Arts, Culture, Scenic Attractions Grace Wyoming

Wyoming has also carved an impressive collection of arts and culture attractions.

By
Jessica Walker Boehm
On Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 09:00

No state embraces the "Work Where You Want to Live" credo more robustly than Wyoming.

It is a state of wide open spaces, natural beauty and a bounty of outdoor recreation options. Those options include fishing, hunting, mountain climbing, mountain biking, skiing, golfing and river rafting on some of the country's most challenging rapids.

Wyoming is home to some of the most iconic national parks and forests in the nation, including popular tourist and adventure destinations such as Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Grand Teton and the Shoshone National Forest. The state also boasts more than 30 state parks and designated historical areas.

Look at the Mammoth

And while it is a state that embraces its Western roots, Wyoming has also carved an impressive collection of arts and culture attractions, from galleries to museums to performing arts. One such place that has two separate museums on its grounds is Casper College, home to both the Tate Geological Museum and the Werner Wildlife Museum.

“Our most popular attraction at the Tate is a huge Columbia mammoth we excavated north of Glenrock. The beast is 13 feet, 8 inches tall at the shoulders,” says Deanna Schaff, director of both museums. “Meanwhile, the Werner Museum has amazing trophy mounts that include a bald eagle, prairie falcon, kit fox and albino deer.”

Triceratops and Buffalo Bill

Another cultural attraction in the state is the Glenrock Paleontological Museum, which opened in 1995 after a triceratops skull was found near the site. Wyoming is also home to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, a complex of five individual museums all under one roof in Cody.

“We are the world’s foremost authority and interpreter of the American West. That is a big statement, but we back it up,” says Tim White, the center’s director of content and programming. “Our individual museums are the Cody Firearms Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Draper Museum of Natural History, Buffalo Bill Museum and the Plains Indian Museum. This center attracts 200,000 visitors a year, and people are often surprised to find a world-class cultural facility of this size here in the Rockies.”

Pleasing to the Eye

At the University of Wyoming Art Museum, hundreds of paintings, sculptures and photographs are on display in rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Executive director Susan Moldenhauer says the museum prides itself on being a contributor to the state’s overall quality of life.

“One of our largest annual events is a Student Juried Exhibition that begins in January and showcases the artistic talents of University of Wyoming students,” she says. “The art museum also works closely with the local Laramie K-12 school district and pre-schools, hosting students and teaching them how to make art, how to look at art, how to talk about art, and how to write about it.”

Moldenhauer says people from throughout the state and beyond are frequent visitors to the museum.

“Not only do we have Western art and pieces related specifically to Wyoming, but we attract artwork from around the world,” she says. “The quality of life in Wyoming is excellent with art, culture and recreation contributing a large degree.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Walker Boehm is a journalism graduate of Belmont University and has been a regular contributor to Livability.com since 2010.