CASPER, Wyo. — On Saturday, the Nicolaysen Art Museum officially welcomed its newest gallery: a collection of neon artworks curated by local artists Connie Morgan and Tayler Drattlo.
The gallery features dozens of pieces by artists from across the country, and Morgan said the grand opening is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of work.
“We’ve been putting this together since last July,” she said. “To see it finally come together is great. It almost feels surreal.”
Morgan and Drattlo first put together a list of some of the most accomplished neon artists in the country, then familiarized themselves with the artists’ works and reached out to them about taking part in the gallery.
Morgan said the process wasn’t without some bumps in the road, but overall it was an experience she looks back on fondly.
For Morgan and Drattlo, perfecting the gallery required not only considering who the best neon artists were, but also determining which works went well together. As Morgan put it, curation is its own artform.
The most rewarding part, she said, was getting to meet many of the artists in person, as several came to Casper to take part in the gallery’s grand opening.
“It’s been kind of magical,” she said. “They came last week, and they all helped hang pieces and set things up, and it’s been a joy getting to know them.”
Morgan — owner of GloW Neon Lights in Casper and a neon artist herself — has a piece of her own in the gallery.
Museum director Allison Maluchnik said the gallery will remain open at the NIC until early 2024.
“I know that Connie and Tayler put a lot of work into this, and it paid off because this collection is phenomenal,” she said.