Art Fair Jackson Hole: Artisan-Crafted Goods Right in Your Backyard
By: Emma Keinath-Lopez
August 17, 2023
Jackson Hole is a town that draws countless outdoor recreation enthusiasts, naturalists, sight-seers, and artists! Some may be surprised to find that Jackson is a hub for the arts community, but many folks who have experienced this place know of the special power of both the environment and the community that makes Jackson a place of bountiful creation.
This is the 58th year of the Art Fair Jackson Hole, and we’re incredibly excited about the artisans we have gathered to share and sell their work. In July we had the first Art Fair of the Summer, and we have our second and last Art Fair this weekend, August 18th-20th, where returning and new artists will share their work. Our staff at the Art Association of Jackson Hole has worked hard to curate a talented and diverse group of artists that residents and visitors of Jackson Hole will love. During the last Art Fair, we spoke with various artists about their work as well as their motives behind coming to our town of Jackson to share their craft.
The Alpine Studio was created by Ariel Rodriguez from Gardiner, Montana. This is her first time at Art Fair Jackson Hole. Rodriguez creates detailed scratchboard works of various animals found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and adds bursts of color using india ink. Living so close to Yellowstone, she finds herself constantly drawing inspiration from her surroundings. Rodriguez has been creating her scratchboards for the last three years, and has always loved being creative. Rodriguez hopes to succeed in “capturing the true magical yet fierce essence of Yellowstone wildlife through different mediums.”
Salvaged Sisters was started by stylish sisters Anne and Mary from Utah. A love of thrifting quickly turned into a creative business endeavor for the two. After over 40 years of working in corporate America, Anne and Mary decided to follow their passion and create one of a kind clothes from their thrifted finds. They had a very organic start giving their clothing creations to family, then friends, then eventually selling at farmers and art markets. Exploring their booth, you will find lots of cargo and camo styles with unique embellishments. They decided to come to the Art Fair Jackson Hole for the first time this year because of their love of the mountains.
J2 Antler Designs is the family run business of Jorge Meneses, Francisca Galicia, and Jorge Meneses Jr. The family has been living in Jackson for over 20 years. They make lamps, chandeliers, bottle openers, and much more from antlers found in the Jackson area. Jorge Jr. explains that they buy the antlers from boy scouts during the yearly antler auction in Jackson town square. It is important to them that they support the community of Jackson however they can. Community is a big reason why the family loves participating in the Art Fair Jackson Hole. Jorge Jr. says that it is fun to get to know fellow locals and become more integrated in the community.
Acquainted with Butterflies are 4th time returnees of the Art Fair Jackson Hole. Visit their stand and you will be met with numerous displays of vibrant butterflies behind glass. The origin of these beautiful insects is a fascinating story. The couple that owns the business buys the butterflies from all over the world from places including Indonesia, the Philippines, the Amazon, and throughout the United States. Many of these butterfly farms use the profit they make from selling butterflies to make a living rather than clear-cutting forests for lumber. A large portion of these butterflies are released into the wild to support endangered and threatened butterfly species. One specific butterfly, the Birdwing, was displayed at the store’s booth. The owner explains how in the 70s this butterfly was close to extinction, but then the local people signed a treaty that allowed them to raise and revitalize the population. Acquainted with Butterflies displays the beauty of different butterfly species from around the world.
RK Artwork was started by Rachel Kozlowski from Utah. Her watercolor paintings of anthropomorphic animals are captivating and fun. She brings her love of painting, illustration, photography, and sewing to each and every product. RK Artwork focuses on designing and crafting items that are unique and one-of-a-kind which will bring a sense of whimsy into your home. Kozlowski explains that she wants to create art that is lighthearted and makes people happy. She is a long-time vendor of the Art Fair Jackson Hole, and she shares how she is drawn back every year to the community of kind and inspiring people she encounters while here.
Authentic is run by certified herbalist Dawn Olsen. Olsen has a background in conventional pre-med, but had a change of heart when western medicine failed to work for her medical needs. She embarked on a journey of self-discovery with an emphasis on women’s health, and widened her reach to other people once she worked out her own health. Olsen found that it was incredibly hard to source quality ingredients, so she decided to start a garden. She is based out of the high Rockies in Colorado, and she explains how plants that grow in such tough conditions produce incredibly powerful medicinal properties. Her hemp is grown in the agricultural region on the Western Slope of Colorado. Fresh plants work, and that’s what she uses in all of her products in skincare including balms for pain, tinctures, and body oils. Olsen emphasizes that what she does is botanical art, and it is as much an artistic process as painting a canvas.
Savannah Rose Wildlife was created by local wildlife photographer, Savannah Rose. She has a fine arts degree where she pursued drawing. She began taking photographs for reference pictures to draw from, then quickly realized that hiking and taking photographs was way more fun for her than working with pen and paper. Rose loves being outside, and explains how the switch to this more outdoorsy and physically adventurous art-form greatly helped her mental health. In her booth, a striking photograph of a mountain lion is displayed, a reward from a long day of tracking.
Spruced Plume was created by a hunter who really disliked wasting parts of the animals that she couldn’t eat or use in other ways, so she found a use. Haley Fitzgerald has had her business for seven years, utilizing bird feathers to adorn different kinds of hats. Fitzgerald tries her best to be sustainable by buying local meat and fish, and hunting the rest of her food. She refuses to buy any feathers for her business, and so consequently her product production stops for the year when she has used all the feathers from her hunting. Fitzgerald also sells leather products such as a belt made from the hide of a mule deer. Whole-animal use is her mission, and she centers all of her work with Spruced Plume around this.
From butterflies to balms, Art Fair Jackson Hole is a place where artisans of all kinds gather to share their products with the community. Whether you are buying for yourself or another, there is something for everyone.
Art Fair Jackson Hole is our largest fundraising event of the year. All proceeds, including artist application, booth fees and admission, directly benefit the Art Association’s mission to provide art education for ages one to 100. Thank you so much for your support! The Art Fair Jackson Hole is worth attending both weeks, and if you’ve missed the first, come tomorrow and check out all the artisan made goods!