:

You are tuned into the Jackson Hole Connection, sharing, fascinating stories of people connected to Jackson Hole.

Stephan Abrams:

I am truly grateful for each of you for tuning in today.

Stephan Abrams:

Support for this podcast comes from

Stephan Abrams:

I enjoy reading and learning from others, which guides me to share a quote before we begin this episode, today's quote is those who know, do not speak those who speak do not know.

Stephan Abrams:

And that is from Lao Tzu.

Stephan Abrams:

Today, we will hear Carrie Geraci's story.

Stephan Abrams:

Carrie is the Executive Director for Jackson Hole Public Art.

Stephan Abrams:

She was raised in Massachusetts, but grew up here in Jackson.

Stephan Abrams:

As many other people have done.

Stephan Abrams:

Carrie has worked in a variety of industries in Jackson Hole over the years.

Stephan Abrams:

And now with Jackson Hole Public Art has the privilege to work on enhancing the community through public art.

Stephan Abrams:

During the pandemic, the work did not stop for Carrie and her team.

Stephan Abrams:

And as she moves from one project to the next, our community is the beneficiary of Jackson Hole Public Arts, great work.

Stephan Abrams:

Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

Good morning.

Stephan Abrams:

Welcome to the Jackson Hole Connection.

Stephan Abrams:

So delighted to see you.

Stephan Abrams:

It's been awhile and thank you for joining me here today.

Carrie Geraci:

Thank you for having me.

Carrie Geraci:

I'm excited to be here.

Carrie Geraci:

I think this is a great program that you're producing.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

I appreciate it.

Stephan Abrams:

We're getting close to 200 episodes, so we're getting there.

Stephan Abrams:

I love beginning these episodes, how did you get connected to Jackson?

Stephan Abrams:

We born raised here or if not, where did you grow up?

Stephan Abrams:

Where would you call that you were raised?

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah, well, I was raised in Massachusetts, but I would say I grew up here in Jackson, meaning that I was.

Carrie Geraci:

A young adult.

Carrie Geraci:

When I showed up on the town square with my friend's phone number in my pocket, I called him from Jackson drug and went and met with him and his friends and stayed in our temporary lodging until he moved into a little condo.

Carrie Geraci:

On rancher street and that began my Jackson hole adventure.

Carrie Geraci:

I was an art major in college and I did not have a very, well planned out future.

Carrie Geraci:

And when I heard some friends were moving to Jackson hole, even though I was not a skier, I thought, wow.

Carrie Geraci:

That's cool.

Carrie Geraci:

I've never been out west before.

Carrie Geraci:

I've seen a postcard.

Carrie Geraci:

I think I'll try that.

Carrie Geraci:

And that's how I arrived.

Stephan Abrams:

And do you feel comfortable sharing how many years ago that was and what season

Carrie Geraci:

I got here the last couple days of August of 1990.

Stephan Abrams:

August, 1990.

Stephan Abrams:

So you had a phone number in your pocket.

Stephan Abrams:

You didn't have a cell phone?

Carrie Geraci:

Nope.

Carrie Geraci:

Nope.

Carrie Geraci:

Those weren't invented yet.

Carrie Geraci:

Computers were still relatively new at that.

Carrie Geraci:

That's what I mean when I say I grew up here, I was a kid when I got here, starting off on an adventure, I had.

Carrie Geraci:

Sleeping bag that went to 20 degrees, not quite warm enough for what you'd probably want.

Carrie Geraci:

And I was completely clueless when I arrived.

Carrie Geraci:

One of my maybe, I don't know, fourth times on skis.

Carrie Geraci:

I'd skied in New Hampshire.

Carrie Geraci:

One, one big snow weekend before getting here.

Carrie Geraci:

And we were out cross country skiing up cache Creek and on the Hills and little bit off trail and I kept falling down and my roommates were like, if you want to have a social life, you better learn how to ski or do it a little faster.

Carrie Geraci:

And so I did, luckily I was working at Jack Dennis sports and Stu Robertson and Tyler Bergene and a couple other guys in the shop.

Carrie Geraci:

Chris Jay taught me how to ski.

Carrie Geraci:

They would just drag me out to the top of the tram and coach me down the mountain.

Carrie Geraci:

And luckily I was young and very, I don't know, made out of.

