The Best Seat in Jackson Hole is at the Western Design Conference this September

CHAIRish the art of one-of-a-kind furniture with these extraordinary pieces to lounge in and to love

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L to R, from Chris Martin Furniture of Colorado: Martini Chair, Burl oak, steel, leather, Afzelia burl, $5,800 to order; Poma Club Chair, steel, wood, leather, African print cloth with armrest, $3,650.

Jackson, Wyoming – June 25, 2024 – With the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale approaching as the ultimate design event in the West this September, interior design enthusiasts and furniture fans are anticipating a wealth of stylish seating in the form of chairs to cherish. The four-day show features nearly 100 artisans from across the country, celebrating the finest works of museum-quality contemporary craft, all available for purchase and commission. While the functional art on display ranges from jewelry, fashion and leather to myriad works in wood, metal and more, the chairs pictured here provide a peek at the outstanding creativity and craftsmanship to admire and acquire at the Western Design Conference, held at the Snow King Events Center in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, September 5 – 8, 2024. 

New to the show this year is Chris Martin Furniture, out of Livermore, Colorado, with over 25 years of experience. Martin finds inspiration in wide-ranging influences including Japanese aesthetics, children’s’ toys and Czech Cubism. His work also draws from African and Indian cultures following his service as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and, most recently, from months spent in India working with both traditional artisans and modern craftspeople and technicians to develop a series of contemporary furniture pieces. Martin uses steel, burned wood, leather and more to create his one-of-a-kind artful chairs, as well as a variety of other pieces for the home.

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L to R: Lounge chairs by SR Woodworking take a modern, laid-back stance; sculpted heirloom rockers by Robert Wing combine North American hardwoods in ergonomic design.

Stephen Rosini of SR Woodworking out of Salt Lake City, Utah, returns to the WDC this year with his stunning pieces that blur the lines of midcentury and contemporary design, combining thoughtful, minimalistic lines that are sleek yet bold. “An accent chair for modern times,” Rosini’s Lounge Chair offers fabulous repose from morning coffee to cocktail hour. Made of solid wood with custom commissioned options available including walnut, cherry, mahogany and more, with fabric in white, black, toast or custom, the lounge chair starts from $3,925 and is just one of the fine SR Woodworking pieces on view at this year’s Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale.

For a seat that rocks, Robert Wing of Santa Fe Rockers of New Mexico is exhibiting heirloom-quality, handcrafted, ergonomic, rocking chairs made from North American hardwoods such as beech, cherry, walnut, maple, ash, oak and hickory, as well as some exotics. Each rocker is assembled from approximately 100 separate pieces of wood and takes 175 hours to fabricate, sculpt, and then finish with a food-grade oil and hard wax for unmatched comfort. 

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Top to bottom: New Leaf Design’s bent-lamination Morii chair is crafted from maple veneer and walnut veneer; Nordberg Gallery achieves a similarly organic concept with this 2023 WDC award-winning bench.

An independent artist and woodworker with a background in finishing and fine art, Reagan Zubiate of Denver-based New Leaf Design offers up a seat at the WDC with her superb, fine-art chairs that balance “functionality, purpose, and beauty while being mindful of waste in time and materials.” Designed with a concept of existing with nature, the Morii “was made to create a cocooning, safe space for someone to rest in,” says Zubiate. “The leaves are wrapping around the user, along with the branches surrounding and supporting the chair.”

Doug Nordberg, owner of Nordberg Gallery in Cody, Wyoming, returns to the WDC to share his latest high-end custom wood and antler creations. Nordberg took home the Best Artist in Mixed Media Award at last-year’s show for his extraordinary bench (above) with its flowing lines and rustic appeal.

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A piece from the Persona series of chairs by Montana artist Tyrel Johnson

Though better known for his extraordinary bronze and wood sculptures, artist Tyrel Johnson out of Billings, Montana, has a fascination with any three-dimensional challenge as well as with expanding his range of materials. Both those factors played into the functional art creation of his new Persona series of mixed-media chairs. The example above, “Inner Light,” was created with burnt and dyed leather and wood to reflect the personality of a person in Johnson’s life whom he sees as a dancing otter. Persona chairs are commissioned pieces that Johnson creates in collaboration with a client to artistically capture their unique personality, and a recently completed chair will debut at this year’s Western Design Conference.

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L to R: Lozier’s How Kola Molesworth-style chair; Henneford Fine Furniture’s Casual Cowboy Chair

Tim Lozier’s How Kola Furniture of Cody, Wyoming has been a favorite of the Western Design Conference for years as his timeless pieces honor the vintage cowboy-style designs of the renowned Thomas Molesworth with his own creative spin. Meanwhile, Steve Henneford of Kalispell, Montana-based Henneford Fine Furniture is another always anticipated longtime participant of the WDC, crafting his custom wood and fine leather furniture, including his popular Casual Cowboy chair with its distinctly Western take on contemporary design.

Guests can secure tickets in advance online for the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, including for the Preview Party + Fashion Show on Thursday, September 5, from 6 – 10 p.m. General admission tickets for the opening-night event are $100 per person, which includes meet-and-greets with the exhibitors, a runway show, a live auction and local culinary creations paired with signature cocktails from an open bar; VIP tickets with reserved seating are available for $175. The event continues through Sunday, September 8, with day-passes available for $30.

About the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale:
Celebrating 32 years in 2024, the 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 in Cody, Wyoming, to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale moved to Jackson Hole in 2007, where Executive Director Allison Merritt continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. Additional information, including schedules and tickets, is available at and on Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contacts: Allison Merritt, [email protected], 307.690.9719; Amy Stark, Word PR + Marketing, [email protected].

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Digital Sourcebook

Available September 10th

This year’s Western Design Exhibit + Sale will be online through a new virtual marketplace.  SOURCE, COMMISSION + SHOP the Best of the West via our interactive Digital Sourcebook – online September 10. 

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