Claudia Bueno is a local artist whose love of the Tetons and surrounding areas inspires her creativity. She recently released a new collection of stunning metal sculptures that depict the natural wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and a portion of sales will benefit Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s wildlife and natural resources initiative.
We recently had the opportunity to connect with Claudia and learn more about her connection to the area and passion to give back to the place that she loves.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your connection to Grand Teton and wildlife.
In 2015, I had the opportunity to spend one month in Jackson Hole doing an art residency with the Teton Artlab. I was completely taken by the stunning nature of this area. Spending time in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks was incredibly expansive and fed my artwork with new inspiration. This experience was a life changer, I felt humbled by the power of nature all around, being in such a raw and wild place woke up new creative spaces within me and helped me feel more alive than ever. A few months later, I came back for another residency with The Center for the Arts and, after being there a full summer, I decided to relocate and settle my home and studio in Victor, Idaho. Nature became the main source of inspiration for my work, and in Idaho, I get to live fully immersed in it. I now spend winters in Sedona, Arizona and summers in Victor, and my time in Idaho is always nourishing and empowering. It is a recharge station for my well-being and creative work!
What inspired you to create your Mountain Spirit collection?
As locals know, wildlife is a big part of daily life in the mountains. Sharing space with these wild creatures is a precious experience to me. For a long time, I had been wanting to create something that celebrated what we all love about this geographical area. Mountain Spirits are a fantasy-filled fusion of my favorite animals and nature scenes in the area. The animals’ legs become trees or rivers and you can see the Grand Teton, Jenny Lake, waterfalls, eagles, aspen trees, pine forests, and sunsets, all woven in a whimsical way.
What is the artistic process for creating these intricate metal sculptures?
They start as hand-drawings that are then cutout in stainless steel and stand inside handmade wooden bases. They are limited editions.
Why did you decide to donate 6% of sales to Grand Teton National Park Foundation's wildlife and natural resources initiative?
When possible, I try to associate my art to meaningful causes. In this case, I felt that Mountain Spirits could serve as a way to create awareness about the importance of these animals and our responsibility in protecting them and helping them thrive. Grand Teton National Park Foundation’s wildlife and natural resources initiative was the perfect fit for this intention.
To learn more about Claudia and her artwork, and to view and purchase the Mountain Spirits collection, visit www.claudiabueno.com and follow her on Instagram @ClaudiaBuenoArt. We want to extend our thanks to Claudia for supporting our work in Grand Teton National Park!