Carrie Geraci:

And I'm still learning how to ski, but I can ski powder now.

Carrie Geraci:

And that was a very memorable first year.

Carrie Geraci:

So I thank those gentlemen for their kind instruction.

Stephan Abrams:

That's pretty bold to take you off the top of the tram and say, okay, we're going to teach you to ski from up here.

Carrie Geraci:

Okay.

Carrie Geraci:

It was do or die.

Carrie Geraci:

And when you're, I don't know, 19, 20, you're like, okay.

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah let's do this.

Carrie Geraci:

And I do remember a few jumps that I went off of that were hilarious for the spectators that had guided me off those jumps.

Carrie Geraci:

But overall.

Carrie Geraci:

All in all, it was very very supported great guys and a great place to work.

Carrie Geraci:

And we would punch out at 10 o'clock go ski until the afternoon rush.

Carrie Geraci:

And it was like a job that first winter,

Stephan Abrams:

what are some of the, well, before I ask this question where did you go to college?

Stephan Abrams:

And you said that you.

Stephan Abrams:

I graduated with an art degree.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes.

Stephan Abrams:

I went to brown university and before it was.

Stephan Abrams:

As easy as they make it.

Stephan Abrams:

Now, I took classes at the Rhode Island school of design.

Carrie Geraci:

In addition to classes at Brown, I also spent a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, and I would say that semester abroad was very foundational to impart to where I am now and the career I have now.

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah, seeing Piazza's and sculpture and beautiful botanical gardens and just, the Renaissance came alive and living in for a few months with just these magnets.

Carrie Geraci:

Magnificent works all around.

Carrie Geraci:

You was incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

We had this very knowledgeable, six foot tall Scandinavian art history teacher.

Carrie Geraci:

And if you literally.

Carrie Geraci:

It became immersed in a painting and turned around while you were in the middle of Sienna or baloney she'd be gone because she walked so fast and there was so much, she was trying to teach all of us.

Carrie Geraci:

And it was just a really incredible time as I was really fortunate to be able to do that.

Carrie Geraci:

And it having that much beauty all around you in the history was really incredible in those public spaces really did make you feel something different.

Carrie Geraci:

Um, The design and the art and the thinking that went into those spaces uh, was amazing.

Carrie Geraci:

I look forward to the day that I get to experience that I have not been to Italy.

Carrie Geraci:

I haven't been to Europe.

Carrie Geraci:

But I have heard from so many people.

Carrie Geraci:

That it is a must do to experience and especially in the world.

Carrie Geraci:

Definitely and the world of wine, I'm pretty sure that's a tax write-off that or a good investment in your professional career anyway.

Carrie Geraci:

I'd highly recommend it.

Carrie Geraci:

It was incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

The wine we were buying was made down the street and there, they would say, please bring back the bottles.

Carrie Geraci:

We're going to reuse those.

Carrie Geraci:

It was incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

And same with the Olive Oil like So green and fresh, you could cut it with a knife.

Stephan Abrams:

I love good olive oil.

Carrie Geraci:

Yes.

Carrie Geraci:

Yes.

Stephan Abrams:

And so you landed here in Jackson hole the last few days of August, 1990.

Stephan Abrams:

What are some of the, and you said that this is where you grew up What are some of the jobs that you've held?

Stephan Abrams:

What are some of the things that you've done that have helped you grow up?

Stephan Abrams:

And are you done growing up?

Stephan Abrams:

No.

Stephan Abrams:

No, never.

Carrie Geraci:

Gosh, no.

Carrie Geraci:

I, so my first job was Jack Dennis sports.

Carrie Geraci:

I also worked at Sweetwater for Steve ELLs Meyer.

Carrie Geraci:

Um, One of the best guys ever.

Carrie Geraci:

And.

Carrie Geraci:

I did some graphic design and all along the way, I was learning how to play an air paint.

Carrie Geraci:

And eventually I had two little boys and started showing at what was then called the muse gallery for Mike Pickett and Ruth Harmon, and started this simultaneous career of being a mom and a plainer painter.

Carrie Geraci:

And slowly pulling back.

Carrie Geraci:

I think when you have two little kids, if you're not already immersed in community work, it's really hard to start.

