Western Design Exhibit + Sale Takes Style and Handcraft Up a Notch

matthew smith

For designers who have a flair for the West in their design, the 31st annual Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale (WDC) takes Western style up a handcrafted notch September 7-10, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, starting with a Preview Party + Fashion Show complete with culinary treats from local chefs and signature cocktails.

The four-day exhibit and sale, a signature event of the famed Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival, is the premiere shopping opportunity for aficionados of rare and singularly Western-styled pieces and an invaluable chance to meet the makers of one-of-a-kind works of art, including home décor and more, all handmade using leather, metal, mixed-media, wood and other aesthetically engaging materials.

Uncommon woods used in ingenious ways is a hallmark of the custom furniture crafted at Smith Farms, which will unveil a groundbreaking new live-edge occasional table at the Western Design Conference. The Menifee, California-based company will be making its WDC debut, with owner Matt Smith offering pieces hewn from Argentinian Mesquite, Black Cherry, Hard Maple, Olive and Fig trees.

The creative community in Garden City, Idaho, helped provide the catalyst for the metalwork at Madacsi Studios, where founder and blacksmith Susan Madacsi uses traditional and nontraditional techniques to forge and fabricate steel, copper and bronze, augmenting the metals with architectural and fused glass, as well as LED lighting, to construct mesmerizing art that is textural and transforms the industrial materials into a form of high art.

A more urban aesthetic can be found in the bold jewelry hand-forged by Pat Flynn, a goldsmith based in High Falls, New York. Famous for his nail bracelets composed of blackened iron melded with 22-karat gold, Flynn incorporates diamonds and pearls into the pieces in a lighthearted way for a hard-meets-soft result.

A trip around the West inspired Indianapolis, Indiana, native Jenny Keller to turn her artist’s eye from landscape painting to leatherwork, which forms the basis for the pillows and handbags she produces at her Bozeman, Montana-based BRIDGERHome. Using cow, elk, bison and deerskin leathers, Keller hand-appliqués vegetable-dyed leather on her bespoke home décor pieces, creating individual patterns rooted in Rocky Mountain style.

Returning to the show is the shoppable WDC Designer Lounge by Elevated Living Interior Design and Showroom and Build Magazine. Guests can relax and recharge with a complimentary Happy Hour by Build Magazine daily in the lounge at 2 p.m. Exhibitors and patrons can also enjoy daily book signings and stylish comfy seating.

To get a first taste of the Western world as interpreted by these artists and many more at this year’s Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale, the public is invited to partake in the Preview Party + Fashion Show on Thursday, September 7, from 6 to 10 p.m. VIP reserved and general seating tickets start at $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. The event continues through September 10, with day-passes available for $30.

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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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