Milestones October 1999

Fifth StreetUpgrade by George Strickland, Winner of the Plein Air Painters Associaton Competition,painting, southwest art.
Fifth StreetUpgrade by George Strickland, Winner of the Plein Air Painters Associaton Competition

Museum News

The Bellevue Art Museum in Bellevue, WA, has broken ground on a new facility. The new 36,000-square-foot, three-story museum is scheduled to open in January 2001 in downtown Bellevue.

The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA, has reinstalled its collection in newly remodeled galleries. Internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry designed the interiors of the museum for its collection of American, European, and South Asian paintings and sculpture.

The National Endowment for the Arts has selected the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, to participate in Artists & Communities: America Creates for the Millennium, a prestigious national residency program that places artists across the country. The museum is the only Arizona organization selected.


The new millennium is the occasion for the current exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY. The American Century: Art & Culture, 1950 to 2000 opens September 26 and runs through February 13, 2000; the first half of the show, covering 1900 to 1950, closed August 22. The two-part exhibit explores American identity through the eyes of its artists and includes works by Marsden Hartley, George Bellows, Jasper Johns, Edward Hopper, and Thomas Hart Benton, to name just a few. The century-ending extravaganza  examines American dominance in visual art and its signifigance.

For art aficionados who can’t make it to Manhattan, don’t despair: There is an expansive, state-of-the-art Web site to view the show online at or

Share Cropper By Jerry Bywater from the American Century Exibit.,painting, southwest art.
Share Cropper By Jerry Bywater from the American Century Exibit

Show Results

The first annual Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Competition was held in July in Laguna Beach, CA. The event was hosted by the Laguna Plein Air Association and the Laguna Art Museum. George Strickland won the Gold Prize for his painting Fifth Street Upgrade. The Silver Prize went to Mark Kerckhoff for his painting Blue Morning. West Fraser won the Bronze Prize for his painting Canyon Cottage. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Ray Roberts and Tim Solliday. Michael Gibbons won the Quick Draw Competition.

The Phippen Museum in Prescott, AZ, held its 25th annual Phippen Western Art Show and Sale in May. Christopher Smith won Best of Show for his bronze sculpture Autumn Brilliance. The George Phippen Memorial Foundation Award went to John Coleman for his bronze sculpture The Rainmaker. Steven Lang won the People’s Choice award. Additional awards went to Dorothy Wilkes, Greg English, Joe Eggert, Lyn St. Clair-Mullen, Teresa Schleigh, Don Dernovich, Cloyd Bedke, David Bjurstrom, John Gawne, Vicky Hipsley, Sandra Haynes, Gary Johnson, D. Michael Thomas, Dr. Jerry McKellar, David Hendrix, and Jess Davila.

Chicago Windy City Artists, Inc., held its annual show this year in Chicago, IL, in May. John A. Bruce won Best of Show for his painting Them Were the Days. Additional awards went to Rose Frantzen, Carol Reeves, Mike Kolasinski, Ray Kobald, B.J. Ellen, Leslie Altman, Krzysztof Babiracki, Daniel Avazpour, Zivko Zik, Stephen Stribling, Lisa Nesbitt, David Stroup, Gale Jung-Kuffel, Christine DoValle, Raymond St. Arnaud, and Phillip Renaud.

In Memoriam

Internationally known artist Bettina Steinke died on July 11 in Santa Fe, NM, following a long illness. Steinke was 86. In the mid-1950s she moved to Taos, NM, with her husband, photojournalist Don Blair. Steinke moved to Santa Fe a decade later and her home quickly became a popular salon for celebrities who traveled there to have their portraits painted. Among the famous people she painted were Rudy Vallee, James Cagney, Lady Bird Johnson, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Igor Stravinsky. Steinke has received numerous awards for her work. In 1995 she received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1998 she received the John Singer Sargent Portrait Award. She is also a member of the Pastel Society of America and the National Portrait Society.

Colorado painter Roy Wilce died on July 12 of lung cancer. He was 59. Wilce was raised in upstate New York and later lived in Texas, New Mexico, and California before moving to Colorado. “I’ve had a love affair with the American landscape all my life,” Wilce once said. “Texas and New Mexico revealed the splendor of the West and California showed me the coast and rolling golden hills. Colorado seems to have it all maybe that’s why I’m here.”

Featured in October 1999