Everyone knows you can’t have a summer without a summer art fair.

Somehow last year, the Art Association of Jackson Hole saved the day, scrambling to hold a fair on the Center Lawn despite a global pandemic that had shut down way too many traditional summer fairs and fests.

This year, Art Fair Jackson Hole is back in its full glory — well, half its full glory — this Friday through Sunday on the grassy sward south of Davey Jackson Elementary School.

“So, there are a few things that are radically different this year,” said Kaylee Pickett, the Art Association’s new events and membership coordinator.

First change: There will be just one art fair this year.

Local vendors will have other opportunities through the summer, including a pop-up fair on the Center Lawn in August and the annual Takin’ it to the Streets fair during Fall Arts Festival, but this one is the Big One. Some 188 vendors from across the valley, region and country will set up to display their art, crafts, furnishings and other wares. With food and drink vendors and stations for kids activities, the total comes closer to 200, Pickett said.

Second: After taking place in Miller Park for years and years, this year’s fair will set up across town off North Willow and East Deloney.

Miller Park served as a fine central, conspicuous spot for the art fair, but with its slightly rolling topography and its playground smack in the middle of green, the Art Association was limited in how many vendors it could accommodate and how it squeezes them all in.

“At Davey Jackson Elementary they can all be laid out in a grid,” Pickett said, “so we can host more.”

The school green is flat, unobstructed, has more parking nearby and should be easier for traffic to come and go. The START bus has a stop just a block or so away, and there are still playgrounds on the north and south sides of the school building.

“Plus it should less restrictive to business as well,” Art Association Director of Communications Anika Youcha said.

And while the coronavirus situation is vastly improved since last July, we are not 100% out of the woods; the lawn at Davey Jackson should be plenty big enough to allow for appropriate space between vendors and for shoppers to maintain social distance, if they wish, as they browse all the drawings, paintings, prints, photography, sculptures, metal work, jewelry, graphic designs, textiles, glass, leather, mixed media, furniture, even beef jerky and soap.

This year’s fair is the Art Association’s 56th annual event, and it has always been a major fundraising event for the venerated visual arts nonprofit. Funds are raised through vendor fees as well as gate admission, which will be $5 a head (kids 10 and younger can come for free). Proceeds go to the Art Association’s exhibitions and education programs.

Go to ArtAssociation.org to see the complete list of vendors. 

Contact Richard Anderson at 732-7078 or rich@jhnewsandguide.com.

Since moving to Jackson Hole in 1992, Richard has covered everything from local government and criminal justice to sports and features. He currently concentrates on arts and entertainment, heading up the Scene section.

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