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"