Prix de West 2023 winners chosen

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City hosted the 51st Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale Weekend with two days of in-person events and virtual live-streaming options, June 9 and 10, 2023.

Prix de West 2023 art sale weekend hosted artist demonstrations and seminars that were open to the public with Museum admission. It is the Museum’s largest annual fundraiser, hosting a live auction and a fixed-price art sale that helps to fund Museum exhibitions and family programming. The Museum sold $3,067,100 in art the night of the sale.

Each year, the Prix de West Committee selects works of art that the committee deems to be of exceptional merit, with the top-honored Prix de West Purchase Award winner given to the artist whose work of art is selected by the Committee and purchased for the Museum’s permanent collection. This year Walter T. Matia’s 38” H x 25” W x 16 ½” D bronze sculpture titled Molly is a Working Girl was selected. Matia received the $25,000 purchase price, a $5,000 award, and the Prix de West medallion sponsored by Roberta M. Eldridge Miller.

The Purchase Award Winner was announced during lunch on Saturday, June 10. When Matia spoke that evening during the Saturday Celebration Dinner, he described his personal relationship with the West and what this award meant in terms of his own experience.

“The West is a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, the West has always been behind a bird dog or in a stream with a fly rod or in some marsh looking at birds with binoculars,” Matia said. “This is a part of what the modern West is. When the committee chose this piece, I was really happy because it spoke to a part of the West that I don’t think is always acknowledged: the role of hunters and fishermen, who opened up the West and are now conserving it.”

2023 Prix de West Winners

Walter T. Matia, Molly is a Working Girl, Bronze, 38” H x 25” W x 16 1/2” D.
Walter T. Matia, Molly is a Working Girl, Bronze, 38” H x 25” W x 16 1/2” D. Courtesy of the artist and National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum.
  • The Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award was given to John Coleman for his 8’3” H x 52” W x 30” D bronze sculpture titled Warrior Spirit, Crazy Horse. Priced at $150,000, additional castings remain available for purchase. The $3,000 award is given to the most popular work of art chosen by Prix de West patrons and is sponsored by the Estate of the late Jackie L.Coles.
  • Gladys Roldan-de-Moras received the Frederic Remington Painting Award for exceptional artistic merit for a painting for her 48” x 36” oil on Belgian linen painting titled Chinas Poblanas. The painting was sold for $24,500. Roldan-de-Moras received a $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a painting sponsored by Donna Holt, Jan Provine, and Terri Saddler, in loving memory of their parents, Russ and Dortha Sadler, lifetime members and docents.
  • The Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman Wildlife Award was given to Tim Cherry for his 55” H x 44” W x 10” D bronze sculpture titled Against the Wind. Additional castings of the sculpture priced at $34,000 are available for purchase. Cherry received a $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting or sculpture that is sponsored by the Estate of the late Major General and Mrs. Don D. Pittman.
  • The James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award for exceptional artistic merit for a sculpture was presented to John Coleman for his 8’3” H x 52” W x 30” D bronze sculpture titled Warrior Spirit, Crazy Horse. Additional castings of the sculpture priced at $150,000 are available for purchase. The $3,000 award for exceptional artistic merit for a sculpture is sponsored by the Charlie Russell Riders in honor of Steve Rose.
  • The Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award, honoring the finest portrayal of cowboy subject matter, was presented to Blair Buswell for his three bronze sculptures. Additional castings of Risky Business, 18” H x 33” W x 15” D, Hey, Over HERE!!!, 11” H x 10” W x 10” D, and Showtime, 15” H x 11” W x 7” D, priced at $12,000, $4,800 and $4,500 are available for purchase. The $3,000 award is sponsored by Robert A. Funk and Express Ranches.
  • The Donald Teague Memorial Award, honoring an exceptional work of art on paper, was presented to Joseph Bohler, for his 24” x 34” Transparent watercolor painting titled Prairie Rose. The painting priced at $8,600 sold during the Saturday evening fixed-price sale. The $3,000 award was sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction.
  • The Wilson Hurley Memorial Award for outstanding artistic merit for a landscape was presented to Len Chmiel for his 32” x 45” Oil painting titled West I Know: Summarizing Solitude, Utah. The painting priced at $36,000 is available for purchase. The award of $3,000 was sponsored by Rod Moore Financial.
  • The Robert Lougheed Memorial Award was awarded to Huihan Liu for his collection of four paintings: Autumn Breeze, Oil on linen, 30” x 24” $23,000; Heading to Ceremony, Oil on linen, 30” x 30”, $29,000 ; A Watchful Gaze, Oil on linen, 30” x 15”, $17,000; and Golden Feather, Oil on linen, 18” x 24”, $12,000. All four paintings sold during the Saturday evening sale. The award of $3,000 for best display of three or more works is chosen by Prix de West exhibiting artists and is sponsored by Barbara and Roger Simons in memory of Faydra and George Simons, true Western enthusiasts.

All unsold Prix de West 2023 art remains on display to the public and available for purchase through August 6, 2023. See available works online.

About the 51st annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has hosted Prix de West since 1973. The 51st annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale showcased nearly 270 original works by the finest contemporary Western artists working today.

Prix de West 2023 guest artists Daniel J. Keys, Don Oelze, Peregrine O’Gormley and Gladys Roldan-de-Moras also attended for the first time, each bringing original works to their first Prix de West. 

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. 

The Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City at 1700 Northeast 63rd Street. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.

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