Editor’s Letter | Fall in Jackson

A weekend full of awesome art

By Kristin Hoerth

Fly Fishing by W.H.D. Koerner sold for $99,450 at the Jackson Hole Art Auction.

Fly Fishing by W.H.D. Koerner sold for $99,450 at the Jackson Hole Art Auction.

This story was featured in the November 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Collectors know that the place to be in the middle of September is in Jackson Hole, WY, for the long-running annual Fall Arts Festival, and I was happy to be there for all the highlights this year. In the space of about 48 hours, there’s so much art to see: the Friday-evening Western Visions show at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, just north of town; the Saturday-morning Quick Draw and auction on the town square; the Jackson Hole Art Auction at the Center for the Arts on Saturday afternoon; and a slew of top-notch galleries around town, which pull out all the stops for the weekend.

Of course, the middle of September in the mountain West brings weather that’s unpredictable at best. Over the years I’ve seen everything from summer temperatures and sunshine to a bona fide snowstorm; this year Mother Nature delivered chilly rain and drizzle that turned to snow from time to time. It proved a challenge for the 38 artists (especially the watercolorists!) who took part in the 90-minute Quick Draw, but they persevered, and the tent was packed with bidders for the auction of freshly created works. The auction also included the sale of this year’s featured painting, RISE ABOVE by Mark Keathley. The large painting, which depicts a group of Native Americans on horseback in the Tetons, was used for the commemorative event poster, and it sold for a record-
setting $77,500, prompting cheers and an extended round of applause in the tent.

Western Visions celebrated its 30th anniversary this year with a more diverse show than ever. The Red Smith Award—which is the artists’ choice for best of show—went to sculptor Edward Fraughton. The People’s Choice Award went to  John Seerey-Lester. Local artists Kathryn Mapes Turner and William Sawczuk won the Trustee Purchase Award and the Robert Kuhn Award for the best sketch, respectively.

Finally, the 11th annual Jackson Hole Art Auction, hosted by Trailside Galleries and Gerald Peters Gallery, realized almost $5 million in total sales, with 77 percent of the 367 lots sold. Ten new artist world records were established, including DESERT MEETING by California artist Logan Maxwell Hagege, which went for $58,500. The top lot was Bob Kuhn’s CLOSING THE DISTANCE at $409,500. The cover lot, Edgar Payne’s NAVAJO SCOUTING PARTY, brought $304,200. The auction also featured numerous pieces by illustrator W.H.D. Koerner and achieved the highest prices for the artist in 20 years.

This story was featured in the November 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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