July is an exciting time for visitors at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum who can catch a glimpse of the best Western art created by artists from across the country during the Prix de West Art Invitational Exhibition and Sale.
Invited exhibiting artists bring a diversity of styles to this esteemed exhibition, featuring more than 300 works in sculpture or painting by 108 living artists. Works range from historical pieces reflecting the early days of the West, to more contemporary and impressionist works of art. All things depicting the West such as vast landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes are always highlighted.
Prix de West, now in its 39th year, was named after the prestigious 17th century Prix de Rome, a competitive scholarship program in France, given to the best artist in sculpture or painting making it possible for them to further their artistic study.
Prix de West brings the optimum gathering of master works representing the artists’ views of the West. A must-see is the top honored Prix de West Purchase Award winner. Each year a committee selects one work to purchase for the Museum’s permanent collection. George Carlson of Harrison, Idaho, was honored with the prestigious Prix de West Purchase Award medallion for his piece titled Umatilla Rock. Additionally, past works of Purchase Award winners also are on display.
Carlson also was the winner of the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, chosen by the Prix de West artists for their favorite display of three or more works in the show for his works Ice Patterns, Umatilla Rock and Windswept Lombardy Poplars.
Enigmatic Long House by award-winning Prix de West Artist Curt Walters from Sedona, Arizona, was the winner of the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers’ Choice Award. It is voted on by buyers for the work they best admire and the piece they feel exemplifies the mission of the Museum. To the viewer, this particular work of Walters exemplifies the colors of the West, the blue sky and the quiet coolness of the Mesa Verde ruins.
Four other distinguished awards were presented including the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award given for best cowboy subject matter to previous Prix de West winner Bill Anton for his oil painting on linen titled Winding Down. Blair Buswell was the recipient of the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award for his sculpture How Many More. The Frederic Remington Painting Award is selected for the one work in the show with exceptional artistic merit. Terri Kelly Moyers was honored with the Frederic Remington Painting Award for El Tejido de la Familia. The Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award is given for exceptional artistic merit for wildlife painting or sculpture was given to Walter T. Matia for his bronze For Spacious Skies.
All the Prix de West winners and others are on display at the Museum through August 7. For information about Prix de West visit www.nationalcowboymuseum.org or call (405) 478-2250. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commemorative catalogs and collector’s bolos are available for purchase from The Museum Store, Ext. 228.
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