JACKSON, Wyo. — Astoria Park Conservancy and The Trust for Public Land have selected artist Katie Shepherd Christiansen to create a custom art installation at the revitalized Astoria Hot Springs and Park, scheduled to open later this year. Christiansen will design a welcoming artwork for the new entrance, using her skills as a biological-illustrator to communicate the park’s unique ecological features.

This permanent installation is funded in part with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and is based upon creative placemaking activities coordinated by Jackson Hole Public Art and other project partners.

Artist, educator, and naturalist Katie Shepherd Christiansen creates natural history illustrations that inspire meaningful connection to the natural world. Her intricate watercolor wildlife portraits capture movement and personality, revealing the unique characteristics of individual creatures. Courtesy Image

The selection committee reviewed over 20 submissions from regional artists—all tasked with creating an illustration mapping the many native flora, fauna, land, and geothermal features found at Astoria. Christiansen’s submission rose to the top due to her expertise in hand-drawn illustrations, story-telling, and ecology.

“I am thrilled to be selected. I feel honored and fortunate to be able to tell the ecological and cultural story of Astoria Hot Springs through this artwork,” Christiansen said.

Christiansen added that the Astoria project falls squarely in her wheelhouse, especially after wrapping up a similar assignment through an NEA grant where she completed about a dozen interpretive signs at the 60-acre Story Mill Community Park in Bozeman, Montana.

Christiansen is an artist, writer, educator, and naturalist based out of Colorado, but has long worked in the Greater Yellowstone Region. She is currently the Artist in Residence at the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative in Jackson, Wyoming and the editor of the forthcoming Artists Field Guide to Yellowstone, which will be released in 2020.

“This one is really exciting to me in part because of the history of the park and its relevance to the community,” Christiansen said. “Not all art projects have this historical lineage and I hope to capture that.”