Various locations, September 9-20
This story was featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!
Come September, Jackson hosts an art event as grand as its signature Tetons. The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival spans 12 days and offers more than 50 events to fill attendees’ social calendars, including gallery strolls, wine tastings, home tours, and gallery openings featuring top western painters and sculptors.
One of the festival’s first big events is the Palates & Palettes Gallery Walk on Friday, September 11, from 5 to 8 p.m., during which art lovers can wander through more than 30 galleries while noshing on bites from the city’s top chefs and sipping wine from Jackson Hole Winery. Maureen Murphy, special events director for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival, says Palates & Palettes is a fan favorite for everyone, including locals.
Another marquee event is the Western Design Conference, which opens with a preview party on Thursday, September 10, from 6 to 10 p.m. The night includes a runway fashion show and a chance to walk through the designer show house, featuring six of Jackson’s interior-design talents who have specially designed rooms for the three-day conference and exhibit.
The top-billed Quick Draw Art Sale and Auction begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, on the Jackson Town Square. More than 30 artists are slated to participate in the 90-minute event, during which they’ll paint or sculpt an original work. It’s one of the largest Quick Draws in the West. Jackson resident and contemporary wildlife painter Amy Ringholz has participated for nearly a decade. “As far as annual art events in Jackson Hole, the chilly September morning is the most highly attended and highly anticipated event of the year. The artists participating are always at the top of our genre, and collectors come from far and wide to experience the behind-the-scenes feeling of the hour-and-a-half paint-off,” she says. As soon as the artists are finished, the newly created works are framed or otherwise prepped and then auctioned to the highest bidders.
The auction also includes the sale of 13 MINUTES FROM ETERNITY, this year’s featured artwork, which graces the festival poster. The original 50-by-50-inch oil painting is on display at The Wort Hotel until it goes up for bid. The image features a cowboy rising out of the water in front of the Tetons, rendered in artist Billy Schenck’s signature style.
“I referenced that figure from the cover of an Ace-High Magazine from the 1930s. I thought I could use the old western image—the cowboy crossing water, looking back with his rifle—and put it in the Oxbow,” says Schenck, referring to a popular scenic spot in nearby Grand Teton National Park. “For the title, I wanted something cryptic. The idea is that this cowboy only has 13 minutes left on earth. I don’t know what he did or what he’s running from, and I like that.”
Schenck was the featured artist chosen for the very first Fall Arts Festival in 1985. Of returning to the festival for its 31st year, he says, “It feels more than fantastic. I feel as if things have come full circle.” —Ashley M. Biggers
Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
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