Organizers of the renowned Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale have just announced their major award winners from August 2015.  Who were they?
Over 108 of the nation’s leading Western painters and sculptors descended on Cody, Wyoming August 26th for the 34th annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale which saw $30,000 in prize money awarded to two artists.
Painter Dustin van Wechel was honored with the Premier Platinum Award, a distinction that earned him $20,000.  His painting “Right of Way” instantly captivated the competition’s judges, who were struck by Van Wechel’s masterful rendering of reflection in the water’s surface.  Equally as remarkable are the two Moose – a calf and cow – who patiently wait and stare as a duck moseys along the stream.  Their anatomy is well observed and convincing.  If that wasn’t enough, the strong yellow hues of the tall grasses capture the viewer as well with hints of green and orange scattered about.

Ralph Odberg, “Shadows of their Former Selves,” – Awarded the Wells Fargo Gold Award

The Wells Fargo Gold Award was taken by Ralph Odberg, which left him with a satisfying $10,000 prize.  His picture “Shadows of their Former Selves” is a beautifully arranged and scenic panorama of Jasper National Park, Canada.  The piece is special in its quiet tone despite its rather monumental subject.  Organizers suggested that, “the various dimensions – foreground, middle ground and background – complement each other and move the eye in a circular motion across the canvas.  The shadows cast an imposing shape on the mountains, adding power to the expertly pigmented landscape.”

Dennis Ziemienski, “Tall Drink of Water,” – Awarded the William E. Weiss Purchase Award

In addition to the cash prizes, Dennis Ziemienski was honored with the William E. Weiss Purchase Award, which will be added to the permanent collection of the Buffalo Bill Center.  Chosen by the institution’s staff, “Tall Drink of Water” is both imposing with its proportions as well as its bold, illustrative style.  Characterized by simple forms, solid colors, and clean lines, a sharp-dressed cowboy sips his canteen between his drags of a cigarette.  The piece is divided, compositionally, in half, with the warm oranges and reds of the Wyoming sands balancing the cool blues and whites of the sky, clouds, and mountains above the horizon. 
To learn more, visit the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.
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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