Highlights from the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale

| January 11, 2010

coors western art show guide

I had the good fortune to attend the Red Carpet Reception at the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale in Denver last week with my wife and another couple that she works with. The show was held on the evening of January 6th during a nice snowstorm that made getting to the venue a bit of a challenge. It took almost three hours to get there, which is a ride that normally takes about an hour and thirty minutes. Anyway, we got there about 7pm with about 45 minutes to spare to view and bid on the art in the exhibit. Having depleted my acquisition funds a month earlier on a Jay Moore and John Taft painting, I was not planning to buy anything – I just wanted scope out some new artists and enjoy the view.

The art exhibit was separated into two areas, one for sales in the gallery and a long wall outside the gallery for the silent auction. Originally the Western Art Exhibit and Sale began as a joint project between the Coors Brewing Company and the National Western Stock Show, which is considered one of the finest western art exhibits in the United States. The quality of the exhibit was nice and very well attended despite the bad weather. More than 60 artists displayed their work, which included a wide variety of oils, watercolors and sculpture.

I know individual tastes for art vary widely but there were a few artists that I would like to mention that were my personal favorites at the show. First was work by Matt Smith from Scottsdale, Arizona. Matt’s featured work included several very nicely painted landscapes that frankly drew comparisons in my mind to works by Scott Christensen. Sorry Matt for the comparison to someone else but having some familiarity with Christensen’s work I could not help myself. Matt’s piece titled “Pine Creek Wilderness” looked great hanging in the gallery and was one that I could definitely own. “Pine Creek Wilderness” was an oil on canvas at 16×20 inches and was priced at $5900.

Another artist’s work that caught my attention was by Dean Mitchell of Tampa, Florida. His signature piece in the gallery was a 15×30 watercolor called “Midwestern Snow Hills.” The quality of the watercolor rendering and composition was simply beautiful and the atmosphere of the piece captivated me. As is customary for fine works of art, quality comes at a price of $15,000 from this very accomplished artist.

I also enjoyed several pieces by Carolyn Anderson of Havre, Montana. Carolyn’s impressionistic pieces included several portraits that employed the brilliant use of confidently bold and minimalist brush strokes to define her subjects. “Father’s Morning,” a 14×11 selling for $3200 was one of her featured works that I would have gladly taken home with me.

And finally, there were the cows. Teresa Elliott of Alpine, Texas has a way of making cows look, well beautiful. Before seeing her work, I am pretty sure that my wife Donna would not have agreed to putting cows on the wall…until now. We were both captivated by the visual impact of Teresa’s work and how brilliantly well her pieces were painted. As I peered into the multicolored eyes in one piece, I asked myself, “How long must this take?” The compositions were beautifully abstract and the colors were dazzling.  At $7200 for a 30×28 I felt that her pieces represented a great value as well.

So in all, it was great to see a lot of art at once, visit with great company, and know that a portion of $150 per person admission fee was going to support a good cause. I am not sure how the gallery sales went but I would say about 95% of the silent auction pieces were gone by the end of the night. Good economy or not, it was gratifying to see so much original art go out the door.

Category: Fine Art and Painting

Comments (6)

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  1. Pam Holnback says:

    A great post. I just finished looking at all of the artists you mentioned. !! I’ve never been to the opening. But, love the Stock Show.

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks Pam. There was lots to see and plenty of inspired work. Our friends are huge horse folks and will be at the show in one of the jumping events. Thanks for the comment as always!

  3. Perry says:

    Good summary of the show, Lee. Glad to hear auction sales are going well too. Isn’t Dean Mitchell just amazing?

  4. Lee says:

    Thanks. You’ve got that right. Donna and I wend back several times to see his work. His draftsmanship was of utmost perfection and his watercolor skills were unlike any other that I have seen. Thanks for the visit Perry and I hope all is well up north.

  5. Lucky you! I went to the opening the past few years but didn’t make it this year. I heard it sold better this year than last – maybe things are looking up for the art market.

    I love Teresa Elliott’s paintings too. Like you, it’s not like I ever would have thought I’d want a cow painting on my wall, but I sure wish I had one of hers!

  6. Lee says:

    Hi Stacey! Congratulations on the new addition by the way! I was glad to see you back in blogland and twitter as it was not quite the same without you. Sorry I missed you this year but it was a fun show and very busy. Frankly, it was almost tough to see everything for the crowds of people and I have a hard time believing that there was much left after the show. Best of luck to you this year and I will be anxiously anticipating your future works.