The third annual “The West Select” juried exhibition of western art kicked off for public viewing on November 10 in the Steele Gallery in the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The exhibition will be open until December 31, 2013.
This year, thirty-four selected contemporary artists of The American West presented an aggregate of about 100 NEW works.
As always, the exhibition was excellently curated by the Museum.
A broad range of media was represented, ranging through fine art photography (a few artists), graphite, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, oil, bronze sculpture, and mixed media works ranging in size from finely-painted miniatures to landscapes as big as the, well, landscape! Oil paintings on canvas and linen dominated the media choices.
Subject matter covered the American West, including representations of Western ephemera, portraits of the denizens of the West – people (cowboys, cowgirls, Native Americans, children, citizens), mammals and birds, and of course the landscapes of the West (natural and man-altered). Styles ranged from representational (the majority) to post-modern impressionism – my characterization, as each of these artists creates in a very unique, innovative and well-developed style.
We have had the fortunate opportunity to discuss their work at length with a number of the artists over the years, and continuing at opening exhibitions during this year’s Scottsdale Fall for the Arts, including Arturo Chavez, Josh Elliott, Donna Howell-Sickles, Billy Schenck, and Gary Earnest Smith. All of the artists are well represented by various galleries in Scottsdale, Santa Fe, Tucson, Jackson Hole, Park City and elsewhere in the country.
Sadly, Louisa McElwain, whose works illuminated the Gallery like a supernova last year, as strong and exuberant as her personality, left us early in 2012. She will be dearly missed.
If you find yourself in Central Arizona before the end of 2013, a brief detour in Downtown Phoenix to see The West Select would be a great gift to yourself and your friends!
(Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 North Central Avenue [just a few blocks south of the fabulous Heard Museum] in Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1685. Phone: 602.257.1222; Website: PhxArt.org ).