As the coronavirus spread around the world, dashed across the country and ripped through Wyoming, the bad news just kept piling up: sickness, death, economic collapse, isolation and loneliness … and the cancelation of one summer event after another, long anticipated after the deep freeze of winter. JacksonHoleLive. Music on Main. Live performances at the Center for the Arts. The Grand Teton Music Festival.
But not all is lost. After a lot of thought and careful planning, the Art Association of Jackson Hole, which had nixed its twin art fairs, summer staples for more than 50 years, has figured out a way to pull off at least a suitable substitute. A Pop-Up Art Fair is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Center for the Arts.
The locals-only (within 80 miles of Jackson) fair will welcome many artists and crafters that Art Association stalwarts will recognize from past events, with a full range of mediums and items ranging from the practical to the beautifully frivolous.
Most important of all, Saturday’s Pop-Up Art Fair will be set up to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. People will be at least 6 feet apart, and of course the wearing of face masks will be de rigueur for vendors, visitors, shoppers and everyone else.
The Art Association’s art fairs are not just fun, sunny outdoor social events where folks meet friends on either side of the vendors’ tables. They also are among the nonprofit’s biggest fundraisers of the year, bringing in up to $200,000 to support its year-round arts education, open studio access, community outreach and public exhibitions. The cancelation of the 2020 events was a huge blow to the group, and the Pop-Up Art Fair ought to go a ways to help relieve some of the Art Association’s financial stress and keep some of our regional artists busy and working.