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Inspired by Yellowstone

Inspired by Yellowstone

Written by: , July 06th, 2018

To say that Yellowstone has inspired artists is an understatement. In many ways, the park owes its existence to the artists who found inspiration here.

In 1870, Wyoming was a territory and Yellowstone’s marvels were a mystery to Congress and most of the U.S. population. Back then — long before selfies, digital images, and Instagram — artists depicted the world’s wonders for a curious public. And in the case of Yellowstone, the photographers, illustrators, and painters who portrayed the area proved instrumental in its establishment as a national park: artist Thomas Moran, and photographers William Henry Jackson and Frank J. Haynes — played a seminal role in Yellowstone’s preservation.

These days, Yellowstone inspires artists from all over the world to try to capture the magic of ‘Wonderland’. That’s why we carry products from local artists in our gift shops. Almost 80% of our inventory is made in the USA and regularly seek out homegrown fare at local trade shows.

We’re proud of the work of these artists and that’s why throughout the summer we feature them across the park at our lodges in our ‘Inspired by Yellowstone’ artist series. We invite you to experience these incredible artists while they’re in the park. Please stop by to meet and talk with them. You can learn more about a few of the artists below or view the full schedule and bios here. We’re sure you’ll find a little bit of Yellowstone inspiration as well.


Artist Kathy Burke

“Thermal Puddles” are a decorative kiln glass series that are inspired by the thermal pools found in
Yellowstone National Park. I am fascinated by the geology of “The Park”. Looking deep, down into the
earth the rings of bold color get hotter as the color changes. Microorganisms live in the shallow water
which help create the amazing color along with the presence of different minerals exposed to the heat
from the earth.

A reaction occurs when fusing sulfur and copper-bearing glass with silver foil. The reaction is very
much like what happens in the park with the same minerals and extreme heat present. Rings of bold
color form and no two are exactly alike.

Modern Relics Thermal Puddles are the thermal pools you can touch. The bowls are tactile and present;
they represent the change brought on by the processes that occur at the core of the park, the caldera.

Kathy will be in Yellowstone this summer August 6-8, August 12-15 and August 19-22 at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel gift store and August 26-29 at the Old Faithful Inn gift store.

Photographer Tom Murphy

The strength and vitality of Yellowstone’s wild character is unique and valuable. It gives hope to
everyone who experiences its beauty. The natural infinitely changing wonders captivated me as a little
kid on family vacations and inspired me to move here in 1978. I am more intrigued and drawn to this
place every passing year.

I hope to open people’s senses through my work and help them to recognize the beauty and value of
clean healthy landscapes and dynamic wild life stories.

I want people to experience the same sense of humility and wonder in the presence of life and vitality
that I had while making my photographs. By recognizing the value of Yellowstone, I hope my
photographs encourage others to tell their own stories, help inspire reverence, and encourage them to
help to preserve the place.

Tom will be in Yellowstone this summer July 10-12 (Old Faithful Inn Gift Shop), July 17-19 (Lake Yellowstone Hotel Gift Shop), July 31-August 2 (Canyon Outfitters Shop), and August 7-9 (Old Faithful Inn Gift Shop).

Painter DG House

Contemporary Native American Artist DG House of Bozeman, MT has had her work exhibited in the finest art museums including the Yellowstone Art Museum and the CM Russell Museum in Montana as well the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, and the Eiteljorg Museum of Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, IN. Her work is in permanent collections worldwide including rock stars Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Michael McDonald, and the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

When asked about Yellowstone’s inspiration on her and her work, DG says, “Be careful, it can change you. Yellowstone completely inspires everything I do, including moving halfway across the country to be there.” It inspired her choice of career, first becoming a photographer and then a painter.

As DG explains it, Yellowstone is, “The essence of everything I do. Every painting I create is based on a story, a real story that happened in Yellowstone Park at some point.”

DG wants her work to, “give voice to the people and wildlife of Yellowstone that don’t have a voice in this culture” and “remind the viewer of what they felt when they were in the park.”

DG will be in Yellowstone this summer July 24-27 (Lake Yellowstone Gift Shop), August 6-10 (Mammoth Hotel Gift Shop), August 27-August 31 (Lake Hotel Gift Shop), and September 24-26 (Lake Hotel Gift Shop).

Potter Carl Sheehan

Potters Station Gift Shop

Yellowstone has inspired me in many ways over the years, I have had the fortune to spend time in the Park during all seasons and each season has its particular beauty and character:

  • The Fall when elk and bison are rutting and you see the cycle of life starting over and the colors are highlighting the mountainside influence my glaze palette of colors.
  • The winter season with the softening of the landscape with the blanket of snow and the silence of the backcountry all inspire my forms.
  • The spring with its burst of greenery and the rivers flowing hard with the runoff let you know life is beginning again and then the bison calves are hopping around seemingly in celebration.
  • The summer all bursts forth, water, wildlife and mountainside with blooming colors of flower and grasses.

Again my heart takes it all in and I am overwhelmed with images and smells and the life force that the Park brings forth and hopefully appears in my glaze work and designs. Yellowstone is an oasis of wildness and wonder that refreshes the spirit and humbles the heart for those who take the time to experience its zeitgeist.

I think when people purchase my work I want them to have a reminder of the colors and landscape of the Park, sometimes specific images but mostly the impressions of color and grandeur of this place called Yellowstone.

Carl will be in Yellowstone this summer August 21-22 (Old Faithful Lodge Gift Shop), August 23-24 (Old Faithful Inn Gift Shop), and September 18-21 (Old Faithful Lodge Gift Shop).

Explore Yellowstone's Art Scene

Lake Yellowstone Hotel Gift Shop

Inspired by Yellowstone Artist Series

Throughout the summer, we’ll be proudly featuring a variety of artists and their work in our lodges. We invite you to stop by and meet them. Explore the schedules and learn more about the artists.

Learn More
Piano at Lake Yellowstone Hotel

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The otherworldly grandeur of Yellowstone has inspired a melodic earful from multiple composers and performers.

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