The Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole Set to Showcase Premier One-of-a-Kind Design this September

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Jackson Hole’s Western Design Conference will take place in Jackson, Wyoming, September 8-11, 2016, attracting design enthusiasts from around the world to enjoy juried Western-inspired functional art. The unique four-day exhibition of Western design is a signature part of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

Couture designs by fashion designer Anna Trzebinski will return to the runway this year at the Western Design Conference Opening Preview Party on Sept. 8 in Jackson Hole.

“Every one of these pieces has a story to tell,” says WDC Executive Director Allison Merritt.

Chairs sporting leather as buttery as a favorite saddle, tables telegraphing their burled tree provenance, painstakingly stitched handmade boots, and swirls of fringe on the runway: the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale in Jackson Hole offers the premier roundup of the best of Western-inspired museum-quality handcrafted functional artwork in the world.

Returning to Jackson, Wyoming, the four-day event, September 8-11, 2016, features an outstanding lineup of 130 juried artisans displaying one-of-a-kind creations, as well as an all-new Designer Show House and a shopper’s dream, Retail Row. The event kicks off Sept. 8 with a glam Opening Preview Party and Fashion Show.

Executive Director of the Western Design Conference, Allison Merritt was recently interviewed in Western Art & Architecture about what it takes to bring so many artisans of fashion, furniture and accessories from across the country together under one roof. Speaking of the work showcased at the event, Merritt says, “Every one of these pieces has a story to tell. They are uniquely made from unique artists and I imagine they will become heirlooms for some people who will pass these things down from one generation to the next.” She adds, “I love being a part of that.”

Originally designed to spread the traditions of Western design and create a platform for artisans to share their constantly evolving craft, the Western Design Conference (WDC) has grown tremendously since its beginning in 1992. Now in its 24th year, the leading celebration and exhibition of Western furniture, fashion and accessories brings thousands of design enthusiasts and collectors to the town of Jackson each September. A hugely popular signature event of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, the four-day WDC is held at the Snow King Events Center.

The Western Design Conference’s Thursday night Opening Preview Party is one of Jackson’s most anticipated nights of the year for locals and tourists alike. Artists are on hand so guests can mingle, learning the stories and techniques behind the work. WDC Gala guests also have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind auction items and view models presenting couture at the live runway fashion show. Local culinary cuisine and signature cocktails are available throughout the evening with six featured stations by local favorite Café Genevieve.

Friday through Sunday, Sept. 9-11, the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale will continue from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Tickets are $15/day, available online or at the door. Back by popular demand, the Designer Show House returns to the WDC with a new rustic contemporary look. The life-size six-room “house” will be constructed directly on the WDC Exhibit + Sale floor at Snow King Center and includes interiors created by nationally known designers Agnes Bourne and Christopher Kennedy. Also returning this year, Retail Row gets its own wing dedicated to an enormous variety of vendors and goods from boots to décor to fashion and jewelry.

About the Western Design Conference:
The 24th annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with a love of the West. The Western Design Conference was founded 24 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The WDC moved to Jackson in 2007. 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 and on Facebook and Twitter @WesternDesign.

Contact: Amy Stark, Word PR + Marketing, amy(at)wordprmarketing(dot)com, 307.734.5335

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