Showing June 30-July 29, 2017
about the exhibit
West Nebraska Arts Center, with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, is pleased to present the 2017 President’s Show, an exciting collection of original artwork based on a theme. This year's theme is: "GOLD” and was chosen by Marv Richard, WNAC Board President, to commemorate WNAC’s Golden Anniversary. A judged, group show, open to all media and artistic styles, participants are invited to submit original artwork that conveys an interpretation of the theme.
Executive Director, Donna Thompson, says, “We are so excited to be celebrating 50 years of art in the community. There are special events planned throughout the year and this exhibit will be one of the highlights. Our “Prez” Show is one of our most popular and well-attended each summer, but the added anniversary achievement makes it extra special for our staff, board, and volunteers, as well as the artists who enter.”
The show opened Thursday, June 29th, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Live music provided by “Isaac, Mr. Piano & the Brute”. Hors d’oeuvres and other refreshments will be served compliments of Questers Chapter #1346 and the WNAC Board of Directors.
Cher Maybee, WNAC Board Vice-President, selected Mary B. Hunt’s acrylic gouache painting, Pot of Gold, for the President’s Choice award this year in Marv Richard’s absence.
Three other awards were chosen by this year’s judge, local artist Brandon Bailey. “For me, the importance of the theme cannot be stressed enough in a show like this. I saw phenomenal pieces that by themselves were fantastic works of art, but they didn’t push the theme as much as I hoped to see. The fun challenge behind a theme show is making the work based on the prospectus…using that as the inspiration. I personally want to thank everyone who entered this show and made my job a tough one. Keep creating and challenging yourselves and thank you for inspiring me to do the same.” said Bailey.
This year’s winners are Best of Show Mary B. Hunt of Gering NE, with her piece, Pot of Gold, a still life done in acrylic gouache, Honorable Mention award goes to Scottsbluff resident, Joi Phelps, for her oil piece titled, Golden Carnival Venice. The second Honorable Mention winner is Fluid Gold, a cold cast and fluid painting by Ron Kephart of Mitchell, NE.
Artists ages 18 and older have submitted artwork that conveys an interpretation of the theme. The exhibit opens Thursday, June 29th, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., hors d’oeuvres, and other refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome. This year’s exhibit is generously sponsored by Fliesbach Family Foundation.
“I encourage everyone to visit the gallery and see the creative directions the artists have taken with GOLD for our 50th celebration year. Congratulations to all the award winners as well as everyone who participated. This show has special meaning to me as it was the first one I helped with when I started at the Arts Center. It’s an annual tradition I know many look forward to and our the local/regional talent continues to amaze me,” says WNAC Executive Director, Donna Thompson.
2017 President’s Show: GOLD can be viewed June 29th through July 30th. NOTE: WNAC will be closed Friday, June 30th, through Tuesday, July 4th for the holiday. Visit the gallery Tuesday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays. Gallery admission is FREE and open to the public.
“My job was tough. For me, the importance of the theme cannot be stressed enough in a show like this. I saw phenomenal pieces that by themselves were fantastic works of art, but they just didn’t push the theme as much as I would have liked. The fun challenge behind a themed show is making the work based on the prospectus…using that as the inspiration. I was especially fond of all the gold. This show has a great representation of media and technique as well. I personally want to thank everyone who entered this show and encourage them to keep creating and challenging yourselves. You have inspired me to do the same.” Brandon Bailey, 2017 Prez Show Judge.
PRESIDENT’S CHOICE – Mary B. Hunt, Pot of Gold, acrylic gouache, 2017.
This piece reminded me of the quote ‘Nothing gold can stay’ from The Outsiders – the idea that the fleeting moment of gold in nature isone to hold on to and cherish before it disappears. Mary incorporated the golden sunshine, golden hues of nature in the variegated petal of the iris, the golden feathers of the finch in a pot of gold, and beautiful gold highlights and shadows that create a rich contrast. All of these are fleeting in nature, but captured forever in this painting.
Cher Maybee—WNAC Board Vice President
BEST OF SHOW – Mary B. Hunt, Pot of Gold, acrylic gouache, 2017.
Great composition and execution of a thematic color scheme. Aside from being a good painting, the artist incorporated the theme into the piece in a very deliberate manner.
Brandon Bailey—2017 Prez Show Judge
HONORABLE MENTION – Joi Phelps, Golden Carnival Venice, oil, 2017.
Nicely executed piece. For me it is presented perfectly and represents the theme very well.
HONORABLE MENTION – Ron Kephart, Fluid Gold, cold cast and acrylic, 2017.
A unique, whimsical piece. This artist played with the theme of the show while boldly pushing casting the mediums.
Brandon James Bailey was born on September 19, 1984 in Cheyenne Wyoming. Wildlife and Western art has always come naturally to Brandon, as he has been fascinated by both art and the outdoors for as long as he can remember.
Brandon has an interest in wildlife from all over the world. In the past couple of years, he has been invited to go to Africa and New Zealand to research various species, thus that fauna and flora have become important subjects in his works. He says, “Going and living something makes it much more enjoyable to paint and draw that subject. It gives me that passion that I feel is the most important part to a piece of artwork. Seeing the animals and how they react in their natural environment is key in creating an interesting scene that is true to that animal and their environment.”
Growing up in Wyoming, it is only fitting that Brandon has an intense interest in Western culture. His fascination with rodeo and the Old West began during his childhood. From 2004 to 2006, he rode bulls competitively and rode for the Laramie County Community College rodeo team, as well as in the practice pen for fun. Rodeo has also found itself into Brandon`s art, as he has been commissioned to create artwork for various Wyoming rodeo companies. If asked about the dangers of bull riding Brandon jokes, "I figured if I can ride a two-thousand-pound wild farm animal, there is nothing I can`t at least try to overcome."
When not outdoors, creating artwork, or attending an art show, Brandon can be found at home enjoying time with his wife Priscilla, his dogs Maggie and Sue, his parents Kathy and Yogi, and his brother Cody. He credits his family with helping him along in his art career. His father has spent countless hours traveling and helping him with shows and basically anything else that has to do with art.
Brandon had shown in Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show & Sale 2010-2017, Safari Club International's Annual Hunters Convention 2012- 2017, Calgary Stampede's Western Artist Showcase 2012, 2013, Art of the American Cowboy at the South Point Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas. 2010 – 2013, Southeastern Wildlife Expo 2013, San Demas Western Art Show and Sale 2013, 2014, Inaugural Minture Art Show Safari Club International 2014, Clymer Museum's Art of the Big Game 2014, The Russell Show in Great Falls, MT 2017
He has won awards from Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show Poster Artist for 2012, Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale People's Choice 2012, Official Poster/Featured Artist for Art of the American Cowboy 2012, Premier Artist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association 2014, Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show and Sale's 2015 Limited Edition Print Artist, Cheyenne Frontier Days Museum Purchase Award 2016, Vernon Filley Invitational 2017, Vernon Filley Museum; Pratt KS.
He has been published in Western Art Collector, Rodeo News, Sporting Classics Daily.
Thank you to volunteers Vicki Schmitt, Vic Bentley, Jan Durnin, Phil Thompson, and Karen Mecklem for their assistance in the gallery this month. Special thanks to Brandon Bailey for judging this year’s exhibit and Cher Maybee for selecting the President’s Choice Award in Marv Richard’s absence.
Thank you to Board members and Questers Chapter #1346 who provided refreshments for the reception.
And finally, thanks to each artist who has participated in this exciting exhibit!