SHERIDAN, WY (June 15, 2018) Carsten Meier is known for his art work in the natural world. He also teaches at Utah State University and is an artist in residence at Jentel this summer. Today, he is installing a circular willow exhibit across the street from Sheridan College on the City of Sheridan Pathway, just past the first wooden bridge. The installation, called Zirkel, is the only one in Wyoming, and just one of two in the county. Over the next several years, Meier will be building one in all 50 states.

Zirkel is 46 feet in diameter, made of cut, crossed willow branches that will eventually fuse and create a solid, circular sanctuary for animals. The willows are built in a cross-hatch pattern and will take root this summer, beginning their journey to becoming one willow trunk. Meier estimates this growth process will take five years. Meier will return annually to prune the willows and record its growth and impact on the area.

“This natural sculpture is beautiful, but also  symbolic of how we think about and treat land,” said Meier. “If left untouched, the willows will fuse into a circular sanctuary within a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife along the pathway.” 

About Whitney Center for the Arts

Whitney Center for the Arts is home to live performances, art exhibitions and Sheridan College Schools of Music and Art. As one of the most advanced arts education centers in the west, it features programs in music, painting, drawing, ceramics, printmaking and digital media. The WCA opened in 2016, providing students and arts patrons across the Northern Rockies with a state-of-the-art space for fine and performing arts programs, and shows and performances by artists from around the world. The 54,000 square-foot facility features a 422-seat concert hall, the largest in the region, including a changeable proscenium stage, motorized fly system and hydraulically convertible orchestra pit. Two gallery spaces showcase work by students, faculty and traveling shows throughout the year.



Erin Hanke, WCA Director             Kelly Pascal Gould, Pascal PR        

307.752.3277                                303.324.6723



SHERIDAN, WY (May 29, 2018) — The Witzel Family Foundation announced today that it is launching the Witzel Academy to offer free guitar, piano and voice lessons to Sheridan County students, grades 3 – 12, who demonstrate a strong desire to learn and a financial need. Lessons begin this fall and will be held in the Whitney Center for the Arts (WCA) concert hall, on campus at Sheridan College.

Witzel Family Foundation executive director Dave Nicolarsen tapped Dr. Erin Hanke, WCA director, to also serve as Witzel Academy director and piano instructor. Michelle Jackson will teach voice, and Justin Parker will teach guitar.

“The Whitney Center for the Arts is providing our students a world-class space in which to study their craft,” said Nicolarsen. “Under Dr. Hanke’s leadership, we hope to grow this program and expand student participation in the arts. This is our charter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching our fall Academy.”

To qualify for lessons in fall of 2018, students must demonstrate a sincere interest in studying music and parents/guardians will be asked to provide a statement of need.

“We will begin by serving students who may not otherwise have access to high quality music lessons,” said Hanke.  “We hope to expand that into a sliding scale system to serve even more students with a passion for music, in an even wider variety of instruments.”

To apply or for more information, interested families may email or call 307.752.3277.


Erin Hanke holds a doctorate in historical music from SUNY Stony Brook where she was teaching assistant to Arthur Haas and recipient of a full Staller scholarship. Her doctoral paper considered the setting of Johann Sebastian Bach’s chorale “Ich habe genug” within Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto.  Her lecture recital was entitled “Bach’s Humor: The Capriccio in B-flat Major as Parody.”

Dr. Hanke was artist in residence at the CUNY Queens College Museum of Art for the exhibition Express|Local.  She has performed at Carnegie Hall in workshop with L’Arpeggiata and Waits Trio.  While at Mannes College she performed at Alice Tully Hall with the Mannes Orchestra and as a concerto soloist with the baroque ensemble.  Dr. Hanke has studied with Christophe Roussett at Piccola Accademia di Montisi, Italy, with Ketil Haugsand at the Academia de Musica Antiga de Lisboa, Portugal,  Ringve Gourse in Norway and in masterclasses with Davitt Moroney, and both Wieland and Barthold Kuijken.  She recently appeared at the Silicon Valley Music Festival as both performer and lecturer.

