On May 5 Settlers West Galleries in Tucson, Arizona, will once again mark the desert’s most famous season with its annual Summer Show, this year featuring works from 42 of the gallery’s top Western artists.
“Our Summer Show marks the traditional end of our high season, but before our collectors wander back to cooler climates, we enjoy tempting them with works by our longtime favorite artists as well as some new, exciting faces,” says gallery manager Mike Salkowski. “Traditional Western themes are always well represented for this exhibition, but we also feature some more contemporary works. The variety of pieces, artists and price points offers a terrific opportunity for collectors to fill those empty spaces on their walls.”
Participating artists include William Acheff, Mark Boedges, Harley Brown, C. Michael Dudash, Charles Fritz, Ann Hanson, Oreland Joe, Bonnie Marris, Julie Nighswonger, Scott Tallman Powers, Daniel Smith, Andy Thomas, Michael Ome Untiedt and many others.
John Fawcett will be presenting work in two different mediums: Gentle Hands in watercolor and Robe of Valor in oil. For the watercolor, which depicts a cowboy tending to two horses, Fawcett draws from personal experience. “On many of the large ranches in the West, it is common for cowboys to have a ‘string’ of horses that they work off of each day,” the painter says. “Here, the cowboy is finished with his one mount and will take the hobbles off the other in order to use it during the gather and branding. His horses are invaluable in his work, and along with his dog, make his job so much easier and rewarding. A shift of his weight, a nudge of his knee, a flick of his wrist, a soft word and a gentle touch is all the communication he needs with the animals he spends his long days with under the Western sky.”
For Robe of Valor, Fawcett paints a Native American figure as he peers intently toward the viewer. “The Plains Indians recorded with drawings, their exploits with enemies, their successful hunts and any significant weather or other events that affected their tribe, on a buffalo robe which was used as a visual history of the previous year,” he says. “The ‘Winter Count’ robe is worn by an elder, who is the recorder and keeper of this important history for his tribe. Here, this proud Lakota brave is wearing the buffalo robe with valor, for the bravery he exhibited during battle.”
Several other works with Native American subject matter are Stephanie Campos’ charcoal work Crow, inspired by Crow people from Montana in 1908; Robert Griffing’s canoe scene Early Morning Silence; and Roseta Santiago’s Santa Fe Faces, which shows three figures in front of a Santa Fe Railroad sign.
“I have been including the railroad logo in this series of portraits wondering if my father saw and how he felt about these people of the Southwest,” Santiago says. “My father journeyed West on the first Santa Fe Railroad crossing by President Harry Truman as his personal chef. In my imagination, I think it
seemed like a land of enchantment; the same way I feel about Santa Fe today.”
Ross Buckland, who paints adventurous sporting scenes, many of them with airplanes, will be showing True North, a composition with beauty at every layer—from the submerged rocks in a crystal-clear lake in the foreground, to a canoer and his dog in a shady spot on the water, to the airplane soaring through the scene, to the far background, where a snowy mountain rises into the sky dramatically. “Inspired by a nostalgic appreciation for bygone days, when a wilderness escape could be satisfied with a cabin, a canoe and a good dog, True North depicts a de Havilland Canada Beaver departing a remote lake under the watchful eyes of two temporary residents,” Buckland says of the work.
Other impressive scenery includes Phil Epp’s deep blue nocturne landscape with horses titled Night Lights; Darcie Peet’s Arizona-based Wind Clouds; and Kenny Mckenna’s ranch scene On the High Road to Taos, which features a scene in the midst of a seasonal shift. “On the High Road to Taos exemplifies the charm of northern New Mexico,” Mckenna says. “The warm autumn colors of an October day and the rustic red roof in contrast with the snowcapped peaks created an alluring subject to paint.”
Settlers West’s Summer Show will take place May 5, when all the works will be sold in a fixed-price, by-draw sale. Any unsold works will be available at the gallery throughout May.
John Fawcett, Gentle Hands, watercolor, 17 x 16"
Robert Griffing, Early Morning Silence, oil, 12 x 16"
Roseta Santiago, Santa Fe Faces, oil, 8 x 10"
Phil Epp, Night Lights, oil, 20 x 20”