Happy Independence Day! As a part of that, I would like to share a visit to a celebration of American Western art….
On the last Sunday in June, my husband and I felt it was time to end the darkness of the previous weeks by attending the Prix de West exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. We were blown away by some of the magnificent art focused on the life and history of the American West. I highly recommend seeing it if you can get to Oklahoma City. It is some of the finest representational work in paint and sculpture I have ever seen in one show.
There were many standouts amongst the over 300 works of art on display. The image with this post is of Kent Ullberg‘s stunning bronze “Interdependency”. If you look at it carefully, the creatures that make up this sculpture seem to move across its surface as if their heavier bronze matter merely slows their motion. Click on the image to see a larger version showing the many creatures that the Texas artist blended into this remarkable work. We agreed that for us, this was “Best in Show”.
Other outstanding artists for us included John E. Banovich, a wizard with colour and his paintings seemed to me, to be be snapshots from a motion picture. His night scene “Pushed to the Edge” used an almost cinematic colour palette. We couldn’t agree on a favourite however, every one of John’s entries was magnificent.
Curt Walters‘ “Star of the Storm” was a masterful balance of light and shadow and the use of complementary colour. Curt captured not just the details, but the feeling of a bird’s eye view of a Grand Canyon storm.
Finally, Daniel Smith, an acrylic wildlife artist (which I love to see!) who, once again, made choosing a favourite difficult. A storyteller in paint, the outstanding lighting of his subjects and superb rendering made him a favourite of ours. Do you see the salmon the bear is chasing? His website is worth a visit too.
It was exciting to see the presence of women artists in what has been traditionally a ‘boys club’. In fact, this year, a woman took the top award. Terri Kelly Moyers “La Luz de Fe” was purchased by the museum for their permanent collection. Her sensitive portraits demonstrate, to me, a depth of emotion masterfully brought to canvas. Congratulations to her!
The Prix de West is an annual event at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The 2012 exhibition is open until August 5.