Carrie Geraci:

And so at a certain point I realized um, that was actually, my father died suddenly when he was 60 and I realized, wow, I really need.

Carrie Geraci:

To contribute um, to this community.

Carrie Geraci:

I need to contribute to our families income and that year.

Carrie Geraci:

I started working as the art teacher at the community school.

Carrie Geraci:

And absolutely loved that it was an incredible experience.

Carrie Geraci:

Uh, The students were amazing.

Carrie Geraci:

Some of the most creative people I know today, like Scotty Craighead was one of my students and now he's a community leader.

Carrie Geraci:

From there.

Carrie Geraci:

I went on to be the first executive director of the center of wonder.

Carrie Geraci:

And I would say that was a point in my life where I was either going to try to get a teaching degree or.

Carrie Geraci:

Some other direction and, you know, it's hard to turn down the opportunity to be the director of the center of wonder.

Carrie Geraci:

That just sounded so amazing and awesome.

Carrie Geraci:

And wonder a sense of wonder is something I really.

Carrie Geraci:

Relate to, and is a big part of who I am.

Carrie Geraci:

And I think most of us here have, were just in awe of the world, around us it's beauty and the landscape.

Carrie Geraci:

And so it was a good fit and we did some incredible programming there.

Carrie Geraci:

And another real milestone in my development in terms of who I am and where I am now is I met Mr.

Carrie Geraci:

Bland Holk.

Carrie Geraci:

He came to the center of wonder one day and said, I want to be your wonder ambassador.

Carrie Geraci:

And we said, okay, what does that mean?

Carrie Geraci:

And.

Carrie Geraci:

He explained all these incredible projects that he wanted to do out in the public realm that would bring joy and spark curiosity and connect people to this beautiful, incredible place.

Carrie Geraci:

And so we started working together and at, it was probably a year or two later, I attended.

Carrie Geraci:

And Americans for the arts national public art conference.

Carrie Geraci:

And that was in Baltimore, Maryland.

Carrie Geraci:

And I realized.

Carrie Geraci:

Oh, my gosh, this is a whole industry, this public art, and we don't have this in Jackson yet.

Carrie Geraci:

We have millions of visitors.

Carrie Geraci:

We have incredibly talented artists.

Carrie Geraci:

We have, these beautiful places and scientists, all doing incredible research.

Carrie Geraci:

And I saw a really What I thought was a great opportunity to start something new here.

Carrie Geraci:

And so I did however quickly realizing there were lots of people that had come before and pay if the way for us to even consider starting a public art program.

Carrie Geraci:

People like Karen Stewart who had already done Some incredible public art installations.

Carrie Geraci:

Tom Ross has Ravens that were along highway 22 and the driftwood bison that were at Emily Stevens pond and people like John Sims who had already installed major bison and Ben Roth, whose sting rays were above our home team, swim team, the stingrays at the rec center.

Carrie Geraci:

Standing on a lot of people's shoulders was how the public art program started, but really that spark came from Bland Hoke.

Carrie Geraci:

He One day said something like everywhere is an opportunity.

Carrie Geraci:

Every nook and cranny that you know of a blank wall or the dirty corner of a parking garage, those are all opportunities for beauty and transformation.

Carrie Geraci:

And that really stuck with me.

Stephan Abrams:

I want to learn more.

Stephan Abrams:

That's a lot.

Stephan Abrams:

I want to learn more about what the center of wonder is.

Stephan Abrams:

I want to, before we get to that, I love what Bland Hoke had said to you.

Stephan Abrams:

And if I may share an experience with what, how I immediately connected what he said is we were recently visiting my brother in Asheville, North Carolina, and we were downtown and leaving and along the side of a building.

Stephan Abrams:

Were these little tiny doors painted on the side of the building at the sidewalk level.

Stephan Abrams:

And it was as though people and it wasn't just the same door.

Stephan Abrams:

They had painted the different entry way of homes that made it look like this is where the mouse can enter.

Stephan Abrams:

And it had all types of different styles, architecture, styles, and colors.

Stephan Abrams:

Along the wall going up the hill or down the hill, whichever way you're looking at it.

Stephan Abrams:

And they were just so cute.

Stephan Abrams:

My wife pointed out, she's look at that.

Stephan Abrams:

And it just made, stopping in that location.

