By Kristin Hoerth
Collectors and artists alike often ask me, “What shows do you attend every year? What are the best ones out there?” These days the calendar is more crowded with events than ever before, so it’s not an easy question. But my answer always includes the Prix de West Invitational, held in June at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, near the very top of the list. The roster of more than 100 participating artists reads like a who’s-who in the art world, and every year these painters and sculptors show some of their strongest work in the museum’s beautiful galleries.
This year’s event was no exception. As I walked through the galleries for the first time, each section revealed more artistic gems, making it tough to come up with my own personal “best of show” contenders. The judges chose well in selecting George Carlson’s stunning UMATILLA ROCK for the prestigious Prix de West Purchase Award; Carlson also won—for the second year in a row—the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, given to the artist with the best body of work as chosen by fellow exhibiting artists.
Bill Anton’s WINDING DOWN won the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award. Blair Buswell’s HOW MANY MORE… won the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award. Terri Moyers won the Frederic Remington Painting Award for EL TEJIDO DE LA FAMILIA, which we are pleased to have grace our cover this month. Walter Matia’s FOR SPACIOUS SKIES won the Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award. And finally, Curt Walters’ ENIGMATIC LONG HOUSE won the Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers’ Choice Award.
I hope you enjoy these top-notch paintings and sculptures. And I hope you’ll put the Prix de West Invitational on your own list of “must-see” shows, if you haven’t already. It’s well worth the trip, from near or far. -August 2011