National Museum of Wildlife Art, September 17-18
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!
Bears, birds, and bighorn sheep are among the subject matter spotlighted in the 28th annual Western Visions Show & Sale this month. The event features an array of activities for art lovers and collectors, including an artisan and jewelry show and an artists’ party. But the main event, the Wild 100, takes center stage on Friday, September 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The curated event spotlights 200 paintings, sculptures, and sketches by 100 top wildlife and animal artists from across the country and beyond. This year’s participating artists include Robert Bateman, Walter Matia, George Carlson, Kent Ullberg, and Ewoud de Groot.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and bidding closes at 7 p.m. for attendees who want to take home an artwork. Online bidding is also available prior to the show. The public can view the artwork, register to bid, and buy tickets to activities online. “This important special event is a win-win-win for the wildlife art community,” says Becky Kimmel, the museum’s director of programs and events. “The artists win since their work is on display at the museum and sold to new collectors; the collectors win since they have an opportunity to add wonderful new wildlife art to their private collections; and the museum wins since we likewise add to the museum’s permanent collection. In essence, we are baking a bigger pie while strengthening the museum for everyone.”
Montana wildlife artist Julie T. Chapman has participated in the show for about seven years. Although she is known for her oil paintings, this year she showcases scratchboard works that are part of her Zebra Suite series. One of the pieces, HOMAGE TO MUYBRIDGE, is inspired by zebras she observed in the wild while on a trip to South Africa. “I caught several zebras in all phases of the gallop, so the idea of paying homage to Eadweard Muybridge, but with zebras, was born,” Chapman says. “Muybridge was the pioneering photographer who proved that horses achieve a moment of total suspension in the gallop—with all four feet off the ground. Since zebras and scratchboard go together like gin and tonic, that was the medium I chose.”
September Vhay also returns to the Wild 100 this year with works that reflect her minimalist, elegant style such as DEER RUN GLOW, depicting a deer at rest. Vhay, who’s based in Wyoming, says her deer paintings are inspired by the animals’ beautiful shapes, expressions, and the muted palette of their coats. Her hope is that DEER RUN GLOW conveys the sense of peace that she felt while watching the fawn in her parents’ backyard. The deer was surrounded by sunlight and undisturbed while its two siblings were eating fallen apples from a nearby tree. “To achieve this sense of peace, I designed the light to engulf the fawn while compositionally enhancing the angle of the fawn’s back to contrast to the darks in the painting,” Vhay says. “The pose alone suggests peace.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the September 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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