Editor’s Letter | Smooth Sailing

Another successful year at the Prix de West show

First Touch of Winter by Curt Walters

First Touch of Winter by Curt Walters

By Kristin Hoerth

There are many things you can count on at the Prix de West Invitational show each year; great art and great people are at the top of the list. One thing you can’t count on, however, is the weather. Never was this more true than this year, when a devastatingly strong tornado hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20—just three weeks before Prix de West opening weekend—killing 24 people, injuring hundreds, and flattening entire neighborhoods. Additional tornadoes struck Oklahoma in the following weeks as well. I’m sure I’m not the only one who followed the weather reports closely in the days leading up to the show, especially as I remembered stories I’d heard about the year a tornado warning was issued during the Saturday-evening banquet.

Sentinel Bluffs by George Carlson

Sentinel Bluffs by George Carlson

During this year’s event, there was lots of talk about tornadoes, tornado shelters, and tornado victims. I was happy to hear that many of the Prix de West artists came together to donate to relief efforts, including some of the award-winners, who asked the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to donate their prize money. And fortunately, the weekend brought mostly mild weather.

Meanwhile, great art was everywhere as the show celebrated its 40th anniversary. Nearly 300 paintings and sculptures by 101 artists filled the galleries (and remain on display through August 4). According to the museum, more than 800 guests were in attendance during the weekend, and sales topped 
$3 million.

Notable this year was George Carlson’s selection as the winner of the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, chosen by the Prix de West artists for their favorite display of three or more works. This is the fourth year in a row Carlson has won this award. Steve Kestrel won the Prix de West Purchase Award for DESERT TIMELINE, a slate and sandstone sculpture that depicts a snake as both a living reptile and a fossil. Curt Walters’ landscape painting FIRST TOUCH OF WINTER won both the Buyers’ Choice Award and the Frederic Remington Painting Award.

Four other awards were presented as well: Kyle Polzin won the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award for TRUSTY COMPANION. Ross Matteson won the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award for ICE BREAKER. Greg Beecham won the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award for THE MAESTROS. And finally, Joseph Bohler won the first-ever Donald Teague Memorial Award for a work on paper with his watercolor title HARD WORK—FOND MEMORIES.


Featured in the August 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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