Following a robust sold-out opening celebration, the Briscoe Western Art Museum 2023 Night of Artists Exhibition and Sale is off to a fantastic start, with more than $1.8 million in total art sales thus far.
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The sold-out crowd of artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts enjoyed two days of festivities. The event’s live auction set the tone for brisk sales, with a record number of participating telephone and absentee bidders. The event’s fixed-price sale continues through May 7. Based on the kick-off, the museum anticipates another record sales year.
The 2023 Live Auction drew art sales of more than $630,000. Notable sales included artist Don Oelze’s “Distant Smoke,” as well as Bruce Lawes’ “Double Take,” George Hallmark’s “Sombras de San Miguel” and Nicholas Coleman’s “Toilers of the Trails Buffalo Days.”
The 2023 Night of Artists Exhibition and Sale features more than 290 works of painting, sculpture, and mixed media by 81 of the country’s leading Western artists. Internationally recognized artists participating in the show include Billy Schenck, Don Oelze, Z.S. Liang, C. Michael Dudash, George Hallmark, Kim Wiggins, Bonnie Marris, Michael Ome Untiedt, Teresa Elliot, and Jan Mapes.
Notable new artists participating this year include Jeremy Lipking, Eric Bowman, Glenn Dean, Dustin Van Wechel, and Kevin Red Star. Twenty-five percent of the artists included in the exhibition are female, spotlighting the growing diversity in the genre.
“Western art continues to flourish thanks to the talent showcased by our participating artists and the number of new collectors and enthusiasts attending the event illustrates the strength of both the market overall and the genre itself,” said Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “We are grateful to the artists and the art collectors and enthusiasts for sharing our dedication to preserving the unique history of the American West. The passionate support of art enthusiasts and collectors ensures that the future of Western art, and institutions like the Briscoe, is bright.”
Tipping its hat to the best in show, the Briscoe announced its 2023 Night of Artists awards during a luncheon honoring this year’s participating artists.
The 2023 honorees include:
Sam Houston Award for Painting
Alfredo Rodriguez, “To the Diggings, Gold Rush 1849,” 2022, Oil on linen, 30 x 48 in.
James Bowie Award for Sculpture
Jason Scull, “Out Where the Wild Ones Run,” 2022, Bronze, 24.5 x 27 x 16 in.
David Crockett Award for Artists’ Choice
Jeremy Lipking, “Valley Shadows 20,” 2022, Oil on linen, 30 x 40 in.
William B. Travis Award for Patrons’ Choice Sponsored by Western Art Collector
Mary Ross Buchholz, “Likin’ His Job,” 2022, Charcoal and graphite on gessoed ACM panel, 20 x 16 in.
The Briscoe Museum Purchase Award
Todd Connor, “The Widow and the Widower,” 2022, Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in.
The Briscoe Museum Purchase Award recognizes a work chosen to be added to the Briscoe’s permanent collection. At the conclusion of the Night of Artists exhibition, Todd Connor’s “The Widow and the Widower” will be added to the Briscoe’s permanent collection. “I have never been so honored as to have my work included in the Briscoe Museum Collection,” said Connor upon learning of the award.
The Sam Houston and James Bowie Awards represent “Best in Show” recognition, chosen by the Night of Artists Art Selection Committee, an anonymous panel of Western art collectors who are deeply involved with the museum. The David Crockett and William B. Travis awards are selected by fellow artists and show patrons respectively. This year’s award winners, as well as past winners, are highlighted online.
The event’s opening weekend also featured the annual Briscoe Bison Society Collectors Summit, where artists, collectors and gallery owners gather to share their insights during panel discussions and conversations exploring the Western art market and trends. Panelists included artists Don Oelze and Mary Ross Buchholz; collectors Abigail Kampmann and Robert Oliver; Beau Alexander, gallery owner and director of Maxwell-Alexander Gallery and Tim Newton, former executive director of the prestigious Salmugundi Club in New York and current publisher of Western Art & Architecture. Panels were moderated by Michael Clawson, Editor, Western Art Collector.
The Night of Artists exhibition and sale continues through May 7 at the Briscoe, with works featured in the fixed-price sale available for purchase in-person or online. The exhibition is open to the public with museum admission. Everyone can also view the full catalog and online gallery and purchase any work online.