Tell us about growing up in Idaho:
I was born in Pocatello, Idaho to parents who initially traveled from New Hampshire to visit family. My dad immediately fell in love with the vast landscape and chose to relocate. I’m forever grateful my parents made time to introduce my brother and me to skiing. I’ve been playing at Pebble Creek and Grand Targhee for over 30 years and the people I meet at the mountain have become family.
Did you always envision being an artist or is that something that developed later in life? Tell us about the type of art you create:
I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember. I had a drawing chosen in kindergarten to represent my school on a tee-shirt. So, I guess that counts as my first published work. These days, I search for new ways to draw, paint, and create artistically recycled goods (mittens from recycled wool). I’ve been honored to work with Grand Targhee on two Bluegrass Festival posters and painted for a handful of businesses, events, and publications around the region. I have trucker hats and greeting cards at retail locations in Teton Valley, Idaho Falls, and Jackson Hole. I’m currently writing public art proposals for mural projects.
What role does nature play in your daily life? How does it make its way into your art?
Nature plays a critical role in my life. I’m appreciative of the experiences I’ve had and continue to share with this community. I’m a music lover, outdoor enthusiast, and a mother from this place. I’ve been told that my art “represents our generation in the Tetons.” It’s quite possibly the best compliment I’ve ever received. While my work isn’t photorealistic, it does explore a combination of urban and rural influences. I spent 10 years in Pocatello and have a deep love of that community also.
Tell us about your most memorable art creation:
My most memorable piece of art I painted in 2004 and is titled Strength in Difference. It’s still in my possession on a 4×5’ canvas. It’s about accepting diversity, being resourceful, and helping your community. Every year that passes, the painting means more to me. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to part with it.
What is it that you are passionate about when it comes to protecting our region’s environment and wildlife?
I’ve seen the region change and stay the same in many ways throughout my life. On clear mornings you can see the Tetons from my childhood home in miles of potato and sugar beet fields west of Blackfoot, Idaho. These mountains are my center. This place will forever be my home. I think it’s important to find something you’re passionate about to help support your community. The idea that my work cheerfully celebrates this place and time makes me feel complete.
What do you hope that your two boys appreciate or learn about the value of nature?
I hope my children realize they can live a full life by treating their environment and other people with respect. I want them to listen with compassion and act with kindness.
We are very excited about the watercolor you made for our 30th anniversary – anything specific you would like to say about this piece?
I’m honored to have my work represent Teton Regional Land Trust and the work they do to keep our surroundings pristine.
For more information and to see Aimee’s artwork, check these out:
Facebook: Aimee Babneau Art & Design