The Fall Arts Festival will have a more international flair this year.
The Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair is a new event within the nearly two-week festival. Put on by Show Hamptons, a company that organizes regional art fairs around the country, the fair welcomes 45 prestigious galleries from the U.S. and Europe over the second weekend of the Fall Arts Festival.
“This show is very unique because the art sensibility and art aesthetic in Jackson Hole is a mixture across the board between contemporary, the Old West, the New West, wildlife and Native American,” Show Hamptons founder Rick Friedman said. “We have the best of every genre.”
Over the course of the weekend, Snow King Sports and Events Center will transform into a high-end, white-clad art extravaganza.
The fair will open starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, with a VIP “Sneak Peak” during which the Fine Art Fair will posthumously honor the contemporary master John Nieto with a lifetime achievement award. Nieto was a Native American artist known for his bright, colorful depictions of traditionally Western scenes who died last year.
During the Sneak Peak the Fine Art Fair will also be recognizing an often invisible, but nonetheless valuable, player in the art world: the collector. The Art Fair is awarding Anne Phillips as the 2019 Art Collector of the Year. Phillips has residences in Jackson; Missoula, Montana; and Maui, Hawaii, and “epitomizes the art of collecting with her passion, enthusiasm and knowledge,” Friedman said.
The Fine Art Fair is also awarding artists of the year awards over the weekend: Outstanding Contemporary Artist of the Year to Paul Villinski, Photographer of the Year to Jeremy Kidd, and Sculptor of the Year to Bart Walter. Each artist is renowned in his own right and has ties to Jackson.
Villinski, best known for his delicate butterfly installations, is represented by Tayloe Piggott Gallery in town. Tayloe Piggott is one of two galleries, along with Diehl Gallery, participating in the Fine Art Fair in addition to their regular Fall Arts Festival programming.
Special to the Fine Art Fair, Kidd will debut a series he shot of the Tetons this spring. One of his pieces will also be auctioned off at the Harvest Moon Art Party later that evening.
The Harvest Moon Art Party will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, and will benefit the National Museum of Wildlife Art. During the reception the Fine Art Fair is recognizing Bart Walter, a sculptor whose work is featured prominently throughout Jackson: He is responsible for the bronc and rider sculpture at the airport, as well as the elk sculptures in the National Museum of Wildlife Art sculpture garden.
In addition to the main artist events, the Art Fair will host various artist meet and greets and panel discussions throughout the weekend.
Friedman said the goal of the Fine Art Fair is to “augment and enrich” the annual arts gathering that has already been happening in Jackson for the past 35 years, bringing more international talent, curators and buyers to the Tetons.
“It’s going to be like a mini Art Basel in the mountains,” he said.
A full list of Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair events can be viewed at JacksonHoleFineArtFair.com. ￼