Show Preview | Western Art Show

Prescott, AZ
Phippen Museum, May 23-25

Bill Cramer, Sunset Party, oil, 11 x 14.

Bill Cramer, Sunset Party, oil, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the May 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art May 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

For over 40 years, the Phippen Museum’s Western Art Show has been a tradition in downtown Prescott, AZ, over Memorial Day weekend. Many important western artists got their start at the show, says museum executive director Kim Villalpando, including Bill Anton, Dave Powell, John Coleman, and Bill Nebeker. Today the museum hosts a combination art event over the long holiday weekend: the Western Art Show, a juried, festival-style art sale that takes place in the Prescott Courthouse plaza, and the Miniature Masterpieces invitational show, a collection of works by select western artists on view in the museum.

The Western Art Show opens on Saturday, May 23, at 9 a.m. Approximately 90 artists—including Bill Cramer, Cody DeLong, Steven Lang, Chul Yong Lee, and Kim Seyesnem Obrzut—exhibit and sell works in a vast variety of styles and media. Visitors can peruse the artists’ booth offerings and attend Quick Draw events beginning at 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Quick Draw artworks are sold in an auction following each event. “We have a lot of options,” Villalpando explains. “This show is for collectors of all levels.” And since the artists are required to manage their own booths, “visitors can meet and connect with the artists,” she says.

Also on display are 60 two- and three-dimensional works in the Miniature Masterpieces show, which are on view at the museum beginning May 1. A Miniature Masterpieces artists’ reception, a ticketed event, begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 22. This year’s all-star artist lineup includes Teal Blake, Lynn Brown, Teresa Elliott, Russell Houston, Greg Kelsey, Ken Rowe, and Jason Scull.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, a Denim to Diamonds Gala begins at the nearby Hassayampa Inn. Ticketed patrons are treated to live entertainment before a gourmet dinner, which is followed by a live art auction of works donated by artists Steve Atkinson, Bill Cramer, Tim Harmon, Steven Lang, Joseph Robertson, and Sherry Blanchard Stuart.

Weekend events wind down on Monday with an intent-to-purchase sale for the Miniature Masterpieces artworks, which begins 11 a.m., with the Western Art Show officially closing at 3 p.m. The Memorial Day Weekend shows are the museum’s largest fundraising events, Villalpando says. “They are a vital part of funding the museum year round.” —Laura Rintala

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