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Wyo Women: Much to Celebrate!


Our Sister Publication: Wyoming Weddings – Wyovore –  Wyoming Woman – WYO XY —

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ANNOUNCING! The Wyoming Woman Magazine is becoming a new section of each issue of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine!

We’re excited to announce that we’re the new publisher of The Wyoming Woman Magazine! The ladies that began and grew this publication are AWESOME, and we’re very excited to continue the spirit of the magazine in a special section of each issue of Lifestyle. We’re currently working on our summer issue of Lifestyle, and in it we’ll include some summer recipes — from our readers and fans! We invite you to submit your favorite recipes — click here to be connected with our blog that gives the details!

The subscribers to Wyoming Woman have been moved to our subscription list for Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine. We’d love to hear your suggestions for content, and be looking for Wyo woman-specific blogs, and posts on our Facebook page! To contact us with suggestions, please email

Children’s Book Illustrator Sylvia Long Wins 2012 Bull-Bransom Award

Museum honors A Butterfly Is Patient with medal for nature illustration excellence

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – May 11, 2012 – Children’s book illustrator Sylvia Long is the recipient of the 2012 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States at a reception at the museum last night in Jackson Hole, Wyo.  Long was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children’s book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for the 2011 picture book A Butterfly Is Patient (Chronicle Books), written by Dianna Hutts Aston.  Long was in Jackson Hole at the National Museum of Wildlife Art to receive the award, which was presented as part of the museum’s Celebration of Young Artists event.

Illustrations for A Butterfly is Patient, above, won 2012 Bull-Bransom Award for artist Sylvia Long, far right, shown accepting the award from National Museum of Wildlife Art Board of Trustees member Lynn Friess.

“Sylvia Long’s illustrations were lauded for their detail and striking compositions by this year’s Bull-Bransom judges, who used the adjectives ‘delightful,’ ‘engaging,’ and ‘absolutely gorgeous’ among others to compliment her stellar work,” said National Museum of Art Curator of Art Adam Harris, who serves annually as one of the judges for the award.  “Long’s illustrations fly off the page and enhance the wonderfully written text.” Past Bull-Bransom Award winners Kevin Waldron and Jerry Pinkney were also on the judging panel.

Animals are a favorite subject for Sylvia Long, who admits to preferring drawing animals to people and does a great deal of advance research especially for non-fiction work like A Butterfly Is Patient – spending as much or sometimes more time on learning her subject than on the actual drawing.  It was Long’s interest in all things natural – including an interest in birds that dates back to childhood – that originally led her editor to connect her with author Dianna Hutts Aston.  Their first collaboration, An Egg Is Quiet, went on to win more than 20 awards including from the Association of Children’s Librarians and a Publishers Weekly “Off the Cuff” award for best non-fiction for treatment of a subject.  A Butterfly Is Patient is the third in what has become a series of nature picture books by the duo.

Long, whose very first published title Ten Little Rabbits was named best picture book of the year by the International Reading Association back in 1991, hopes her passion for the natural world will inspire kids to get outside and really observe their surroundings.  Still, asked what aspect of her work is most fulfilling, she responds, “The thought that somewhere ‘out there’ a child will go to their bookshelf and pull out one of ‘my’ books, crawl up in their parent’s or grandparent’s lap and settle in for that close, comforting time, sharing a story.”

Created in the tradition of such prestigious children’s book illustrator honors as the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Hans Christian Andersen awards, the Bull-Bransom Award is presented in the form of a medal and $5,000 cash award.  The National Museum of Wildlife Art named the award for Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, among the first American artist-illustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects.

A member of the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe.  A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at  The museum is also active on Facebook at wildlifeartjh and on Twitter at @wildlifeartjh.

CASPER — Art Teacher Nancy Lee Receives Tribal Sportswear’s Heart for Art Award from Fashion Crossroads

Art teacher Nancy Lee, a native of Grand Forks, ND, inspires kids daily through her art instruction at Dean Morgan Junior High in Casper.  Today, Nancy appreciates her children for the unique people that they are – and uses her art instruction to help them embrace their own individual personalities. But, she says, the road to take her here has not always been clear to her…

Nancy began her own art instruction at the age of six, when her parents signed her up for Saturday morning art lessons. She continued these weekly lessons until ninth grade, serving as practice for the students who were becoming art teachers at that time.  “I thought I died and went to Heaven,” Nancy says.  “I would wait to go. I experienced a lot of things, working from still life and learning how to make prints at an early age. It was pure joy. It was me!” As a child, Nancy found inspiration through artists at the nearby University of ND, as well as journeying to Europe to view the works of major artists.

Nancy began by teaching art in Dickinson, ND. “I wasn’t very successful there,” she says. She then moved to Missoula, where she earned her Master’s in art.  At UND, Nancy had focused on intaglio printmaking, spending a lot of time creating monoprints. A presentation on handmade paper sparked Nancy’s creativity, and at the University of MT, Nancy developed paper pieces as her Master’s thesis.  Her thesis focused on paper pieces that were patterns, and made statements about Nancy’s personality. Today, Nancy’s creations are abstract, involving found objects from the land and clay pieces that are integrated into paper pieces.

