Show Preview | Buffalo Bill Art Show

Cody, WY
Buffalo Bill Center of the West, September 22-23

David Jonason, Bison With Cloud, oil, 30 x 40.

David Jonason, Bison With Cloud, oil, 30 x 40.

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

The Cody, WY, community kicks off its annual celebration of the arts this month, and the cornerstone of the festivities is the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale. Every year the small Rocky Mountain town rolls out the red carpet for guests of this prestigious invitational, which brings together top western artists and devoted patrons for educational workshops, a live auction, and more. The 36th annual show first opens to the public with a reception at 6 p.m. on Friday, August 25, at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, where paintings and sculptures by 106 top western artists are on view.

“We’re a small town with a small budget, but we put on a big show,” says show director Kathy Thompson. “At the heart of the event is the patrons’ passion. They really want to support the arts. They come for the fun, and they leave with something they love.” This year the show welcomes back dozens of longtime participants, including Rox Corbett, Carol Hagan, Ralph Oberg, Howard Post, and Joshua Tobey, but several artists join the group for the first time, too: Kathryn Mapes Turner, September Vhay, Greg Woodard, and more. Each artist contributes one major work for the live auction, and many also bring pieces for a miniatures wall and silent auction. “Every year when I walk into the gallery, I’m overwhelmed with more than a hundred ways artists see the West. The work is diverse, from contemporary views to very traditional, picture-perfect art,” says Thompson.

Registered guests can view artworks and mingle with more than 70 of the artists during a reception on Friday, September 22, beginning at 4 p.m. A live auction directly follows at 6 p.m., when noted auctioneer Troy Black takes the gavel and leads the crowd through two hours of spirited bidding. The festivities continue into Saturday in the Robbie Powwow Garden, where as many as 50 artists gather at 9 a.m. for a Quick Draw and live auction of the newly created works.

Returning artist John Potter of Red Lodge, MT, brings SOUTHFORK STRUT to the auction block on Friday evening. The large piece was inspired by his visit to Cody last year. “We had a torrential downpour just before the live auction—I mean, rain of biblical proportions,” says Potter. “That storm also brought a fresh coat of snow to the mountains. The next day broke sunny and clear, so I took a drive on Southfork Road to see all that new snow illuminated in the sunshine and the fall colors along the river washed clean by the rain.” As for the scene’s burly, antler-crowned star, Potter explains: “I couldn’t help imagining this fat bull elk walking along, soaking up the sun.”

The show typically pays tribute to a different artist each year, but this year the honoree is the Buffalo Bill Center itself, which celebrates its centennial. “We’re honoring the center for their lasting support of the show, and for their legacy in our town,” says Thompson. “The center has made Cody a very special place.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
307.587.5002
www.buffalobillartshow.net

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

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