I just returned from a wonderful weekend at the Eiteljorg Museum’s annual Quest for the West show. I’d always heard great things about the show, but this was my first time to attend. The organizers put on a first-rate event in a stunning museum venue. This year’s show drew about 300 collectors, and with 39 of the 50 participating artists attending as well, the mood was friendly and energetic all weekend long.
At the tasty brunch on Saturday morning, I was thrilled to be sitting at a table with New Mexico artist Arturo Chavez when it was announced that he’d won this year’s purchase award for a wonderful large-scale landscape. After brunch, artists Krystii Melaine (who recently moved to the states from Australia) and Terry Isaac painted and sketched two live birds of prey, with the resulting works displayed in a silent auction. Adam Harris of the National Museum of Wildlife Art then led a panel discussion among wildlife artists.
Interest was high at the intent-to-purchase sale that evening, resulting in an even $1 million worth of paintings and sculpture sold. The rest of the awards were announced at the banquet: Curt Walters won the Southwest Art-sponsored award for best painting (shown here), Greg Kelsey won both patron’s choice and the sculpture award, Howard Post won the award for best work overall, and George Hallmark won the “Artist of Distinction” award, which means he’ll have a major retrospective next fall at the museum.
Next year’s Quest for the West show opens on September 10, and I certainly plan to be in the audience again! –Kristin Hoerth