More than 30 years ago the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce and the town’s art community came together to expand Jackson’s tourist season, which used to end when summer came to a close. The result was the Fall Arts Festival, an event that each September brings collectors and art aficionados from all over the world to Jackson Hole.
The two weeks are jam-packed with events celebrating art. It is a chance for galleries to showcase their most noted artists and also introduce collectors to up-and-comers. It’s also another chance for Jackson Hole to share its passion for fostering art and creativity, as well as its history and all it has to offer.
There are events like the Historic Ranch Tours that take people into the real West by visiting some of the valley’s oldest, but still working ranches.
In addition to seeing some of the oldest architecture in the area, you can check out modern buildings at the Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes. This self-guided tour includes face-to-face meetings with the artists behind some of Jackson’s most beautiful homes.
The festival spans all media- from painting, sculptures and architecture, and even crosses over into food.
Palates and Palettes, one of the festival’s premier events, features gourmet snacks at almost all of the area’s galleries. The galleries keep their doors open late to cater to the throngs of people that come from all over the world to check out Jackson’s art offerings.
At Taste of the Tetons valley chefs and caterers share their best culinary work. The open-air food fair includes a wine tasting, silent auction and options for kids to make art. Food is such an intrinsic part of the Fall Arts Festival, it even closes with an art brunch walk where people can take one last perusal of galleries while snacking and sipping Bloody Marys.
In between indulging on gourmet food, there is a full schedule of art and activities. The Western Design Conference features more than 130 national artists creating contemporary and traditional hand-crafted furniture, jewelry and fashion. Takin’ It to the Street is an open-air juried art fair featuring about 40 of some of Jackson’s finest art work.
The annual Quick Draw is a spectator event. Wander around the Town Square as artists furiously work to create one-of-a-kind pieces from start to finish in only 90 minutes.
There is no shortage of opportunities to add to your art collection. From auctions held throughout the festival to shows like the Wild 100 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art which features work by 100 of the country’s leading artists, to the dozens of galleries that will feature new work from top artists.
If you love art, the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival is the place to be, September 09-20, 2015.