In just one week the 2022 Fall Arts Festival will inundate downtown Jackson with artists, jewelers, fashion designers and furniture makers. The 12-day celebration of art in the Tetons kicks off Sept. 7 with Wine Down Wednesday and Wind Up for Fall Arts at The Wort Hotel.
“This jewelry and wine pairing is our take on the jewelry luncheon that used to start Fall Arts Festival at the National Museum of Wildlife Art,” said Britney Magleby, director of events and communications for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce. “There’s delicious wine, there’s unique jewelry, and there’s experts in both. It should be a great event.”
Magleby, Allison Merritt of the Western Design Conference, and Andi Caruso, sommelier for The Wort, have been collaborating to create a night that will tell whether amethyst pairs with syrah, if pearls and champagne are a match, and if chardonnay really brings out the cuts of gemstones.
Featuring six wines and six artisans, the boutique exposition will create stations inside the Wort’s Silver Dollar Showroom where guests can enjoy a flight of wines matched with precious stones and chunky chains. At each station, attendees will be able to speak with designers, mingle with sommeliers and purchase the perfect bauble.
The intimate event is limited to 50 tickets.
The artisans and wine experts are excited and ready to share their stories. Theresa Wangia of Beltshazzar Jewels, from St. Louis, in particular stands out.
Wangia has dubbed her line of accessories the perfect adornments for the modern-day voyager. Her modeling career eventually landed her in London, where she apprenticed with a jewelry designer and perfected her integration of subtle details.
Her great-great-grandfather migrated from Germany to Missouri, where he opened a cobbler shop and made moccasins for Native Americans. He was also under contract for many years to design and produce the tall riding boots for Buffalo Bill Cody. With a lineage that also includes a grandmother who is part Blackfoot, Wangia embraces indigenous elements from around the world to create wearable culture that cross continents, from the Amazon to Kenya to Papua New Guinea.
“She’s unbelievable,” Merritt said. “She applied a number of years ago [to the Western Design Conference] and has been a repeat artist every year.”
Merritt said that with the change in the schedules, the Wort’s regular Wine Down Wednesday was a perfect replacement for the luncheon, which became defunct with the coronavirus pandemic.
“This was a great way to bring back a similar event,” she said.
The boutique event’s premiere is at an apropos spot for anything related to Fall Arts, as The Wort sits at the intersection of tourism and gallery for the busy downtown art festival.
Other jewelry artists are Jill Willey of Jill Duzan Jewelry from McCordsville, Indiana; Mirta Tummino from Houston’; Olive Parker’s Montana Leather Designs of Stevensville, Montana; Hugo Rodriguez’s Platella Jewelers of Scottsdale, Arizona,; and Melinda Dennis of TresMelindas in Cascade, Colorado. Their pieces will range from mystifying rare gems to beaded cowboy collars, layers of linking crystals and silver necklaces, silversmithed rustic cuffs, feathers and, of course, a girl’s best friend, diamonds.
“We’re excited to have a new event kicking off the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival this year,” Magleby said.