State of the Art: California
California undeniably elicits Western sentiments. As a frontier state, the culture of ranching, exploration and the cowboy life spreads rapidly through the land and its history. Californians and visitors alike will find no shortage of galleries, events, artists and organizations that conjure these Western sensibilities, from portrayals of our country’s national parks to depictions of bronco busters, wildlife and Native American scenes.
Located in the massive metropolitan city of Los Angeles is Maxwell Alexander Gallery, which, in addition to its collection of contemporary realism, specializes in historic Western works and Southwest landscapes.
The Autry Museum of the American West in LA’S Griffith Park features galleries filled with Native American art and cultural materials, film memorabilia, historic firearms, paintings, interactive areas and more. The museum also hosts numerous Western art events throughout the year, including the 23rd annual Masters of the American West Exhibition &
Sale happening this year on February 7. Each fall, there’s also the American Indian Arts Marketplace, the largest Native American art market in Southern California, featuring 200 artists from more than 40 nations.
Pasadena is home to American Legacy Fine Art, showcasing contemporary and traditional paintings and sculpture, including artists who often paint in Western subject matter like Bill
Anton, Tim Solliday and Mian Situ.
Held in Paso Robles, a city known for its wineries and olive groves, the Cattlemen’s Western Art Show & Sale celebrates 30 years this April. Artists whose work will be showcased at the 2020 exhibition include Vicki Catapano, Sarah Phippen, Robert Rodriquez, Bill Churchill, Gloria Chadwick and more, along with the 2020 featured artist, oil painter Valeriy Kagounkin.
The state of California is massive, and there are seemingly endless possibilities to discover art along its shore and inland. Other galleries and artists offering up Western art include Miles and Miles Trading in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as equine and landscape painter Carol Peek.
Los Angeles Arts District with mural by Shepard Fairey. Courtesy Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
An example of some of the internationally-famous Coachella mural art in the greater Palm Springs area.
A view of Old Town La Quinta in La Quinta, California.
The Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.