​She serves on the Sheridan City Council, Sheridan Public Arts Council, and Critical Air Service Team, and is the director of the Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College.  Dr. Hanke holds a Masters of Music from Mannes College in New York City and completed studies in organ performance with Dr. John Chappell Stowe at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she holds degrees in Mathematics and Art History.

Soprano Michelle Jackson is a Wyoming native and graduate from the University of Northwestern School of Music in St. Paul, MN.  Jackson is a frequent recitalist and guest soloist at numerous Los Angeles venues and has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Schubert Club of St. Paul, MN, the Guild Opera Company of Los Angeles and the Ridgecrest Opera Guild. Ms. Jackson’s operatic appearances include Lucy in Menotti’s The Telephone, Äanchen in Von Weber’s Der Freischütz, Dora in John Addison’s Conversation Piece, Celia in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe, Marzelline in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Musetta in La Boheme, Genevieve in Suor Angelica, First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro.  Michelle has also appeared as a chorus member in Center Stage Opera’s production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and as Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the same company.  Her Musical Theatre credits include the role of Lily in The Secret Garden and Maria in The Sound of Music.

Justin Parker is a Sheridan native with more than 15 years of experience studying and performing on the guitar. While attending the University of Wyoming, he was heavily involved in the classical guitar program, and held first chair in the UW Guitar Ensemble. Justin returned to Sheridan after receiving a B.A. in Music Theory and Composition in 2010. He has been a Guitar instructor at Sheridan College since Fall 2015.

The Witzel Family Foundation is based in Sheridan Wyoming, founded in 2007 by Sarah “Sally” E. Witzel in honor of and to further the charitable purposes of Curly, John and Sarah Witzel. The primary purpose of the Foundation is the promotion of charitable, educational functions. Led by foundation president Mary Beth Evers, it provides educational scholarships and other means of financial support for students from Sheridan County who attend accredited universities, colleges, vocational schools, and well-established educational institutions offering post-high school education, including educational organizations identified by the founder Sarah E. Witzel, and by the Directors, with special consideration to and preference to (but not restricted to) assistance to students who have special needs, and students who pursue interests in music education. The foundation began awarding post-secondary music scholarships in 2010.

FIVE-DAY CELEBRATION OF THE ARTS IN SHERIDAN BEGINS APRIL 26 – Tamale Louis Sculpture unveiling Saturday, April 28

SHERIDAN, WY (April 10, 2018) Sheridan Public Arts Council, Whitney Center for the Arts, SAGE Community Arts, UCross, WYO Theater and Frackelton’s are coming together to Celebrate the Arts April 26-30; unveiling new works, engaging the community in new experiences, and cultivating a love of and appreciation for the arts. Most events during Celebrate the Arts are free.

“Sheridan has an especially collaborative, passionate and committed community of artists, arts organizations and patrons,” said Kim Love, Sheridan Public Arts committee chair. “We are proud to partner with our fellow creators and lovers of art to spread the joy and value of the arts throughout Sheridan.”

Celebrate the Arts culminates Monday, April 30 with the Houser exhibition at SAGE Community Arts and Frackelton’s Dining for a Cause to benefit Celebrate the Arts in Sheridan.

“The art we create and celebrate is an expression of our identity and curiosity,” said Erin Hanke, Whitney Center for the Arts director. “For five days straight, we’re inviting the entire community to immerse themselves in the Sheridan arts scene, and learn more about how the arts enhance our lives and our local economy.”

