Carl the Chipmunk Comes to the Museum May 6, 2012

Jackson, Wyoming – (May 7, 2012) – Carl is a chipmunk who lives just outside the walls of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and his adventures are captured in Carl Discovers Wildlife Art (Mariposa Ranch Press, 2010), the award-winning children’s book written by Lynn Estes Friess and illustrated by noted landscape and wildlife artist John Potter.  Now a summer exhibition at the museum, “Carl: Original Illustrations by John Potter,” June 16 – August 5, 2012, offers visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how words and images come together into a final book.  In addition to presenting Potter’s lively original illustrations, the museum is recreating Carl’s kitchen from the book in the gallery as a place for kids to get creative with hands-on activities related to the exhibition.

While these days artist John Potter spends the majority of his time painting en plein air, capturing the natural world he loves with oil on canvas, he did spend 20 years working as a professional illustrator, experience that melds with his deep understanding of wildlife to bring the character of Carl to convincing life in humorous detail.  In addition to engaging kids with his art for Carl Discovers Wildlife Art and its sequels, Potter, who started down his artistic path early by selling an illustration to the United Way when he was only 10, also lends his artistic hand to the “Outdoor Just for Kids” section of the Billings Gazette.

Jackson Hole author Lynn Estes Friess, a grandmother of 10, avid art collector and close friend and supporter of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, wroteCarl Discovers Wildlife Art as an engaging way to introduce children to wildlife art and the museum.  The Carl title, published in 2010, is the first in a four-part series.  The second book, Carl and the Mysterious Nibbler, was released in 2011.  Proceeds from the Carl books help sponsor programs, exhibits and operating support for the museum. Friess won a Mom’s Choice Award (MCA) for her original Carl title, which was her second children’s book.  She also won a Mom’s Choice Award for her first picture book, Western Lullaby, which won a 2011 Gold Independent Publisher Book Award (“IPPY”) as well.

A member of the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the museum, officially designated the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States by an act of Congress in 2008, provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe.  A complete schedule of exhibitions and events is available online at  The museum is also active on Facebook at wildlifeartjh and on Twitter at @wildlifeartjh.

Media Contacts: Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations, 307.734.5335,; Ponteir Sackrey, National Museum of Wildlife Art, 307.732.5444,