The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum sold more than $2.94 million in art during the opening week of the esteemed 47th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale, June 7–14, 2019. A portion of proceeds are allocated toward funding the National Cowboy Museum’s exhibitions and family programming.
“This is the premier Western invitational art exhibition in the world, and the quality of art this year is extraordinary,” said Natalie Shirley, president of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. “Not only is this world-class art on display through August 4 for anyone to enjoy, but there are still a number of pieces available for purchase.”
More than 2,150 people attended the seminars, artist demonstrations, sale, and exhibition over the three-day opening weekend. The top-honored Prix de West Purchase Award winner, given to the artist whose work of art is selected by the Prix de West Committee and purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection, was Oklahoman Paul Moore, for his bronze sculpture titled “The Procession.” In addition to the purchase price, Moore received the Prix de West medallion and a $5,000 award sponsored by Roberta M. Eldridge Miller.
Moore was also chosen for the honored Robert Lougheed Memorial Award. His sculptures, “The Procession,” “Navajo Country,” “The Wood Gatherers,” and “Yaqui Deer Dancer,” won best display of three or more works and a $3,000 award. The award is chosen by Prix de West exhibiting artists and is sponsored by Barbara and Roger Simons in memory of Faydra and George Simons, true Western enthusiasts. All four pieces sold during the opening weekend, although additional castings are available.
During a recognition of his awards at the closing celebration dinner in the museum’s Sam Noble Special Events Center on Saturday night, Moore spoke of a visit to a James Earle Frasier exhibit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum when he was 12 years old as inspiring his desire to become an artist. The museum is home to a number of Frasier’s works, including the iconic “The End of the Trail” sculpture.
“It really stuck with me throughout my whole life and made me want to do major monuments,” Moore said. “If it wasn’t for the (Museum) and seeing that, my whole life would be different.”
Currently, Moore and his sons are wrapping up a 20-year project, “The Oklahoma Land Run Monument,” consisting of 45 life-and-a-half elements stretching over 300 feet in length, located in Oklahoma City.
Other 2019 award winners:
The Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award was awarded to Curt Walters’s 36 x 36 inch oil on canvas painting titled “The Chasm of the Sublime: Plateau Point.” Priced at $62,500, Walters’s painting is still available for purchase. The $3,000 award, chosen by Prix de West patrons, is given to the most popular work of art and is sponsored by the estate of the late Jackie L. Coles.
Benjamin Wu of San Francisco, California, received the Frederic Remington Painting Award for “Coming to the West,” showing a street scene of a wagon bringing in newcomers to an 1850s gold rush town. The 40 x 62 inch oil on linen painting sold for $45,000. Wu received a $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a painting sponsored by Donna Holt, Jan Provine, and Terri Sadler in loving memory of their parents, Russ and Dortha Sadler, lifetime Museum members and docents.
The Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Art Award was given to Washington sculptor Ross Matteson for “Punalu’u.” The bronze, wenge, and maple piece sold for $12,500. The $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting or sculpture is sponsored by the estate of the late Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman.
The James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award was presented to 26-year Prix de West artist Steve Kestrel for his granite riverstone sculpture titled “Butterfly & Bitterroots.” The sculpture is sold for $30,000. Kestrel’s $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a sculpture is sponsored by the Charlie Russell Riders Foundation in honor of Steve Rose.
The Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award, honoring the finest portrayal of cowboy subject matter, was presented to Mehl Lawson for his sculpture “Noon Break.” The 26-inch-tall bronze sold for $12,500, although additional castings are still available. The $3,000 award is sponsored by Robert A. Funk and Express Ranches.
The Donald Teague Memorial Award, honoring an exceptional artwork on paper, was presented to Wyoming artist T. Allen Lawson for “Black Angus.” The 59¾ x 97 inch mixed media on paper mounted on panel is still available for purchase for $88,500. A $3,000 award was sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction.
The Wilson Hurley Memorial Award for landscape painting was presented to 28-year Prix de West artist Len Chmiel for his painting “Lost in Space.” An award of $3,000 was sponsored by Rod Moore, president of Moore Tax and Financial. The 34 x 40 inch oil painting is still available for purchase for $36,000.
The Rusty Parrot Lodge & Spa Gift was awarded to Randal M. Dutra as a way of recognizing his efforts throughout the year in encouraging other artists, assisting with and/or participating in seminar presentations, and offering suggestions and constructive feedback on improving different aspects of the show to both the committee and to the staff of the museum. Each year, the Prix de West committee selects one artist to receive this generous gift, which was donated by owners Ron and Sandy Harrison.
All art remains on display to the public, and unsold works are available for purchase through August 4, 2019. See available works on the online catalog: pdw.nationalcowboymuseum.org.