Visitors take in the 2017 WRVAG National Show

by Bob Bahr

First-time visitors to the SKB workshop in Dubois, Wyoming may miss the fact that Dubois has enjoyed a strong artists group for decades—seven decades, to be precise. This year marks the 70th Annual Wind River Valley Artists’ Guild Annual National Art Show, scheduled for display in the Headwaters Arts & Conference Center July 20-29, 2019. You can be a part of it.

The Wind River Valley Artists’ Guild (WRVAG) accepts members from all over the world, and it has indeed shown work from countries on the other side of the globe…although most of the entries have their origins in Wyoming. The guild is blowing it out this year with a big celebration, including a concert and an artists’ reception that promises to be memorable.


Here are the details:

Membership in the guild is $20. This also pays for your first entry in the show. Your second entry is $10, and your fourth and fifth entries would be $5 each to enter. Youth entries are free. There are also fees for non-members should you wish to not join the guild.

The show is divided into categories: Professional, Advanced Amateur, Amateur, Youth 11 Years & Under, and Youth 12-17 Years Old.

The guild takes a 25% commission from each sale. The judge for the 2019 show is Mike McRann. See his Instagram account for more information on him at mikemcrannart.

More than $2,500 in prizes will be awarded, including a $1,000 Best of Show/WRVAG Mary Back Award and a WRVAG Purchase Award.

THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS JULY 16, 3pm. Entries may be delivered on the day before, July 15, if desired.

The artwork will be judged on July 18 and the Artists’ Reception/Preview Gala will be held on Friday, July 19 from 6-8pm.

On July 20, the guild will host a concert by cowboy singer Kevin McNiven ( in the “backyard” of Headwaters, right along the Wind River.

During the exhibition, the Sun Room at Headwaters (where Christine Knapp teaches sculpting during the workshop) will host a display of art and artifacts from Headwaters’ collection of material from Mary and Joe Back, the founders of the guild and two crucial art educators and artists from Dubois. The couple ran dude ranches in the 1930s near Togwotee Pass and stayed in Dubois until they passed away, leaving a strong legacy of art-making, educating, and frontier hospitality and kindness.

The prospectus for the WRVAG show in PDF form is here. For more information, contact Tammy Lucas at Headwaters, 307 455-3404. Ω