Stephan Abrams:

So enjoyable to see somebody's creativity.

Stephan Abrams:

I was like, how cool is that?

Carrie Geraci:

That's an awesome story in how memorable.

Carrie Geraci:

I became one of your memories of your vacation.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes, indeed.

Stephan Abrams:

It has.

Stephan Abrams:

It has, it will stick with me for a while and the kids loved it.

Stephan Abrams:

Kids.

Stephan Abrams:

Absolutely.

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah, because what's behind the closed door.

Carrie Geraci:

Why are they so different?

Carrie Geraci:

It just immediately makes you curious about who the painters were, what, what is it about this place that has these tiny doors and it, even as an adult it pulls out these youthful.

Carrie Geraci:

Musings from your brain.

Carrie Geraci:

And I think that is one of the coolest, most powerful things about art.

Stephan Abrams:

Maybe that's why kids are such great artists because they don't overthink what they're going to create.

Stephan Abrams:

They just let it go.

Stephan Abrams:

I remember William he's my youngest, he's six.

Stephan Abrams:

He brought something home and.

Stephan Abrams:

And what did you paint?

Stephan Abrams:

Tell me what this is versus making an assumption of what it is.

Stephan Abrams:

And he says, it's a bird.

Stephan Abrams:

I said, well, it is beautiful.

Stephan Abrams:

And what is the bird do?

Stephan Abrams:

And he goes into the description and I never would have picked out a bird to be honest.

Stephan Abrams:

But for him it was a bird.

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah, I think that is.

Carrie Geraci:

An amazing aspect of the arts is that you can have your own interpretation of it.

Carrie Geraci:

And that's personally, one of the things I love about public art is it's just there for you to discover on your own terms.

Carrie Geraci:

And there's something really exciting about that.

Stephan Abrams:

So true.

Stephan Abrams:

So true.

Stephan Abrams:

Now let's reverse back, like I had requested.

Stephan Abrams:

And tell me about, the center of wonder let's start

Stephan Abrams:

there.

Carrie Geraci:

Sure.

Carrie Geraci:

So I think the founders of the center of wonder Gary and Veronica Silverberg.

Carrie Geraci:

Had this notion of creating programming that would help people really connect to their sense of wonder.

Carrie Geraci:

And that was very intriguing to me.

Carrie Geraci:

And I loved that notion and simultaneously around this time was when.

Carrie Geraci:

We were starting to realize that cell phones and digital technology were keeping.

Carrie Geraci:

Children inside a little bit more than they had been in the past.

Carrie Geraci:

So that was really an interesting kind of guiding foundation to some of the programming that we were developing.

Carrie Geraci:

And really we did things from making a natural environmental sort of indie Goldsworthy art on the river bed with Ben Roth to having speakers like Brock Coburn share.

Carrie Geraci:

He's like our local Indiana Jones.

Carrie Geraci:

So sharing some of his stories of discovering adventure and it was a very exciting and fun challenge.

Carrie Geraci:

I hadn't done nonprofit work before and working with and learning from the community foundation here was incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

What a team and what great resources they have for our community in terms of.

Carrie Geraci:

Providing a really solid foundation for nonprofits and education for best practices.

Carrie Geraci:

And so yeah, the center of wonder was really exciting.

Carrie Geraci:

I met a lot of incredible people that are still doing really great work in the community today.

Stephan Abrams:

I love it.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you, Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

I did some quick research while you were speaking.

Stephan Abrams:

And because you mentioned, you now mentioned Ben Ross named twice, and I've had Ben Roth as a guest on the podcast on episode 86.

Stephan Abrams:

So you're in the a hundred, over a hundred eighty eight, a hundred ninety ish area.

Stephan Abrams:

So to give an idea of and speaking with Ben and hearing his story was remarkable as well.

Stephan Abrams:

And what a vision by Gary and Veronica to help create the Center of Wonder, but more importantly, you to be the first ED to take it to fruition.

Stephan Abrams:

It needed a leader too.

Stephan Abrams:

They had the idea, but somebody had to bring it to life.

Carrie Geraci:

Totally.

Carrie Geraci:

It was, exciting and daunting and just a, really a beautiful concept.

Carrie Geraci:

And Gary and Veronica are innovators and they have continued to revise and adapt the center of wonder to community needs and community input.