Celebrate the Arts: Thursday, April 26 through Monday, April 30

Throughout the week : New sculptures by Sheridan Public Arts Council throughout downtown, including Rabbit Reach by Tim Cherry

Thursday, April 26

3:30-5p : Jazz at Sheridan College open workshop with Ben Markley (free)

7p : Concert: Ben Markley with SC Jazztet (free)

Friday, April 27

7:30p : BJ Thomas at the WYO Theater ($35/ticket)

Saturday, April 28

1-3p : Dedication of Tamale Louie sculpture in Grinnell Plaza (free)

5-7p : Sheridan College Student Juried Art Exhibition opening reception and awarding of first annual Theodore Waddell print prize (featuring music by Sheridan College student ensembles) (free)

7p : Mariela Shaker, lecture + violin, as featured on TEDx (free)

Sunday, April 29

12-2:30p : Lineage & Legacy : The Imaged Horse workshop at Ucross (free, but registration is required)

3-5p : Lineage & Legacy : The Imaged Horse opening reception at Ucross (free)

Monday, April 30

11a-2p & 4-10p : Dining for a Cause to benefit Celebrate the Arts at Frackelton’s

5-7p : Allan Houser Exhibition opening reception at SAGE Community Arts (free)

After a six-year hiatus, Love resurrected Celebrate the Arts as a one-day event in 2017 to commemorate the opening of SAGE Community Arts new space in the Montgomery building downtown, the unveiling of Allan Houser’s downtown sculpture, Interconnection, and the launch of Frackelton’s Dining for a Cause.

According to Sheridan Travel & Tourism, the arts economy generates as much as $20 million in local economic impact each year, while artists and art exports serve as tremendous ambassadors and advertisements, respectively, for the community. During the 2017-18 season, Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College has drawn more than 10,000 local and visiting guests into its concert hall, gallery and classrooms for exhibits, shows, lectures and performances, and more than 300 students are enrolled in Sheridan College arts programs. The WYO Theater concerts, plays, operas and special events also pulled in more than 10,000 guests last year. The new downtown WYO Performing Arts and Education Center has also expanded the WYO’s local live musical performances, dance instruction and educational theater for children. Throughout each year, SAGE Community Art displays eight local, regional and national artists exhibitions in its fine art gallery and local artist’s work is shown in its member’s gallery. Art classes for beginners to professional artists are also offered throughout the year. Since its launch in 2003, Sheridan Public Arts Council has acquired 59 sculptures and displayed dozens more on loan throughout downtown Sheridan.


SHERIDAN, WY (April 2, 2018) Wyoming Baroque kicks off its three-city tour at Whitney Center for the Arts on Friday April 6 at 7 p.m. They will perform at MSU Bozeman and MSU Billings on April 7 and 8, respectively. Tickets for the Whitney Center for the Arts performance ($21/15/10) are available online at, at the WYO Theater box office and at the door the evening of the performance.

Composed of nationally acclaimed vocal and instrumental artists, the 8-member ensemble performs an historically informed 17th and 18th century repertoire as well as contemporary compositions using historic instruments. Vivaldi, Venice and Virtuosity is the theme for Wyoming Baroque’s April tour. They will perform A. Vivaldi: Concerto for Bassoon RV 497, in A minor, A. Vivaldi: Sonata No. 12 in D minor “La Follia”, RV 63, G. Cimador: Allegro from Concerto for Contrabasso a tre corda, and B. Marcello: Arianna Abbandonata, S. 98.

Dr. Mark Elliot Bergman, Sheridan College director of strings, is Wyoming Baroque’s music director and violone player, and Dr. Margaret Carpenter Haigh is Wyoming Baroque’s featured soprano. Martie Perry and Dr. David Wilson are on baroque violin, Dr. Marta Howard is on baroque viola, Barbara Krumdieck is on baroque cello, Dr. Keith Collins is on dulcian and Whitney Center for the Arts director, Dr. Erin Hanke, is on harpsichord.

