Shades of Nostalgia

Color-drenched paintings of the landscape in and around Jackson, Wyoming, by artist Travis Walker


Travis Walker 

oil on panel
11 x 14 inches 

Altamira Fine Art
172 Center Street, 
P.O. Box 4859
Jackson, WY

THE ARTIST: Travis Walker

BEST KNOWN FOR: Color-drenched paintings of the landscape in and around Jackson, Wyoming.

INSPIRATION: Born in Tokyo and now living in the shadow of the Tetons, Walker paints with a unique hybrid style. His images embody a strong sense of place reminiscent of American regionalist masters Edward Hopper and Grant Wood, with bold planes of color like those found in Japanese prints.

MAN ABOUT TOWN: Walker works on location, breathing life into ordinary subjects—modest houses, old campers, vintage trailer parks—and extraordinary Jackson-area mountain landscapes in simple masses and fresh hues. "I hope people connect to a landscape through my art in a way that evokes nostalgia, even if they have never been there," he explains.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Teton Artlab is Walker's local legacy. As founder and director of the Jackson-based nonprofit arts organization, Walker has been instrumental in providing affordable studio space and residency, exhibition and performance opportunities for artists. He says, "We believe creative, engaging arts events will grow the culture, form stronger community bonds and help us better understand some of the important issues in our world."


An extended Q&A with Travis Walker:

Mountain Living: You were born in Tokyo. Have you been influenced by Japanese printmaking? What other influences would you cite in your work?

Travis Walker: I was born in Tokyo, and grew up around a variety of Asian art, but I didn't study Japanese woodblocks until I was in college. My studies at Virginia Commonwealth university have been a major influence. Since discovering printmaking there, Hiroshige's Views of Mt. Fuji series has been a strong influence. I am also influenced by the Canadian artists in the Group of Seven, especially Lauren Harris.

ML: How would you characterize the importance of the West/Wyoming?

TW: Wyoming is one of the last great Western landscapes left in America. There are no major cities here, and it seems impossible to drive more than a few miles in any direction without seeing an old trailer rusting away in an open landscape.

ML: What do you hope to convey in your paintings and prints?

TW: I hope to capture a strong sense of place, but filtered through the lens of memory. I hope people connect to a landscape through my art in a way that evokes nostalgia, even if they have never been there. 

ML: Teton Artlab: What role does it play in your creative expression?

TW: The lab is a big part of many artists' life in Jackson Hole. It provides a place to exchange ideas about art, work among your peers, and pursue new ideas without fear. Without the lab, this part of Wyoming would seem much more isolated. The lab also provides access to a printmaking studio that would be impossible to maintain without the support of many locals and grantmaking organizations.

ML: What's next for your career as an artist?

TW: I don't have aspirations of fame or money, just to keep making art until I can't hold a brush anymore. I hope to create a large body of work about my home in Jackson, and to travel throughout the West and document my journey with my art. I have two kids now, and I want my work to act as a bridge from my world into future generations even after I'm long gone.

Categories: Artists & Artisans