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Great Amer­i­can West Show

The Great Amer­i­can West Show, known for bring­ing a di­verse group­ing of artists and works to Tucson, Ari­zona, is re­turn­ing to Set­tlers West Gal­leries on Novem­ber 17. This year’s show will fea­ture more than 100 works by 53 artists, with a stun­ning ar­ray of gen­res, styles and medi­ums rep­re­sented.

The an­nual show, which draws a large turnout and many mo­ti­vated buy­ers, kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with a re­cep­tion, fol­lowed by a by-draw in­tent-to-pur­chase sale that starts at 7 p.m. Artists in the show in­clude Wil­liam Ach­eff, Mark Boedges, Harley Brown, Ross Buck­land, Mick Doellinger, Teresa El­liott, Joni Falk, Charles Fritz, Bon­nie Mar­ris, Kenny Mckenna, Dar­cie Peet, Scott Tall­man Pow­ers, R.S. Rid­dick, Roseta San­ti­ago, Andy Thomas, Dustin Van Wechel, Brit­tany Weistling and many oth­ers.

John Fawcett will be pre­sent­ing a new oil, Trad­ing at Pierre’s Hole, a large multi-fig­ure paint­ing that is rooted in his­tory. “Dur­ing the height of the moun­tain man era, a huge ren­dezvous was held in 1832 at Pierre’s Hole, cur­rently the area of Jack­son Hole, Wy­oming. Named for ‘le grand Pierre’ Ti­van­itagon, a Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany trader, this val­ley or ‘hole’ pro­vided nu­mer­ous beaver-rich streams and plen­ti­ful game,” Fawcett says of the work. “This was one of the largest

ren­dezvous in the Rocky Moun­tains with 400 moun­tain men and sev­eral hun­dred lodges of Nez Perce and Flat­heads, and over 3,000 horses. Usu­ally last­ing over two weeks, these yearly gath­er­ings pro­vided trap­pers an out­let for trad­ing and re­sup­ply­ing them­selves, as well as for re­cre­ation and en­ter­tain­ment, gam­bling, con­tests and games.”

A num­ber of Cow­boy Artist of Amer­i­can mem­bers will have work in the an­nual show, in­clud­ing full­time mem­bers Ore­land Joe and C. Michael Du­dash, as well as emer­i­tus mem­bers R.S. Rid­dick and Harley Brown, both of whom have strong ties to Tucson. One of the CAA’S new­est mem­bers, Phil Epp, will be pre­sent­ing a new acrylic work, Empty Spa­ces, which ex­em­pli­fies his con­tem­po­rary and col­or­ful view of the West.

Ad­di­tional works in the show in­clude the wood­land scene The Se­cret Salt Spring, by Robert Griff­ing, which shows seven fig­ures hud­dled around a camp in a thick and shad­owy for­est; a dusty cat­tle-driv­ing scene, The Watch­ful Tally, by Michael Ome Un­tiedt; and three ex­cep­tional land­scapes, each one more dif­fer­ent than the one be­fore it, by Dar­cie Peet.

Jeremy Win­borg will be of­fer­ing his oil A Shield for Her Peo­ple, which shows a strong fe­male fig­ure in a care­ful pose. The piece doesn’t re­quire much push­ing to earn com­par­isons to Robert Henri’s evoca­tive and mas­ter­ful por­traits of women and chil­dren, and yet the piece has a con­tem­po­rary edge to it with Win­borg’s brush­work loosely as­sem­bled be­hind the fig­ure. “I love to paint em­pow­ered women, not just an­other pretty face. I want the viewer to be drawn in and feel the emo­tion of the fig­ure. Whether it’s hap­pi­ness, sor­row or what­ever that emo­tion may be. I want the fig­ure to ini­tially draw the viewer in, but the brush­strokes and de­sign to be the rea­son you’d want to stop and look for a while, or to en­joy that paint­ing for a life­time,” the painter says. “I love the viewer to be able to take a lit­tle 2- or 3-inch sec­tion of my paint­ing, whether it be a face or part of the back­ground, and find that the brush­strokes and palette knife work are in­ter­est­ing and worth your at­ten­tion. A paint­ing is a suc­cess to me if it con­veys emo­tion and is in­ter­est­ing in small pieces as well as a whole.” Ken Carl­son will be pre­sent­ing Red Rock Canyon – Desert Sheep, fea­tur­ing three sheep sub­jects that are shown on a rocky ridge with a softly glow­ing cliff face be­hind them.

New Mex­ico mod­ernist Kim Wig­gins will be show­ing Taos – Har­vest Time, one of his col­or­ful, re­gion­al­ist-in­spired works with its swoop­ing foothills and un­du­lat­ing clouds that rip­ple in his vi­brant color.

“The im­por­tance of Taos, New Mex­ico, and its in­flu­ence on Amer­i­can art can­not be over­stated. By the end of the 19th cen­tury Amer­i­can artists were search­ing des­per­ately for a place and sub­ject mat­ter that would set their work apart from the Euro­pean school of art. Two mec­cas emerged in the wake of this search in con­junc­tion with the mod­ernist move­ment in the United States. By 1920 New York City and Taos were firmly es­tab­lished as po­lar op­po­sites in what the art world would soon con­sider truly ‘Amer­i­can art.’ Taos rep­re­sented the un­tamed, mul­ti­cul­tural West and in many ways sym­bolic of an Amer­i­can Gar­den of Eden,” Wig­gins says. “To­day the in­flu­ence of the Taos So­ci­ety of Artists can be seen in one

way or an­other in most of the top con­tem­po­rary artists on the Western art market. E. L. Blu­men­schein, in par­tic­u­lar, re­mains a heavy in­flu­ence on my life and work through my dear friend, Alexan­dre Hogue. Hogue spent much of his early ca­reer work­ing in Taos dur­ing the late 1920s and early ’30s. He be­came friends with Blu­men­schein, who saw some­thing unique in the young artist. He soon took him aside, shar­ing his mod­ernist vi­sion and giv­ing guid­ance and di­rec­tion to Hogue’s work.”

Wig­gins con­tin­ues: “Early in my own ca­reer (in the mid 1980s) I met Alexan­dre Hogue in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa. Over the course of time he be­came by men­tor seek­ing to pass the torch Blu­men­schein im­parted to him ear­lier in his ca­reer. Dur­ing the late 1980s and early 1990s we had a num­ber of two-per­son shows to­gether in Tulsa, Ok­la­homa, and Santa Fe, New Mex­ico. His gen­er­ous guid­ance changed my life and helped fo­cus my vi­sion as a fledg­ling artist. Al­though he was in his 80s at the time his pas­sion for art burned with the fire and reck­less aban­don­ment of youth. To­day much of my time is spent paint­ing the Taos area. I still hear his voice giv­ing guid­ance and cri­tique to my work. As with this paint­ing, they of­ten fo­cus on the past his­tory and unique­ness of this al­lur­ing land. Hogue felt there was some­thing sa­cred about the Taos area...i be­lieve he was right.”

The Great Amer­i­can West Show will take place Novem­ber 17 and run for a month after­ward, but col­lec­tors are urged to come to the open­ing re­cep­tion, where the vast ma­jor­ity of work is sold by draw on the first night.

Kim Wig­gins, Taos – Har­vest Time, oil, 18 x 24"

John Fawcett, Trad­ing at Pierre’s Hole, oil, 30 x 40"

Jeremy Win­borg,A Shield for Her Peo­ple, oil on panel, 48 x 31"

Michael Ome Un­tiedt, The Watch­ful Tally, oil, 30 x 40"

Phil Epp, Empty Spa­ces, acrylic, 40 x 40"

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