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.
Kathy is a fine-artist in glass. She creates bowls, mosaics, and abstract designs that represent the textures, movement, and vibrant color found in Yellowstone’s natural environment.
“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. My artwork is a physical example of the science that occurs in Yellowstone National Park and a beautiful addition to any home that will bring back memories of such an amazing place.”
Contemporary Native American Artist DG House of Bozeman, MT has had her work exhibited in the fine art museums across the country and in permanent collections worldwide including rock stars and the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of the American Indian.
“Yellowstone completely inspires everything I do, including moving halfway across the country to be there. 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.”
Artist John Potter was raised in the Upper Great Lakes country – on and off the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin – where he grew up with an abiding love for the Natural World in the forests of the Great Northwoods.
He often paints en plein air, bringing his small outdoor studies home, where they are then used as reference to create his larger studio works. Working directly from Nature, he firmly believes in the all-pervading Divinity found in the Natural World, and is always striving for an honest expression of light and color. John spends many hours in the field, observing and studying light, mood, atmosphere, the land and sky. He carries paints and a sketchbook whenever possible, traveling extensively – but his favorite subjects remain the rugged mountain scenery of the American West.
James is a 1984 honors graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts of Santa Fe. He has also attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Peter Ray James introduced his art to the competitive Indian Art world in the spring of 1988. Since then he has sold a little over 1,200 masks and 900 canvases. His art has been on album covers, prominent art show posters, and numerous newspaper and magazine covers.
“I am known among my Navajo people as Nahat’a Yilth Yil Wood, One Who Delivers the Message.” It is my Navajo name that braids many generations of prayers, symbolism, tradition, honor, knowledge, and love. I truly believe my destiny is to be a storyteller through my artist endeavors. I am always honored and respectful to represent my family name in my homeland and abroad”.
Tom Murphy of Livingston Montana is a celebrated and award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer of Yellowstone National Park. He uses his photography to illustrate his passion for the remaining wild places on our earth.
“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 wildlife stories.”
Carl Sheehan, a graduate of Montana State University, is a professional ceramicist and the resident/visiting potter at Yellowstone National Park for over 30 years.
“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. 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.”
Antelope Santee Dolls are Native Plains Indian Dolls that are Made in Montana. Project Indigenous, founded by Mr. Scott Frazier, provides quality educational programs that teach from an Indigenous perspective through the humanities (storytelling, dance, music and hands on activities). Mr. Frazier is a Crow Tribal member but considers himself a Santee survivor because his grandfather was a full blood Santee. With decades of experience in the environmental arenas, Mr. Frazier focuses on fields relating to the preservation and respect for Native lands, natural resources and Native cultures. Interconnection of Earth, Fire, Air and Water makes all things important to Mr. Frazier’s concern. Bringing understanding and insight to a wide cross-section of the general public is the primary goal for all programs presented by Project Indigenous.
From her first visit to Yellowstone National Park, at the impressionable age of 8, author Elizabeth “Betsy” Watry has been fascinated by its long cultural history. Specializing in 19th century and early 20th century cultural history, Watry has focused her research on that period in the history of the park.
In her book “Woman in Wonderland: Lives, Legends and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park,” Watry lends her focus to some of the women in park history. The book, she says, is a glimpse of the everyday women of Yellowstone, their contributions and accomplishments.
Paul Horstead and Bob Berry are authors of the book “Yellowstone Yesterday and Today”. More than 100 historic images spanning Yellowstone’s long history take on new meaning when precisely matched with Paul Horsted’s modern photos of the same locations. Seeing colors visible to the original photographers, we are able to grasp the Park’s rich history firsthand.
“As a photographer and historian, I’m inspired by “the beauty and the history” of Yellowstone National Park. Photographs of Yellowstone from the late 1800s fascinate me; I’ve enjoyed figuring out where these images were taken, and using my own camera to create matching images of the same locations today. Working with photo collector Bob Berry of Cody, I study how people experienced what was then a young (and the first) National Park.”
