Excitement is in the air at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum as we prepare for the 50th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale. The exhibition opens June 2, 2022, with the sale weekend set to take place June 17–18.
Prix de West showcases the American West through the work of today’s finest contemporary Western artists. In celebration of the 50th Prix de West, we will be spotlighting artists, discovering works currently resting in the Museum vault and sharing the history of this prestigious exhibition and sale.
In the history of the Prix de West, there have only been seven artists to receive the Purchase Award twice. And of those seven artists, George Carlson is the only artist who has received the Prix de West Purchase Award for two different mediums – sculpture (1975) and painting (2011). He was a guest artist for the National Academy of Western Art exhibition in 1974, which was the predecessor to Prix de West. He returned in 1975 to win the Prix de West Purchase Award for his bronze Courtship Flight. In 1989, he won the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award. He won the award six more times between 2010 and 2015. He has also designed the Prix de West collectors’ bolo twice. In 2010, 2014 and 2018, he won the Frederic Remington Painting Award. Carlson is the most celebrated artist in Prix de West with 21 awards to his name.
The following interview is an excerpt from “What Makes Prix de West the Premier Western Fine Art Show in the Country?” written by Prix de West Committee Chairman Dan Corazzi for the 50th Prix de West commemorative catalog.
In your opinion, what does the Prix de West and all that it stands for mean to the world of Western fine art?
Each year, there are hundreds of artists who submit works, for consideration, to the Prix de West selection committee. This alone is an indication of the importance and of the standing that the Prix de West has in the arena of Western Fine Art.
What the Prix de West means to me, as it has since my beginning with the show in 1974, is a high-quality venue – not only in its beautiful physical presence but just as … if not more importantly, are the people behind the scenes – through their commitment to Western Fine Art and in their support of the artists involved in the show … always making one feel welcomed and respected. The Prix de West has encouraged me to push and challenge myself, be it sculpture or painting, to bring to the show works that ring of some truth and vitality expressing my feelings for the people, fauna, and the earth itself. For this I am most grateful.
To see this full story and other special features, be sure to get your copy of the special hardbound 50th Prix de West commemorative catalog. Catalogs will be available through the Museum Store starting June 6. Premium package attendees to Prix de West receive a complimentary copy of the catalog, as well as a commemorative bolo and access to seminars, luncheons, the cocktail preview and the fixed-price draw for art & closing celebration. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/prix-de-west.