Oklahoma City, OK
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, October 8-10
This story was featured in the October 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story
Artistic visions of the West—as it was in the past and as it is today—are portrayed in the fine art and fine-art craft works that are on exhibit and for sale during the Cowboy Crossings show this month at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Cowboy Crossings is a joint event that encompasses artworks by members of two prestigious organizations. The Cowboy Artists of America is celebrating its 50th anniversary sale and exhibition with more than 100 works by 26 painters and sculptors; the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association hosts its 17th annual exhibition and sale, with 50 pieces by 15 traditional artists and craftspeople. The latter includes artists who are highly skilled in the arts of saddle making, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding.
Tucson and the surrounding area inspires Arizona painter R.S. Riddick, who has participated in the CAA show since 1997 and has six works in this year’s event, to create paintings and drawings of traditional cowboys. “Many of us in the show come from nonranching backgrounds, but we all have a passion for the West,” Riddick says. Bruce Greene, a Texas painter who captures contemporary and traditional western scenes, participated in his first CAA show in 1994. “It’s a unique show offering art and trappings where the level of art and accoutrements is incredible,” says Greene, who has at least five pieces in the show. “It couldn’t be at a higher level.”
The show’s main event is the sale, followed by a banquet and awards ceremony, on Saturday, October 10. The evening begins with a fixed-price drawing for the majority of the works; some pieces in high demand are sold in a minimum-bid silent auction. Black tie is optional at the celebratory dinner featuring the presentation of awards for both groups of artists.
For western art enthusiasts interested in an immersive experience, ticket packages can be purchased to attend a variety of additional events, including a preview party on Friday, October 9, where the artists are in attendance. During the day on Saturday, there’s an autograph party, a luncheon with the artists, and demonstrations given by three artists from each group. An additional opportunity for mingling is scheduled for Thursday, October 8, when a dinner with the artists is held at an Oklahoma City restaurant.
Authentically preserving and perpetuating the culture of western life through fine art is the mission of the Cowboy Artists of America, which represents some of the finest western artists in the country. Membership is by invitation only. Currently there are 20 active and 9 emeritus members.
More than two dozen artists and craftspeople are part of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the skills of saddle making, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding. —Emily Van Cleve
405.478.2250, ext. 219
Featured in the October 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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