Art sheds light on science in “Strands,” a glass installation on the exterior of the Home Ranch Welcome Center. Jackson artist and entrepreneur John Frechette worked with Craighead Beringia South and Jackson Hole Community School to map the DNA fingerprints of bison and grizzly bear – species indigenous to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Frechette then magnified the strands into a colorful sequence scaled to the building. He then made 84 glass bricks and mapped them on a metal screen that wraps around the Home Ranch façade.
Through “Strands,” Frechette hope to make science accessible, and connect viewers to the history of wildlife conservation coursing through the valley. “My approach uses the universal language of science to help visitors from around the world connect to a sense of place.”
Frechette’s medium – glass – epitomizes his approach and connection to place: he has found that glass is accessible, easy to appreciate, and its molten quality relates to the geothermal activity beneath the Greater Yellowstone Ecoystem. For his palette, he pulled colors from the landscape and sky. Glass as a material is accessible and easy to appreciate.
Each brick, made by hand, consists of about 350 pieces of glass that fused in the kiln. All told, “Strands” features nearly 30,000 pieces of glass.