National Western Stock Show Complex, Denver, CO, January 8-9
This story was featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine December 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine December 2012 digital download here. Or simply subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
Each year in January, the spirit of the American West is put on full display at the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale. The show celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013, and it once again features new works by more than 60 leading western artists in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and printmaking. Among the participating artists are Len Chmiel, Douglas Fryer, Deb Kaylor, Steve Kestrel, Karmel Timmons, and Skip Whitcomb.
The exhibit opens on Tuesday, January 8, with a Red Carpet Reception. Each artist displays up to three pieces for the main exhibit, which are sold in an intent-to-purchase drawing. There’s also a silent auction of miniatures featuring up to four works by each artist. Works sold by silent auction are taken home with the buyer that evening, and the larger pieces remain on display to the public during the National Western Stock Show, January 12-27.
Several events are scheduled for the WinterWest program that surrounds the show, including a lunch and panel discussion on the topic “Why Does Contemporary Western Art Matter?” at the History Colorado Center on January 8. A daylong symposium, titled “Decades: An Expanded Context for Western American Art, 1900-1940,” is on Wednesday, January 9, at the Denver Art Museum.
To celebrate the show’s 20th year, four of the participating artists have designed special commemorative hand-pulled prints—a lithograph by Theodore Waddell, an etching by Joel Ostlind, a serigraph by Duke Beardsley, and a woodblock print by Leon Loughridge.
Howard Post has been selected for the 2013 Mary Belle Grant Award, which honors an individual who symbolizes the passion of the West through art. “[Post] has been with the show since 1997,” says curator Rose Fredrick. “He consistently sends us his best paintings and has helped raise awareness of the great, authentic art coming out of this region.”
This year’s featured artist is Colorado-based painter Jill Soukup. “It’s a huge honor,” says Soukup, who was first accepted into the show five years ago. “Getting into the Coors show opened a lot of doors,” she says, explaining that she’s been creating more western-themed works ever since. While the artist paints a variety of subject matter, she is perhaps best known for her depictions of horses and bison, which she renders in thick oil paint. “With my bison I really push the texture, especially with the shag they get when they’re shedding their coats,” she says.
Soukup’s most recent works are heavily inspired by time spent on the Zapata Ranch, a 103,000-acre bison ranch in southern Colorado. “I’ve spent a lot of time there, hanging out with the horses and falling in love with the land,” she says. Her passion for her subject matter comes through in her work—and she is excited to share that passion with others. In fact, Soukup says that what she enjoys most about the Coors show is the opportunity to be close to artists and others who share her enthusiasm for the West and western art. “It’s a high- energy show that’s just a lot of fun,” she says. —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine December 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine December 2012 print edition
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