Show Preview | Western Visions Show & Sale

Jackson, WY
National Museum of Wildlife Art, September 7-October 7

John Potter, The Remains of the Day, oil, 24 x 36.

John Potter, The Remains of the Day, oil, 24 x 36.

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Many of the finest wildlife artists working today across the country and around the world will be exhibiting and selling their works this month in support of America’s leading museum dedicated to portrayals of the earth’s creatures. It’s all happening at the 31st annual Western Visions Show & Sale in Jackson, WY.

Western Visions is a signature event during Jackson’s extensive Fall Arts Festival, says Amy Goicoechea, director of programs and events at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, for which the show and sale serves as the largest annual fund-raiser. Each of this year’s 106 participating artists, many of whom are also represented in the museum’s permanent collection, has sent in one or two works—a large piece and a more modestly priced sketch or other small creation.

“Their wildlife art represents both the peak and the diversity of stylistic representation,” Goicoechea adds. In support of that claim, art lovers need look no further than the many familiar and well-respected names in this year’s lineup, including Edward Aldrich, Ken Carlson, Len Chmiel, Mark Eberhard, Donna Howell-Sickles, and Sandy Scott. Their reason for taking part is often profoundly simple: “The museum is world class in its architecture, the setting, the art, and everybody involved,” says Carlson, who’s been in every show since the very first in 1987. “I just enjoy painting for it.”

That joy is evident in the piece Carlson is sending this year: AMBER GOLD, an
8-by-15-inch oil of a mother cheetah and her cub resting at twilight amid the Tanzanian grasslands. Joy in a more rollicking, contemporary vein may be witnessed in the main contribution from Howell-Sickles,
THERE IS MAGIC IN THE WATER, a 31-by-30-inch mixed-media work on paper depicting one of her signature cowgirls, jubilant after just landing a trout. “But with all the S-curves and swerves of my lines,” the artist adds, “it’s more about the moving water and the swimming fish than about the one in hand.” Howell-Sickles is among the many artists attending this year’s event, which launches on Friday, September 7, with a free public preview accompanied by grilled-cheese sandwiches and sangria—coinciding with the citywide opening
that evening of the surrounding festival.

Collectors interested in making purchases can buy from the museum a $25 ballot book that includes one intent-to-purchase slip for every artwork on display. Winning names are drawn for the sketches at a festive gathering on Thursday, September 13, from 6 to 9 p.m., and for the larger works at the conclusion of a western cocktail party on Friday, September 14, from 5 to 8 p.m.

That’s not, however, the full extent of the Western Visions offerings. On Thursday from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the museum hosts a panel discussion on the artist’s life, featuring show participants Dustin Van Wechel, Amy Elizabeth Lay, Andrew Denman, and September Vhay. And after the parties and initial sales are over, all art is on display through October 7, with unsold pieces available for purchase. “That way,” explains Goicoechea, “if someone’s name wasn’t drawn initially, they can come back and purchase other works.” —Norman Kolpas

contact information
www.wildlifeart.org

This story was featured in the September 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art September 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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