A former project manager for Jackson Hole Public Art, Alex Pope created Art Shop in Moose to give local makers the spotlight. “It was important to me that they were having fun,” she said.

A former project manager for Jackson Hole Public Art, Alex Pope created Art Shop in Moose to give local makers the spotlight. “It was important to me that they were having fun,” she said.
Similar to the Gaslight Alley shop Made, but with a more fine art flair, a new gallery in Moose aims to give local artists the spotlight.
“I’ve been in the arts world here for 15 years, and the one arts demographic that we’re failing is our local artists,” said Alex Pope, the creator of Art Shop.
Most recently Pope was the project manager for Jackson Hole Public Art. Before that, she worked as art director for Tayloe Piggott Gallery.
Her carefully curated boutique is located just on the edge of Grand Teton National Park in the former Moosely Mountaineering building. Skinny Skis ended its 20-year lease from the Dornan family at that location last year.
“We can’t thank the Dornans enough for providing us the opportunity to operate our business in such a spectacular setting and wish them success with their new endeavor,” Skinny Skis co-owner Scott O’Brien said.
Pope completely renovated the space before opening last month. The new interior is bright and spacious and gives the artwork, all made by local creators, a chance to shine.
This Thursday the shop will host an opening reception for Nicolette Maw and Eliot Goss from 4 to 7 p.m.
Many of the artists Pope recruited crafted specific pieces for the shop. Ryan Stolp, perhaps best known for his Lift Lines comics that run in the Jackson Hole Daily and on the Hole Scroll news app, created a “Where’s Waldo” type poster jam-packed with Grand Teton vignettes. Anika Youcha fired a series of 250 hand-thrown ceramic cups.
“They’re so great at marketing individual artists and highlighting the work,” she said.
Youcha has sold her work at Made and Rare Gallery but said she’s never seen something “so devoted to local makers.”
In a community well known for the glut of fine art galleries encasing Town Square, a commercial art market showcased by the annual Fall Arts Festival, local creatives have always operated on the fringes. Their talent has been mostly consigned to pop-up exhibitions like the Art Fair, while valuable (and costly) gallery space was reserved for more nationally recognized artists.
Pope is trying to flip that script. Every artist she features gets a commission, and although many of them made limited runs for Art Shop, it’s not an exclusive gallery.
“I’m trying to give them a venue to be seen and broaden their exposure,” Pope said. She also wanted to make sure the artists had “fun” filling the shop.
Bronwyn Minton, executive director for the Art Association, has a run of cyanotype leaf prints for sale. Britt Ziebell is selling prints of her signature skull slates.
“It’s so wonderful to have an opportunity to share my art alongside other makers and artists,” Ziebell said. “Alex has curated a place that’s not only a stop for tourists to shop for a special memento on their trip but also a place for locals to shop for local, thoughtful, handmade items.”
Like Moosely Mountaineering, Art Shop will be open only in the summer. Artists said the seasonality was helpful.
You can put together “a whole bulk of things,” in the offseason, then bounce out, said Youcha, who struggled to keep up with the year-round demand at Made.
Pope is still workshopping price points, hours and showcase events. The first month was “a little bit fits and starts,” she said, citing the airport closure and lousy weather as potential reasons for low park visitation.
“I’m not worried yet,” she said. “I knew the first two months were going to be a little hit or miss.”
While plenty of customers will walk away with a small sticker, Pope has sold a few of the larger items, including Stolp’s “Where’s Waldo” poster. She said locals have appreciated the transformation of space, while visitors have said they seek out similar shops wherever they travel.
When he heard the pitch for a local gallery with diverse representation, Huntley Dornan said he was “all in.”
“It just felt like a really good fit,” he said. “The thing we get asked for the most from people who visit Dornan’s is ‘Where’s the local stuff?’”
Art Shop fits the bill. And so long as independent artists can still afford to live and create in Jackson Hole, Dornan thinks a gallery space in Moose has “lasting power.”
With hundreds of thousands “if not millions” of annual visitors to the Dornan’s complex, he said, “the vast number of them really want to take home something that will remind them of their trip to the Tetons.”
What better way than with a handmade Greater Yellowstone memento?
Contact Evan Robinson-Johnson at 732-5901 or ERJ@jhnewsandguide.com.
Evan Robinson-Johnson covers issues residents face on a daily basis, from smoky skies to housing insecurity. Originally from New England, he has settled in east Jackson and avoids crowds by rollerblading through the alleyways.
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