“Baroque music is beautifully familiar, audience-friendly music. Many of these works are from the soundtrack of our lives — in movies, commercials and childhood music classes. Vivaldi’s La Folia is an excellent example of this,” said Hanke. “Wyoming Baroque uses historic instruments and original compositions to get at the heart of the musician’s intentions. During this performance, we will also unveil a new contemporary edition of Marcello’s Arianna Abbondonata’s original manuscript by Dr. Bergman. This is the first modern edition of this piece ever created and will be used by studying and performing musicians around the world.”

Bergman teaches double bass, composition and music history, and directs the Sheridan College Symphony Orchestra and Sheridan College Viol Consort. He formerly served as a professor of music history and ensemble director at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and has performed as the principal double bassist of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, and the Mato Grosso Chamber Orchestra in Cuiabá, Brazil. Bergman earned his Doctor of Arts degree ​from George Mason University.

Haigh has performed with the Portland Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Oxford Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, among others. She earned her M.Mus in choral studies from University of Cambridge and a D.M.A. in historical performance practice from Case Western Reserve University.

Wyoming Baroque is currently in residence at Sheridan College and offers masterclasses at schools and community centers throughout the west, and is sponsored in part by the Sheridan Arts Council.


SHERIDAN, WY (March 15, 2018) Jave Yoshimoto’s ephemeral works interpret the emotions we experience in the face of today’s 24/7 news cycle. Through colorful, detailed illustrations, mixed media and gouache on panel, each depicting the tumultuous natural world, Yoshimoto explores the human struggle and survival within the “social amnesia of the information age.”  The Jave Yoshimoto exhibit opens at the Whitney Center for the Arts Thursday, March 22 with an artist’s lecture at 4 p.m. and reception from 5 – 7 p.m. in the Edward A. Whitney Gallery, featuring the Sheridan College flute choir. His works will remain on display through April 22. The lecture and opening are free and open to the public.

Yoshimoto is an artist and educator of multi-cultural background. He was born in Japan to Chinese parents and immigrated to United States at a young age. Yoshimoto earned his BA from University of California Santa Barbara in Studio Art, his Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Painting and Drawing, and Master of Art in Art Therapy at the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Master of Fine Arts in Painting at Syracuse University.

Yoshimoto has been recognized by the United Nations, awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2015 and exhibited works nationally and internationally. He has also shown in solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, IL, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Alva, OK, Tulsa, OK, Fort Worth, TX, Lincoln, NE and Omaha, NE.


SHERIDAN, WY (March 14, 2018) Classically trained pianist Michelle Cann will be performing at Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College on is newly acquired Yamaha CFX 9-foot Concert Grand piano on Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. This instrument is also owned by Juilliard, NYU, Penn State, the Manhattan School of Music and many other top university music programs across the U.S. Tickets for the Cann performance are available at, at the Whitney Center box office, WYO Theater box office or at the door the night of the performance ($21/$15/$10). 

“The Whitney Center concert hall is a grand space that deserves a concert-quality grand piano,” said Erin Hanke, Whitney Center for the Arts director. “The Yamaha CFX grand piano is spectacular. We are so fortunate to have an instrument of this quality in Sheridan and can’t wait to see it come alive with Michelle Cann on March 23!”  

Michelle Cann began studying piano at the age of  seven and made her orchestral debut at the age of 14. She has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory, the New Jersey Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. She has played with the Taos Chamber Music Festival and School, Yellow Barn Chamber Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Festival directed by renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. Cann has also performed on the nationally broadcast radio show,  “From the Top,” hosted by pianist Christopher O’ Riley; was featured as the inaugural performer on WRTI 90.1 Philadelphia’s new series, “In Recital,” and select performances have been broadcast regularly on Philadelphia’s WHYY Television.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer raved, “Michelle Cann, as the piano soloist, was a compelling, sparkling virtuoso, bringing this riveting work to life in its first New York performance.” Cann earned her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and recently graduated with an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under Robert McDonald. Michelle and her sister Kimberly, also a concert pianist, perform across the USA and internationally as The Cann Sisters Duo.


