Show Preview | Cowboy Crossings

Oklahoma City, OK
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, October 4-6

Teal Blake, Western Son, oil, 22 x 32.

Teal Blake, Western Son, oil, 22 x 32.

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

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum kicks off two highly anticipated western art shows this month at its annual opening-weekend event and sale, Cowboy Crossings. The two exhibitions bring together 100 fine artworks by members of the Cowboy Artists of America and 50 fine craftworks by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. “It’s always the artwork that makes each show different from the last,” says Susan Patterson, curator of special exhibits. “And this is the 20th annual show for the TCAA, so we are also celebrating that milestone.”

Reservations are required to attend most opening-weekend activities, starting with a dinner with the artists on Thursday, October 4, at the home of museum CEO and president Natalie Shirley. On Friday at 2 p.m., TCAA members Scott Hardy, Ernie Marsh, and Cary Schwarz join retired curator Don Reeves in an enlightening Q&A discussion about the group’s evolution over the past two decades. Then, at 3 p.m., a book signing commences for author A.J. Mangum’s new publication Cowboy Renaissance: The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. That evening at 6 p.m., collectors can preview all of the artworks and meet CAA and TCAA members during a private cocktail reception. Saturday brings an autograph party and artists’ demonstrations, both of which are open to the public with museum admission. At 5 p.m., collectors head to the exhibition galleries for a lively sale and fixed-price draw of artworks. Also up for auction is a special collaborative saddle completed by TCAA members in the studio of Oregon saddlemaker Pedro Pedrini. At 7:30 p.m., the festivities continue at a celebration dinner and awards ceremony in the museum’s Sam Noble Special Events Center.

When the galleries open to the public on Saturday, viewers are invited to relish fine paintings and sculptures by top western talents like Teal Blake, Martin Grelle, Mehl Lawson, Grant Redden, and R.S. Riddick. These artists join 18 other CAA members in portraying a variety of western subjects ranging from present-day narratives to Old West themes. In addition to colorful depictions of cowboys, wildlife, and ranching landscapes, viewers will notice another prevalent theme, notes Patterson. “The Native American experience is the story of the American West—the original story,” she says. “Both Oreland Joe and Paul Moore bring a Native American perspective that always adds a viewpoint of the West beyond what we often think of as the cowboy experience.”

Joe, an acclaimed sculptor, brings a mix of figurative carvings and paintings that celebrate his Native American heritage. “Oreland’s paintings have been extremely well received,” says Patterson. “He is taking more of a ledger-style approach in his two-dimensional artwork, and that’s different from the way he sculpts. He’s interpreting western art from his point of view, so it’s been fun to watch his style evolve.”

The best of the best is also unveiled in the TCAA’s exhibition, where saddlemaking, bit and spur making, silversmithing, and rawhide braiding take the limelight. “The artistry in these pieces is extraordinary,” says Patterson. “They are truly works of art that can be displayed in your home just like you would display sculptures.” As TCAA president Wilson Capron puts it, “You don’t have to own a horse to own a piece of the West.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
405.478.2250
www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

 

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

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