Welcome to Art Paradise

Jackson Hole’s spectacular scenery is rivaled only by the array of art available.

By Johanna Love

For one of the fastest-growing art markets in the country, Jackson Hole is remarkably down-to-earth.

By forking over just $14, a person can see cohesively curated exhibits at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, getting a comprehensive education about man’s relationship with nature and its creatures. It’s free to wander the galleries around town and ask questions of well-educated staffers.
And it’s virtually impossible to visit for more than a few days without encountering an artist at work, whether that’s in a gallery or out en plein air, capturing the magic of this place.

“The area itself lacks pretension,” Jackson Hole Gallery Association President Kiera Wakeman said. “People can go to any gallery, and whether they are just starting to collect or are seasoned collectors, they will be treated with the same respect and dignity, regardless of who they are.”

Half a century ago, Trailside Galleries was the only commercial art gallery in town, but already Conrad Schwiering and friends were taking in students for their Outdoor Art School, and it was common to see artists painting around Town Square and up in Grand Teton National Park, chatting with visitors.

Since those days of local landscape and wildlife offerings, artworks available in Jackson Hole have expanded exponentially in volume and variety.

“What makes Jackson stand out,” said Wakeman, who works as sales manager at Diehl Gallery on Broadway, “is that you can find the contemporary Western and contemporary. Many of the artists in Jackson are also represented in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
Our art market is no longer limited to artists in the mountain area but has expanded to include those who live all over the world.”

Speaking of New York City, a study recently found that Jackson Hole has more art dealers per capita than the Big Apple, with more than thirty galleries.

Whether you raise your bidder card on a masterpiece at Jackson Hole Art Auction on September 16 and 17 during Fall Arts Festival or you buy a handblown glass ball to hang on your Christmas tree, you’re participating in one of the most vibrant art scenes in the country, and the artists appreciate your investment.