For its 22nd year West Lives On returns to Jackson’s Fall Arts Festival for another round of art, collaboration and, of course, omelets and mimosas.

“During the Fall Arts Festival we have quite a number of artists in town,” gallery owner Terry Ray said.

Landscape painter Trey McCarley and Montana Blue Heron weavers Marilyn Evans and William Stevens will be present to talk to visitors and publicly work on their art.

To kick off the festival West Lives On will take part in the Palates and Palettes Gallery Walk, featuring food from The Wort Hotel. Along with over 30 other galleries, West Lives On will open its doors to festivalgoers, and bring life to its art, old and new.

“People can always step in and have a chance to meet an artist,” Ray said. “We’ll have lots of people here around the whole time.”

In addition to McCarley and Montana Blue Heron, sculptor Scott Nickell will be in the gallery working on his clays, including new a sculpture titled Wild Bill Hickok.

Nickell’s hyperdetailed bronze statues of Western subjects, such as a cowboy riding a horse and intricate Native American headdresses, decorate the traditional wing of the gallery. Accompanying his sculptures are mountain landscapes, traditional weaving and oil paintings of Jackson wildlife.

As Nickell draws gallery visitors into his lifelike bronze and clay, the contemporary wing of the gallery will also host visiting artists during the festival. Access to art and artists in both wings gives visitors the opportunity to appreciate and compare the various ways artists depict seemingly disparate subjects, such as wildlife and basket weaving.

Visiting both wings allows a discussion about what makes the West what it is, and how realistic sculptures and abstract mountains can come together to tell a single narrative. The two wings speak to each other as much as the viewer allows them to.

On the festival’s final Sunday, Sept. 15, West Lives on will host a gallery open house. Along with The Wort serving omelets, Bloody Marys and mimosas, “it’ll be an all-gallery open house with probably about at least 15 to 20 of our artists,” Ray said.

Grab an omelet, a bloody or both, and see for yourself — or let an artist tell you — how the West lives on. 

Contact Samantha Silverman at

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