By Kristin Hoerth
It’s become a bit of a tradition on this page for me to share my thoughts on the Prix de West show each year. After all, it’s one of the western art world’s biggest parties, hosted in grand style each June by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. This year’s event was as impressive as ever, both aesthetically and financially: Opening-weekend sales totaled $3.25 million, a solid figure in the midst of a still-struggling economy.
One thing that stood out to me this year was the quality of work presented by the participating sculptors. From Tim Cherry’s playful otter to Glenna Goodacre’s masterful wall-mounted relief, there was much to admire in the realm of three-dimensional art. Also noteworthy were the contributions from this year’s six first-time participants: paintings by Scott Burdick, Jeremy Lipking, William Shepherd, Thomas Aquinas Daly, Brent Cotton, and Carolyn Anderson added interesting dimension to the show.
Perhaps the biggest headline from the show’s opening weekend was the announcement of Terri Kelly Moyers as the winner of this year’s Prix de West Purchase Award; she is just the second woman in the show’s 39-year history to win that honor (the first was Bettina Steinke in 1978). Terri’s husband, John Moyers, was also a winner this year, taking home the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award for a terrific piece featuring a befuddled cowboy consulting a map on a crowded big-city street corner. The James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award went to Richard Loffler; the Frederic Remington Painting Award went to Walt Gonske; and the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award went to Ross Matteson. George Carlson won the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, chosen by the participating artists, and Doug Hyde’s ambitious sculpture PEOPLE OF THE RED TAIL HAWK won the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers’ Choice Award.
All in all, the weekend reinforced the strength of the western art market and the outstanding work being created in this part of the country. If your travels take you to Oklahoma this summer, don’t miss the chance to see the show, which remains on view through August 5.
Featured in the August 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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