Each year the Mountain Oyster Club in Tucson, Arizona, hosts an enticing art show and sale, complete with some of the finest examples of Western painting, drawing, and sculpture. The results?
November 22 was an exciting day in Tucson, Arizona, as the acclaimed Mountain Oyster Club hosted its annual Art Show, which features nearly 500 dazzling works of American Western art. As the club itself states, “There are many colorful stories of how the Mountain Oyster Club came to be. There is probably a thread of truth in most of them. The most common versions say that it was begun by a group of cowboys, playboys, ranchers, polo players, race-horse types, and others whose unacceptable behavior had gotten them thrown out of all of the respectable establishments in Tucson. Whether the real reason for its creation was to give ranchers and their wives a place in town where they could feel at home in their boots and Levi’s and shoot out the lights without offending the rest of the membership or some other less interesting purpose, we know it began in 1948.”

McCalla Award winner Julie Bell (center) (c) The Mountain Oyster Club 2015

Although the Art Show began on November 22, sales continue even today, with a large number of works still available. The results in sales were outstanding this year, totaling nearly $400,000. A full catalogue of works included can be found here.
Several awards are given to deserving artists each year. Artist Stephen C. Datz was selected as Artist Member by the Mt. Oyster Art Committee for his dedication to the club, excellence in the field, and popularity among patrons. Each Artist Member donates a work to the club after selection in exchange for a lifetime membership.

Wieghorst Award winner Paul Hopman (left) and his work “The Mighty” (c) The Mountain Oyster Club 2015

The McCalla Award is given in memory and honor of Denis McCalla, a former dealer for the club. The award signifies the Best in Show as selected by the winning artist’s peers; it was taken home by Julie Bell for her lovely painting “Listening.”
The Wieghorst Award honors Olaf Wieghorst, who was the first Artist Member at the club. This Best in Show selection is made by the Art Committee and was awarded to Paul Hopman for his piece “The Mighty.”
To learn more, visit The Mountain Oyster Club.
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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