The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum announces the winners of the West Invitational Art Exhibition Award
By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel reporter –
OKLAHOMA CITY – Last week the Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosted the 49e Annual West Invitational Prize Art Exhibition and Sale Weekend with live and virtual live events. The exhibition took place at the Museum’s Sam Noble Special Events Center.
As the Museum’s largest annual fundraiser, the event raised $ 2.68 million this year. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund exhibitions and family programming at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
The 2021 exhibition and sale featured over 90 artists and over 260 paintings and sculptures. Special guests included a renowned artist Ed Mell, Thomas blackshear ii, Huihan liu andRoseta Santiago.
“For 49 years, we have had the privilege of producing Western Award and showcase some of the finest representations of Western art in the country, ”said Natalie Shirley, museum president and CEO.
“We are honored to once again welcome our artists and patrons both in person and virtually for an incredible and much-loved annual celebration of the arts,” added Shirley. “We are looking forward to another amazing event next year for the 50e Western Award here at the Cowboy.
Most honored Western Award Winner of the Purchase Prize, awarded to the artist whose work of art is selected by Western Award Committee and purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection, was awarded to Greg beecham, for his 30 “x 48” oil painting on canvas titled Gone fishing.
Beecham received the purchase price of $ 34,000, a prize of $ 5,000 and the Western Award medallion sponsored by Roberta M. Eldridge Miller.
Beecham said: “I would be lying if I said I never dreamed of this. But I never thought it would happen. This is the big one. It is the greatest honor I have ever had and the greatest honor I will ever have.
Among other 2021 award winners, the Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award was presented to Bonnie marris for her 40 “x 30” Oil on canvas titled A cold reception. Priced at $ 19,000, the coin sold in the Saturday Night Fixed Price Sale. The $ 3,000 prize goes to the most popular artwork chosen by Western Award patrons and is sponsored by the estate of the late Jackie L. Schools.
Daniel F. Gerhartz received the Frederic Remington Painting Award for his 60 “x 40” oil painting titled Foreign traveler. The painting priced at $ 42,000 was sold in the Saturday night fixed price sale. Gerhartz received a $ 3,000 Outstanding Artistic Merit Award for a painting sponsored by Donna Holt, Jan Provine and Terri Saddler in memory of their parents, Russ and Dortha Sadler, Life Members and Guides.
The Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award was presented to Daniel smith for his 24 “x 36” acrylic painting titled Through the caldera. The painting priced at $ 20,000 was sold in the Saturday night fixed price sale. The $ 3,000 Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award for an animal painting or sculpture is sponsored by the Estate of the late Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman.
The James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award was presented to Ross matteson for his 15 “H x 10” W x 9 “D cast bronze sculpture titled Black merlin. The sculpture, priced at $ 12,000, was sold in the Saturday Night Fixed Price Sale. The $ 3,000 Award for Outstanding Artistic Merit of a Sculpture is sponsored by the Charlie Russell Riders in honor of Steve Rose.
The Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award, for the best depiction of a cowboy subject, went to Eric Bowman for his 38 “x 36” oil painting titled Neglect. The painting was priced at $ 19,800 and sold in the Saturday Night Fixed Price Sale. The $ 3,000 prize is sponsored by Robert A. Funk and Express Ranches.
The Donald Teague Memorial Award, for outstanding work of art on paper, was presented to Joel r johnson for her 25 “x 38” transparent watercolor painting titled Sunset reflections. The painting priced at $ 12,000 was sold in the Saturday night fixed price sale. The $ 3,000 prize was sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction.
The Wilson Hurley Memorial Award for Outstanding Landscape went to Skip Whitcomb for his 30 “x 36” oil painting on canvas titled Moses Casting Mares. The painting is priced at $ 21,500. The $ 3,000 award was sponsored by Moore Tax and Financial Services.
The Directors’ Award of Excellence was awarded, recognizing the excellence of a work of art, to Jean Moyer for his 24 “x 96” oil painting on canvas titled Vanguard of the Northern Plains. The painting priced at $ 78,000 was sold in the Saturday night fixed price sale. The $ 3,000 prize was sponsored by an anonymous member of the Western Award Committee.
The Robert Lougheed Memorial Prize was awarded to Scott Burdick for his collection of four paintings entitled The many colors of our nation. All the pieces of the collection sold during the Saturday evening package sale: The number for $ 6,500, Colors for $ 14,000, Of our for $ 18,000 and Nation for $ 14,000. The prize of $ 3,000 for the best exhibition of three or more works is chosen by Western Award exhibiting artists and sponsored by Barbara and Roger Simons in memory of Faydra and George Simons.
All unsold art remains exposed to the public and available for purchase until August 8, 2021. See the works available in the online catalog.
The 49th Annual West Invitational Prize Art Exhibition and Sale was made possible by event sponsor Eskridge Lexus of Oklahoma City, with major sponsorship support from Mr. and Mrs. JT Atherton, Mr. and Ms. Gregory M. Simon and the Dellora A. & Lester J. Norris Foundation.
Associate sponsors include Southwestern Stationery and Bank Supply, a Southwestern group company, Ghostwood, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Grant and American Fidelity Foundation. Other sponsors include Mr. and Mrs. Steven Olshan, Panera, Kent and Teresa Webb, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Stieb, Southwest Art Appraisals and Uline.
The Museum offers annual memberships starting at just $ 40. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.