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Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair, JHAF, 360 MAGAZINE, Image Courtesy of Lucas Ayoub

Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair

Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair (JHFAF) closed its first edition on Sunday, September 15, 2019, with strong sales and high attendance. Over the four-day event, JHFAF reports about 2,000 visitors with $2 million in sales. JHFAF brought out some of Jackson Hole’s most prominent locals, as well as new visitors, all excited to see the museum-quality fair presented within Jackson Hole’s thriving arts community.

The fair presented 50 exhibitors who brought works that they felt matched the personal aesthetics of the Jackson Hole community. Works ranged in genre and price from world-renowned artists like Maynard Dixon, Ed Mell, Billy Schenck, Eanger Irving Couse, Thomas Hart Benton, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Ed Ruscha and Sam Francis. 

Fair Director Rick Friedman said, “Because JHFAF was the first international fine art fair in town, I think both collectors and exhibitors did not know what to expect. I’m so happy to report that all attendees I spoke to said it was far beyond their expectations. We heard the repeated comments, ‘loved it, fantastic, and terrific’ by fairgoers as they left the fair. We produced a multi-genre fair, with works within the Contemporary, Modern, Native American and Wildlife genres, with many of the early to mid 20th century pieces finding new homes. I see this as a breakthrough event that presented world-class and museum quality offerings across all of our showcased genres and I think the sales prove that. It was the wealthiest collectors as a percentage of the attendance of any of my fairs ever, over 10 years. ” 

Exhibitors reported strong sales with  Redfern Gallery, Nieto Fine Art, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Montana Trails and Mongerson Gallery reporting mostly sold out booths. 

Throughout the weekend, guests were treated to special programs and events including artist Q&A’s with Barbara Van Cleve, Donald Martiny, Larry Pirnie and Sarah Winkler. During the fair, JHFAF also produced a silent auction, which raised money for its institutional partner, The National Museum of Wildlife Art. 

JHFAF presented several awards throughout the weekend including the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award to the late John Nieto and the 2019 Art Collectors of the Year Award to Anne Phillip, the 2019 Sculptor of the Year award to Bart Walter and the Contemporary Artist of the Year award to Paul Villinski. Quotes from Galleries:

Local dealer, Miriam Diehl of Diehl Gallery said, “It’s been incredibly exciting to see an art fair of this caliber in Jackson Hole. It’s been wonderful to have so many like-minded dealers and the camaraderie among them has been amazing and encouraging. It’s been tremendously successful for us and we look forward to the second edition.”

John Nieto Gallery who was awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for the late John Nieto said, “The visitors have been very quality. They know the work and the artist’s history. We’ve even had a lot of collectors who own Nieto’s work come by. There have been many great conversations about art.” 

Rey Redfern of Redfern Gallery said, “The show has been much more than I expected. I’ve met a lot of people and I’ve sold a lot of paintings. They’ve been paintings I’ve had tucked away for a long time, but they’re high quality and that’s why they sold.” 

Brenda Linscott from Endeavor Fine Art said, “We had a chance to bond with our space and develop a sampling of five of our artists who we’ve worked with for many years. It’s been so nice for us to see our artists in a visual conversation with other artists at the fair. To walk through the show and see what everyone else brought has been really incredible too. There really is room for everyone.” 

Thomas Paul of Thomas Paul Fine Art said, “JHFAF did a great job putting this  fair together with such an excellent variety of artists on display. It was so nice to see such a powerful exhibition of contemporary art  brought to Jackson Hole.” 

