Workshop Instructors & Judges

~ ~Julie Oriet: Instructor~ ~



Julie considers herself lucky to have been born and raised in rural Montana- enjoying the best it has to offer.  She was surrounded by beautiful scenery, big blue skies and an endless variety of animals.  Her enthusiasm for the West, as well as travels to other parts of the world, continue to create new adventures that inspire ideas for future paintings.


Oriet has participated in numerous national shows including Museum of Western Art Annual Fall Sale, Kerrville, TX, Small Works, Great Wonders, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK ;  Cowgirl Up!, Desert Caballeros Museum, Wickenburg, AZ ;   Heart of West Art Exhibition and Sale at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, TX ;  Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale in Cody, WY ;  Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale in Denver,CO ;  C.M. Russell Auction and Exhibitors Show in Great Falls , MT ; Western Masters, Great Falls, MT,  Art of the West,-High Desert Museum-Bend, OR and shows at The Brinton Museum in Big Horn, WY.


Her work is also included in private and corporate collections around the world and in the permanent collection of the Buffalo Bill -Center of the West Museum and The Brinton Museum.  Julie has had feature articles in Art of the West, Southwest Art, Western Art and Architecture , Western Art Collector and Travel Africa Magazine.


Currently Julie lives outside of Cody, WY.



~ ~Mike Kopriva: Instructor & Judge~ ~

Acrylic/Water Media


A Wyoming native, Powell artist Mike Kopriva was born in 1952. His artistic talents emerged as a young boy and were encouraged with a gift of oil paints from his father at age eleven. He studied art in high school, graduating with honors, and twice toured Europe to further his understanding of art. In 1976 Mike attained his M.F.A. from the University of Wyoming. Over the years Mike has taught many college classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and art history. He also has given many workshops to various art guilds around Wyoming.


Throughout his lifelong career as an artist, Mike has consistently won many competitions for his work in acrylic and watercolor painting, stone sculpture, and metal sculpture. A few of his most notable commissions include an acrylic 8' x 22' mural depicting scenes from Wyoming at the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne, a 4' x 20' steel mural placed in the Rockville, MD Department of Transportation illustrating the history of transportation, and a 12" x 20" acrylic painting of the USS Wyoming Trident submarine; the painting resides in the officers' ward room as a gift to the officers and crew. First National Bank and Trust of Powell has used four of his paintings on their Visa cards. For 2-1/2 years the Bank employed Mike to produce numerous office paintings and murals. They have the largest collection of his work. In 2003 Mike received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement from Northwest College in Powell. Mike's works can be found in local, national, and international corporate and private collections.


Mike lives south of Powell where he works out of his home studio. After his wife Janet died in March of 2003, it was his art that carried him through the difficult times and provided purpose. His love of nature and interaction with the outdoors is reflected in Mike's unique style and realistic approach. His work is recognized for its distinct character.


~ ~Mike Poulsen: Instructor & Judge~ ~



M.C. Poulsen was greatly inspired by the fine arts as a young boy when his mother would leave him at the Akron Art Institute while she worked at a nearby coffee shop. At age ten, Poulsen’s father bought a 15,500-acre dude ranch near Cody, Wyoming, where Poulsen took to ranching like an old hand. Once he tasted life in the West, he never went back to Ohio. Poulsen has participated in museum shows across the country and has painted portrait commissions for the Pentagon and Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2008, he was Honored Artist at the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.


~ ~Lisa Kunkel: Instructor~ ~



Visual artist Lisa Kunkel is a Montana native and relocated to Wyoming six years ago. She is a professionally trained photographer, graduating from the University of Montana, Missoula. Lisa studied in both the Photojournalism program and the Photography Art Program while at UM. She also trained at the Poynter Institute in Florida, and studied abroad with Syracuse University’s Newhouse Program in London, England. 

Lisa worked in the magazine and newspaper field for many years and her photographs have been published in Sports Illustrated, TIME Magazine, Country Woman Magazine, Where Women Create, Montana Magazine, USA Today, and numerous local and regional publications. Book publications include photographs in “Hillside Letters A to Z” by Evelyn Corning, “Wyoming 24/7” by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen, and a children’s storybook “Lilly Goes to School” by Cheryl Hornstein and exclusively photographed by Lisa. 

Her photography has earned awards and been recognized by; The Wyoming Press Association, The Montana Press Association, the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, the Hearst Awards, and the Eddie Adams Workshop. Lisa was recognized by the nationwide College Photographer of the Year awards in both 2003 and 2004. More recently, one of her photographs earned Overall Grand Champion in the Big Horn County Fair last summer.

After starting a family with her husband JD in Montana in 2010, she left the newspaper industry to focus on being “mom” and there began her personal project visually documenting “Parenthood.” 

The ambitious and creative couple relocated to rural Wyoming where they later opened a downtown studio and gallery called Lisa Kunkel Photography. For three years JD and Lisa showcased fellow local artists monthly, with live music by JD and their events became a community gathering place. 

After giving the brick-and-mortar storefront a try, they chose to operate their business out of their Shell Valley home, appointments are encouraged. Kunkel Frame and Photo provides freelance photojournalism services, custom framing services, hand-stretched canvas, and large-format printing. Featuring 12-colors of ink on the Canon Pro-Graf 4000 at 42-inches wide and up to 100 feet. 

A camera in-hand since the age of 10, Lisa enjoys sharing her knowledge with others through classes and workshops that include her personal understanding of photography from darkroom to digital. She lives in Northcentral Wyoming with her husband JD, a Greybull native, and their three adventurous children. Lisa’s interests include a ten-year go with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers,) volunteering as the historian of her local P.E.O. chapter, and she is an advid outdoorswoman. Galleries and coffee shops across Montana and Wyoming have featured Lisa’s work. Her photographs can be seen on display locally in numerous businesses, banks, the Chamber of Commerce Info Center, and the Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting. 

To peruse and purchase her work online, visit: 

~ ~John Phelps: Judge~ ~


The art of John Phelps exemplifies the history of the Great American West, beginning with the explorations of its vast terrain, the fur trade era and its mountain men, the epoch years of the cowboy, ranching and rodeo. His works portray the early years in American history through present day. A lifetime of cowboying, horse packing, hunting and fishing lend authenticity to his subject matter.John was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He attended the University of Wyoming until which time joined in the Navy and was sent to Viet Nam.After Viet Nam, he served as a guide for elk and bighorn sheep hunters in the Fitzpatrick and Glacier Wilderness areas in Fremont County, Wyoming. John has lived in Dubois, Wyoming for twenty-five years and now resides in Cody,Wy.


Astoria Fine Art Gallery, Jackson, WY
 Big Horn Gallery, Cody, WY



Oil Paintings range from $1,000 – $35,000.

Bronzes are priced from $900 – $200,000.