Pin It

Quest for the West 

Sweeping mountain vistas, huge bronze sculptures of cowboys, charcoal drawings of Native Americans, intricately detailed stone and marble carvings await you as the Eiteljorg prepares for the opening on the largest Western art show east of the Mississippi. Quest for the West, in its eight year this year, brings artists and collectors in from around the world.

click to enlarge Josh Elliott. Hillsong, 2013. Oil. 15 x 30 in.
  • Josh Elliott. Hillsong, 2013. Oil. 15 x 30 in.

This year's Quest includes 182 pieces from 50 artists, along with a separate, retrospective exhibit of the works of John Coleman, winner of last year's Artist of Distinction Award. A native of California, Coleman is one of today's most prominent Western sculptors. Nearly 40 of his works will be on display until November 17.

"These are among the top artists working in Western art today," explains Johanna Blume, Assistant Curator of Western Art, History, and Culture. "We have a wide mix of genres that will appeal to visitors and collectors alike."

click to enlarge Heide Presse. Blackberries, 2013. Oil on linen. 30 x 30 in.
  • Heide Presse. Blackberries, 2013. Oil on linen. 30 x 30 in.

To start with a bang, Quest for the West opens Friday, September 6, with a gala weekend of art, meals, awards, an artists' panel and visits with local collectors. Pre-registration is required, but this is where the serious Western art collectors and enthusiasts will be. The artists will also be on hand to answer questions and discuss their works with visitors.

Having the artists on hand is a unique feature of the Eiteljorg's Quest.

"You can talk to them about their art, their inspiration," Blume says. "That's one of the things that's such a draw for shows like this. The artists are there, and collectors get to know the artists very well. Deep friendships form because of shows like this."

And the Eiteljorg is one of just a handful of museums that feature Western art.

"I would say that there are less than a dozen in the country," says Blume. "Probably half-a-dozen have art shows like this."

"The big three Western art sales shows are the Prix de West at The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, the Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center in Lost Angeles, and the Eiteljorg's Quest for the West," she says. "We're the only show of this kind east of the Mississippi."

click to enlarge Dan Smith. The Suitor, 2013. Acrylic. 24 x 36 in.
  • Dan Smith. The Suitor, 2013. Acrylic. 24 x 36 in.

This will be a beautiful art show, but it is also an art sale. Asked how many pieces the museum will sell this year, Blume laughs.

"Hopefully, all of them," she says. "We've had some robust years, and we're looking forward to another good show."

In 2012, the show brought in 450 guests who purchased $870,000 in art, a portion of which helps the Eiteljorg build its world-class collection.

click to enlarge Logan Maxwell Hagege. The Mesa Comes to Life, 2013. Oil on linen. 30 x 30 in.
  • Logan Maxwell Hagege. The Mesa Comes to Life, 2013. Oil on linen. 30 x 30 in.

"We have a remarkable collection of Western art but also of Native American historical and cultural artifacts, and contemporary Western and Native American fine art," Blume explains. "We're one of the leaders in the field in all of those areas. ... I think it's important to have these kinds of collections outside of the West. Because the West as an idea and as part of our cultural understanding is really significant, and you don't have to live in the West to appreciate that."

The exciting opening weekend is an event not-to-be-missed, but the show will be open to regular visitors to the museum September 7 until October 6.

"What I think is so special about it is that there's all the excitement and all the spectacle of the opening weekend, which is only available to people who register for it, but [the exhibit] is still up for another month, for people to appreciate," says Blume.

With so many cowboys, Native Americans and rugged landscapes, you don't need to go further west than West Street to fulfill your desire for western expansion.

click to enlarge Doug Hyde. From the Valley of the Butterflies, 2013. Utah alabaster. 15 x 24 x 10 in.
  • Doug Hyde. From the Valley of the Butterflies, 2013. Utah alabaster. 15 x 24 x 10 in.
  • Pin It

Speaking of...

  • Best of the Rest: Jan. 22, 2016

    Take a look at the other arts and entertainment stories that made news in and around Indy this week.
    • Jan 22, 2016
  • Best of the Rest: Dec. 18, 2015

    Take a look at the other arts and entertainment stories that made news in and around Indy this week.
    • Dec 18, 2015
  • All Together Now

    John Green speaks wisdom, and his words come to life before Carrie's eyes at the Eitlejorg's Quest for the West kickoff.
    • Sep 21, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Spring into First Friday

    Coming in like a lamb, March's First Friday brings a preview of spring's finest offerings from Indy's downtown galleries.
    • Mar 1, 2016
  • Fiddler on the Roof

    Roofer by day, artist by night, Skip Freas fiddles around with digital technology, manipulating photo prints into masterpieces.
    • Jan 19, 2016

About The Author

Sherri Wood Emmons

Sherri Wood Emmons

Bio:
Sherri Wood Emmons is the author of three novels. A life-long Indianapolis native, she is a graduate of Earlham College and the University of Denver Publishing Institute.

More by Sherri Wood Emmons

  • Art and Arithmetic

    Arts for Learning is bringing arts back into the classroom for expression and some Core 40 learning.
    • Sep 21, 2013
  • Story Collecting

    Hoosiers have got a lot of stories to tell and Storytelling Arts of Indiana wants to hear them. And record them.
    • Jul 20, 2013
  • More »

Latest in 2D

  • Spring into First Friday

    Coming in like a lamb, March's First Friday brings a preview of spring's finest offerings from Indy's downtown galleries.
    • Mar 1, 2016
  • Time-Lapsed Fearlessness

    Watch a large oil painting take shape, disappear and then reemerge on a canvas within minutes as artist Justin Vining explores the process of "deconstruction."
    • Feb 18, 2016
  • The Über Tuber

    A photograph of a solo silhouetted potato brings in more than a million bucks abroad. So what’s so special about this spud?
    • Feb 4, 2016
  • More »
© 2017 CICF
Twitter
Facebook
Privacy Policy
Contact Us:
P: 317.634.2423   F: 317.684.0943
info@skybluewindow.org
Central Indiana Community Foundation
615 N. Alabama St. #119
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-1431
Sky Blue Window is presented by:

Website powered by Foundation