Bizarre Bazaar: Local merchants, artists make holiday shopping easy — and personal

By on November 27, 2017

Close your wallet. Pull your finger away from the “buy” button on your computer screen. There’s no need to jump the gun on your Internet holiday shopping, because Jackson’s biggest local shopping events are just around the corner.

The Art Association of Jackson Hole offers the ultimate opportunities to shop local with its annual Teton Mudpots Sale and Holiday Bazaar, where people can buy art directly from area artists and vendors.

Teton Mudpots, now in its 10th year, will feature 12 potters who will offer thousands of pieces of pottery, said Sam Dowd, the ceramics studio manager at the Art Association. People can buy cups, mugs, plates, bowls, serving dishes and kitchen items like teapots, Dowd said. Artists will sell sculptures, soap dispensers and other creations.

“The gallery will be just packed full of things,” Dowd said.

Don’t plan on rushing through, but give yourself time to browse the hundreds of gift options, he said. Pottery prices will range from $3 to $100, which should provide gift options for every budget.

The sale is a way for artists to make money—they keep 70 percent of their sales—and also help fund, with the other 30 percent, the Art Association’s ceramics studio. That money goes to new equipment and other expenses that are not part of the normal budget, Dowd said.

Teton Mudpots also is a way to teach people about pottery and what is possible with the medium, Dowd said. People will see different styles, glazes and techniques.

For the first time, Teton Mudpots will also feature work from non-pottery artists. Four jewelers and about a dozen painters and printmakers will sell their work at the event. A portion of their sales will also go their departments.

“Every media type will support its root studio,” Dowd said.

The event is a great way to support the Art Association as well as shop. The free event is also a perfect way to see what local artists have been doing in their studios.

“Even if you are weird and don’t buy anything, you’ll still get plenty of entertainment looking at all the fun things,” Dowd said.

The week after Teton Mudpots, the Art Association will offer another chance to stock up on local gifts with its annual Holiday Bazaar. This year the bazaar will feature 48 booths, said Molly Fetters, director of events at the Art Association. It’s a little smaller than last year in an effort to make navigating easier, Fetters said. About 1,500 people walked through the event last year, Fetters said.

“It’s definitely a hopping scene,” she said.

Vendors keep 100 percent of the money from their sales at the Holiday Bazaar. Several nonprofits will participate. Life skills students from Jackson Hole Middle School will sell holiday cards to support their program. Sunflower Kids will sell bracelets to support a Tanzania orphanage.  

Other vendors include local companies like Give’r, which makes outdoor clothing and is known for its gloves; Teton Tags, which creates license plate holders; Teton Alchemy, which makes bath salts; and Simply Sweet Confections, which last year sold out of its toffee candies, Fetters said.

Most of the vendors are from Wyoming, and there are a few regional sellers among the crowd. Admission is free, and prices range from $5 to several hundred depending on what you are buying, but most items are about $30, Fetters said.

You’ll find gifts ranging from cards to books to jewelry to decorations to hand embroidered towels.

“It’s a pocket-friendly event,” Fetters said.

Jackson Hole Still Works will sell cocktails at the bazaar. This year the bazaar is expanding beyond the conference center walls. Area businesses are hosting “Christmas on Scott Lane” with specials the same day as the bazaar, Fetters said. It’s a way to have a larger community event and support local creatives and artists, she said. People can plan on perusing the area businesses and hitting up the bazaar for one-stop shopping. PJH

About Kelsey Dayton

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