More than 50 artists hit the 3/4-mile Sculpture Trail at the National Museum of Wildlife Art on June 21 for Plein Air Fest, an event sponsored by the museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“It was the longest day of the year — the summer solstice — and it had a great feel,” says Becky Kimmel, director of programs and events at the museum. The organizers boosted traffic at the event, and kept their parking lot from getting overrun, by offering a free drink ticket to anyone who arrived on a bicycle. They had 57 takers. “We have a lot of commuters in Jackson who use bikes,” she says. “People were steadily arriving and leaving, and we never ran out of parking.”

Bill Sawczuk works en plein air on his piece, which won Best of Show.

Best of Show was won by Bill Sawczuk for his piece “The Road Up.” It featured a recently installed sculpture located on the trail titled “Black Timber Bugler,” by Tim Shinabarger. The competition started at 10 a.m., but Kimmel says next year’s session will likely start an hour earlier to give artists some better light — and an earlier lunchtime. 

Plein Air Fest also featured music and food.

The festival also featured food and music, and Kimmel says attendance approached 1,000 people. It was also a financial success. “We sold more than $63,000 worth of art, which will net nearly 50 percent of that amount to help further the Museum’s Education Mission,” she says.


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