As the market for great Western American art continues to expand, so too do the opportunities to purchase it — coupled with cocktails, exhibitions, and more, of course.

From 2010 through 2014, the annual Western Art Week in Great Falls, Montana, established a tradition of fun and sales success — so much so that a new show and sale were established at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho: The Heart of the West Show. Taking place over three days this weekend (August 20-22), the Heart of the West Show will feature over 60 juried artists and galleries, many of whom are regular attendees of previous Western Masters events.

Michael Ome Untiedt, “Going Home,” oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (c) Michael Untiedt 2015

Via the venue’s website, “The Heart of the West Show gives Western art lovers a unique opportunity to meet and talk to their favorite artists while enjoying food, drinks, demonstrations and educational presentations. Attendees inevitably connect and bond over a shared love of fine art while supporting local, regional, and national artists.”

Colt Idol, “Chief Mountain Trio,” oil on canvas, 26 x 30 in. (c) Colt Idol 2015

Just a few of the notable names featured in this year’s event include Colt Idol, Joe Kronenberg, Michael Ome Untiedt, Michele Usibelli, and Julie Oriet. In addition to its stunning beauty, Mike Untiedt’s “Going Home” has a back story that imbues the piece with a particular allure. Relaying several stories throughout history in which individuals have made the ultimate heroic sacrifice to help others in need, Untiedt says, “This painting is in honor of all courageous individuals who gave their lives to save others. May each and every one of them find comfort and peace in an eternal home.”

Michele Usibelli, “Sailor Lake, High Sierras,” oil, 24 x 18 in. (c) Michele Usibelli 2015

In the picture, we find a featureless rider cast in shadow, the ambiguity leaving him with no objective identity. Located in the foreground, the rider perks and looks attentively out of our view, perhaps alerted to a crisis as he makes ready to depart. In the distance we find a barn and simple home capped with a red tin roof. A glimmer of brilliant yellow light faintly shines through, capturing our gaze.

Joe Kronenberg, “Proud Mount,” oil on Masonite, 36 x 24 in. (c) Joe Kronenberg 2015

Colt Idol’s “Chief Mountain Trio” and “Strength” are breathtaking as well. Each presents a Native American subject, and Idol’s use of a full spectrum of color gives his pieces a rainbow-like luminescence that is entrancing. Both paintings display Idol’s virtuoso range of controlled and expressive touch. Michele Usibelli’s “Sailor Lake, High Sierras” is more abstracted, but perhaps conveys a higher degree of emotion, expression, and experience. The patterned arrangement of aquamarine, purple, green, and blue will undoubtedly move the viewer.

Julie Oriet, “Last Snow,” pastel, 9 x 12 in. (c) Julie Oriet 2015

“The Heart of the West Show” opens on August 20 and will continue through August 22. The auction will take place on Saturday, August 22.
To learn more, visit Western Masters Art Show.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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