Museum opens annual art sale for 36th year

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is showcasing works by premier Western artists from around the world at its annual contemporary art show.

The 36th annual "Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale," on display through Sept. 7, is one of the finest Western and wildlife art shows in the world, said Chuck Schroeder, executive director of the museum, 1700 N.E. 63rd.

Each year, a committee invites about 100 artists to submit works for the show, each bringing three or four of their best pieces created within the previous year, Schroeder said. The works chosen for "Prix de West" have never been shown publicly prior to the event, he said.

For this year's show, organizers selected 342 pieces by 108 artists, museum spokeswoman Shayla Simpson said.

Each time, the committee receives about 150 new exhibit applicants vying for as few as three open spots, Schroeder said, "so it's very, very competitive."

"It really is a benchmark-setting event in the Western art world," he said, adding that artists are included in the show based on quality of work, but the committee also works to make sure the exhibition has a variety of artistic forms and subjects.

"We try to keep a balance of subject matter in the show," he said, "just to keep it interesting."

Realism is the predominant style, but Schroeder said some pieces highlight impressionism. Although some of the artwork was purchased during the opening weekend, all of the art stays at the museum until September.

Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $8.50 for students and seniors over 62, and $4.50 for children ages 6 through 12. Children 5 and under are free. 

For more information, call 478-2250.

"?Will Holland

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