Working from her home workshop at the base of the Beartooth mountains Andrea constantly strives to create simple, top quality leather and copper goods that will last a lifetime. The workshop, in the mountains of Montana, and just outside of Yellowstone National Park, inspire Fort Omotse’s products. From the earth-tone colors, full grain Bison and Cowhide, made to be perfect for a night on the town or a hike through the mountains. Every Fort Omotse Leather product is Handmade in Montana with top quality full grain American leather.
Moondance Artwork uses recycled copper and metals to create unique artwork and jewelry. The by-product of my artwork is copper & metal scraps. With these pieces I design a line of unique jewelry. My creations include earring, necklaces, rings and cuffs.
“I am inspired by nature in general, but Yellowstone holds a special place in my heart with its unique colors and master designs created by nature. Yellowstone wonderful hot tubs create colors that are hard to find in nature. Everywhere you look, there are unique patterns. It is my goal to have some of these unique colors reflected in my jewelry creations especially the patina colors that I use. I use all recycled materials which makes me create from pieces that I have available. Like nature, I work with what I can find.”
Kathryn Phyllarry is the author of children’s book Beauregart the Bear, a fictional story that combines factual information on bear habit and habitat with the difficult journey of overcoming a disability.
“I think we, as residents of Wyoming and Montana, have a tendency to take Yellowstone National Park for granted. I know I did, until I had my first signing in Yellowstone in 2009. Before that time the international status of Yellowstone was beyond my realm of thinking. Sitting at my signing desk, in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn, for just a few hours my first day, truly opened my eyes to how this wonderful park, with its thermal features and wildlife, is a remarkable treasure. I found that I am truly lucky to call Wyoming my home. Ten years and four (and a half) children’s books later, I never get tired of my book signings in Yellowstone, nor meeting and greeting all kinds of people from all around the world.”
Manuel Ramirez is a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is an alumnus of the 2016 National Museum of the American Indian Artist Leadership Program. An enrolled member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, he grew up in Los Angeles, California, where he developed an appreciation for works on paper. He is inspired by people, architecture, and travel. Places of unique perspective beyond urban landscapes motivate him. He is inspired by moments of personal experience and memory. He enjoys the freedom of printmaking and the approach to themes such as wildlife, lakes, and waterfalls.
His work is included both nationally and internationally, including the collections of the Museum of International Folk Art and the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art.
Sixteen years ago Sharon Stchur visited Yellowstone for the first time, and that initial experience has brought her back every summer since. The interaction with bear, bison, and wolves, the majestic terrain, the untold hours spent hiking every conceivable trail have all inspired her like nothing else in her life. In addition to being an artist in residence in Yellowstone from 2003-2013, and then again in 2018, Sharon’s paintings have been displayed in galleries and shows across the country.
“Every Yellowstone painting I have produced (easily in the hundreds) was inspired by some “once-in-a-lifetime” view or animal encounter while out hiking and experiencing the park first hand. I have always relished then sharing these moments with the park visitors through conversation initiated (oftentimes by them) while viewing my efforts to capture it all on canvas.”
Lynette is a realistic artist who captures the personalities and unique characteristics of her subjects on canvas. Lynette is a self-taught artist, who was born and raised in eastern South Dakota and has lived and painted in Wyoming since 1988. She specializes in the mediums of acrylic and pastel.
“Yellowstone inspires me in many ways. The variety and unique characteristics of Yellowstone remind me that God uses His artistry to create a beautiful place! The majestic landscapes, the thermal features, the vast array of animals and visitors from all over the world all add meaning to Yellowstone for me personally.”
Steve’s love for the Northern Rockies grew from his first trip to Yellowstone in 1996. Now, over twenty years of photography in and around the park have culminated in two books, over twenty awards, four images displayed in the Smithsonian, as well as photos featured in magazines, calendars and publications.
“Yellowstone isn’t reflected in my work, it is my work. Most of my major work, most successful photographs, are of Yellowstone and it’s wild inhabitants. But I want to show it in its grandeur because it’s difficult to portray the grandeur one has of seeing it in person through a photograph. I’ve photographed Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone many times but few images truly portray the greatness and overwhelming feeling of seeing it in person.”