2019 Galleries: 917 Fine Arts (Miami Beach), Abend Gallery (Denver), Addison Rowe Fine Art (Santa Fe), NM Andrew Smith Gallery (Tucson), Bill Hester Fine Art (Santa Fe) Bonhams (LA, NYC, London), Calabi Gallery (Santa Rosa) Childs Gallery (Boston), Diehl Gallery (Jackson), The Directed Art Modern Gallery (Miami), Elizabeth Gordon Gallery (Santa Barbara), Endeavor Fine Art (Nashville), Faust II (Santa Fe, Scottsdale),Gail Severn Gallery (Ketchum), Gallery 1261 (Denver), Gary Snyder Fine Art (NYC, Bozeman),GF Contemporary (Santa Fe), Green River Stone Company (Logan), HG Contemporary Art (Flushing), ILIAD (New York), Imago Galleries (Palm Desert), J Klein Gallery (Scottsdale), James Compton Gallery (Santa Fe), K Contemporary (Denver), Kiechel Fine Art (Lincoln), L.A. Design (Missoula), Legend Nano Gallery (Carlsbad), Mai Wyn Fine Art (Denver), Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery (Tucson), Matthew Rowe Fine Art (Santa Fe), Maynard Dixon Museum (Tucson), Melissa Morgan Fine Art (Palm Desert) Mike Clark Fine Art (Billings), Nieto Fine Art (Rockwall), Patricia Qualls Contemporary Art (Carmel Valley), Peace Waters Collective (San Diego), Prescott Gallery & Sculpture Garden (Santa Fe), Redfern Gallery (Laguna Beach), Rehs Contemporary Galleries, Inc., (New York), Seagrave Gallery (Santa Cruz), Steidel Contemporary (Lake Worth), Stevens Fine Art (Phoenix), Studio Greytak (Missoula),T.H. Brennen Fine Art (Scottsdale), Tayloe Piggott Gallery (Jackson), Thomas Paul Fine Art  (West Hollywood),Timothy Yarger Fine Art (Los Angeles), Waddell Gallery (Scottsdale), Walker Fine Art, LTD (New York), Wilde Meyer Gallery (Scottsdale), Woolff Gallery (London).2019 Sponsors: American Art Collector, artnet,​ Art Collector’s Athenaeum, Bonhams Auction House, Family Management Corporation, George B. Stroer Foundation, Grand Teton National Park,  Jackson Hole Community Radio, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Jackson Hole Public Art, Montanya Distillers, Mountain Living, 96.9 The Mountain KMTN Radio, The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Snow King Hotel, Teton Distillery, Wyoming Arts Council, Young’s Market  
Venue: Snow King Sports and Events Center (100 E Snow King Ave)

About Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair
The Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair is the latest addition to the luxury, regional fairs produced under the leadership of Fair Director, Rick Friedman. Other fairs produced by Friedman include: the Hamptons, Aspen, Houston, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Silicon Valley and Philadelphia. JHFAF is excited to contribute to Jackson Hole’s vibrant arts community. 2019 Sponsors: American Art Collector, artnet,​ Art Collector’s Athenaeum, Bonhams Auction House, Family Management Corporation, George B. Stroer Foundation, Grand Teton National Park,  Jackson Hole Community Radio, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Jackson Hole Public Art, Montanya Distillers, Mountain Living, 96.9 The Mountain KMTN Radio, The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Snow King Hotel, Teton Distillery, Wyoming Arts Council, Young’s Market 

Image Courtesy of Lucas Ayoub. 

Rare Glimpse of Tennessee Williams Paintings

At the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach

On view now through October 7th

From the Collection of David Wolkowsky,

Scion of Pioneer Jewish Family that Settled Key West in the 1800s and Contributed to the History

of Jews in the State Florida

Long known as “Mr. Key West,” David Wolkowsky, the famed scion of Florida’s pioneer Jewish family that helped to settle Key West in the 1800s, has loaned his paintings by close friend Tennessee Williams to the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU for their premiere in Miami Beach.

This is one of the few times they have been exhibited outside of Key West. The exhibition Tennessee Williams: Playwright and Painter is an intimate showing of nine exquisitely rare paintings by one of America’s greatest playwrights, created by Williams in Key West during the 1970s. One of his closest friends was David Wolkowsky, the Key West developer who owned a private island called Ballast Key (nine miles from Key West), and the Pier House Resort.

Both idyllic locations were the scene of many glamorous gatherings hosted by David and Tennessee, including parties for Hollywood luminaries, heads of state, and society’s crème-de-la-crème.

If these paintings could talk, oh the stories they’d tell . . .

Subject matter includes the writer’s famous cohorts during the 1970s in Key West (including a portrait of a very young Michael York), and personifications from Williams’ own poetry, short stories, and characters from his plays.

Billie Holiday songs played in the background while Williams captured different images on his canvas.

Some of the paintings by Williams feature gay themes. An “open secret” throughout his fabled career, the playwright struggled with societal prejudices from a young age, and the taboos surrounding homosexuality during his lifetime manifested in a number of Williams’ paintings.

