a performing and teaching company

Wyoming Blog

in Daniel’s words

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Thanks to the generosity of the Ucross Foundation I’ve received the extraordinary opportunity to be in residence for five weeks at glorious Ucross, northeastern Wyoming, near Montana, population 25.
I arrived on Monday, November 5 without any expectations about the property. This road sign is an iconic image of the Foundation’s. I did not take this. But here are two of the first photos I did of Coal Creek. I’m staying in a small log cabin directly in front of this view! It’s supremely beautiful. From their site: “The mission of Ucross Foundation is to foster the creative spirit of deeply committed artists and groups by providing uninterrupted time, studio space, living accommodations, and the experience of the majestic High Plains while serving as a good steward of its historic 20,000-acre ranch.” This dramatic sky occurred on the first day here: intensely bright blue and charcoal right nearby. After following the light for a good half hour, shooting the beauty of the terrain and sky, a sudden forceful snowstorm came, looking like a twister. I was pelted by wet snow and soaked trying to outrun the lashing winds. The changes in the sky are of course constant and endless and it’s been impossible to resist trying, futilely, to capture the infinite variations. I cannot stop taking photographs of the skies, the mountains, the fields, and the deer! The White-tailed deer are everywhere! In the morning, just before sunrise I captured this buck! Why did the Stag cross the road? The weather changes every few hours here, or less. And as a result the topography is revealed anew with it. Earlier this week the snow was so powdery and glittery it felt like being inside a snow globe. Here’s the Red Barn, a historic registered landmark building, which houses the studio loft where I’m working! It’s a three-quarters of a mile walk from the studio and cabin to the house where he have meals. Having a bike, except when it’s been icy, is fantastic! I have been developing different projects in the wild here and look forward to sharing with everyone over the next month! It’s rather amazing to be here and learn in The New York Times just today of founder Raymond Plank’s passing. He established Ucross Foundation in 1981. Since then Ucross has been giving space and time to artists who come from many disciplines: writers, composers, visual and performing artists. “Participants come from all over the world. In this complex of private studios and shared residences, visiting artists build a small, intense community hard at work in the midst of 20,000 acres of Wyoming ranchland.” Read his obituary. “Ucross Foundation’s home is a working ranch set at the confluence of three creeks, and its purpose is to bring deeply committed artists into the heart of an unparalleled landscape. The Foundation believes that being a good steward of the land closely resembles being a good artist, and vice versa. Both require dedication, imagination, and the best possible use of the resources at hand. In addition to fostering the work of individual artists, Ucross is a meeting and working place for groups, a multi-disciplinary laboratory for creative thinking. We help sponsor and host educational programs, conferences, and special events at our public art gallery, which is one of the cultural landmarks of northern Wyoming. Their reach is as close as their nearest neighbors and as distant as almost any spot on earth.” Ucross is home to the creative spirit. I can promise you a lot of exciting dance photography and videos are already in the works! Stay tuned for next week’s installment.