Editor’s Letter | A Banner Year

Appreciating the Prix de West award winners

By Kristin Hoerth

Trailing Caribou’s Ghost by Greg Beecham.

Trailing Caribou’s Ghost by Greg Beecham.

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

It was another banner year at the annual Prix de West Invitational, held in June at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. With more than 700 guests in attendance for the 45th edition of the show, over $3.1 million in art was sold during opening weekend; that tops last year’s sales of $2.6 million.

Contributing to the total was COMPILATION OF THE GODS, a breathtaking oil painting of the Grand Canyon by Curt Walters measuring 6 by 5 feet. It sold for $185,000, the most expensive price tag in the show, and won the Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award.

I was particularly struck by the subtle color palette in several of the award-winning paintings, starting with T. Allen Lawson’s stunning piece THE NURSERY TREE, which won the Prix de West Purchase Award. The tree is near the Wyoming ranch where Lawson and his family spend time. Lawson says he is drawn to the subtleties of his surroundings and strives to create a sense of the “nuanced depth” he feels in nature. He also won the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, chosen by the exhibiting artists for the best display of three or more works.

Equally striking in their subtlety were George Hallmark’s A FATHER’S GIFT, which won the coveted Frederic Remington Painting Award, and Greg Beecham’s TRAILING CARIBOU’S GHOST, which won the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Art Award. Both paintings are examples of the powerful impact that can be made with a limited palette.

Taking a more colorful approach was TRANSPARENT WATER COLORS by Len Chmiel, which won the new Wilson Hurley Memorial Award for landscape painting. MORNING LIGHT SHOW by Skip Whitcomb won the Donald Teague Memorial Award for an exceptional artwork on paper. Steve Kestrel took home the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award for TAILSPIN, and T.D. Kelsey took the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award for his sculpture OVER THE DASHBOARD.

This story was featured in the August 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  August 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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