Text by Hannah Jones
It’s not very often that you find an artist who can pick up their utensil and make anything and everything beautiful simply because they love art, but Jackson, Wyoming-based painter Katy Ann Fox is one of those people.
Katy Ann fell in love with painting as soon as she could pick up a brush, and it quickly became more than just a hobby. Art was her way of translating the world she saw. “I love being the middleman in the appreciation of the world around us,” she says. “It is my favorite way to communicate the importance of little things and joy I see in the world around me.”
Like any child, Katy Ann had wild dreams and other passions. She notes that her first career choice was to be a gymnast or aerobatic wing walker on planes—“but due to my 5-foot-10-inch-tall body and impression of the land and people around, I realized my most honest and best contribution to society was through creating art.” Once she got to college, Katy Ann had settled into majoring in business at the University of Idaho, but she insisted on minoring in art. After graduation, she pursued a master of fine arts at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, California, and from there, her fate was certain. She now works out of a shared studio space called Teton Artlab in Jackson and sells her art across the nation.
Just as you’d expect, Katy Ann finds her inspiration in the world around her. Small moments in time or seemingly mundane locations draw her in just as much as grandiose scenery and larger-than-life events. “I choose moments and images I want to spend more time with, or sometimes they remind me of the way I felt that day or the people I was with,” she says. “I paint things that make some sort of sense to me and I have some history with so I can hold strongly to being genuine and honest in my art and what I communicate.”
More recently, Katy Ann has pursued other forms of art, most notably pottery and woodblock printing. Her first foray into pottery was humble, but “there’s an amazing community pottery studio in Jackson Hole [in Wyoming],” she shares. “It was welcoming, well-heated, and required less light, so I was able to do it in the evenings and nights.” As for woodblock printing, she simply asked fellow artists in her shared studio space if they would teach her printmaking, and she quickly fell in love.
Based on her past, it’s safe to say that Katy Ann’s future as an artist is sure to be interesting and full of adventure. A lifelong learner, she describes herself as “continually doing research in this life.” But one thing is for certain: it will most definitely all come back to art.