Night of Artists
The Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Night of Artists kicks off March 29 with its opening weekend festivities and the second annual Collectors Summit.
San Antonio, TX
For the past 15 years, the Briscoe Western Art Museum has hosted its annual Night of Artists exhibition and sale with 80 leading Western artists exhibiting new paintings and sculptures. This year’s 16th annual show continues the tradition with more than 300 pieces by the exhibitors on view in a variety of subject matter and styles. To kick off the festivities on the banks of San Antonio, Texas’ River Walk, the museum hosts an opening weekend where collectors and artists converge.
At the 2018 show, the Briscoe premiered its Collectors Summit at the Hotel Contessa on the River Walk. The summit is a two-part ticketed event for seasoned and emerging collectors alike, featuring a panel discussion about the market and its trends. This year’s second edition opens the Night of Artists
festivities on March 29 and 30. At the museum will be the signature events where the participating artists’ works will be available.
“Night of Artists has become a premier showcase of this region’s emerging and well-renowned contemporary Western artists,” says Michael Duchemin, president and CEO of the museum. “Last year’s response and art sales were overwhelmingly successful and we are looking forward to another remarkable year.”
On Friday, March 29, at 6 p.m. is the exception preview, awards dinner and live auction on the museum’s Jack Guenther Pavilion. During the evening guests are treated to the exhibition, as well as cocktails and a seated dinner, a live auction and the awards presentation. The following night, at 5:30 p.m., is the grand opening of the exhibition and the “Luck of the Draw” art sale where all of the works in the show are available for purchase.
Among this year’s exhibitors are many return artists including Suzanne Baker, Greg Beecham, Shawn Cameron, John Coleman, Brent Cotton, Glenn Dean, C. Michael Dudash, Martin Grelle, George Hallmark, Mark Maggiori, Curt Mattson, Bill Nebeker, Don Oelze, Paul Rymer and Kim Wiggins. Newcomers to Night of Artists are R. Tom Gilleon, Doug Hyde, Joe Kronenberg, Ed Kucera, Bonnie Marris, Randy Van Beek, Joseph Velazquez, Jeremy Winborg and
Wiggins will present a number of new works for the show including one related to the Battle of the Alamo titled Colonel Crockett’s Return from Cibolo Creek. The painting is from the same series as his 2018 Night of Artists work titled The Texans. As Wiggins explains, “It focused on an event that took place on March 3, 1836, in which Col. Crockett and two other men were sent out to look for possible reinforcements. The 2019 Briscoe Night of Artists will feature a companion piece in the series further capturing the event that took place on the evening of March 3 and early morning March 4. This painting portrays Crockett’s return hours later with greatly needed reinforcement forces found along Cibolo Creek. To my knowledge this is the first time this particular event has been depicted on canvas. The Battle of the Alamo would take place only a few days later on March 6, 1836.”
Beecham’s equine painting When Orange and Black Clash is another that will be available in the exhibition. “On an April morning in Eastern Utah, I watched these two wild stallions of the Onaqui herd do battle,” Beecham recalls. “Most of the frequent fights among the herd’s stallions last no more than a few seconds. That is a good thing as they are exceptionally violent. These two, however, kept up their skirmish over a period of about 15 minutes— giving me ample time to photograph and dream of composing their rough beauty and toughness into a painting.”
Another wildlife-themed painting in the show is Marris’ buffalo piece Twenty Below. She says, “Almost every year I go west to photograph buffalo. I love painting them and
watching them especially in winter. They are like great monoliths withstanding whatever the weather throws at them. Pushing deep heavy snow around with their great heads, steam huffing from their nostrils, they search for any grass beneath.”
In describing his piece for the show, Crossing White Water Creek, Dudash explains, “I love painting landscapes, and river/water scenes are especially enjoyable, so placing a group of rim-lit riders crossing the middle of a rushing creek makes for a lot of fun and creates many interesting challenges as well. In this case, the mountain man is taking the lead for what he hopes will be a successful journey. The Indians seem content to let him blaze the trail, and are putting their trust in their white trapper friend.”
Bronze works in the show include Stefan Savides’ Pins & Curls and Coleman’s He Who Jumps Over Everyone.
Of the former piece, Savides describes, “Pins & Curls featuring two of the most sought-after waterfowl, a mallard and a pintail, are sculpted to depict the explosive excitement one feels as thee birds flush from their watery environment.”
Coleman’s work is based on a historical account. “In the early 1830s while a guest of the Crow, George Catlin was being entertained by some of the men and he expounded on their flamboyant exuberance as they performed on their horses,” Coleman says. “Catlin painted one such individual, He Who Jumps Over Everyone, who rode his horse back and forth, rearing and jumping as he showed off his extraordinary skills of horsemanship. Dressed in full Crow regalia, his horse was also heavily adorned and wore a matching war bonnet which demonstrated the prestige and close relationship between them.”
After the opening weekend closes, the Night of Artists public exhibition will run March 31 to May 5, with any unsold artwork available for purchase.
Guests enjoy the Friday night dinner at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.
Kim Wiggins, Colonel Crockett’s Return from Cibolo Creek, oil, 36 x 48”
Greg Beecham, When Orange and Black Clash, oil, 40 x 40”
Xiang Zhang, The Arrival, oil on linen, 36 x 48”
bronze, 50 x 38 x 20” Left:Stefan Savides,Pins & Curls,bronze,33 x 25½ x 33”
Above: John Coleman, He Who Jumps Over Everyone,
Bonnie Marris, Twenty Below, oil, 36 x 24”
C. Michael Dudash, Crossing White Water Creek, oil on linen, 36 x 48”