Writeup in Wyoming's 307 Magazine about the piece that was commissioned for the University of Wyoming.
Written by Corinne Garcia
Shawn Rivett, Antlers & Art Q&A
Casper, Wyoming-based artist Shawn Rivett could be described as a self-taught Renaissance man in the world of design. He started with a passion for photography, then dipped his toes into interiors when he designed a friend’s vacation property. When word of his tasteful and adventurous interiors spread, he scored more design projects and began creating custom art and accessories to fit into his overall visions. While still dabbling in all of the above, his signature antler sculptures and light fixtures have become the keystone for his portfolio. On the heels of a solo exhibition at Casper’s Nicolaysen Art Museum, Rivett chatted with Big Sky Journal editors.
BSJ:How did you start working with antlers?
Rivett: I made the antler chandeliers to fit certain spaces for design projects. There was nothing on the market like this at the time, so I just got creative and built one.
BSJ: Where are the antlers sourced?
Rivett: We’re lucky here, there are so many hunters. I can hang out at sporting goods stores or hang signs and can pretty much get what I need for a piece in a weekend. For a larger piece — like a 29-footer I recently did — it took three weekends.
BSJ: How do you compose your designs?
Rivett: I’ll see a space, or an interior designer can send pictures. Then I figure out what would fit well there and create hand sketches or AutoCAD designs to send to the clients. They are all one-of-a-kind; you really can’t mass-produce these, and that’s what makes them special.
BSJ: How do you decide
on the style?
Rivett: It really depends on the style of the home. If it’s contemporary, I might finish the piece in a high gloss; if it’s more traditional, I might use a natural tone. It’s such a statement piece, and if you use the right lighting with it, it really stands out.
BSJ: How would you describe your overall style?
Rivett: I’d say it’s a modern twist on Wyoming life. I love mixing wood and steel, like a high-gloss steel or high-polished concrete floor next to walnut slabs; when combined the room is a showstopper. I also like to make oversized pieces; people really take notice and fall in love with them, although I have to be careful because they can get too heavy to move.
See the article here at Big Sky Journal: http://bigskyjournal.com/Article/design-elements5
CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE FEATURE
Featured in 307 Magazine as the cover story on the work I did with my Geronimo print and tracking down the original artist and his story
September 21, 2015 10:00 am • by Elysia Conner
"No Trespassing" Presenting Casper artist Shawn Rivett
Sept. 4 - Dec. 27 at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, McMurry Gallery
Shawn Rivett walked around at his collection of mural-size photographs slowly filling the four walls of the Nicolaysen Art Museum’s main gallery last week.
In the center hovers what's billed as the world’s largest infused antler sculpture. The artist is has been in contact with Guinness about a possible world record title for the 29-foot piece he created from elk antlers. The sculpture is lit from white orbs within, casting jagged shadows over the gallery floor.
Everything about Rivett's art exhibition "No Trespassing" is big. The artworks evoke the vast scale of Wyoming and give viewers access behind many of Wyoming’s “No trespassing” signs.
“This is Wyoming to me,” Rivett said, looking over the looming antler mass and scenes he's captured in photographs, from livestock branding to fossils.
Viewers can lose themselves the intricate textures of Hell’s Half Acre or windswept clouds above the Tetons. Fossils from a Kemmerer quarry give a glimpse into a time when the land belonged to prehistoric water creatures now imprinted in the rock foundation of the state.
A 7-by-12-foot photograph of Shoshoni’s Geronimo mural captures the paint wearing away to reveal colors and textures in the image familiar to generations of Wyomingites. Some of the photos are back-lit by LED lights inside aluminum frames, which weigh about 350 pounds and took five people to hang in the gallery, Rivett said.
Rivett aimed to convey a different view of the state’s rustic lifestyle through his art. He wasn't going for a world record when he started his sculpture of elk antlers compiled through local shed collectors, however. The piece began as a residential-sized work like several he's created before. But it kept growing, he said.
That’s how Rivett works, though, said Shane Miller, owner of car restoring business S & L Classics. Miller built the photo frames finished with auto paint and helped with other tasks, including staining the antler sculpture. He was among the crew last week helping Rivett install the show at the Nic.
“We try to talk him into going smaller,” Miller said, “and he just goes bigger on us.”