Western Oasis, BMO Centre, July 6-15
This story was featured in the July 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine July 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine July 2012 digital download here. Or simply click here to subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
This month Canada celebrates the 100th anniversary of one of its most dramatic cultural events, the Calgary Stampede. For over 30 years the Stampede has also been the home of one of the best-known western art shows in North America. The Western Art Showcase features artworks that celebrate the heritage and grandeur of the West, and it comprises multiple events and sections, including Artists’ Studios, the Western Art Gallery, the Western Photo Gallery and Competition, the Artist Ranch Project, and the Western Art Auction.
Opening together with the Stampede, the Artists’ Studios feature 62 juried artists selling their work on site throughout the show. Also for sale in the Western Art Gallery are the works of 30 emerging local artists that reflect the motto “Preserving the Past—Embracing the Future.” Included are both traditional and contemporary works that reflect the fusion of rural and urban influences and the rich culture of the West.
The Western Photo Gallery and Competition features works from over 30 western photographers, and on display during the Stampede are the winners of the Western Photo Competition.
The Artist Ranch Project is an initiative in which artists are invited to visit a working ranch and create artworks based on those experiences. Its purpose is to create dialog about western heritage and values and what they mean today.
One of the most important events of the Western Art Showcase is the Western Art Auction, which offers over 90 original artworks including pieces by C.R. Cheek, Harley Brown, and the late Jack King. Auction artworks are on display July 6-11, and, before the auction begins on July 12, a Quick Draw takes place, in which works are completed by select artists in a 45- minute time frame. The Quick Draw works are then auctioned, and partial proceeds benefit a scholarship fund for graduating high school students. The 10-day Calgary Stampede and Western Art Showcase includes many more events you can explore by visiting the website. Here we introduce you to just a small sampling of the many artists participating in this year’s show.
Kelowna, BC-based oil painter Sandra Chapman creates large, color-infused landscapes of Canada’s rugged western mountains, lakes, forests, and golden aspens. She simplifies natural elements into bold, expressionistic artworks. Chapman has panoramic works that spread nearly 6 feet and multipanel pieces up to 12 feet.
Western photographer John “Grief” Hoskin was “city-bred and ranch-raised” on the outskirts of Calgary, but he currently resides in a remote area of the Arizona desert, and his respect for the West comes through in his photographic portraits of the land, the people, and the life he witnesses there. From silhouettes of working cowboys at sundown to color-saturated desert landscapes, Hoskin’s images express the drama and the great vastness that is the American West.
Fabienne Leydecker currently resides in Nova Scotia but was raised in France and became that country’s first female horse jockey before coming to North America. Here she continued to ride racehorses and pursue art, eventually becoming a full-time artist. Leydecker creates multimedia works on canvas that incorporate metallic foil and rich painted colors covered in a thick, glossy varnish.
Former rodeo competitor Chris Navarro is known for his monumental bronzes depicting the American cowboy and western wildlife. His wildlife works are both realistic and amusing while his western and rodeo sculptures capture the hard-won living scratched from a tough and often perilous land. Navarro also pays reverent tribute to Native peoples in his artwork. —Laura Rintala
Featured in the July 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine July 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine July 2012 print edition
Or click here to subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
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