Estes Park, CO
Cultural Arts Council Gallery, July 6-28
This story was featured in the July 2013 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art July 2013 print issue, or get the Southwest Art July 2013 digital download now…Or better yet, just subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!
For more than 40 years, Women Artists of the West has worked to foster the appreciation and promotion of quality art by women. While the organization originally focused on western art and artists, in the late 1980s membership was opened to women artists in every state with no restrictions on genre, subject matter, or style. Today the group consists of more than 250 members from more than 30 states. “This is a lovely group of women artists who are tremendously skilled in a variety of fields,” says the organization’s president, Christine Graefe Drewyer.
This month, the group presents its 43rd annual national members’ show at the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park’s Fine Art Gallery. The show opens with a reception and awards ceremony from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. This year’s awards judge is acclaimed landscape painter Karen Vance, who announces the winners in two categories: sculpture and two-dimensional art. Several awards are given in both categories, including best of show, first through third place, and three jury awards.
Of the 402 pieces submitted to the jury, 88 were selected for inclusion in the show. Additionally, there are four pieces in the show by the group’s master signature members, who are automatically invited to participate. The works on view were created in a variety of mediums—including oil, pastel, watercolor, sculpture, drawing, scratchboard, and more. As for subject matter, “This is still a group of women with an affinity for the West, so you’ll see a lot of western-themed work, as well as animal and equine art, figures, landscapes, and even some marine scenes,” says Drewyer, adding, “The variety of the show truly reflects the variety of our members.”
Drewyer is especially excited about the “tremendous quality” of art and artists in this year’s show. One piece that particularly stands out in her mind is SPRING WATER by Betty Gates. “[Gates] has a fabulous use of paint—and the fact that she is still producing such amazing works at 85 years old is an inspiration to us all,” she says. —Lindsay Mitchell
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