JACKSON, WY — The goal of Jackson Hole Still Work’s annual label contest is to recognize art that captures the “Spirit of Wyoming.”
This year’s winner, Anna Meteyer, took the call literally. The competition, and now the 2019/20 Still Works vodka label, provided the perfect place for her art.
“All of my work deals with the spirit realm in some way,” Meteyer said. “It was pretty easy to come up with something that embodied what I see as the spirit of Wyoming.”
For Meteyer, the spirit of Wyoming lives in its wildlife. Her winning piece, called “Those Who Walked Here Before Us,” is an ode to some of Wyoming’s oldest inhabitants.
“I wanted [the piece] to be a tribute to the natural forces, and in particular the wildlife, or Wyoming,” Meteyer said. “These creatures have been here so much longer than us, and I think a lot of times we think of the land here as being ours. But really, these animals are sharing it with us. They’ve been here a lot longer than we have.”
Bison are especially mystifying, she said. Their size alone is awe-inspiring, but there’s something about their quiet humility that Meteyer is drawn to. “They’re powerful, but so quiet.”
Meteyer is especially impressed by how unphased bison, and other local wildlife, are by both the beauty and the hardship that defines their lives. “They accept the beauty and the struggle without question,” she said.
Bison are also old. They look pre-historic. Only fitting, then, that a bison should be the face of “those who walked here before us.”
Meteyer is new to Jackson — she only moved here in December. For her art to be recognized, not just as good but also as a reflection of her new home, is motivating and humbling, she said. “It’s an incredible affirmation of my art, and I am just so excited and also surprised that so many people loved my piece so much.”
All of her work is ethereal and spiritual, but Meteyer’s hope is that none of it is the same. She loves her winning piece, but said she hopes people don’t get too attached to the style, because it will change. “My next piece is probably going to be completely different,” she said. “That’s my nature — I’m always searching for expansion.”
Meteyer will sell prints of her winning piece in the next couple of weeks. You’ll also find it on all Still Works vodka bottles, hitting the shelves soon. You can follow Meteyer on Instagram @kindomsof.wild, and find more of her work at the People’s Market every other Wednesday for the remainder of the summer (she’ll be there this week!).
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