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Wyoming may be the least populated state in the nation, but it still draws internationally-known artists and entertainers.

Performance venues and museums across the state look forward this year to showcasing big-name talent — from Andy Warhol photographs to heavy metal legend Judas Priest.

The latter stops this April at the Casper Events Center, and there are more major names later this year that the events center has yet to announce, general manager Brad Murphy said.

“I think we’ve got to just try to bring big acts in as much as we can,” he said.

The venue also is focusing on variety in genres and age-appeal along with boosting show attendance, which will help “to be able to bring more acts in of those higher calibers,” Murphy added.

The Cheyenne Performing Arts Center’s bigger acts booked so far include Trombone Shorty this month, Country chart-topper Easton Corbin in March and the Righteous Brothers in May.

Trombone Shorty also makes a stop this month in the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. The center is off to a big start this year also with Rufus Wainwright and the Victor Wooten Trio, named for its five-time Grammy award-winning bassist.

Locals are excited about seeing major names in entertainment and an assortment of quality acts, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts director Martha Bancroft said.

“They’re thrilled that this kind of talent is coming to our small community, and they don’t have to go to Salt Lake, or Missoula or California or something,” she said.

Wyoming’s Museums will spotlight major figures in their exhibits.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody brings in a show of iconic 19th-century painter Albert Bierstadt, famed for his Western landscapes. “Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West,” though, highlights his work as a history painter with key subjects including American Indians and the disappearing bison, according to information from the museum. The exhibition, in partnership with Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Gilcrease Museum, features 75 works from more than 30 lenders, center spokeswoman Marguerite House said.

“This is your chance close to home to see some of the unique and marvelous works that they’re going to have in this exhibition,” House said, “and that’s great for people in Wyoming to have access to those works.”

Another major show at the Smithsonian-affiliated center features a multimedia exhibition based on studies of the golden eagle in the Bighorn Basin and the West. Set to become a permanent exhibition, it pairs well with the center’s presentations with a live golden eagle and other raptors housed there, House said.

National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson also features Wyoming wildlife, with images of big game migrations through the greater Yellowstone ecosystem captured by National Geographic wildlife photographer Joe Riis.

A show by photojournalist Lucas Foglia featuring Wyoming among rural West scenes arrives this month at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper.

“This is a great chance for people to see a very established, internationally-renowned photographer here in Casper,” said museum curator Eric Wimmer. “It’s just a very honest and intimate depiction of the West as he was traveling through. It’s pretty stunning photography to look at.”

The Star-Tribune compiled some examples of Wyoming’s largest exhibits and performers coming in 2018. Stay tuned for more about arts and entertainment in Wyoming throughout the year at To submit a story idea, contact


Cheyenne Frontier Days, July 20-28: Count on this festival to bring in country music stars. The year’s lineup this July features Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley and The Charlie Daniels Band. Two more acts are yet to be announced.

Florida Georgia Line’s

  • third album “Dig Your Root” landed #1 on the all-genre Billboard Artist 100 and Country Albums charts, with help from the two-times platinum single “H.O.L.Y.” The single held No. 1 on Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart for 18 weeks in a row, according to information on the Cheyenne Frontier Days website. The duo also is the first Country act designated with RIAA’s diamond certification for selling 10 million copies with their debut “Cruise,” which still keeps the record for the longest No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs.

Cole Swindell’s

  • self-titled debut album went platinum, and the lead single and title track of his platinum-certified second album, ”You Should Be Here” maintained four weeks topping Billboard’s Hot Country songs chart as well as weeks at No. 1 on country airplay, according to according to information on the Cheyenne Frontier Days website. His hits include “Middle of a Memory,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey,” “Chillin’ It.”

The Charlie Daniels Band’s

  • hits include Grammy-winning “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which also was named the Country Music Association Award’s 1979 single of the year. Other hits include “Uneasy Rider,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” and “The South’s Gonna Do It Again.” Daniel’s multi-platinum career has spanned Dove Award-winning gospel albums, Southern rock and CMA Award-winning country hits.

