Heart of the West Contempory Western Art Show & Auction

Angie Ripple

After four years of highly successful art shows as part of the annual Western Art Week in Great Falls, MT (2010-2014) the Western Masters organizers have moved on to creating two new art events: one in Bozeman, Montana, and the other in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Heart of the West Art Show and Auction will make its Bozeman debut at the Best Western Plus Grantree Inn August 11-13, 2016 and returns to the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho Sept. 1-4.  

This annual high-end indoor art show features established, professional artists who create fine art paintings, drawings, and sculptures; all are invited to be part of a group of 100 fabulous Contemporary and Western artists for demonstrations, educational presentations, live auctions and a chance for visitors to the show to discover new artwork they can fall in love with.

Organizers Steve and Morgan Cawdry have put the emphasis of the shows on quality as they have sought out and recruited emerging artists, all with exceptional talent, who may not have yet had the opportunity to participate in similar art shows in their careers.

 Bozeman was chosen for the first of the 2016 Art Shows for its vibrant art community, great galleries, rapid growth, and ability to appeal to tourists from around the world on their way to Yellowstone National Park. Events over the three-day period are designed to attract heavy foot traffic, and all events are free and open to the public. Exhibit rooms at the Best Western Plus Grantree Inn will open Thursday, August 11 from 10am-9pm. On Friday and Saturday the exhibit rooms are open from 10am-9pm. Two Quick Finish demo events will feature artists completing a work that’s in progress, having it ready for display and auction within a two-hour time period; the pieces will be auctioned immediately afterward. A portion of the proceeds from Quick Finish will go the Museum of the Rockies. Educational presentations, Art Chats, and a main live auction will also take place over the weekend.

Bozeman Magazine was fortunate to catch up with two of the artists participating in the Bozeman Heart of the West Art Show. Rachel Harvey paints contemporary landscapes in oil from her studio in Mount Hood, Oregon. Rachel has been painting full time for about nine years. Being a full time artist is her second vocation, after an accounting career and two children brought her to her passion, painting. Rachel says “This is all I do! I’m obsessed with it. I’m very lucky to make a living from my art.”

A veteran art show artist, Rachel exhibits at about fifteen shows per year, including outdoor festivals, indoor shows, such as Heart of the West, and gallery exhibitions, plus an open studio or two. She has followed the directors of this show since they ran the Western Masters show in Great Falls. This year she submitted her work for the Coeur d’Alene and Bozeman shows and was delighted to be juried into both events. When asked what she is most looking forward to at this year’s HOWAS exhibit(s) she said, “Seeing the other artists’ work. I’m pleased to be amongst some fabulous talent, and I anticipate total visual saturation. Can’t wait!”

On Friday August 12 from 5-7pm Rachel will be one of about a dozen artists participating in the Quick Finish demo. She doesn’t have an image in mind yet for the painting she will be completing, but she will be in Bozeman earlier in the week, with her family, so she plans to find some local inspiration. She has submitted a painting of Sacajawea Peak to be considered for a future cover of Bozeman Magazine--keep a look out and be sure to find her contemplative, contemporary landscape paintings at Heart of the West.

 The second artist we spoke with is Bozeman/Belgrade artist Wendy Marquis, best known for her truck paintings, she is a painter of “Rural Romance.” Wendy’s Art Studio and Gallery is located at 9 E Main St, Belgrade, MT where you will always find her in her element with her paintings on the wall. After working as a faux finisher, muralist, furniture painter, and fine artist for many years, Wendy has decided to share her artistic knowledge with others, both selling her work in the gallery and teaching classes for all ages.

Since opening the Studio/Gallery almost three years ago, the number of art shows she has participated in has decreased, but the quality of her artwork has increased! In the past she has exhibited at Sweet Pea, SLAM, Farmers’ Markets, Emerson events, Montana Folk Festival, etc. This will be Wendy’s first Heart of the West Art Show and she is one of the artists sought out and recruited by the Cawdreys as an emerging artist.

Wendy will also be participating in the Friday Quick Draw. When asked what she is most looking forward to at the event she said, “I am looking forward to having an opportunity to get my art in front of many new art lovers and art collectors there who may have an interest in my work. I am looking forward to seeing the work of the artists who have been selected for this show and gain inspiration as well.”

The Heart of the West Art Show and Auction will introduce itself to all Bozeman art lovers this August with the intention to become a summer staple. We hope you will not miss this Masters showcase.

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