50th Prix de West Spotlight: John Coleman

Posted on June 13, 2022 by Melissa Stewart in

It’s here! The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s 50th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale is officially on exhibit now through August 7, with the sale weekend set to take place June 17–18.  If you can’t make it to the Museum, the online catalog is now LIVE too.

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.  

Our next Prix de West artist in the spotlight is John Coleman. Coleman has participated in Prix de West since 2005, and in 2018 he was honored with his third Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award for his life-size sculpture of The Healer. He also won the James Earle Frasier Sculpture Award in 2009 and 2014. 

The Healer ” Bronze | 33 1/2″ H x 12 1/2″ w x 10″ D

“My Sculpture, The Healer, is artistically a medicine man in his simplest form. In his hand, he holds symbols of his power, a Christian cross and a dragonfly cross which represent limitless possibilities as the dragonfly is not limited in its direction. Most Native American tribes believe that health is an expression of the spirit and the continual process of staying strong spiritually leads to great strength, physically and mentally.” – John Coleman

“Crazy Horse, 1876″ Oil on canvas | 48″x29”

“In this painting, Crazy Horse stands in front of his exploit robe which chronicles the famous battle with Custer. It is based on historic records of Crazy Horse and the battle of 1876. The painted hail stones and lightning bolt on his face depict his personal power which he received in a vision. He is wearing a kestrel headdress made from a type of hawk, which is said he had an affinity to. The eagle wing bone whistle, war club, spotted  buffalo calf cape and an 1866 Winchester Yellow Boy rifle were all mentioned in historical documents as part of his battle gear.”

 

“Night Spirit” Charcoal on paper | 26″x 17″

“To a lot of the Native peoples, the falcon spiritually represents the universe, including the moon and the stars. The portrayal of a plains warrior with a kestrel headdress invokes the spirit of the night.” – John Coleman

 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. 

As an emeritus member of the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) and as an artist who has recently had two of the most highly successful one-man gallery shows, why do you continue participating in the Prix de West? 

“Art is my life, so staying relevant has always been my goal. The level of artists who gather for the Prix de West every year, without a doubt, are some of the very best artists in the country. We all have a shared interest in the pursuit of excellence and advancing the quality of our work to a higher level. That is why participating in the Prix de West has always meant much more to me than being a marketplace for my work. 

I believe the success of my career is owed a lot to my involvement in this exclusive show. Being leveled against such a prestigious group is beyond compare. 

Come see Coleman’s work in person at Prix de West, now through August 7!

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. 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. 

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