FORT WORTH, TEXAS—The 55th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition & Sale, held November 5-6 at Will Rogers Memorial Center, reflected a strong market for traditional Western art with total sales topping $1.2 million. Revenue from the sale was up approximately 30 percent over the 2019 event.
An enthusiastic group of art lovers and buyers attended the show, which culminated in a fixed-price box sale in which 72 percent of the exhibited works sold. An additional 16 bronze castings were sold for a total of 88 pieces purchased. Several artists, including C. Michael Dudash, Tyler Crow, Loren Entz, Martin Grelle and Oreland C. Joe Sr., sold every work they had in the sale.
“The show and sale was a resounding success! Collectors filled the room with energy and excitement as the huge percentage of art sold headed for new homes,” said Bruce Greene, incoming CAA president. “I have seldom seen a sale night that would compare with what we saw in Fort Worth, Texas, last week. The Cowboy Artists of America greatly appreciate the support of the Fort Worth Stock Show, and all of the wonderful donors and collectors who made this fantastic event possible. We are already getting ready for next year!
This year’s event, presented by the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, honored longtime CAA benefactor Anne W. Marion. Mikel Donahue’s Poker Night, an acrylic painting that earned the Gold Medal in water solubles, won the Anne Marion Best of Show Award and sold for $18,500. Other sale highlights were Dudash’s oil painting Eyes That See a Distant Danger, sold at $39,000; Grelle’s In Her Finery, an oil that sold for $45,000; Bill Nebeker’s large bronze If Horses Could Talk, at $48,000; and R.S. Riddick’s oil painting Pony Coup Prize, at $56,000.
Bruce Greene’s pair of baj relief wall panels, Heritage #1 and Heritage #2, brought $28,500 each, with two sets and three additional panels sold. The original panels were created as part of Lady and Her Legacy, featuring a life-size bronze casting of Marion, now on display at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. Greene won the Patron’s Choice Award for the panels, which depict horses and cattle from Marion’s Four Sixes Ranch. Dustin Payne earned the Ray Swanson Memorial Award for his bronze Tales of the Trail. CAA members voted for Clark Kelley Price as the CAA American Hat Award winner for best overall exhibition of work. A complete list of award winners can be found here.
During the event, artists Brandon Bailey and Jack Sorenson were elected to CAA membership. A Wyoming native, Bailey is a former rodeo competitor whose art focuses on cowboys, Native Americans and wildlife. Sorenson grew up and still lives in West Texas, where he focuses on artwork that depicts the traditional Old West.
The Cowboy Artists of America was formed in 1965 in Arizona by artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Phippen to promote the West and cowboy life in art. Through the years its membership has changed, but the mission has remained the same. The CAA’s nonprofit Joe Beeler Foundation promotes the development of young artists in traditional Western art through workshops, mentoring and scholarships. Proceeds from the sale and exhibition help fund the foundation.