Carrie Geraci:

I think that's great.

Carrie Geraci:

It was a great opportunity.

Carrie Geraci:

And if it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't have discovered Bland Holk and this whole idea of making art out in the public realm.

Stephan Abrams:

So it was that part of you growing up.

Carrie Geraci:

Yes, learning how to have a real job that, we still like to say at Jackson hole, public art, we are not doctors.

Carrie Geraci:

And, we take into account the our place in this community is not necessarily vital to people's daily.

Carrie Geraci:

Existence in terms of core necessities of food and shelter, but we do bring an equally important core necessity of happiness and beauty and the ability to see something like.

Carrie Geraci:

Mama Mimi or new giant troll and to feel a sense of belonging, that's something we all share together, no matter our backgrounds.

Carrie Geraci:

And so, it is important that way.

Carrie Geraci:

But we try to have fun with our work and the growing up piece is.

Carrie Geraci:

Part of realizing what you can bring to a community, what your role is.

Carrie Geraci:

And also how to balance that's a part of growing up.

Carrie Geraci:

I'm still working on and how to be thoughtful about, about your work and how to try to engage and reach as many people as possible.

Stephan Abrams:

Beautiful.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you, Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

We are going to have a quick break to get a word from our sponsor, but then you just mentioned something about public art, Mama Mimi.

Stephan Abrams:

And so I want you to tell the background story of Mama Mimi, because it is cool.

Stephan Abrams:

We'll be right back.

Stephan Abrams:

Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

Welcome back.

Stephan Abrams:

We're now talking about.

Stephan Abrams:

Public art, your role as executive director of it's Jackson hole, public art, correct?

Stephan Abrams:

Yes.

Stephan Abrams:

All right.

Stephan Abrams:

And you all are bringing inspiration, beauty, happiness to the public realm through art, and it's in so many different ways.

Stephan Abrams:

And pretty recently.

Stephan Abrams:

There was an installation called Mama Mimi.

Stephan Abrams:

And we have enjoyed playing many times on mama, Mimi, the boys jumping off her leg into the water and climbing all over and going from one side of the creek or the pond to the other.

Stephan Abrams:

Can you share with us some of the background.

Stephan Abrams:

And how long it took to get mama Mimi put in place and what his mama Mimi.

Carrie Geraci:

Well, first of all, mama, Mimi is a troll created by Thomas , who is a world famous recycling artist.

Carrie Geraci:

And the story of how she came to Jackson is really a community story.

Carrie Geraci:

It started in early 2019 when Laurie Andrews was the president of the Jackson Hole Land Trust.

Carrie Geraci:

And we had worked on the annual found space event together for a few years by then.

Carrie Geraci:

And she said, you know, it's, we're coming up on our parks, fifth anniversary and the Land Trusts 40th anniversary, and we really want to do something big and something special.

Carrie Geraci:

And part of the.

Carrie Geraci:

My job is to do research and keep on top of who's making what and what artists are unique and different and might be a good fit for the ethos of Jackson hole.

Carrie Geraci:

And we showed her the work of Thomas stamps.

Carrie Geraci:

We agreed because he is a recycling artist.

Carrie Geraci:

He likes to do community based projects and work.

Carrie Geraci:

And the fact that our park is essentially a recycled piece of land, it's been refurbished and revitalized into this beautiful community space.

Carrie Geraci:

And so there's really incredible continuity between thomas's work and our park and the connection between, if we all recycle more and less things go to the landfill and re repurpose and reuse, we'll have more beautiful spaces like R Park to plan and explore.

Carrie Geraci:

So he came for a site visit in late 2019, and we were reviewing his proposal has site-specific concept and the pandemic hit.

Carrie Geraci:

Laurie also took her new job as president of the community foundation.

Carrie Geraci:

And so there was this long stretch of waiting and we waited until Max Luddington.

Carrie Geraci:

Came into his new position at the land trust.

Carrie Geraci:

We talked with them and their committees that oversee the, our park and created a plan and received permission to bring the artists in.

Carrie Geraci:

I guess it would be the spring of 2021 and so literally max had been in his new position for a few days and he said, okay, go ahead.

Carrie Geraci:

Public art, we give you permission.

Carrie Geraci:

That was just after Thanksgiving.

