The Eiteljorg Museum’s Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale returns to Indianapolis September 8-9, 2023, attracting fans and admirers of Western American art and many of the country’s top Western artists.
Now in its 18th year, Quest for the West generates excitement and support for Western American art, allowing artists to reconnect with longtime collectors and meet new ones. Guests engage with the artists in an intimate setting and marvel at the diverse display of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and sculptures. Since its inception in 2006, Quest has generated more than $17.5 million in art sales, with artists receiving nearly $13.2 million.
The Quest show will open to the public on Sunday, September 10, where it can be viewed at the museum through Sunday, October 8. Any unsold art will remain for sale through the run of the exhibition.
This year’s Quest for the West will be significant for another reason: It will be the first Quest for the Eiteljorg Museum’s new president and CEO, Kathryn Haigh. In May, Haigh took over the reins of the Eiteljorg, succeeding longtime Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall, who retired June 30.
“As one of the Eiteljorg’s iconic events each year, Quest for the West has played an important role in increasing awareness of the Western American art genre.” Haigh said. “It has also been vital to raising the Eiteljorg’s profile nationally, helping support the museum and build on our renowned collection.
“I look forward to experiencing my first Quest for the West, which brings together friends, collectors, and artists from all over the country who are passionate about Western art. I am grateful to the Western Art Society, artists, patrons, sponsors, and the hard-working museum employees and volunteers who make this unique event so memorable,” Haigh said.
Highlights of this year’s Quest for the West opening weekend are:
Art and Artists. Newly created artwork by 50 contemporary artists of the Western American genre will be shown and sold during Quest. Familiar artists returning include Robert Griffing, George Hallmark, Heide Presse, Mark Kelso, Dean Mitchell, Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, and others. This year’s Quest welcomes four new artists: Luke Anderson, Dave LaMure Jr., Rich Loffler, and Ezra Tucker.
Main Art Sale. On Saturday, September 9, pre-registered Quest attendees can participate in a fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale. Absentee bids also are accepted. Quest is not an auction; instead, a bidder whose name is drawn gets the first right to purchase a particular work of art. If the bidder passes, the next person whose ballot is drawn has the opportunity to buy it. This process continues until a lucky bidder accepts and becomes the happy new owner of the artwork. The bidding period is filled with suspense and excitement for bidders and artists alike.
Miniature Art Sale. Before the larger Saturday sale, the Quest weekend of art viewing and bidding kicks off on Friday, September 8, during a Friday evening reception and miniature art sale. Many Quest artists create smaller works of art, appealing both to first-time and experienced collectors who seek smaller pieces at lower price points. Buyers can take miniature art purchases home that evening.
Art Awards. Artists compete for special awards presented during a Saturday, September 9 awards banquet following the main art sale. The acclaimed Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award goes to a work that The Western Art Society purchases for the museum’s permanent collection.
Meet Quest special guest Jim Hatzell. Telling tales from the open range and the TV and silver screen, special guest Jim Hatzell will delight opening weekend audiences September 8 and 9. Pre-registered guests attending Friday evening’s Quest for the West reception will hear entertaining stories and insights from Hatzell. On Saturday afternoon following a luncheon at the museum, Quest attendees will enjoy stories and anecdotes told by this artist, photographer, and movie and TV film crew veteran.
Hospitality. Guests will enjoy delicious dining experiences all weekend in the museum’s beautiful Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court, which was expanded in 2022. Pre-registered attendees also can enjoy weekend programming honoring the artists and other activities, including a luncheon September 8 and a tour of the architecturally magnificent Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis.
For more about Quest for the West, including a complete list of artists, an early look at the art, opening weekend registration or absentee buyer information, visit quest.eiteljorg.org.
Quest for the West is presented by The Western Art Society and Avis Foundation, Inc.