A Henneford Fine Furniture Musician’s Chair highlights the wood’s unique character. Keoni Wood Art uses sugar maple as a "canvas," painstakingly reimagining the wood as woven and beaded basketry.

Advance Peek at Artists and Pieces for Purchase via Western Design Conference 2020 Digital Sourcebook

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – August 17, 2020 – The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale (WDC) 2020 Digital Sourcebook will go live on September 10, 2020, featuring more than 100 artists who will virtually showcase and sell their handmade pieces for an entire year. A sneak peek at this first-time-ever opportunity to shop the popular 28-year-old Jackson Hole event online reveals artisans at the top of their craft, creating innovative Western-inspired one-of-a-kind furnishings and fashion ranging from Wild West traditional to sleekly contemporary. The decision to go digital with this year’s Sourcebook, creating a year-long virtual experience while pausing the in-person Jackson, Wyoming, event until 2021, was a difficult one for the WDC, but ultimately promises a new nationwide online marketplace for the hard-working artists and their museum-quality work at a time when many usual venues for meeting the art-loving public have been canceled.

Artists nationwide will participate in the WDC 2020 Digital Sourcebook, offering imagery and detailed description of their handmade pieces, which are available for purchase, on the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale website from September 10, 2020, all the way to September 8, 2021. “We’ve had a huge response already. There will be at least 100 artists participating, and maybe more,” WDC Executive Director Allison Merritt recently told Architects + Artisans. Describing the new interactive Digital Sourcebook, Merritt explains, “It’s a resource guide that can be used throughout the year. “If there’s something you want to buy, you connect directly to the artist – and there are buttons to purchase or inquire.”

Robert Seliger teases curves from wood, rarely using screws or nails, as in his Berkshire Bench. Beading inspired by the Lakota tradition marks a statement-piece Many Tears saddle by Supaya Gray Wolfe.

Artists participating this year include such extraordinary furniture makers as Steve Henneford of Kalispell, Montana-based Henneford Fine Furniture, who creates stunning wood and leather handmade rockers, chairs, barstools and tables. Other top wood craftsmen featured in the Sourcebook include Robert Seliger of Bend, Oregon, who hand-selects the trees for his heirloom pieces such as the Berkshire Bench inspired by traditional English gardens.

Returning WDC artist Keoni of Keoni Wood Art of Colorado Springs – also selected as a 2020 Smithsonian artist – will offer handmade pieces from his collection for purchase in the WDC Digital Sourcebook. Driven by a passion for indigenous legends and mythology, the fine art carver creates story-driven illusion in the form of sugar maple with the texture and design of woven and beaded basketry. And Supaya Gray Wolfe of Many Tears in Sedona, Arizona, shares her intricately designed fringed and beaded horse saddles that function as statement pieces in the home.

Fabulous art-to-wear fashion pieces available for purchase in the 2020 WDC Digital Sourcebook include Crown & Brim cowboy hats out of Jackson Hole. The comfortable custom hats can include leather accents, vintage ribbons, feathers and ornate hand-beaded hat bands. The handcrafted jewelry from Mirta Tummino Studio, out of Houston, Texas, is fashioned from gemstones painstakingly curated from around the world and worked with 14-karat gold wire and oxidized sterling silver. Also in the new Digital Sourcebook, shoppers can find handmade accessories from Elyse Allen Textiles, out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who knits with only the highest quality wools, such as Scottish cashmere, then embellishes the finished products with Swarovski crystals for distinctive panache.

L to R: Crown & Brim bespoke cowboy hat; Mirta Tummino necklace combines hand-selected gemstones and 14-karat gold; knitted cashmere wrap by Elyse Allen Textiles sparkles with Swarovski crystals.

While the in-person event will return September 9-12, 2021, this year’s virtual Western Design Conference visitors can find joy browsing and shopping from the remarkable artists who specialize in wood, metal, leather, furniture, jewelry, clothing and much more in the anticipated WDC Digital Sourcebook. In its 2020 online form, the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale continues to match buyers with the amazing functional art that carries with it the artisans’ special stories, celebrating with its new virtual platform to allow broad participation throughout the coming year. The WDC takes no commission from sales and, as always, the public shops directly with the artist. More sneak peeks of 2020 participating artists and their work will appear on the WDC’s Facebook and Instagram pages (@westerndesignconference) leading up to the September 10 launch of the Digital Sourcebook.

About the Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale:
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 28 years ago in Cody, Wyoming, to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The Western Design Conference Exhibit + Sale moved to Jackson, Wyoming, in 2007, and Allison Merritt continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show, including a pivot to an all-new digital marketplace in response to the COVID-19 consequences that necessitated the cancellation of the in-person 2020 event. The WDC will return to Jackson Hole September 9-12, 2021. Additional information is available at www.westerndesignconference.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contacts: Allison Merritt, allison@westerndesignconference.com, 307.690.9719; Amy Stark, Word PR + Marketing, amy@wordprmarketing.com.

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