One of Jackson’s signature events, the Fall Arts Festival, is a “go” this year, but, newsflash: It will look a little different.

The QuickDraw and auction will be smaller and will have a virtual option. Palettes and Palates is canceled, as are some of the other food-related events. Most galleries will be open but with appointment options and limited in-gallery events.

That’s the messaging from the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce this week as it tries to plan events in advance during an ever-changing set of circumstances relating to COVID-19.

Each fall, the Fall Arts Festival lures thousands of people to the valley. This year’s dates are Sept. 9-20. With tourism rates spiking as people escape virus-hit urban areas, it’s anyone’s guess what the traffic will look like in September.

The Western Visions Jewelry Show will still take place at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, on Sept. 9, but it will be outside in the sculpture garden, with items sold for set prices.

The Western Design Conference will start Sept. 10 as virtual-only. The Exhibit and Sale Sourcebook will be released that day for people “to source, commission and shop the best of the West,” according to the website.

The Western Visions paintings show and sale at the Wildlife Museum will begin Sept. 12, and the Takin’ it to the Streets art fair is set for Sept. 13.

Taste of the Tetons and Sips on the Square, two of the festival’s signature food-and-drink events, may rely on prepackaged items or partnerships with restaurants, said Britney Magleby, special events coordinator with the chamber.

The QuickDraw, scheduled for Sept. 19, will have artists painting in different spots for 90 minutes. People can watch live or via livestream. Immediately after, at 10:30 a.m., work will be auctioned through virtual bidding.

Magleby said attendance will be limited to accommodate social distancing, but the live virtual bidding will be a first and will bring many more people to the festival from all over the country.

The festival’s featured piece, Thomas Blackshear’s “Hunter’s Watch,” also will go under the hammer about halfway through the QuickDraw auction; that central piece has fetched in the neighborhood of $25,000 in recent years.

The closing Art Brunch is set for Sunday, Sept. 20. While some galleries typically offer food and mingling, this year each gallery will make its decision about that to do that may understandably be last-minute.

Most galleries will be open by appointment with some restricted walk-in availability. Some are not hosting Fall Arts events this year, but will still be open.

Visitors should check up on the events frequently at The Jackson Hole News&Guide will insert its annual Fall Arts Festival special supplement in the Sept. 9 edition.

Contact Whitney Royster via 732-7071 or

Johanna Love steers the newsroom as editor. Her time off is occupied by kid, dog, biking, camping and art. She loves to hear from readers with story tips, kudos, criticism and questions.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.
As of Oct. 18, 2020, the News&Guide has shifted to a subscriber-only commenting policy. You can read about this decision on our About Us page. Thanks for engaging in the conversation!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.