Admirers of art inspired by the American West will converge on the Eiteljorg Museum in September for the 16th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, one of the best opportunities in the nation to purchase top Western artworks and interact with the artists. A highlight of this year’s Quest for the West 2021 is a special guest, Academy Award recipient actor Wes Studi (Cherokee.) The weekend sale September. 10-11 will be followed by a month-long public exhibition of Quest for the West 2021 art at the museum.
With a national reputation as one of the leading Western art sales, Quest for the West 2021 brings together 51 top artists in the genre with collectors who treasure their paintings and sculptures. Though the 2020 Quest for the West® sale had to be held virtually, this year will mark a return to the Eiteljorg’s familiar in-person sale format for the first time since 2019, when nearly 300 collectors attended the event.
“We are thankful to all the supporters who made last year’s Quest virtual art sale a huge success, and we are elated this year to welcome back artists and art collectors to the Eiteljorg Museum in person to experience Hoosier hospitality, celebrate Western art and meet acclaimed actor Wes Studi,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Importantly, visitors to the Eiteljorg Museum will be able to experience and appreciate the beautiful Quest for the West® artworks during a public exhibition after the sale.”
Quest for the West highlights:
Wes Studi (Cherokee): A versatile actor who has appeared in more than 80 film and television productions, Studi made a memorable impression in The Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves, Geronimo: An American Legend, Heat, Avatar, Hostiles and in other roles. In 2019, he became the first Native American to receive an honorary Academy Award for acting. In 2020, The New York Times named Studi one of the “25 greatest actors of the 21st century.”
As the keynote speaker during Quest for the West 2021 weekend, Studi will give presentations during events for pre-registered Quest guests on Friday evening September 10 and again Saturday afternoon September 11. Studi also will give a public talk for Eiteljorg Museum visitors on Sunday afternoon Sept. 12 that is included with museum admission; tickets for that presentation are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Check quest.eiteljorg.org for details, times and fees.
Art and artists. Quest features newly created works by 51 of today’s top artists. Robert Griffing, P.A. Nisbet, Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Curt Mattson, Dean Mitchell, Mian Situ and others will showcase paintings and sculptures that are inspired by the people and history of the American West. View the list of artists and latest gallery of available art at quest.eiteljorg.org. Guests who have pre-registered and paid to participate in opening weekend activities will have the opportunity to meet Quest artists.
Quest main sale. On Saturday evening, September 11, art collectors who are pre-registered can scout out works by their favorite artists and bid in an on-site, fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale. For collectors not attending in person, absentee bids also are accepted. A bidder whose name is drawn first gets the first right to purchase a particular piece. If the bidder passes, the next person drawn is offered the right to buy it. This process continues until a lucky bidder accepts and becomes the happy new owner of the artwork.
Miniature art sale. Now in its fifth year, the Quest miniature art sale is a popular complement to the main sale and takes place Friday evening, September 10. Many Quest artists offer smaller examples of their artworks, which are good options for experienced art collectors who are running out of room for large pieces, or for new collectors looking for affordable entry points into collecting.
Hospitality. Events on Friday September 10 also include a cocktail party and an afternoon social. During the Saturday evening awards presentation, Quest artists will be recognized in several award categories, including the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award.
Beautiful exhibitions. After the sale weekend ends, Quest paintings and sculptures will remain on view at the Eiteljorg for one month for the general public to enjoy before the works are shipped to buyers. Experience the Quest for the West® show from September 12 to October 10 in the special exhibitions gallery. At noon October 1, Johanna M. Blume, curator of Western art, history and culture, will lead a public talk and share highlights from the exhibition.
During this 16th annual Quest for the West 2021, the museum also celebrates 15 years of past winners of the annual Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award; those works will be on view in the museum’s Western Art Galleries. These selections reflect the generous support of the Western Art Society, a group of dedicated museum supporters and art enthusiasts who have helped the museum acquire important works of Western art. The beautifully illustrated Quest for the West® art catalog will be available in September at the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.
The Eiteljorg Museum is in full compliance with all state and local public health requirements for indoor gatherings. With most public health restrictions recently lifted in Indianapolis, it’s again possible for the Eiteljorg to conduct the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale in person. Quest for the West 2021 is presented by the Western Art Society. For more information, including a complete list of artists, an early look at the art, opening weekend registration or absentee buyer information, visit: quest.eiteljorg.org.
About the Eiteljorg Museum
A cultural pillar for 32 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the Indigenous peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.