National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum announces the 10 Prix de West award winners and total sales amount of the art sale and auction.
OKLAHOMA CITY, June 14 — The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosted more than 700 guests at the 44th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale during Opening Weekend, June 10 – 11. Weekend art sales reached more than $2.6 million with a portion allocated toward funding the National Cowboy Museum’s programs. The exhibition features 306 sculptures and paintings by 99 contemporary Western artists and remains on exhibit through August 7.
The top-honored Prix de West Purchase Award winner, and given to the artist whose one work of art is selected by the Prix de West Committee and purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection, was David A. Leffel of El Prado, New Mexico, for his 23 by 19-inch oil on canvas painting, Jonathan Warm Day Coming. The Prix de West Purchase Award was sponsored by Roberta Miller.
After the announcement was made in the National Cowboy Museum’s Sam Noble Special Events Center, Leffel said, “I can’t believe I’ve really won [the] Prix de West [Purchase Award], but out of all my paintings, I think this one is my very best and I’m so happy it will remain here.”
This is Leffel’s first Prix de West Purchase Award. His award-winning painting is a portrait of Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Leffel’s friend, a Native American storyteller and artist who was born and raised on the Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. Over only four portrait sessions, Leffel painted his friend’s demeanor as dignified and proud. Of the painting’s subject, Leffel said, “Jonathan is a warmhearted and generous human being, as soon as he’d put on the heirloom Indian blanket, he transformed into a regal and ceremonial subject of study.” The artist elaborated that the blanket worn by Warm Day Coming goes back many generations and is rarely seen today.
Other 2016 award winners received $3,000 including:
· The Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, chosen by the Prix de West artists’ favorite display of three or more works in the 2016 show, was given to T. Allen Lawson of Rockport, Maine. His three oil paintings include Burr Canyon Cinema, The Gathering, and Autumn Tapestry; the award was sponsored by Barbara and Roger Simons.
· Terri Kelly Moyers of Santa Fe, New Mexico, earned the Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award for her 36 by 36-inch oil painting, Las Flores. This category was voted on by Prix de West art buyers for the work they most admire and was sponsored by the Estate of the late Jackie L. Coles’.
· Bill Anton of Prescott, Arizona, and Jeremy Lipking of Calabasa, California, shared the Frederic Remington Painting Award for exceptional merit for a painting. Anton’s 36 by 42-inch oil on linen painting, Deep in the Wind Rivers, and Lipking’s 40 by 60-inch oil on linen painting, Between Past and Present, will share the honor for 2016. This award was sponsored by Donna Holt, Jan Provine, and Terri Sadler.
· The Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award, given for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting or sculpture, was awarded to Greg Beecham of Dubois, Wyoming, for his 24 by 48-inch oil on linen painting, Another Balmy Day on Captain Hudson’s Bay, and was sponsored by the Estate of the late Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman.
· Traditional or Contemporary Design?, a pink Portuguese marble sculpture by Doug Hyde (Nez Perce) of Prescott, Arizona, was the winner of the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award. This award was for exceptional artistic merit for a sculpture and was sponsored by the Charlie Russell Riders in honor of Steve Rose.
· The Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award, sponsored by Robert A. Funk, was given for the best cowboy subject matter and was awarded to Bill Nebeker of Prescott, Arizona, for his bronze sculpture, Cold Mornin’ Cow Camp.
· The Donald Teague Memorial Award was given for exceptional artistic merit for a work on paper and was awarded to Susan Lyon, of King, North Carolina, for her 28 by 30-inch watercolor and pastel painting, Juanita with Red Ribbons.
· This year the National Cowboy Museum announced the presentation of a Directors’ Choice Award for Outstanding Landscape, and the award was given to T. Allen Lawson for his 46 by 42-inch oil on linen painting, Burr Canyon Cinema. This special consideration award is not given every year but at the Prix de West Committee’s discretion.
The highest-selling work of art was In Quest of the Cree, a 42 by 60-inch oil on linen by guest artist, Z.S. Liang of Agoura Hills, California. Liang’s painting sold during the Saturday evening fixed-price sale for $78,000. Artwork without the traditional Prix de West blue “sold” dot is available for purchase until August 7 through The Museum Store.