A cowboy and his trusted steed lean rakishly away from an identified threat. His stirrup shatters the glassy sheeny of Jackson Lake, and the cragged crest of Mount Moran looms in the background.
The high-drama, large-scale canvas, “13 Minutes from Eternity” by acclaimed cowboy artist Bill Schenck, epitomizes the color and character of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival for which it has been selected this year’s signature painting and limited-edition poster. The honor is a homecoming of sorts for the artist, famed for his photorealism-meets-pop art style; Schenck was picked as featured artist of the very first Fall Arts Festival back in 1985. “It’s like getting reinvited to be the host of the Oscars after a 30-year hiatus,” Schenck said in a Jackson Hole News&Guide article.
A fortnight-long affair starting September 9, the Fall Arts Festival stands as a preeminent event on the western art circuit, a long-standing celebration of all the artistic bravura indigenous to the Tetons and its surrounds. The 31st annual event promises as much festive punch as its predecessors, with more than 50 public events staged through September 20. Whether pairing art and appetites or peering into Western history, Fall Arts offers a window on the eclectic culture coursing through the Rocky Mountain West. Read on for our curated calendar of not-to-miss events.
For 28 years running, the National Museum of Wildlife Art has staged a September showcase of Western art, starting with a jewelry and artisan luncheon on September 9 and culminating in the Wild 100 Show & Sale on September 18. Wild 100 welcomes work by 100 of the country’s leading wildlife and landscape artists, all of which is available for bidding during the festive evening event.
Luring scholars, artists, architects, collectors and designers, the Western Design Conference toasts interior design, art and fashion during its long weekend run at the Snow King Center. The conference opens with a preview party and fashion show on September 10, and continues September 11 through 13 with the Exhibit Sale featuring singular designs by more than 130 artists from across the country.
PALATES & PALETTES
A smorgasbord of fine art and fine fare, the self-guided Palates & Palettes Gallery Walk wends its way through more than 30 downtown art galleries and businesses on the evening of September 11. Every venue pairs its Fall Arts exhibit with hors d’oeuvres by a local chef, making for a free, fun free-for-all for all.
HISTORIC RANCH TOURS
On September 12, the historic Snake River Ranch and Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch swing open their doors to visitors, offering a rare look at the alive-and-well ranching heritage in Jackson Hole.
TASTE OF THE TETONS/TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS
A match made in creative heaven: a juried art fair and gourmet tasting. Town Square comes alive September 13 with Taste of the Tetons, a pedestrian sampler of signature bites by valley chefs, restaurants and caterers. Just beyond the antler arches, Takin’ It to the Streets encircles Town Square with booths housing wares by 40 local artists.
A peer of Coeur d’Alene and Scottsdale, the Jackson Hole Art Auction sends coveted Western works by contemporary artists and deceased masters to the live auction block. Drawing collectors from around the world, this year’s auction spans two days, with a small curated sale on September 18 and the main auction on September 19.
Saturday, September 19
20th Annual Jackson Hole Quick Draw Art Sale and Auction
On your mark, get set, paint: On September 19, the Quick Draw Art Sale and Auction challenges brave local and regional artists to start and finish a work of art in only 90 morning minutes with hungry collectors hovering around the alfresco event on Town Square. All pieces made on site are then sold on the spot at a rowdy live auction. Adding to the excitement: Bill Schenck’s featured painting, “13 Minutes from Eternity,” will be sold for a surely handsome sum.