His artwork remains widely popular among collectors, most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.

These precious gems are the pride of the Key West Art & Historical Society, and the Miami Beach exhibition (on view through October 7 at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU) is an uncommon opportunity to see in person how Williams expressed through painting his feelings about sexuality, loneliness and being gay.

Most of these sought-after paintings from the last years of his life are in private hands and rarely seen.

David Wolkowsky, who still lives in Key West and is almost 100, is from one of the earliest Jewish Families of Florida, and their history is documented as part of the Jewish Museum of Florida’s permanent collection about the history of Jews in the State of Florida. Wolkowsky is revered as a Key West original with a “campy sense of style, whose name every local knows.”

Williams was often found at Wolkowsky’s private, celeb-drenched affairs. Guests included the likes of Truman Capote, British Prime Minister Edward Heath, and members of the Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Mellon families. According to Key West lore, Wolkowsky was notorious for serving plain hot dogs, white wine and potato chips to his famous guests, while Tennessee painted and drank red wine.

“The story behind these paintings, and the close friendship between Wolkowsky and Williams, is just one example of the many unexpected treasures in the rich history of Jewish culture in the State of Florida, spanning four centuries,” said Susan Gladstone, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU.

“The fact that Williams painted, much less that he painted in Key West, is a surprise to many and his paintings have mostly remained outside of the public eye. We are honored to have these works here at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and to be one of the few museums that David Wolkowsky has selected to exhibit these works outside of their Key West home,” adds Gladstone.

Read more about the life of David Wolkowsky and his contributions to the history of Florida, in “This Man Is An Island,” written by Michael Adno – bittersoutherner.com/this-man-is-an-island-david-wolkowsky-key-west/

More about Tennessee Williams:

Tennessee Williams’ plays during the 1940s and 1950s were innovative, confrontational, and presented audiences with controversial subject matter such as deep, dark family secrets, Southern Gothic themes, and other taboos that had never been seen on the stage before.

His Southern dramas, The Glass Menagerie, A Street Car Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof were blockbusters that were adapted into iconic films.

Williams single-handedly introduced Marlon Brando to the American theater, and some of his other leading stars included Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Tallulah Bankhead and Bette Davis.

For more than 30 years, Williams lived part-time and wrote in a small cottage on Duncan Street in Key West, and took up oil painting in the 1960s. On his patio, he would sketch friends, acquaintances, various literary characters and authors. Guests would often visit his home on Duncan street and purchase his recently created paintings.

By the beginning of the 1960s, American theater shifted, and Williams’ new plays were not as popular. In 1963, his lifetime partner Frank Merlo died of lung cancer in Key West. The years following Merlo’s death were difficult for Williams although he continued to write until his own death in 1983. His literary career includes plays, short stories and novels. As a writer, Williams was persistent and tireless. His later plays strove towards innovation and bold experimentation and continue to be revived and performed today.

Like most writers, William’s life was fraught with hardships and struggles.

Upon viewing these paintings, it is clear that painting provided solace and refuge for one of America’s most celebrated playwrights.

In this exhibition, Williams pays homage to his own literary works (including his first novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone), writers he admired (Jean Genet, Arthur Rimbaud and Wallace Stevens), and a portrait of a very young Michael York, who starred in the 1973 production of Williams’ Out Cry. Of significance is the fact these works were created during the 1970s, a progressive era for artists, activists, and forward thinking, with the notion of liberation being key.

These rare paintings now on view in Miami Beach at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU through October 7 capture the essence of a strong and independent artist living in a particular time and place.

MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT x MUSEUM GARAGE

The Miami Design District, a neighborhood dedicated to innovative art, design and architecture, is set to debut the most recent addition to the area’s latest phase of development, the highly anticipated Museum Garage. Featuring the work of five world-class architects, the seven-story mixed-use structure will house ground-floor retail spaces and maintain the capacity for 800 vehicles.

Miami Design District developer and CEO of Dacra, Craig Robins, along with L Catterton Real estate commissioned architect and curator Terence Riley to develop the concept of this project. In doing so, Riley curated the work of various participating international architects: WORKac, J. Mayer H., Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe and Riley’s own architectural firm K/R (Keenen/Riley).