Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale Announces 2016 Prize Winners in Western Art

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Now that the countdown has begun toward the 35th Annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, the show's jury has announced three prize-winning works of western art. The awards total $40,000 and include awards for a two-dimensional work, a three-dimensional work, and a piece that represents the spirit of the show.

Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale winning artist

Michael Dudash, "Turkey Hunter," Spirit of the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale Award

...the caliber of artist and the work submitted is stronger than ever

A strong show of contemporary western art, the 2016 Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale now on display at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, has seen immediate benefit from new incentives for participating artists. Still limited to 106 applicants, the caliber of artists and the work submitted is stronger than ever, making this year’s show one of the most exciting in recent history.

Sponsored by the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, the Center of the West hosts the western art show, along with the 2016 Silent Auction selections and the Mini Wall Sale. While the auction and mini-sale pieces are now available for online purchase, the juried works are sold at live auction Friday, September 23, 2016. All proceeds benefit the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, the Center of the West, and various art organizations in the Cody area.

Recently, four prominent jurors chose prizewinners from the live auction submissions. The group included renowned art historian and Center of the West Director Emeritus, Peter Hassrick; author and art aficionado, Chase Reynolds Ewald; and contemporary art collectors Gary and Susan Miller.

Artist Michael Dudash received the Spirit of the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale Award, a $20,000 prize. The artist’s large oil painting, "Turkey Hunter," depicts a young, contemporary Indian woman who is hunting wild turkey. Susan Miller observed “…I liked it the first time I saw it in the catalog, the first time I saw it online…and now, the first time I see it in person, I like it even more.”

New this year, the $10,000 3-D Award, sponsored by Barron Collier II, honors the unique skill required to create a work in three-dimensions. Sculptor T.D. Kelsey is the first 3-D winner for his sculpture, "The Lick," a work created in two parts as bookends. It depicts mountain sheep at a mineral lick found deep in the Yukon—a scene that involved a two-day hike with heavy packs so that Kelsey could witness the natural phenomenon himself.

“As a historian, I see the bookends,” Hassrick observed, “and I see them propping up knowledge. Those animals come to that spot in Alaska because they remembered that spot…it provides succor for their existence and books…[and] theoretically could do the same thing for us…here is some substance to this work that we don’t see elsewhere…”

Josh Elliott’s painting, "White as Snow," garnered the $10,000 2-D Award, which Wells Fargo Bank sponsored. Ewald, who is familiar with such rural scenes, characterized the image as a “…cold winter day where the snow crunches under your boots, and the snow is every color but white…”

The event is part of the week-long Rendezvous Royale—seven days each September that celebrate the arts in Cody, Wyoming. See RENDEZVOUSROYALE.ORG for more information.


Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now in its summer schedule, open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Starting September 16, the Center’s fall schedule begins, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For additional information, visit the Center's website or the its pages on Facebook and Google+.

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Marguerite House

Kathy Thompson
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