Cowboy Crossings

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Travel the West at Cowboy Crossings Show

Fine Art Portrays Western Culture

BY M. J. VAN DEVENTER

If you love to see western paintings, sculpture and exquisite trappings of the American West, the “Cowboy Crossings” show will be a “must” on your October calendar.

Slated Oct. 11-12 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the show provides a fascinating tour through the visual and functional art of the West.

The show represents the unique artistic viewpoints of members of the Cowboy Artists of America and the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. The two national art groups merged their talents in 2011 to present this annual show.

Now, under the Cowboy Museum’s umbrella, their show gives western art enthusiasts a weekend that reveals these artists’ love for portraying the west in oils and watercolors, bronze and marble, silver and rawhide braiding.

The Cowboy Artists of America have been in existence for 48 years. Twenty-one artists from across the United States are current members, having been invited to join the CAA, based on their merits as artists. Six members have earned emeritus status in this elite art fraternity. Bruce Greene is the current president.

The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association has been in existence for 15 years, and held their first exhibit and sale at the National Cowboy Museum. Today, 15 members, also from across the United States and Canada, comprise this prestigious group of Western craftsmen turned artists. Ernie Marsh is the current president.

Combining their talents for this exhibition creates an art show that reflects what Greene calls “the very core of Western American art and craftsmanship.” Marsh adds, “These works of functional and traditional art are representative of the cowboy and our Western culture.”

The paintings, sculptures, saddles, silverwork and leather art provide historical and contemporary perspectives on the cowboy lifestyle. The paintings reflect the way real cowboys live and work. The cowboy gear, from saddles to spurs, reveals the exquisite craftsmanship that makes these cowboy trappings coveted collectors’ items.

A special feature of the show is the Minimum Bid painting. It is a 34” x 34” oil on canvas titled Caught A Little Deep, painted by the late Bill Owen, who accepted membership in the CAA in 1973. Owen, a long-time participant in the Museum’s annual Prix de West show, died suddenly June 15, 2013.

Cowboy Crossings includes an opening reception and preview October 11 at 6 p.m. The Oct. 12 schedule includes an autograph party with artists signing the commemorative 2013 poster, a luncheon and three panel discussions. The Cowboy Crossings sale begins at 5 p.m., followed by the high spirited drawing for sales and an awards banquet.

Saturday seminar topics include Mentor to Mentor, a panel discussion following a luncheon. The talk features Ernie Marsh and Mark Drain, TCAA, and R. S. Riddick and Jason Scull, CAA, moderated by Don Reeves, the Museum’s curator of cowboy culture.

“The Artist’s Role ~ Telling the Story of Historical Painting” will feature CAA artist Dave Powell sharing his expertise during a live painting demonstration. Powell will share vignettes from consulting experiences on the movie sets of Lonesome Dove, Sea Biscuit, Silverado and Back to the Future.

TCAA silversmith Scott Hardy will close the seminars with an anatomical look at a three-piece buckle set ~ A Pictorial Journey from Design to Completion.

Chuck Schroeder, Museum president, said the exhibition and sale “provides a special opportunity for people from all walks of life to see and experience the work of these gifted folks and get to know their stories.”

The show and sale continues through January 5, 2014. Additional information and reservation details are available by contacting the Museum at 405 478-2250, Ext. 219. Check out the Museum’s website at www.nationalcowboymuseum.org for a preview of the 150-piece show.

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