Show Preview | Western Art Show

Prescott, AZ
Phippen Museum, May 24-26

Edward Aldrich, A Prickly Spot, oil, 8 x 12.

Edward Aldrich, A Prickly Spot, oil, 8 x 12.

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

Known as the Cowboy Capital of the American West, Prescott, AZ, is home to the Phippen Museum’s Western Art Show, held annually on Memorial Day weekend. This year’s 40th anniversary show takes place from May 24 to May 26 at the historic Prescott Courthouse Plaza, where over 100 juried artists convene for a celebration of art of the American West. Admission to the show and museum is free all weekend.

Since 1974, the Western Art Show has embodied the spirit and philosophy of the late George Phippen, western artist and co-founder of the Cowboy Artists of America, who believed the “true spirit of the American West” is presented in its art. “Many times when people think of the Phippen Museum, they think it’s just a cowboy museum, but we are art of the American West,” says the museum’s executive director, Kim Villalpando. “You’ll see landscapes, flowers, cowboys, Indians, and a wide variety of subject matter.” The show features art in juried categories, such as oil, acrylic, and watercolor, and all work must be authentic in its representation of the West, which was an important element in Phippen’s artwork.

Held in conjunction with the Western Art Show is the 11th annual Miniature Masterpieces Art Show and Sale, which runs the entire month of May. Guests can submit intent-to-purchase slips all month before the sale-by-draw takes place on Friday, May 23, at 6 p.m. Two hour-long Quick Draws during the day on Saturday and Sunday showcase the talents of 20-
25 artists, with a live auction following each event. Guests can also purchase tickets for the Denim to Diamonds Gala on Saturday night, which features a live auction of up to 12 pieces of art from the Miniature Masterpieces Show.

Finally, the artists’ awards ceremony on Sunday morning on the courthouse steps recognizes the outstanding works by participants, with awards being given in 10 different categories. Past award winners include Bill Cramer, Stu Braks, Wei Tai, and Marilyn Salomon. “We’ve been doing this for 40 years, and a lot of artists in the early days started out as new artists who eventually gained a high reputation,” Villalpando says. “It’s a great atmosphere.” —Joe Kovack

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