Carrie Geraci:

I had COVID I was home, but I started making phone calls and telling people the story about this giant troll we wanted to bring to our park and people were.

Carrie Geraci:

So taken with the idea of this big whimsical, giant creature landing in our park that we could experience and share and have together.

Carrie Geraci:

And it was really just the perfect fit for where and when we were as a community.

Carrie Geraci:

And it also was incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

This community just, they laughed and they opened it, their checkbooks and generously gave to support.

Carrie Geraci:

Our troll campaign.

Carrie Geraci:

And we raised the funds to bring in by the end of the year and scheduled him for 2021.

Carrie Geraci:

It was still very challenging because we were still in the pandemic, he was coming from a major installation in Maine where he was building five trolls, his whole entire crew got COVID.

Carrie Geraci:

It delayed them for two weeks.

Carrie Geraci:

We had to reschedule his visit here.

Carrie Geraci:

Two to three times, and that was not easy because as you can imagine, we were relying on a lot of business owners like yourself to help support his visit.

Carrie Geraci:

Outpost was providing lodging, you name it.

Carrie Geraci:

Every restaurant was providing a meal.

Carrie Geraci:

We had volunteers, we had a crew scheduled who had.

Carrie Geraci:

Promise to not go on vacation during the spring so they could stay and work.

Carrie Geraci:

So it was really challenging, but we were able, I was able with the help of our incredible project manager at that time, Alexandra Pope to negotiate this, get them here safely work safely and create this.

Carrie Geraci:

Ginormous sculpture that's temporarily in our park.

Stephan Abrams:

And how long will mama Mimi be at our park?

Carrie Geraci:

She will live in our park for about three to five years.

Carrie Geraci:

And she is one of about 80 trolls that are around the world.

Carrie Geraci:

And Thomas creates these creatures to take care of the places where they land and to protect the environment.

Carrie Geraci:

I like to think she's watching all the kids swimming in the big pond, making sure they're okay.

Carrie Geraci:

She faces east watches the sunrise every day.

Carrie Geraci:

She's pretty special.

Carrie Geraci:

Excited that she's there and it just depends, how she withstands our winters and the weather and so forth, but so far so good.

Stephan Abrams:

That's beautiful.

Stephan Abrams:

I'm happy to hear.

Stephan Abrams:

And anybody who is planning on visiting Jackson should certainly take the time to go to our park, to see mama Mimi, and I've taken some friends.

Stephan Abrams:

To see it and to see her.

Stephan Abrams:

And they were just blown away.

Stephan Abrams:

They had a blast of kids climbed all over it, and that's what she's there for to bring enjoyment.

Stephan Abrams:

And it's fun for adults to climb on it, to climb on or to

Carrie Geraci:

it's incredible.

Carrie Geraci:

I've seen very tiny people from two years old and amazing anecdotes from parents early on in the summer, say, this is our fourth trip here today.

Carrie Geraci:

That was one of my favorites.

Carrie Geraci:

And then a little five-year-old boy asking me if she's.

Carrie Geraci:

And she's nice.

Carrie Geraci:

And I said, oh yes.

Carrie Geraci:

She is full on real and he likes it when you climb on her.

Carrie Geraci:

And it's been really fun.

Carrie Geraci:

And I've seen people as old as 80 holding hands and walking across her legs out to the little island.

Carrie Geraci:

So it's pretty cool to have an interactive.

Carrie Geraci:

Sculpture that you're allowed to sit on and touch and climb on.

Carrie Geraci:

And I I love her hair, her driftwood hair from the river.

Carrie Geraci:

It's just really anchors heard this place.

Carrie Geraci:

It's super cool.

Carrie Geraci:

He was a character.

Carrie Geraci:

Thomas.

Carrie Geraci:

Oh,

Stephan Abrams:

real.

Stephan Abrams:

And where a share with everybody where Thomas

Carrie Geraci:

is from he's from Denmark has studios in Copenhagen.

Carrie Geraci:

He made her face and hands and feet in his studio.

Carrie Geraci:

The rest was built onsite.

Carrie Geraci:

We actually had the red top Meadows students helped disassemble pallets.

Carrie Geraci:

That were that were turned into her first.

Carrie Geraci:

That's how the artist refers to her outer being it's her fur.

