June 18, 2021 | Photo Album
We ventured to Oklahoma City to celebrate Father’s Day with my parents. One of the countless fun things my 96-year-old father has introduced me to is the annual Prix de West art show and sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Wendy and I enjoy this event each summer, although the pandemic prevented us from attending in 2020.
Our visit was free since we used our Woolaroc membership cards, which carry the wonderful NARM benefit that grants us free admission to many of our favorite museums. The receptionist said she usually only sees a NARM admission about once per week, but lately it has picked up.
We both admired the pointillism technique of artist Sonya Terpening. Wendy snapped The Spring in Fall in both a master shot and close-up.
Skyscape with Lilies also nicely shows how one’s vision blends its dabs of paint into a lovely reflective scene.
The standout work for me was Benjamin Wu‘s Working in the Old Barn with its masterful portrait, drapery, and lighting.
That splendid work reminded me of Daniel Ridgway Knight’s Le Premier Chagrin, which we were fortunate to see at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art in the summer of 2018.
I also was struck by the bold coloring and treatment of the foreground and background in C. Michael Dudash‘s The Crossing. The camera cannot fully capture the effect it created of foreground figures arrayed against canyon walls in the far distance.
Much of the Prix de West works are realistic, so I was intrigued by Ed Mell’s Nightfall, with its landscape of abstracted geometries.
When I introduced Wendy to the museum in 2014, she was amazed to see Bob Wills’ fiddle on display. So I led us back into the permanent collection display to see it again. As we drove past downtown Tulsa on our way to OKC, we saw the new OKPOP museum is under construction just across the street from Cain’s ballroom, which was the home of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys from 1935 to 1942. We look forward to seeing its future displays of more artifacts from the career of the King of Western Swing.
Our vaccinations have enabled us to venture out into the world of art again, delighted yet wary. As I write, the Delta variant is surging in Arkansas and northern and southwestern Missouri. Far too many Oklahomans likewise remain susceptible. I am reminded of one of H.L. Mencken’s caustic comments: “The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology.” I am grateful to have been able to admire more than competence on display at the Prix de West.
We just toured the Prix de West show Monday, and once again found ourselves in awe of these magnificent paintings and sculptures. Thanks for sharing.