Fall Arts Festival Quickdraw

Jackson Hole’s Amy Ringholz sketches around the eyes of her owl during the 2018 QuickDraw Art Sale and Auction on Town Square. The QuickDraw, one of the most popular Fall Arts Festival events each year, gives 40 or so painters and sculptors 90 minutes to create a work of art in front of a crowd of spectators. The art is then auctioned. This year it starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Jason Borbet, known by his artist’s name, Borbay, immediately felt at home when the clock starting ticking during the 2018 QuickDraw Art Sale and Auction on Town Square.

The artist, one of 40 or so participating, had only 90 minutes to create a painting — one that would later be auctioned off — as hundreds stood by observing and examining his every brushstroke.

“I enjoy the spotlight,” said Borbay, who used to paint on-site frequently when he lived in Manhattan. “It’s thrilling to share your progress in a short period of time while people watch. It’s particularly gratifying when you ‘turn the corner’ and it all comes together. ... The feedback is real-time and audible.”

The event, which starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, is always a favorite with festivalgoers. It’s an opportunity to mingle with artists in action as well as take home a work that was created uniquely for the QuickDraw, in front of your eyes.

Amy Ringholz, a well-known painter in town, has been a participant for over a decade. She said the QuickDraw allows her to work in the moment and not overthink anything.

“You have no choice but to keep your piece fresh and loose,” she said. “There is no chance to overwork a QuickDraw painting.”

It’s an opportunity for her to expose her work to new eyes and offer a peek behind the curtain to people who have purchased her paintings in the past.

“My collectors enjoy this intimate opportunity to get to see the magic behind the scenes as an entire piece comes to life before their eyes,” she said.

Maureen Murphy, director of special events and community affairs for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, already knows this year’s QuickDraw will be one to remember.

“Last year we had a record year, so it’s exciting to go into it after that,” Murphy said. “We have quite a few new artists participating this year. We have locals as well as other artists who are represented by the local galleries.

The artists can work in any medium and create whatever they desire, as long as it’s crafted between when the timer starts and stops.

After the 90-minute mark the works are framed, and a bidding war begins. It culminates with the auction of the year’s featured painting, which always goes with a six-figure price.

This year the Fall Arts Festival featured work is actually two works: “Of Earth and Wind” by Kathryn Mapes Turner and a series of eight bison sculptures by John Simms. Both artists live in Jackson Hole.

Murphy said the QuickDraw Art Sale and Auction never disappoints.

“People come back to this event year after year from all over the country,” she said. “The quality of the work has improved over the years, and I’m always amazed that they only have 90 minutes.” 

Contact Isa Jones at fallarts@jhnewsandguide.com.

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