Show Preview | Coors Western Art Show

Denver, CO
National Western Stock Show Complex, January 3-22

Tony Hochstetler, Mouse and Antler, bronze, 7 x 9 x 5.

Tony Hochstetler, Mouse and Antler, bronze, 7 x 9 x 5.

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

On Tuesday, January 3, Denver-area art lovers brave unpredictable weather to vie for work by some of the top names in representational art as the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale opens with a Red Carpet Gala Reception at 5:30 p.m. at the National Western Stock Show Complex. “The show features 66 contemporary artists from North America and Europe whose work speaks to the western United States,” says show curator Rose Fredrick. This year’s lineup includes returning artists like Gordon Brown, Scott Fraser, Teresa Elliott, William Matthews, and Kent Ullberg along with more than a dozen first-time artists, including painters Michael Blessing, Tanya Bone, and Debbie Stevens as well as sculptor Pati Stajcar.

This year’s featured artist is Taos painter Dinah K. Worman, who brings at least 14 of her signature “stacked landscapes.” Worman says that the “spaciousness and the visual access from roads in the West provide the inspiration for most of my art,” and this remains true for COMMUNITY, which is featured on this year’s show poster. But many of these works also show a shift for the artist. “I continue to use the high horizon line,” she says, “but I am also minimizing the landscape and allowing the buildings to dominate in some works.”

For Colorado painter Terry Gardner, the Coors show is a unique experience. “The enthusiasm for art and the subjects depicted is something I don’t see at other shows,” he says. “There is a level of engagement that is just contagious.” Gardner brings seven works that explore icons of the historic West that have contemporary significance. An example is THE PONY EXPRESS, in which the artist juxtaposes the iconic symbol of long-distance high-speed communication of the Old West, the Pony Express rider, alongside that of the infinitely faster contemporary email. Gardner explains that it was the state of California pressing for faster communication with the East that resulted in the famous Pony Express mail service, while today the state is home to many tech giants, such as Google, that provide modern instant communication.

For the first time this year, artworks in the show are being sold via the electronic app called Gesture. Instead of a draw box, prospective buyers bid on a work using their cell phones. Once you’ve chosen to purchase a piece, you’re notified each time someone outbids you, giving you a chance to bid up. Bids rise in $20 increments. “It levels the playing field, gives us a chance to make more money for the scholarship trust, and you can stay at your table and eat dinner and keep bidding,” Fredrick says.

The show’s events actually begin on Monday, January 2, with the Young Guns reception at 6:30 p.m. “The Young Guns reception is a unique way to introduce potential new collectors who are under 40 to the Coors show,” Fredrick says. “We combined this with a show of works by emerging artists. We bring them in, have conversations, and break down barriers. It just grows exponentially every year.”

On Tuesday, the History Colorado Center in downtown Denver hosts a Lunch & Lecture entitled New Visions: Contemporary Photography of the American West. On Wednesday, the Denver Art Museum hosts the 11th annual Petrie Institute of Western Art Symposium. Set in the West: Telling Tales in Art and Film serves as a trailer for the museum’s upcoming exhibit The Western: An Epic in Art and Film.

Finally, on Saturday, January 7, the National Western Stock Show and the Coors exhibit open to the public, and the artworks remain on display until January 22. —Laura Rintala

contact information
303.291.2567
www.coorswesternart.com

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

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