Carrie Geraci:

And he brought two workers with him and we had three to four paid crew members here as well.

Carrie Geraci:

And it took them about 10 days to build her.

Carrie Geraci:

And we had a lot of help from other people.

Carrie Geraci:

And.

Carrie Geraci:

Volunteers like two ocean builders helping us place.

Carrie Geraci:

Those really important boulders around her hands and feet.

Carrie Geraci:

It was a real community effort.

Carrie Geraci:

Everybody pitched in something to help.

Carrie Geraci:

It was amazing.

Carrie Geraci:

And we had gifts ranging in all sizes to help support.

Carrie Geraci:

The production of, this great fun piece in our park and the land trust was amazing.

Carrie Geraci:

They are really trusting to let us put this sculpture there.

Carrie Geraci:

Even though it's just for three to five years, it's amazing that they were willing to.

Carrie Geraci:

To do that.

Carrie Geraci:

I think in the hopes that more people will come and enjoy our park and she makes it, more intriguing for all different types of people to come in.

Carrie Geraci:

Does it

Carrie Geraci:

, Stephan Abrams: but it's a blast of a park to go to.

Carrie Geraci:

We frequent it winter and summer, spring and fall all the seasons and for people.

Carrie Geraci:

Who were out of town or might be looking for living here and looking for a good sledding hill when there's snow, it has some phenomenal sledding Hills.

Carrie Geraci:

It does.

Carrie Geraci:

Our park is such a special place.

Carrie Geraci:

It is.

Carrie Geraci:

I always see the most incredible things when I'm there, whether it's.

Carrie Geraci:

The spring, we were putting mama Mimi in, there were five Eagle.

Carrie Geraci:

It's learning how to fly and hunt for fish.

Carrie Geraci:

And then I've seen, calf moose that running through the park with the mom.

Carrie Geraci:

That was probably no more than a week old, just the most incredible things.

Carrie Geraci:

So beautiful.

Carrie Geraci:

Such a treasure.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes.

Stephan Abrams:

Yes, indeed.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, Carrie, you sharing your story and I hope that you're still growing up, that you don't stop growing.

Carrie Geraci:

I think so.

Carrie Geraci:

I think I'm I still have a ways to go, but we're always learning.

Carrie Geraci:

And that is one of the exciting parts of my job.

Carrie Geraci:

Is that no matter what you do, it's always different.

Carrie Geraci:

We're not going to, you know, install another giant troll or another, giant piece like Willow Grove that's in front of the ELA, the Leidos, and every project is so incredibly different.

Carrie Geraci:

You work with different community members.

Carrie Geraci:

You.

Carrie Geraci:

Partner with different businesses and organizations and the artists are different.

Carrie Geraci:

The process is different.

Carrie Geraci:

So always learning and always learning more about our community and It's, that's a really rewarding part of my job and translates to being hopefully a better parent and wife and coworkers.

Carrie Geraci:

So it's been really fun.

Stephan Abrams:

I may I share an experience of offering some public art, which anybody can do wherever they live in.

Stephan Abrams:

It's so easy.

Stephan Abrams:

When the pandemic hit, it was a beautiful spring day and I decided, I said, boys, let's put a smiley face in the driveway.

Stephan Abrams:

And they're like, yeah.

Stephan Abrams:

And I told my wife and she's well, what are you going to do it with?

Stephan Abrams:

And, And so I went to ACE and I got paint and I didn't want the stuff that was going to go away immediately.

Stephan Abrams:

Like a chalk paint that you'd spray a field with, but I didn't want something that was super permanent, now it's still there, but I took a stick, put it in the center of the driveway.

Stephan Abrams:

With a string and I got the boys sidewalk chalk, and one of the boys held the stick and in this where it was, and I walked around the stick and made a big circle.

Stephan Abrams:

So that's going to be our smiley face.

Stephan Abrams:

And it took up the whole width of the driveway.

Stephan Abrams:

So with the two cars and we painted the smiley face and kids.

Stephan Abrams:

They ride their bikes on it.

Stephan Abrams:

They talk about there's the smiley face.

Stephan Abrams:

They just want to jump on it and stop and see the smiley face and the adults.

Stephan Abrams:

And I'm not a huge social media person, but we heard that the smiley face was all over Instagram.

