We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Ann Fox and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy Ann, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Problem solving, spacing out while walking on wide outdoor trails, connecting others and dogs.
They may all just be the same thing. Moments of quiet and solitude where my brain is free to both fixate and move through the day provide me with a hefty dose of happiness. I approach a painting like a series of problems. When I begin I have a goal, a feeling, an image or a rhythm in mind and something blank in front of me. In the beginning any mark helps and contributes and then as the painting progresses more precision, a deeper skill set, reminders of your initial intention are all needed and then BAM eventually you’ve solved enough problems along the way you’ve created something worth sharing. It is the greatest feeling and in many ways a metaphor for life. Premeditation and gathering of thoughts feeds the creative process, my business endeavors and my happiness.
Listening to other people’s stories and understanding them and then connecting like minds and seeing friendships grow and others succeed is one of life’s greatest blessings.
Dogs are love. They’re an embodiment of happiness, simplicity and unconditional love.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
This spectacular space in my tiny town became available for lease and I had 10,000 ideas for art installation and other artists I wanted to hang along with my own art. I texted my top five people to ask if they thought I should do it. All five gave me a green light. I texted the next 10 and was met with some yellow caution lights, mildly red lights but I could only see the green light. Within 48 hours, I named my business, built a website, began an instagram presence, facebook page, LLC, loose business plan and signed the lease.
The next month I spent talking to a small group of friends from all ages and walks of life and made as many mugs out of porcelain as I could while I further developed my strategy, aligned my vision, put out calls for artwork from a select group of artists and designed the space in my head. My brother flew into town for the first few days of my lease and helped me put the finishing touches on my new drywall, grocery shopped for me and reminded me how much he believed that anything I wanted I could make happen.
I have lived in this greater community for a decade, worked most jobs you can imagine, gleaning skills, making connections making art and enjoying the mountain lifestyle. It really felt like it was time to send it into a realm that I could propel my own creative career along with a handful of other devoted and talented souls who were willing to be part of my energy and vision.
I’m 6 months in and created a space with well executed art of a variety of mediums. The space is clean, open and inviting, so with amazing help from Sea Marie Biladeau we have invited the community to come and attend a sensory series of talks and activity that have and will continue to focus on the amazing and intensely passionate people artfully living in our valley. From a business networking event to a full sensory plant-based dinner and Julie Ellison’s photography showcase from her “Women of the West” series, these eight Monday nights are bursting with energy and wholesome, soul-rooted connection. I have energy and a vision for a kind, educated, connected community that celebrates art.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So, this just happened.
I would make them walk up a hill further than they would generally like. Some people call them mountains. I would make them walk a gravel road along the valley floor to experience the sweeping views and the occasional strand of cool air caught in the wind. We would attend an art walk and an art opening-hopefully Borbay’s. Find live music hopefully at the Knotty Pine. I’d go paint/work while I talked one of my friends to take them down a river on a raft or paddleboard.
We would eat pizza at Tatanka Tavern, the pineapple fried rice at Teton Thai, anything from Citizen 33 brewing and if there is time the Kao Soy from Chaing Mai in Victor. I’d take them to tour and stock up on merchandise from the Jackson Hole Still Works distillery and point out a handful more trails in Grand Teton National Park for them to go explore and ask them a thousand questions when they got back.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It takes a whole village. I had amazing support from my parents and their friends from the moment I could walk. They recognized my spunk, strong will, care and creativity. They enabled me to participate in youth programs across the nation that showed this little Idaho girl how big the world is, but also encouraged me in riding horses and raising livestock in 4-H. These are all life skills that cannot be left half done and I found them to be grounding and confidence boosting.
As I step through this life as an adult, I have a great group of artist friends, a yoga practice and community, and I talk to my mom every day as I am developing my new business and navigating the creative world.
Instagram: @foxtrotfineart @katyannfox
Lindley Rust Photography