Jackson Hole Western Design Conference Releases September Dates for Annual Exhibit and Sale of One-of-a-Kind Western Functional Art

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The only event of its kind, the 23rd Western Design Conference in Jackson, Wyo., will take place September 10 – 13, 2015. A celebration of juried work by the country’s finest artisans, the WDC will bring its handcrafted Western-style furnishings, fashion, jewelry and accessories to Snow King Sports & Events Center as one of the highly anticipated events of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

The Opening Preview Party starts the Western Design Conference off with a runway fashion show featuring Western-influenced couture on Sept. 10 in Jackson, Wyo.

Not only will we be presenting new and innovative Western-inspired art, much of it will be worthy of museum presentation.

The Western Design Conference (WDC), the world’s leading celebration and exhibition of Western furniture, fashion and accessories, returns to Jackson, Wyo., Sept. 10 - 13, 2015, at the Snow King Sports & Events Center. The only event of its kind – and a signature event of the annual Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival – the WDC Exhibit + Sale was created to spread the traditions of original Western design and develop a platform for artisans to share their constantly evolving craft while giving patrons a way to celebrate, engage and purchase these art forms in a highly entertaining fashion.

Now in its 23rd year, the Western Design Conference promises to attract even more enthusiastic supporters. Allison Merritt, executive director of the WDC for her second year is thrilled to see the growth of the event and the support from artisans and design enthusiasts. “Last year, after building on the successes of the previous seven years, I was pleased beyond belief to see our attendance and artists’ sales reflect the level of interest for the direction we are taking the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale,” says Merritt. “The range of artistry and artisans is exploding and revealing the highest quality work in every genre. As we move forward we believe that not only will we be presenting new and innovative Western-inspired art, much of it will be worthy of museum presentation. This is what keeps us on the cutting edge of presenting the finest American artists.”

The Opening Preview Party of the WDC, a much-anticipated night for visitors and locals alike, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10. The party begins at 6 p.m. with an opportunity to shop and meet over 130 artists and craftspeople. Guests view artisans’ one-of-a-kind creations while sipping signature cocktails and enjoying gourmet bites by Café Genevieve. The evening also brings back the always entertaining and sold out WDC Fashion Show, sponsored by Ward + Blake Architects. Designers’ innovative collections are modeled in an interactive runway format, accompanied by fabulous themes and great music. An exciting Winners' Circle Art Auction precedes the Fashion Show, allowing guests the opportunity to bid on select handcrafted works by award winners from previous years.

The celebration at the Snow King Center continues Sept. 11 –13, with the annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, a three-day event showcasing museum-quality functional art by more than 130 Western-inspired artists, a Designer Show House, and Retail Row shopping. Cash awards totaling $17,400 are distributed annually to participating artists. VIP and regular tickets for the Opening Preview Party and additional information on the WDC, including a complete schedule and ticket sales, are available at the WDC’s website: http://www.westerndesignconference.com.

The Western Design Conference is currently accepting applications from artists wishing to participate in the 2015 WDC. The final list of exhibitors will be selected by a jury of experts. The deadline for juried artist/booth application is April 1, 2015. Participation in the Retail Row and Designer Show House is available on a first-come basis. For details or to apply online, visit http://www.westerndesignconference.com.

About the Western Design Conference:
The 23rd annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with an interest in the West, sponsored by Mountain Living magazine. The Western Design Conference was founded 23 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The show moved to Jackson in 2007 when it was purchased by Powder Mountain Press, LLC and the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Allison Merritt, who purchased the WDC in 2014 after seven years acting as event manager, continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. From documented American craft to home design to couture fashion, the show encompasses all aspects of the best of Western design. Additional information on the WDC, including schedules and tickets, is available at http://www.westerndesignconference.com and on Facebook and Twitter @WesternDesign.

Media Contact: Amy Stark, WordenGroup Public Relations, amy(at)wordenpr(dot)com, 307.734.5335

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