Applications Now Being Accepted Through April 1st
The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, which showcases the latest in Western-inspired contemporary functional art, will return to the Snow King Events Center in Jackson, Wyoming, Sept. 8-11, 2016. The popular Jackson Hole event displays the work for purchase of more than 130 best-of-their-craft artisans, who are selected by a jury of experts to present a variety of hand-crafted innovations in Western furniture, fashion, jewelry, accessories for the home and more.
The 24th annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with a love of the West, sponsored by Mountain Living magazine. The Western Design Conference was founded 24 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The WDC moved to Jackson in 2007. Allison Merritt, who purchased the WDC in 2014, after seven years acting as event manager, continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. From documented American craft to home design to couture fashion, the show encompasses all aspects of the best of Western design.
While the Exhibit + Sale’s contemporary Western design may take cues from the history and culture of the Old West, “a walk through the exhibit hall dispels the notion that Western furnishings are heavy or rough-hewn,” wrote the Denver Post after a visit to last year’s WDC. The one-of-a-kind pieces on display reflect a high degree of sophistication, creativity and craftsmanship – often with an innovative use of distinctly Western materials. Another aspect that makes the experience special for visitors, explains Merritt in a video capturing the excitement of the WDC, is the direct interaction with the artists for a deeper understanding of their influences and process.
“These are artists creating at the highest levels of contemporary craft,” says Merritt. But beyond the remarkable workmanship, “sometimes it’s hearing the artist’s personal inspiration behind a particular piece that gives it deeper meaning to the buyer, so that when they take it home, it is so much more than just a beautiful object.” Continue reading