Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is overjoyed to be presenting next week a 50th-anniversary retrospective exhibition showcasing the extraordinary talents of the Cowboy Artists of America.
For 50 years, the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) has represented some of the best that Western representational art has to offer. Beginning with four prominent Arizona artists, the organization has grown to encompass 77 artists — both current and former. Opening on November 7 at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, the exhibition is entitled “A Salute to Cowboy Artists of America and a Patron, the Late Eddie Basha: 50 Years of Amazing Contributions to the American West.”  It will feature one painting or bronze by each of the 77 artists who have ever been members of the CAA. Moreover, the exhibition will pay tribute to the late Eddie Basha, a passionate collector and patron of Western art who spent years supporting artists of the CAA. Several works from Basha’s collection will also be on view, part of the largest privately owned collection of contemporary Western American and American Indian art in the country.  

Martin Grelle, “A Time to Dance,” 2001, watercolor and acrylic, (c) Eddie Basha Collection 2015

Michael J. Fox, museum director and CEO of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, reports, “The upcoming 50th-anniversary exhibition will be the first time in five years that the CAA exhibition has been in the valley. For more than 30 years, the CAA exhibition was a highlight of the valley’s arts and culture season. Many local residents are familiar with the artists and look forward to meeting with them and attending the opening-weekend events.”

Harvey Johnson, “Summer Camp,” oil on canvas, (c) Tim Peterson Family Collection 2015

Bill Nebeker, “The Eyes of Texas,” 2011, bronze, 34 x 19 x 16 in. (c) A.J. and Jesse Monongye Collection 2015

Herb Mignery, “Checkmate,” 1985, bronze, (c) On loan from Artist, Herb Mignery 2015

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Scottsdale Artists’ School — located across the street from the museum — will host a series of workshops and events during the week leading to the opening of the show. Registration and a list of the workshops can be found here.
The school writes, “In 1964, as a trio of men gathered around a fall campfire, a spark of an idea was born — to form a group that would enjoy campfires and roundups, and also promote the cowboy life in fine art. A year later, in Sedona, Arizona, artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Phippen met with western writer Robert MacLeod, and the Cowboy Artists of America was born. Their vision of an organization in which cowboy artists would gather to create, exhibit and teach about the culture of the Old West is now 50 years strong. The CAA mission is as vital as it was at the beginning — to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art.
“This year, Scottsdale Artists’ School is proud to provide a venue where artists can experience these same feelings felt by the founders of Cowboy Artists of America.
“In celebration of the 50th anniversary of CAA, Scottsdale Artists’ School will be hosting a week of workshops highlighting a handful of cowboy artists who share a common commitment to art and the West. Workshops will take participants on an artistic journey and will celebrate the art of the West. Workshops will be led by: John Coleman, Bruce Greene, Martin Grelle, Paul Moore, Jim Norton, Grant Redden and Jason Scull.
“Throughout the week, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the history of CAA and the passion they share for insuring the authentic representations of the life of the West, as it was and is today.”

The Cowboy Artists of America exhibition is also featured within Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine’s November/December 2015 issue, scheduled to be released this week. 
To learn more about the CAA exhibition, visit Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
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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