Eric Church

  • achieved his first major award in 2010 Academy of Country Music’s best new solo vocalist. His second album topped country charts with two No. 1 hits, “Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen” and won album of the year from the 2012 Country Music Association Awards. His hits include “Riser,” “Black” and “Somewhere on a Beach”

Dierks Bentley’s

  • album “Riser” produced three No. 1 hits and nominations for a Grammy, ACM, and CMA Awards. He’s known for his variety of sound, from modern and traditional country to bluegrass. “Black,” continues this musical exploration with what Bentley calls “a dark, mysterious, after-hours kind of record.”

Judas Priest, Casper Events Center, April 10: The heavy metal legend’s “Judas Priest: Firepower 2018 Tour” features new album “Firepower.” The band has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Judas Priest is known as one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs — a style “embraced by metal fans throughout the world,” according to an announcement about the show.

Tickets & Info:, (307) 577-3030, (800) 442-2256 or at the SinclairTix Box Office at the Casper Events Center, 1 Events Dr, Casper, or at any of the six statewide Sinclair outlets.

Easton Corbin, Cheyenne Civic Center, March 28: Corbin became the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1 in 2010 with “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It” off his debut album. Other hits include “All Over the Road” and “Lovin’ You Is Fun.”

Tickets & info: (307) 637-6363,

The Righteous Brothers, Cheyenne Civic Center, May 13: The Righteous Brothers topped charts with “Soul & Inspiration,” “Unchained Melody,” “Rock and Roll Heaven” and the most-played song in radio history, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield made hits for decades until Hatfield’s death in 2003. Medley, a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, and an American Music Award-winner joins acclaimed performer Bucky Heard.

Tickets & info: (307) 637-6363,

Rufus Wainwright, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, Jan. 10: Wainwright has collaborated with Elton John, David Byrne, Robbie Williams, Mark Ronson, Joni Mitchell and Burt Bacharach. His album, “Rufus Does Judy” recorded at Carnegie Hall was nominated for a Grammy.

His acclaimed first opera, “Prima Donna,” premiered at the 2009 Manchester International Festival and went on to London, Toronto and BAM in New York and is set for the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary and Augsburg Theatre in Germany this summer. Deutsche Grammaphon in 2015 released a recording of the opera with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets & info: (307) 733-4900 or

Victor Wooten Trio, Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, Jan. 18: Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy award-winning bass player, producer, composer, author, and educator. Named “one of the Top 10 Bassists of All Time” by Rolling Stone, he also was listed as one of “50 Iconic Black Trailblazers” in the Huffington Post pictured just after President Barack Obama.

The Victor Wooten Trio includes drummer Dennis Chambers, who’s worked with Bootsy Collins and Santana along with saxophonist Bob Franceschini, who’s worked with Mike Stern and Paul Simon.

Tickets & info: (307) 733-4900 or

Trombone Shorty, Cheyenne Civic Center, Jan. 31: Trombone Shorty played shows abroad with the Neville Brothers as a teen and joined Lenny Kravitz’ band just out of high school. He and his band Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are on a multistate tour blending of jazz, hip hop and heritage music.

Trombone Shorty has played with many international stars, among them Bo Diddley, Lenny Kravitz, U2, Green Day and Usher. His TV appearances include talk shows of Conan, Letterman, Leno and Austin City Limits. He played twice for President Obama at the While House.

New Orleans native Troy Andrews gained his moniker at 4 with his first instrument, according to press information for the show.

“My parents pushed me toward trombone because they didn’t need another trumpet player,” he laughed.

Tickets & info: Cheyenne Civic Center box office, 510 W. 20th St., 1-877-4-FLY-TIX or

Art exhibitions

Warhol in Wyoming: The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Gift, University of Wyoming Art Museum, Jan. 27 to July 14: This exhibition displays 150 Polaroid and gelatin silver prints taken by artist Andy Warhol. Visitors will see portraits, celebrity snapshots, nudes, party photos, still-life and city scenes. These images “demonstrate Warhol’s bombast, compositional skills, curiosity and aesthetic interests,” according to the museum’s show information. The collection was a gift from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which in 2007 donated more than 28,500 of Warhol’s photographs to museums across the U.S.

Info: University of Wyoming Art Museum, 2111 Willett Drive, Laramie, (307) 766-6622,

Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations, National Museum of Wildlife Art, June 1 to Aug. 19: This exhibition of art and natural history is a chance for visitors to explore migrations of local wildlife through photographs, paintings, videos and an interactive map. They’ll see images by Joe Riis, “a wildlife biologist turned wildlife photojournalist and filmmaker,” according to his website, as well as a photography fellow with the Wyoming Migration Initiative and at National Geographic, for which he’s photographed on five continents. His work was featured in the recently-released hardcover “Yellowstone Migrations.”