SHERIDAN, WY (February 26, 2018) Coachella, Lincoln Center and CBGB headliner, Dorit Chrysler, is performing the music of the theremin at Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College this Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. The theremin is one of the world’s oldest electronic instruments, and it is played without touch. Sound is created by moving the air with your hands around the theremin’s antennas. Chrysler’s theremin has a five-and-a-half octave pitch range.

Ann Magnuson of Paper Magazine described Chrysler and her music best, “Imagine if Marianne Faithful and Nikola Tesla had a love child, with Jane Birkin as the nanny and Bjork as the wayward Girl Scout Leader!”

Admission to this concert is free. Prior to her Friday night performance she will be running a masterclass workshop for student musicians at 1 p.m. Learn more at

“Dorit’s music is mesmerizing and beautifully improvised,” said Dr. Erin Hanke, Whitney Center for the Arts director. “This concert will expand your musical palette and forever change the way you think about the art of sound. It’s a must see.”

Austrian born composer/musician Dorit Chrysler has composed the music for the Danish Pavilion at the most recent Venice Biennale. She has performed at the MoMA, Lincoln Center, Coachella Festival, World Trade Center, Roskilde Festival, Vienna Konzerthaus, Moogfest & CBGB. She is a featured Moog Music artist and her contemporary compositions have taken her around the world, including concerts in Brazil, Japan, Russia & Australia. She has released several records and written sound tracks for TV and cinema, as well as for visual artists such as Jesper Just. Other collaborators include Elliott Sharp, JG Thirlwell, Anders Trentemoeller, The The & Gibby Haynes. Chrysler produced and curated the 10 piece Theremin Orchestra at the Disney Hall of Los Angeles. Her solo work includes Theremin, Vocals, Laptop and Taurus.  Learn more.


SHERIDAN, Wyo. (February 16, 2018) – Renowned soda fired porcelain artist, Lorna Meaden, headlines the first-ever curated ceramics exhibition at the Edward A. Whitney Gallery at the Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College next Thursday, Feb. 22. Meaden will work with students then present an artist talk at 4pm followed by an opening reception from 5-7p.

The exhibition is curated by Elaine Henry and Rod Dugal, and includes works by Meaden, Ashwini Bhat, Bede Clarke, Bethany Benson, Bill Wilkey, Brenda Lichman, Carolanne Currier, J. Daniel Murphy, Don Cox, Gay Smith, John Oles, Josh Deweese, Justin Lambert, Nolan Baumgartner, Seth Rainville, Simon Levin, Ted Neil and Tyler Gulden. All works on display are available for purchase.

“Lorna’s visit gives our students unique insight into the practices of a nationally recognized working cermaics artist,” said Sheridan College ceramics instructor, Rod Dugal. “We are planning and building a soda kiln at Sheridan College. Her work will help to prepare students for this exciting new addition to the Sheridan College arts program.”

“Lorna is one of my favorite studio potters, in personality and in pottery practice. It is exciting to have her here in Sheridan, and I hope that the community will turn out to hear her talk,” said Henry. “She is engaging, entertaining and an exceptional potter. I admire the fact that she makes her living off of her work. She is that good. Her functional pots, including dinnerware and serving pieces, are collected all over the U.S. and are included in the upcoming ceramics exhibition at Sheridan College.”

The artist talk and opening are free and open to the public. The exhibition is on view February 22 – March 18.

The Edward A. Whitney Gallery is open Monday-Friday from 10a-7p and Sundays from 12-4p.  More information at


SHERIDAN, Wyo. (February 15, 2018) – Thomas Friedman, New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and best-selling author, is visiting the Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture about his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, an Optimist’s Guide in the Age of Acceleration. Friedman is well known for his thought-provoking foreign policy columns and his prior best-selling literary work, The World is Flat, a Brief History of the 21st Century.

