Mountain Oyster Club, November 22
This story was featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story
The Mountain Oyster Club, a nearly 70-year-old private club aimed at preserving Southwest heritage, opens the doors of its Pond Mansion this month for its annual Contemporary Western Art Show and Sale. The main sale happens on Sunday, November 22, beginning at 3 p.m.
The show spans a wide variety of western subject matter and artistic styles. “Art is always changing and evolving. I’m very proud that we have both traditional and contemporary subject matters and styles represented,” says Alisha Taylor, the show’s director. Taylor leads the jurying process, in which each accepted work passes a rigorous review process in front of distinguished artists and subject-matter experts.
Some 500 artists submit works to the jury, with 200 receiving invitations to the show. Each may exhibit two pieces. First-time exhibitors Joshua Tobey and Mary Qian join longtime participants Harley Brown, Sue Krzyston, Cyrus Afsary, and Howard Post in this year’s event.
The Mountain Oyster Club show was John Fawcett’s first major show 25 years ago. “It has a special place in my heart,” Fawcett says. The painter divides his time between Pennsylvania and Colorado and creates works in a relatively traditional style. A former large-animal veterinarian and longtime horseman, he has a knack for capturing equine subjects. He often submits cowboy portraits to this show, a tradition he continues this year with a painting so vivid, the viewer can nearly smell the fragrance of sage after a spring rain.
Fawcett donated a piece of art to the club in 1997, becoming a permanent artist member. Stephen Datz does the same this year, his sixth to participate in the show. The Colorado artist continues to capture the light-drenched Southwestern landscape. “I tend to see things in terms of shape, design, and structure. My work is almost always geometric in the way the paint is applied and the overall structure, and the way the light moves across interesting landforms,” Datz observes.
On Sunday, the public is welcome to the second annual Quick Finish event, beginning at 3 p.m. and wrapping up with a fixed-price sale by draw at 5:30 p.m. Also at 5:30 p.m., the main sale takes place by drawing. Because the Mountain Oyster Club is private, advance reservations are required. Tickets are $50 per person. —Ashley M. Biggers
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