Contributors to the exhibition include wildlife ecologist Arthur Middleton, artist James Prosek and filmmaker Jenny Nichols.

The multi-media show chronicles the difficult journeys of elk, pronghorn and deer. The title comes from the concept of “Invisible Boundaries” the animal cross — between national park and wilderness, public and private land and through states and countries. This exhibit explores complexities of wildlife and land conservation.

Info: National Museum of Wildlife Art, 2820 Rungius Rd, Jackson, (307) 733-5771,

“Monarch of the Skies: The Golden Eagle in Greater Yellowstone and the American West,” Buffalo Bill Center for the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, June: This exhibition “will immerse visitors in the sagebrush grasslands of Wyoming through recreated sandstone cliffs and other habitats, stunning video and photography, taxidermy mounts, models, and other natural history objects, Native American cultural materials, rock art, and engaging interactive elements,” according to information from the museum. The show features interactive storytelling and audiovisual presentations on the Draper Museum’s long-term golden eagle studies in the Bighorn Basin and other studies in West. This exhibition is set to become a permanent extension to the museum.

Info: 720 Sheridan Ave., Cody, (307)587-4771,

“Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West,” Buffalo Bill Center of the West, June 8 to Sept. 30: Bierstadt is best known as America’s premier Western landscape artist, but he also was a renowned history painter, according to information from the museum.

His 1888 masterwork, “The Last of the Buffalo” and other pieces demonstrate how “Bierstadt engaged with environmental and aesthetic issues of his time, and employed the subjects of Plains Indians and bison as iconic symbols of western America’s changing face,” according to information on the museum’s website. “Bierstadt’s history paintings conveyed moral messages as he strove to preserve the dignity of Native people like the Sioux and Shoshone, reveal the tragic slaughter of the American bison, and inspire empathy for the remnant herds of buffalo in Yellowstone National Park as the species neared extinction.”

Info: 720 Sheridan Ave., Cody, (307)587-4771,

“Lucas Foglia: Frontcountry,” Nicolaysen Art Museum, Jan. 19 to April 22, reception and Artist Talk April 5: Foglia’s photographs are published, exhibited and collected internationally, according to his website at The Yale University graduate has won numerous awards, and his work has appeared in an extensive list of publications including the New York Times. His photography also is housed in collections from the Art Collection Deutsche Börse to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

For his “Frontcountry” series, Foglia traveled some of the country’s least populated regions in Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, New Mexico and Montana, according to his artist statement.

Info: Nicolaysen Art Museum , 400 E. Collins St. Casper (307) 235-5247,

Other entertainment and events

Casper College Humanities Festival and Demorest Lecture, Casper College, Feb. 20-23: The 33nd annual event features local and national scholars presenting on the theme, “Fables, Folklore and Fantasy.”

Presenters include Jasper Fforde, author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Eyre Affair.” Also featured is Steven T. Seagle, executive producer and story editor of “BEN 10” on Cartoon Network under the bi-coastal collective Man of Action Entertainment he co-founded. He also co-created the original team and characters in Disney/Marvel’s Academy Award-winning feature “Big Hero 6” and created the series “Generator Rex” and the upcoming “Mega Man” for Cartoon Network. He’s also worked on Marvel and DC Comics’ franchises from X-Men to Superman.

Presenter Jared Bush directs and is a screenwriter at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He co-directed and co-screenwrote Oscar-winning “Zootopia” and screenwrote the Oscar-nominated “Moana.” He’s a member of the Walt Disney Animation Studios Story Trust team, which helps develop the studio features, including Academy Award-winners “Big Hero 6” and “Frozen.”

The PBR’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour, Casper Events Center, April 7: Some of the world’s best bull riders will vie for spots at the Professional Bull Riders World Finals in The PBR’s Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour. The tour arrives in Wyoming for the first time April 7 and culminates in the Velocity Tour Finals — leading into the PBR’s 2018 Built Ford Tough World Finals.

Tickets & info:, 800-442-2256 at the SinclairTix Box Office at the Casper Events Center or any statewide SinclairTix Outlet.

Follow reporter Elysia Conner on Twitter @erconner


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