During his presentation, he plans to discuss key insights within the context of today’s socio-political environment, followed by a Q&A with the audience. “Thomas Friedman will highlight global themes and economic issues and opportunities we are experiencing across the U.S. and right here in Wyoming,” said Dr. Erin Hanke, Whitney Center for the Arts director. “He’ll share useful information that helps all of us become better prepared for economic relevance and success in the future.”

A few tickets are still available online at



SHERIDAN, Wyo. (January 22, 2018) – Renowned western artist Theodore Waddell and his wife, author and photographer, Lynn Campion Waddell, are gifting an 80-piece print collection to Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College. Comprised of works by Waddell and celebrated artists throughout the country, including Terry Allen, Roger Shimomura, Paul Brach, Fritz Scholder, Arin Waddell and Randy Lee White, the collection demonstrates the art of lithography, chine colle’, woodcut, collagraph, monotype and monoprint, etching, dry point, aquatint, silkscreen and broadside techniques. Waddell’s print collection is on view at Whitney Center for the Arts now through mid-May.

More than a dozen of Waddell’s rare lithographs, woodcuts, etchings and aquatints will be made available for sale to the public starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 8. During Waddell’s opening reception at Whitney Center for the Arts, interested buyers will have the opportunity to meet him. Proceeds will support the launch of a new Sheridan College visiting artists workshop and lecture series focused on master print making. It will also support top Sheridan College printmaking students with a $1,000 cash award each May during the annual juried student show.

For a list of available works for sale, buyers may contact Whitney Center for the Arts director, Dr. Erin Hanke, at or Corby Skinner at

“I have traded prints with many artists throughout my career and, in recent years, we have purchased several prints to add to this collection,” said Waddell. “It has been a great experience for Lynn and me. Since we have given the press to the College, it made sense to add our print collection to the effort to preserve and promote traditional printmaking.”

In early 2017, the Waddell’s donated a Takach Motorized Intaglio press and print shop to the Sheridan College art program, spawning master class workshops and allowing for the ongoing study of traditional, advanced professional printmaking for Sheridan College art students. The Albuquerque-based Takach Press Corporation, founded by Sheridan, Wyoming native Dave Takach, is widely recognized as one of the top fine art printing press manufacturers in the world.

“We are proud to be one of only a few two-year institutions in the nation that is offering the study of printmaking at this level,” said Dr. Paul Young, president of Sheridan College. “Ted and Lynn’s gifts are creating unprecedented access to essential equipment, artists and programming, and this is exponentially expanding our potential as a destination college for the arts.”

With the help of generous sponsors, donors and partners, Sheridan College continues to double down on its investment in the arts. “We share a vision,” said Hanke. “And together we are cultivating an even more vibrant and diverse arts economy.”

Whitney Center for the Arts will launch its new visiting artists series in the 2018-19 school year. 

About Theodore Waddell

Born in Billings, Montana in 1941, Theodore Waddell studied art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York in 1962 and 1963. He went on to earn a bachelor degree from Eastern Montana College in 1966 and in 1968 received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Printmaking from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. In 1968 Waddell joined the University of Montana’s art faculty, where he taught until 1976. He has been affiliated with the U.S. State Departments Art in Embassies Program since 1999 and in 2004, he was honored at the White House for his collection of paintings in various U.S. Embassies. In 2015, he received the Governor’s Arts Award from the State of Montana and was selected by the Yellowstone Art Museum as the Artist of the Year. His works are found in private and corporate collections throughout the world and are currently exhibited and galleries and museums throughout the west.

About Lynn Campion Waddell

Campion Waddell is an author and photographer, and former cutting horse champion. She is the author of RODEO: Behind the Scenes at America’s Most Exciting Sport. “Campion’s photos and prose convey the gritty details of the sport, as well as the very American roots of rodeo,” said Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar. “I urge anyone with an interest in rodeo to pick up a copy of this book. The photos alone are worth the price of the volume.”