JACKSON HOLE, WYO – A new kinetic grouping took up residency in July on Timberline Center’s lawn at the corner of West Maple Way and Buffalo Way.
A red, life-sized horse with its white mane made of Dacron sailcloth, lowers its head down to check out a blue dog eager to meet the large animal, its tail up and its red heart spinning. Both animals are made of steel metal tubing.
Longtime Jackson resident and artist Christine Meytras designed the duo she calls “Friends.”
“I imagined a line, like a pencil drawing, encapsulating open spaces,” says Meytras of her thought process. The two animals—the horse bending its neck to get closer to the dog, and the dog stretching his to sniff the horse’s nose—tell a multi-layered story for suitable for anyone.
“It can be a literal and traditional scene observed on a ranch where animals co-exist in a working environment, and at the same time it is a metaphor for reaching outside of our bubble of comfort to meet new and different ‘friends,’” Meytras says. “It could be about bridging a generational gap, extending a helping hand to a handicapped person, talking to a foreigner. I like to give my sculptures layers of meaning.”
Wind is a key player in the story of friendship. It has a voice. Meytras designed the sculptures to come to life when the wind blows. She gave the dog a windmill heart that spins in the air flow, adding a feeling of excitement to the story. “Just like the heart of a nervous person beats when meeting someone very different or impressive,” she says.
Meytras gave the horse a mane, like a mini-sail with batons mounted on springs that oscillates in the wind. She took a picture of the real cutting horse a few years ago on the feed line at the Muddy Creek ranch. The dog is somewhat of a “generic” dog.
Meytras worked with Shane Lindsay, a precision metal artist, who used to live in Jackson and moved to California a few years ago.
“Shane understands my drawings and how I think. He is incredibly talented. We have worked together on several sculptures. He brings my vision into reality,” Meytras says.