Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale
The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale features works from 60 artists during the National Western Stock Show in Denver.
Colorado’s National Western Stock Show is a cornerstone of the state, a nearly monthlong series of rodeos, trade and livestock shows that celebrate the Western way of life. A monumental component of the Stock Show is the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, now in its 27th year. One of the nation’s most highly attended Western art exhibitions, the show raises funds for the National Western Scholarship Trust, which provides scholarships to students studying agriculture, rural medicine and veterinary science. The Red Carpet Gala Reception opens the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale on Tuesday, January 7, running from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The show and sale then remains open to the public from January 11 to 26.
“With the Coors Show...i tell artists, don’t paint what you think my audience wants...just bring your best work and paint what you have to express,” says show curator Rose Fredrick. “It’s this supportive back and forth [between the organizers and the artists]. We’re like a team, like a community.”
The 2020 featured artist is Sophy Brown, a classically trained artist and horsewoman. “We’re really excited about having her as the featured artist. She’s a strong female painter...and somebody who, at this point, is a midcareer artist,” says Fredrick. “Things have changed with her because of a lot of turmoil in her life...and now that she’s back to painting full time, it’s still her, but there’s a new passion to it. A deeper level of emotion that comes with the work. I’m just thrilled to be presenting her work to our audience.”
Brown’s massive acrylic Maelstrom is charged with energy—an anatomically precise horse, its muscles pulling and flexing, rears onto its hind legs as a cowboy attempts to hang on. “She’s really become quite fearless in putting herself into the work,” says Fredrick.
“It is such an honor to be chosen as the featured artist in this coming Coors Western Art
Show,” says Brown. “I have been lucky enough to participate in 10 previously, and each one of them has introduced me to many interesting people.”
The works of 60 artists in total throughout North America and Europe will be part of the 2020 show, including Michael Blessing, William Haskell, Linda Lillegraven, Jivan Lee, Chris Maynard, Brad Overton, Jill Soukup, Tim Shinabarger and many more.
Fredrick says that this year, she’s noticed an electrifying surge in the power of women artists. “It’s interesting because our women are coming with some of the strongest work out
there,” she says. “How they’re thinking things through, the chances they’re taking. It’s very strong, very confident work.” The curator cites artists like Lois Conner, Laura Wilson, Maeve Eichelberger, Dianne Massey Dunbar, Lillegraven and Stephanie Revennaugh, new to the show this year.
“Our show is really different—it’s contemporary,” says Fredrick. “I’m so grateful that artists trust our venue as a place they can bring their work.”
Show curator Rose Fredrick, left, chats with guests at the 2019 show. Photo by Steve Peterson.
Attendees mingle during the 2019 Red Carpet Gala Reception. Photo by Steve Peterson.
Sophy Brown, Maelstrom, acrylic on board, 92 x 55”
Linda Lillegraven, School Bus, oil on linen, 30 x 60”
Jivan Lee, The Old Apple Tree, oil on linen, 48 x 72”
Michael Blessing, 6+1, oil on canvas, 36 x 24”