When it came to teaching art, Nancy struggled to find her niche. “It took me a long time to figure out what I was doing in teaching art,” Nancy says. “Sometimes my quote was, ‘I hope I can fake it until I can figure out what I am doing.’” She often went home and cried, thinking that the kids were being mean. “I realized that I was really talking down to them and setting up harsh bounderies they just had to break!” Nancy says. That realization formed a turning point for her, and helped her find her creative and emotional niche with her students. “The first thing I figured out was that you have to build a relationship with junior high/middle level kids. They are really not bad at all if you treat with respect and care about them,” Nancy says. “They wil do anything for you –if you treat them right and they trust you. They will respect you if you actually ‘teach’ them something and have structure.”

Nancy shares that the common emotional pitfalls of the early teenage years are there for a reason.  “At times they layer negatively  because they have to protect their inner self,” Nancy says. “My first weapon is always humor — first comes the kid, then art will follow.”  She found a way to develop art projects that offered structure but also the opportunity for kids to develop their own ideas of who they are. She also found that strengthening the process versus the product was key. “Once that went out the door and I concentrated on a positive, non-critical atmosphere, their work got a lot better. It was so much easier! Work smart not hard!” Nancy adds with a smile.

Nancy’s ability to learn and mold herself and her teaching skills is backed by a history of strong women in her family.  “I am the third Maude Dickinson to graduate from the UND,” Nancy shares. The first Maud Dickinson was a commander in the Coast Guard, earned her Master’s in English and wrote manuals for the Coast Guard in Washington, DC in the early 1930s.  Then came Maude Dickinson Wood, Nancy’s role model, who traveled to UND in a Model T on miserable roads.  Maude Wood began college at 16, earned her degree in English, and taught school to at risk children at Nebraska State School.  Miss Wood used a Labrador in her classroom, keeping the children calm through its presence – before such techniques for ‘at risk’ children were realized.

Nancy’s full name is Nancy Maude Dickinson Lee, and her daughter, Anne Maude Lee, will become the fourth generation of “Maude” in the family line.  The antique family name may not always be a favorite, Nancy shares, but with it comes a line of strong women – something to always be proud of.

Today, Nancy relishes her time with her students.  “I couldn’t stand a job where they put me at a desk and make me file something,” Nancy says.  What she enjoys about teaching art are the experiences that ‘they’ have in the classroom – Nancy and the students both.  “The kids are so funny and and smart and we just roll with it,” Nancy shares. “Junior high kids are ‘for reals’ — they tell it like it is — if you are doing something good they let you know … but if they don’t agree, they will not keep it a secret!”

Nancy received the Heart for Art Award, sponsored by Tribal Sportswear and presented by Fashion Crossroads in Downtown Casper.  She was awarded with a plaque and a $250 prize to purchase art supplies for her classroom.  Connect with our blog post about the award to read students’ recommendations of Nancy, and Fashion Crossroads owner Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton’s statement about Nancy and the award.  Offered for the first time by Tribal Sportswear, the Heart for Art award recognizes local art teachers that are making a different in the lives of junior high/middle school children.  Because children who are fostered in the education of art and the humanities often go on to careers in these fields, Tribal Sportswear found honoring those educators who make a different worthy of celebration.  Kyleen agrees, and hopes that the award will continue. Visit Fashion Crossroads for women’s fashions that span a variety of ages — from leisure to career wear — at 228 E. 2nd St. in Downtown Casper.

LANDER — Lander Art Center Searching for New Executive Director

With a mixture of apprehension and excitement, the Lander Art Center Board of Directors announces the resignation of Dannine Donaho as Executive Director: Apprehension because Dannine’s energy and expertise will be hugely missed and excitement for Dannine as she focuses on her art work more full-time.

Dannine has been involved with the Art Center for years. Prior to the position of Executive Director, Dannine filled many roles including volunteer, board member and program coordinator of the Native American Emerging Artist Training (NEAT) program. Her dedication to the Art Center and entrepreneurial energy has allowed the Art Center to develop our education, exhibition and artists training programs in ways that have uniquely served our community. Dannine has guided the Art Center into a position as an important visual art venue in Central Wyoming. Dannine has nurtured Lander’s vibrant community of artists as an advocate and mentor to aspiring, amateur and professional artists of all ages. We thank Dannine for her dedication to the Lander Art Center and the leadership role that she has played within our art community.

From Dannine:  I came into this job in 2010 as a working, aspiring artist, passionate about maintaining and expanding the art community in Lander.  In the past two years, I have learned intensively about non-profit art organization structure and challenges in addition to our community of artists— strengths and weaknesses.  It has been an assiduous and provoking time.

At the same time, I also learned quite a bit about myself.  By taking on the vast roles of leader and art advocate, I found a voice I didn’t know I possessed.  I believe in art in all its forms for all people.  Ironically, it is in finding this voice that I have decided to make a change and step down as the director.  I believe an artist, leader, and art advocate who has little time to make art cannot cultivate this vast project, the Lander Art Center, with integrity.  Losing one voice to gain another is worth it for a while, but not sustainable. I hope to stay involved, as there are many parts of the job I love that would fit nicely into my life.  And when time travel is available, I will be the first one in line for a ticket.

The Lander Art Center is excited to begin the search for a new director. Contact the Lander Art Center for job description and particulars.  We ask all of our community to assist us as we transition into new leadership. Specifically if you know of a potential candidate, pass them the job announcement.

‘Til Next Time…What a celebration of wonderful Wyoming women!

Kati Hime, Editor


Our Sister Publication: Wyoming Weddings – Wyovore –  Wyoming Woman – WYO XY —