Show Stopping!

The Quiet Voice of Waters Fall by artist C. Michael Dudash

Western painters and sculptors exhibit contemporary works of Western realism at the Cowboy Artists of America’s 55th Annual Exhibition and Sale.

Written by Constance Dunn

In 1965 a small group of career artists—friends, colleagues and cowboys passionate about the American West—met at the Oak Creek Tavern in Sedona. The reason? To authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art. The men settled on creating an organization, the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA), now the preeminent organization for Western artists. Among CAA’s focus has been the creation of quality works to “authentically” represent Western life, past and present; the protection of its members’ creative rights; and to serve as a trusted beacon for collectors of the genre. Along with its reputation, CAA membership (by invitation only) has grown to form a Who’s Who of Western artists who exhibit their works at CAA’s 55th Annual Exhibition and Sale.

This impressive showcase is taking place November 5 and 6 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. On Friday evening, the 5th, attendees can peruse moving works of Western realism—primarily paintings and sculptures—created by award-winning CAA artists like Grant Redden, Bruce Greene and Wayne Baize during a ticketed Art Preview and Reception. Saturday is set aside for the exhibit and sale; held at the expansive Round Up Inn ballroom at the Memorial Center, attendees can meet and get autographs from CAA artists, and attend an awards luncheon and afternoon panel discussion.

Snookered by artist Tom Browning

Mato-Tope by artist John Coleman

Artist events include a presentation by oil painter Tom Browning, and a live demo by Michael Dudash, known for his dramatic oil-on-canvas renderings of the personalities and scenes of the Old West. These two events will take place at the nearby Sid Richardson Museum (located about 10 minutes by car from the Memorial Center), which is home to works by famed 19th century Western artists such as Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, who are both featured in the Museum’s permanent collection. Saturday evening culminates in a black-tie-optional gathering, where CAA show attendees and artists can mingle over music, cocktails and more Western works.

A half century ago, the five CAA founders came together in the hope that their craft, and the rich, singular realm of the American West, would not fade away. Decades later, distinguished CAA artists continue to vividly render scenes of its uniquely colored landscape, people and animals. Though their sculptures and canvasses, they’re keeping the founders’ mission, and the legacy of the West, alive—beyond the reaches of time, memory and tradition.

The Wagon Burner by Oreland Joe Sr.

Afternoon Breeze by Phil App

Photographs courtesy of Cowboy Artists of America