ARTISAN MEMBERSHIP

Building on the tradition of the Western Design Conference and Cody High Style, By Western Hands exhibits today’s top Western artisans. Listed below are the By Western Hands membership levels with the annual cost and the benefits of each level.

Becoming a Member

By Western Hands™ (BWH) is a Wyoming not-for-profit organization founded in 2015 by community leaders and master artisans to educate, perpetuate, and conserve the legacy of American Western functional art and design. It is the successor of the Western Design Conference loosely formed in 1985, followed by Cody High Style.

BWH celebrates the legacies of deceased artist’ in a permanent exhibition showcasing the best of Western functional art created by award-winning master artisans over the last three decades. Complementing the permanent museum exhibition, a permanent archive is being assembled as a resource to study and learn about collections, design drawings, photographs and narratives, preserving the historically significant designs for future reference.

Master artisan members are privileged to display their work in the BWH gallery showroom and on its website. Their work may be purchased by patrons and the design trades, and a portion of the sales proceeds go to support the educational programs which perpetuate and sustain the knowledge, skills and techniques necessary for next generation of artisans to continue the master art. BWH recognizes the immediate need to preserve master artisan knowledge, techniques, and legacy through exhibitions, demonstrations and educational programs. The BWH mission is to connect current and future generations and to ensure that these traditional arts will continue to thrive.

 Benefits of Membership

  • Exclusive association with fellow master artisans; brand as a member of BWH;
  • Recognition by patrons and the design trade as being a member of an organization representing the best design and highest quality of American Western functional art. Mediums include: antler, bone, bead, fabric, wood, leather, jewelry, fine metals and hard metals;
  • Connection to and collaborations with fellow master artisans;
  • Work is exhibited in the BWH gallery showroom, Cody, WY;
  • Personal biography and work are shown on the newly launched, beautifully designed, and widely praised BWH website;
  • Website is information and transactional and is designed to financially support BWH educational mission through artisan sales; it will be a tool to announce education opportunities, programming, and artisan news;
  • Participation in selected regional and national art shows and public and private galleries;
  • Use of the BWH Demonstration Workshop space to, teach, train, and create original works;
  • Broad marketing and sales support to raise awareness of patrons, collectors and designers about a member’s work and the BWH mission to sustain the art;
  • Members are supported by an independent community-led board and dedicated staff.

Requirements and Qualifications
to Become a Member Artisan

  • Membership to become an artisan is by BWH application;
  • Membership acceptance is based on quality and body of work and reputation;
  • An applicant must submit two letters of recommendation from a collector, patron or member artisan supporting the applicant’s qualification to become a member; the letters must accompany the application;
  • An applicant must submit photographs of work to be reviewed by the BWH Applicant Jury; applicant may further be required to submit one or more pieces of work to be reviewed and examined by the Applicant Jury.
  • An applicant’s work product will be evaluated on the following standards:
    • functional art that is inspired by the American West traditions;
    • design and creativity;
    • quality of craftsmanship;
    • desirability and use.
  • A member artisan shall be permitted to use the BWH trademarked logo to brand all work product. The use and displaying of the Trademark logo of By Western Hands by all member artisans will be governed by a separate Trademark Logo Use Statement accompanying this Application to which the Applicant must agrees.
  • The artisan applicant agrees to the BWH Membership Agreement and BWH Consignment Agreement. Both agreements must be signed by the applicant and an authorized member of BWH before an applicant can be accepted as a member artisan.
  • The applicant understands the mission of By Western Hands is to educate, perpetuate, and conserve the legacy of American Western functional art and design and a portion of the sale proceeds generated through the sale of the artisan work will be used to support BWH and its mission.
  • BWH reserves the right to accept or decline any work product offered by a member artisan which the artisan wishes to be exhibited on the BWH showroom gallery floor or website.
  • A member artisan must always be in good-standing. A member artisan must adhere to the standards, policies and procedures as set forth by the BWH board. The payment of an annual membership fee (2021-member artisan annual membership fee is $450.00) is due upon acceptance.

Contact Information

 Mary Sims, admin@bywesternhands.org or 307-586-1755

New Member Application Form

For more information or to answer any of your questions feel free to reach out to us at or download the
application today.

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