Show Preview | Quest for the West

Indianapolis, IN
Eiteljorg Museum, September 11-13

Mikel Donahue, An Ounce of Prevention, mixed media, 12 x 12.

Mikel Donahue, An Ounce of Prevention, mixed media, 12 x 12.

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

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is set to present its 10th annual Quest for the West Art Show & Sale, an event spotlighting not only fine western artists but also, for the first time this year, art patrons. The show opens on Saturday, September 12, with a reception and 
intent-to-purchase sale followed by a banquet and awards ceremony.

Members of the museum’s curatorial staff and Western Art Society invite 50 artists to participate in the prestigious show, presenting approximately 180 works. “It’s a very competitive show in terms of selecting artists. We’re always looking for people who are at the top of their fields and are creating stellar work but who bring something a little different to the show,” says Johanna Blume, the museum’s assistant curator of western art.

Fourteen of this year’s artists have been participating in the show for its entire decade, including Robert 
Griffing, George Hallmark, Karin Hollebeke, Doug Hyde, and Daniel Smith. Three artists—Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Glenn Dean, and Sandy Scott—join the ranks for the first time this year.

“It’s focused on traditional, representational art,” says chief curatorial officer James Nottage. “We try to have a nice balance of still lifes, storytelling pieces, landscapes, and wildlife art. It’s not all cowboys and Indians.”

Florida painter Heidi Presse is returning to the show for her fourth year. “It’s a wonderful event. The museum is beautiful, and it’s a beautiful collection of work. I’m honored to have my work hang in the museum for the show and to be in the company of other talented artists,” she says. With accurate and exquisite historical detail, Presse paints individuals of the antebellum era, and more specifically the period from 1840 to 1860. “I want to open a window to the daily lives of civilians who left the East and moved to the West, traveling the trails and homesteading,” she says.

Jay Moore, Moonrise at Lake Dillon, oil, 16 x 20.

Jay Moore, Moonrise at Lake Dillon, oil, 16 x 20.

“The hospitality and the way they take care of artists is incredible,” says painter Jay Moore, who returns to the show for his ninth year. The Colorado artist tries to bring “something of my very best and my favorite subject matter—water” to the show. His four pieces this year also include a rare subject for the artist: a nocturne featuring a moonrise and a limited, moody palette.

In honor of the show’s 10th anniversary, the museum plans an evening celebration on Friday, September 11, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., with a talk by a descendant of Wyatt Earp and music by 
The Wright Brothers Band. This year also marks the first it will honor a 
Collector of Distinction. The show is tipping its hat to Wayne R. Rumley of Tulsa, OK, who was instrumental in creating Quest for the West and the Prix de West Invitational, among other contributions to the western art world. A rich selection of two dozen works from Rumley’s personal collection, including works by prestigious artists like Howard Terpning, Charlie Dye, and Tom Lovell, hangs at the museum during Quest for the West. Moving forward, Nottage says the museum intends to continue to honor both artists and collectors of distinction. 
—Ashley M. Biggers

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Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art September 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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