Stephan Abrams:

People were sharing, taking pictures of it and sharing.

Stephan Abrams:

We didn't even know our neighbors were telling us, but we can all.

Stephan Abrams:

Provide a little bit of art in a very easy, simple way to bring some enjoyment happiness to others.

Stephan Abrams:

And it doesn't take a lot.

Stephan Abrams:

And so I encourage people to reach out to you for what they can do to help with the public art, but also come up with their own inspiration and seek some ideas from those kids because they have.

Carrie Geraci:

Yeah, I've seen your smiley face.

Carrie Geraci:

I love it.

Carrie Geraci:

I love it.

Carrie Geraci:

And how did that make you feel when you were painting it?

Carrie Geraci:

Were you guys just cracking up the whole

Stephan Abrams:

time?

Stephan Abrams:

We w we were having a really good time doing it.

Stephan Abrams:

We ran out of paint and we had parked the cars in the garage.

Stephan Abrams:

I didn't pull them out.

Stephan Abrams:

So I had to ask the neighbors across the street to go down to ACE, to get more bank for us.

Stephan Abrams:

The boys learn how to spray paint.

Stephan Abrams:

I was teaching the kids how to spray paint.

Stephan Abrams:

Excellent.

Stephan Abrams:

We had a blast doing it.

Stephan Abrams:

There's the oldest one who helps spray paint the spray paint, the smiley face.

Stephan Abrams:

Louis.

Carrie Geraci:

Good job.

Carrie Geraci:

I've seen that.

Carrie Geraci:

It's a beautiful piece of public art.

Carrie Geraci:

I love that.

Carrie Geraci:

Makes people feel good when they see it.

Carrie Geraci:

Don't you think?

Stephan Abrams:

Yeah, it does.

Stephan Abrams:

We have a sick one from home, from school today.

Stephan Abrams:

So he's in my office for a few minutes.

Carrie Geraci:

Awesome.

Carrie Geraci:

I'm sorry.

Carrie Geraci:

He's not feeling well, but nice.

Carrie Geraci:

He gets to spend time with you

Stephan Abrams:

and it's always good to spend time with these little munchkins, my minions.

Stephan Abrams:

So Carrie, if people want to reach out to you, what is a good way for them to connect with you?

Carrie Geraci:

I think they should check out our website, J H public art.org.

Carrie Geraci:

We are also going to be out and about a lot this summer, we have a new.

Carrie Geraci:

Community artist's position staffed by different community creatives and we'll be doing activities and parks and at the people's market to do what we were just talking about, make people feel happy and feel good and part of the community.

Carrie Geraci:

So look for us around town or check out our website.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, thank you, Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

We will keep an eye out.

Stephan Abrams:

Will you guys be at the eco fair?

Carrie Geraci:

Yes, we will.

Carrie Geraci:

You can come make solar flags with Suzanne Morlock the world famous Charlie brown sweater artist who created that great sweater piece that was on the art spot many years.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, we look forward to it.

Stephan Abrams:

Well, we go that eco fair Lewis.

Stephan Abrams:

You got it.

Stephan Abrams:

All

Carrie Geraci:

right.

Carrie Geraci:

Thank you very much for having me.

Carrie Geraci:

You're welcome.

Carrie Geraci:

Thank you for taking the time to join me.

Carrie Geraci:

And I had a blast talking to you and we'll both commit to, we're going to keep learning.

Carrie Geraci:

We're going to keep growing.

Carrie Geraci:

You're going to keep growing.

Stephan Abrams:

All right.

Stephan Abrams:

Take care, Carrie.

Stephan Abrams:

To learn more about Carrie and Jackson Hole Public Art.

Stephan Abrams:

Visit thejacksonholeconnection.com.

Stephan Abrams:

Episode number 190.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you everybody who helps keep this podcast going, keep sharing the podcast with your friends and family.

Stephan Abrams:

Thank you to my wife, Laura and my boys, Louis and William, and to Michael Moeri, who does all of the editing and marketing for this podcast.

Stephan Abrams:

If you're looking to create your own party.

Stephan Abrams:

Reach out to Michael Moeri today.

Stephan Abrams:

I appreciate you sharing your time with me today.

Stephan Abrams:

Cheers.

Links