The New West: Modern Style Rooted in Tradition at the Western Design Conference

The New West: Modern Style Rooted in Tradition at the Western Design Conference
26th annual Western Design Exhibit + Sale showcases latest in Western form and fashion

L to R: Fashionable pieces from the Havstad Hat Company; antler floor lamp from Shawn Rivett. Both artists are new to the Western Design Exhibit + Sale, celebrating its 26th year in September.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming — August 27, 2018 — Antler chandeliers and flat top hats have been staples of Western design for decades, but the contemporary versions crafted by Shawn Rivett and Havstad Hat Company – both selected by jury to participate in this year’s Western Design Exhibit + Sale – have a modern aesthetic that stands out among the classics. Celebrating its 26th anniversary Sept. 6-9, 2018, at the Snow King Event Center in Jackson, Wyoming, the WDC was founded on the idea of cultivating the best of American contemporary craft, a mission that has only grown in recent years as artisanal businesses boom, embracing both innovative ideas and heritage techniques. The annual event will host a slew of furniture, jewelry, fine art and fashion exhibitors known for crafting cutting-edge goods inspired by the West.

Debuting at the Western Design Exhibit + Sale this year, Shawn Rivett Designs creates one-of-a-kind antler sculptures from elk and deer sheds. Ranging from orb-like light fixtures to wall hangings to suspended 29-foot-long sculptures, Rivett provides an updated, sleeker take on the traditional two-tier antler chandelier.
Havstad Hat Company is also new to the Western Design Exhibit + Sale roster this year. Out of an Airstream workshop in Oregon, the five-year-old hat company adds modern sophistication and flair to arguably the most recognizable Western fashion statement, the flat top hat. For one of owner Cate Havstad’s latest collections, Hues of the High Desert, she uses wildflowers native to the high desert to naturally dye her beaver fur felt hats.

L to R: Sculpture from Stephanie Revennaugh; Burns Saddlery saddle; unique horse mask light fixture from Jeff Sailors.

Also celebrating cowboy culture is Burns Saddlery, the oldest same-family-owned Western retail shop in the world. Since 1876, the Utah- and California-based company has crafted and curated saddles, chaps, hats and stirrups. From classic brown leather saddles to hot pink pads with silver crocodile-print detailing, the shop will offer goods for today’s cowboys and cowgirls as they make their first appearance at this year’s event.

Where there are cowboy hats and saddles, there must be horses. Stephanie Revennaugh returns to the Western Design Exhibit + Sale with her realistic equine sculptures inspired by a lifelong affair with the gentle beasts. Her bronze pieces explore the horse’s anatomy and accurately depict their graceful form while running, leaping and bowing. Jeff Sailors Collection offers a more abstract tribute to the equine. Based in Colorado, Sailors and his wife Patricia Carroll create light fixtures – including floor lamps, sconces and chandeliers – out of colorful horse masks traditionally used by Western tribes to respectfully adorn their steeds.

Chandler Goodstrike will also pay tribute to Native American heritage at this year’s WD Exhibit + Sale. The Gros Ventre and Arapaho artist from Montana is known for his hand-painted buffalo hides that celebrate his history and tell the oft-overlooked story of the modern American Indian.

L top R: Hand-painted buffalo hide from artist Chandler Goodstrike; Helga’s Designs on the WDE+S runway.

Ranging in style from chic to rugged, the Western Design Exhibit + Sale offers furnishings, fashion and home goods that represent today’s thriving Western culture.

About the Western Design Exhibit + Sale:
The 26th annual Western Design 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. Founded as the Western Design Conference 25 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods, the event moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., in 2007 and was renamed the Western Design Exhibit + Sale for 2018. Owner Allison Merritt continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show. Additional information on the Western Design Exhibit + Sale, including schedules and tickets, is available at and on Facebook and Twitter @WesternDesign.

Media Contact: Amy Stark, Word PR + Marketing, [email protected], 307.734.5335


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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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