Visitors to Oklahoma City have the opportunity to enjoy the nation’s finest contemporary Western art during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale. During opening weekend, June 13-14, more than $4 million dollars of art was sold in just a few hours, a result second only to 2007’s record-shattering Oklahoma Centennial edition.
Through September 7, the Prix de West exhibition is showcasing 310 works of art by 99 artists and attracting art collectors and art lovers from around the world. In total the show is valued at $4.9 million. The participating artists bring a unique set of artistic and cultural influences and background to their paintings, drawings and sculptures.
Works range from historical pieces that reflect the early days of the West, to more contemporary and impressionist works of art. Landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes are always highlighted in the exhibition.
During the opening weekend, the Prix de West Purchase Award, the highest art award the Museum bestows, is given to an artist whose work has been selected for purchase by the Museum to enhance its Prix de West art collection. The 2008 Prix de West Purchase Award winner is Indian Stories by Morgan Weistling, who joins the elite ranks as a two-time winner.
Other winners include: A Distant Bugle by Craig Tennant; Tiers Of The Merced by Dennis Doheny; The Halls Of The Mountain King by Greg Beecham; Headed For The High Country by Tim Shinabarger; and Jackson Wald—Cowboy 2008 by Carrie L. Ballantyne. Christopher Blossom won the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award chosen by participating artists for exceptional display of three or more works in the show.
The minimum-bid sale, in its second year, contained works from artists such as Martin Grelle, Oreland C. Joe Sr., William Acheff and Gerald Balciar. With just 14 works, this portion of the sale grossed $727,688. High bids included $406,000 for Grelle’s Trappers In The Wind Rivers, $82,501 for Design Painter by Acheff and $65,189 for Tiers of the Merced by Dennis Doheny.
The 2008 Prix de West catalog and the show’s commemorative bronze bolos Ute Maiden and Ute Warrior, are available at The Museum Store or by calling (405) 478-2250, Ext. 268. Summer visitors to Oklahoma City are encouraged to experience this superior exhibition at a worldclass museum
Nationally accredited, the Museum is located in Oklahoma City's Adventure District at the junction of I-35 & I-44. The Museum is open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call (405) 478-2250, or visit www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.
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