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Prix de West Spotlight: Joel Johnson

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is preparing for the 50th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale, opening June 2, 2022.

Prix de West brings artists and patrons together to showcase 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 long-running art exhibition & sale.

Joel R. Johnson, this week’s artist in the spotlight, carefully depicts the effects of light on form in terms of color, value, and the subtleties of texture and weight, that can be seen on the landscapes of the American West through his chosen medium of watercolor. 

 “My inspiration comes from the beauty of the western landscape,” he said. “The dramatic light which reveals the intense and subtle colors and the shadows that evoke a sublime feeling of the vastness of space.”

Johnson will be returning for his 5th consecutive Prix de West in June. One of the pieces he is bringing this year is titled Last Light, in transparent watercolor.   

“Visiting and sharing ideas with all of the great artists is an honor to be included with them,” he said. “The seminars are so very informative to the knowledge and insight into the importance of western art in the contemporary world.” 

Johnson has a master’s degree in painting from Utah State University and a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Westminster College. As a watercolor artist, he has gained notoriety, won multiple awards and is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and the Florida Watercolor Society. 

According to Johnson, one of the things he is most excited about this year is learning from his fellow artists.

At last year’s Prix de West, Johnson won the Donald Teague Memorial Award for exceptional artistic merit for a work on paper for his transparent watercolor titled Sunset Reflections.

Prix de West

Featuring paintings and sculptures by the finest contemporary Western artists working today, the 50th annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will open June 2, 2022, with the Art Sale Weekend scheduled for June 17 – 18.

Prix de West is the nation’s premier Western art exhibition and sale showcasing original works ranging from historical depictions of the American West to more contemporary and impressionistic pieces. Artwork from this world-renowned event will be on exhibit through August 7, 2022.

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