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.

Western Art Collector - - LETTER EDITOR FROM THE -

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

Greg Woodard.

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”

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