2024 Homestead Magazine


Homestead Magazine


Infusing The Arts With Energy

The Opening Preview Party and Fashion Show are not-to-miss highlights of the Western Design Conference. Tickets available at: westerndesignconference.com


Story By
Tammy Christel

Photos By
Latham Jenkins

Irrepressible energy and eclectic participation drive Jackson’s Fall Arts Festival like a rocket. Its enduring vitality ignites Western art markets by bridging iconic history with contemporary trends.

“Sheer numbers, great partnerships and intense involvement keep Fall Arts fresh,” says Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce Director of Special Events Maureen Murphy. “Each year we add galleries and new businesses to the mix, everyone working together. Our Showcase of Homes is our newest success! We inspire one another, and that drives Fall Arts forward.”

This year marks the second time a Native American-themed work serves as the festival poster image. Terry Ray, the gallery director of West Lives On, represents artist Mark Keathley.

Mark Keathley’s painting, measuring a whopping 70 by 60 inches, hangs in the lobby of The Wort Hotel until it is sold via live auction on Saturday, September 16th, 2017.

“You can see the detail in Mark’s work, and the painting’s West Bank perspective is not your typical Tetons view,” says Ray. “Mark’s at a breakout point in his career; he understands everything about the West’s particular nature. Wildlife, Western, landscapes, people of the West: Mark does it all. That, and the way he uses light, attracts collectors from around the country.”

Fall arts festival calendar of Events

Thursday, September 7th
Western Design Conference
Exhibit + Sale — Opening Preview Party + Fashion Show
6pm — 10pm

Friday — Sunday, September 8th — 10th
Western Design Conference
Exhibit + Sale
10am — 5pm

Friday, September 8th
Palates & Palettes

Western Design Conference
Exhibit + Sale — Benefit Night
10% of sales to benefit
The National Museum
of Wildlife Art
4pm — 7pm

Sunday, September 10th
Taste of the Tetons

Wednesday, September 13th
Mark Keathley Poster Signing

Saturday, September 16th
Quickdraw Art Sale + Auction

“We were looking for an inspiring festival theme, a new but meaningful image,” adds Murphy. “Terry submitted Mark’s sketches, and we were thrilled.”

Award-winning design by Ellie Thompson & Co.

Just as thrilling is the electric atmosphere of the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, the kick-off of many events held during the week-and-a-half-long festival. Though the WDC Exhibit + Sale, celebrating its 25th anniversary, draws devotees from around the globe, owner Allison Merritt wants to do more: Reach Jackson’s citizens.

“We want locals to know the WDC Exhibit + Sale is for them as well as visitors. For four days we’re the largest gallery in town offering a range of price points and a multitude of events,” says Merritt. Here patrons can buy direct and meet the artists who create these exceptional works, seeing firsthand why the WDC Exhibit + Sale is truly an experience as unique as its surroundings.

More than 30 art galleries open their doors to showcase magnificent art with food and wine during the locals’ favorite Palates & Palettes Gallery Walk.

Each year, as eager new artists and established participants make connections, fresh creativity springs to life on the spot. Designers contribute cutting-edge contemporary work, recognizable to all discerning markets; but Merritt remains cognizant of rooted traditional Western creativity, the source of everything the WDC Exhibit + Sale has become: a renowned, diverse venue for wearable and fine art, fashion, jewelry, furniture and design.

Nationally, regionally and locally recognized artists demonstrate their skills at the annual Quickdraw Art Sale and Auction, a unique al fresco event.

Jackson’s Fall Arts Festival is a potent blend of organic creativity, a bow to Western heritage and exuberant people power. Kinetic and authentic, the festival retains its standing as a consummate Western art experience.

Award-winning design by Rob Hare