Powell, Wyo., artisan Attila Bekes wows Jackson Hole crowd with handmade bicycle
Jackson Hole, Wyoming – September 10, 2014 – The 2014 Western Design Conference (WDC) celebration held in Jackson Hole, Wyo., at the Snow King Center was a huge success, packed with decorative arts, fashion and fun for attendees and juried participants alike. This year’s “Best of Show” award went to artisan Attila Bekes of Bekes Wooden Bicycles located in Powell, Wyo. The handcrafted wooden bicycle earned Bekes, a Hungarian-born finish woodworker and former road bike racer, a $5,000 check sponsored by the WDC Winner’s Circle Art Auction.
Bekes crafts his bikes from ¼-inch laminated plywood in a freeform design he creates without the aid of computers. Smoothing the layers of jigsaw-cut wood – comprised of dozens of plywood sheets in the widest areas – into the resulting flowing curves takes hundreds of hours of sanding, starting with a belt sander and going through various refining techniques to end with careful hand sanding. “I wish I had an odometer for my jigsaw, because I’m putting a lot of miles on it,” said Bekes in a 2012 interview with roadbikereview.com when he’d completed his first wooden bike, a cruiser custom-designed for his 5-foot-3-inch wife.
This year 115 juried exhibitors showcased their one-of-a-kind creations in furniture, fashion, jewelry and home decor accessories. Other 2014 Western Design Conference award-winners include Timothy Jennings who was awarded Best Artist for Accents and won $1,000 sponsored by Dick and Maggie Scarlett, and Twin M was awarded Best Artist for Art to Wear Fashion, taking home $1,000 sponsored by First Interstate Bank. For a complete listing of this year’s winners go to: http://www.westerndesignconference.com/awards/.
The Western Design Conference, including the annual Exhibit + Sale plus Fashion + Jewelry Show is a four-day, multimillion-dollar event that brings together craftspeople, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects and fashion designers with an interest in the West. The Western Design Conference was founded 22 years ago in Cody, Wyo., as a way to promote contemporary artists working in historical American craft methods. The show moved to Jackson in 2007 when it was purchased by Powder Mountain Press, LLC and the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Allison Merritt, who purchased the Western Design Conference in 2014 after seven years acting as WDC Events Manager, continues the strong commitment to Western arts in Wyoming while expanding the reach of the show.
The 2014 Western Design Conference is one of the signature events of the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. Additional information on the conference is available at www.westerndesignconference.com, and on Facebook and Twitter (@WesternDesign).