Show Preview | Coors Western Art Show

National Western Stock Show Complex, Denver, CO
January 7-26

Dan Coen, Gracie at Daybreak, oilstick drawing, 41 x 61.

Dan Coen, Gracie at Daybreak, oilstick drawing, 41 x 61.

This story was featured in the January 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art January 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

The annual Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale, held in early January, always helps to ring in the New Year for art lovers, extending the festive atmosphere of the holiday season just a little bit longer. The show is a special blend of paintings, sculpture, and photographs that present both traditional and contemporary views of the West. This year’s edition features works by 64 artists, including everyone from masters in the still-life genre like Scott Fraser and Deborah Bays, to artists who cast a fresh eye on the western way of life, such as Teresa Elliott and Duke Beardsley. The show, which is part of the National Western Stock Show, opens with a ticketed Red Carpet Reception on Tuesday, January 7, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and then opens to the public on Saturday, January 11.

The show has grown steadily in popularity since its inception, and last year’s show tallied up a record $1 million in sales, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the National Western Scholarship Trust. Expectations are high again for this year’s presentation. “Patrons will get to see a more cutting-edge vision of western art this year, as well as enjoy the works of some of the best Native American artists working today,” says curator Rose Fredrick. “And, as always, we’ve got some brand-new faces—artists you’ve never heard of before—with works collectors will really want to grab now. Mostly, we’re having fun, mixing it up, and presenting a fresh, exciting collection of art that reflects contemporary thoughts and issues surrounding life in the American West.”

William Matthews, Slack Packer, watercolor, 31 x 31.

William Matthews, Slack Packer, watercolor, 31 x 31.

Fredrick notes that due to the increasing popularity of the event and limited wall space, a second show called The Gallery at the National Western Club is on view again this year. This presentation features 15 additional artists, including Dennis Farris, John Taft, Judy Greenan, and Elizabeth Sandia. The two shows run concurrently.

As part of the opening-week festivities, a Lunch and Lecture takes place at the History of Colorado Center on Tuesday, January 7. Artists Teresa Elliott, Dean Mitchell, Quang Ho, and Keith Jacobshagen participate in a panel discussion on the topic, “What Is Western Art?” And on Wednesday, January 8, a daylong symposium titled Journeys West unfolds at the Denver Art Museum. The eighth annual symposium presented by the museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art, it examines artistic pilgrimages of various eras—odysseys that have left an important mark on the annals of American art history. Various speakers explore how the West shaped artists’ works as well as their lives.

Colorado-based expressionist Quang Ho is the show’s featured artist this year. Ho is known for bringing a unique vision to the exhibit by blending traditional subject matter, such as horses and landscapes, with more modern, abstracted techniques. “I think Quang Ho offers a terrific counterpoint to the question, ‘What is western art?’” Fredrick says. “His work is always about so much more than subject and storytelling. It is impactful and, at times, challenging. He is, in my opinion, one of many artists working today in the West who have helped establish our region as one where important, thoughtful work is being created.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

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Featured in the January 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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