Top Western art sold at festive sale weekend; the final Quest for John Vanausdall
Southwest Sentinel, 2022
Acrylic on panel
—20 x 16 inches
Image courtesy of the artist
August 31, 2022
INDIANAPOLIS — Admirers of Western American art and some of the country’s top Western artists will convene at the Eiteljorg Museum on Sept. 9-10 for an exciting weekend of bidding on artwork during the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale. One of the top Western art shows in the nation, Quest for the West® brings artists and collectors together at the museum for two fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sales and a weekend of festivities.
Now in its 17th year, Quest for the West® builds interest in and support for Western American art, allowing artists to reconnect with longtime collectors and meet new ones, and providing museum visitors an opportunity to encounter portraits, landscapes, still-lifes and sculptures. Since its inception in 2006, Quest has generated approximately $16.2 million in art sales, with artists receiving $13.1 million and the museum netting nearly $3.1 million during the event’s first 16 years.
This year’s Quest for the West® will be significant for another reason: It will be the final Quest for John Vanausdall as the Eiteljorg’s president and CEO. Vanausdall, who has served as emcee of the Quest events and awards presentations, recently announced his upcoming retirement from the museum after 26 years, effective next June 30.
“As one of the Eiteljorg’s main initiatives each year, Quest for the West® has increased awareness of Western American art generally, and raised the Eiteljorg’s profile nationally in the art world. It is rewarding during the sale weekend to watch the interactions between the outstanding artists and collectors who treasure their works, and then, after the sale, to see the general public enthusiastically tour the month-long Quest art exhibition,” Vanausdall said. “Quest for the West® brings together friends who are passionate about Western art, and I am grateful to The Western Art Society, our other sponsors and the hard-working museum employees and volunteers who make the event so memorable.”
Miracle of Autumn, 2022
Oil on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Image courtesy of the artist
Among the highlights of this year’s Quest for the West® are:
Art and Artists. Newly created artworks by 50 artists of the Western American genre will be shown and sold during Quest, and 42 artists are scheduled to be there in person to meet collectors. Many of the artists whose work is on view are returning favorites, including Robert Griffing, George Hallmark, Mark Kelso, Dean Mitchell, Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, Mian Situ and others. This year’s Quest welcomes six new artists: Abigail Gutting, William Haskell, Don Oelze, Mateo Romero (Cochiti Pueblo), Brad Teare and Gayle Weisfield. View the list of artists and latest gallery of art at quest.eiteljorg.org.
Main Art Sale. On Saturday, Sept. 10, pre-registered Quest attendees can participate in a fixed-price, luck-of-the-draw sale. Absentee bids also are accepted. Quest is not an auction; instead, a bidder whose name is drawn gets the first right to purchase a particular piece. If the bidder passes, the next person drawn is offered the opportunity to buy it. This process continues until a lucky bidder accepts and becomes the happy new owner of the artwork. The bidding period is filled with suspense and excitement for bidders and artists alike.
Miniature Art Sale. Before the larger Saturday sale, the Quest weekend of art viewing and bidding kicks off on Friday, Sept. 9, during the miniature art sale. Many Quest artists create additional smaller works, appealing both to first-time and experienced collectors who seek smaller pieces at lower price points. Buyers can take miniature art purchases home that evening.
Art Awards. Artworks by Quest artists are eligible for awards presented in multiple categories Saturday, Sept. 10. The acclaimed Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award goes to a work purchased by The Western Art Society and is added to the museum’s collection.
Pounding the Dust, 2022
Oil on linen,
26 x 24 inches
Image courtesy of the artist
Hospitality. During each of the two evening sale events, the Eiteljorg’s exclusive caterer, Kahn’s Catering, creates a delicious dining experience. Quest guests will be the first to enjoy the museum’s newly redesigned multipurpose space, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court, fresh from its expansion as part of the Project 2021 capital/endowment campaign. Pre-registered attendees can enjoy weekend programming honoring the artists as well as activities, including a Sept. 9 open house at the home of local Western art collectors, and a Sept. 10 visit to the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Ind. Register and make lodging plans now at quest.eiteljorg.org.
Public Exhibitions. The sale weekend, Sept. 9-10, kicks off a one-month exhibition, during which Quest artworks will remain on view at the Eiteljorg for the public to see and enjoy, before the paintings and sculptures are shipped to their buyers. Experience the artworks of the Quest for the West® show from Sept. 11 to Oct. 9 in the special exhibition gallery. Also, landscape paintings by last year’s Quest Artist of Distinction award winner, Denis Milhomme, will be on exhibit in the museum’s Gerald and Dorit Paul Gallery. That exhibition, Natural Wonders: The Art of Denis Milhomme runs Sept. 9-Oct. 16. Look for a copy of the beautifully illustrated 2022 Quest for the West® art catalog, available in the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.
For more about Quest for the West®, including a complete list of artists, an early look at the art, opening weekend registration or absentee buyer information, visit quest.eiteljorg.org or contact Kay Hinds, development coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.275.1341. Registration closes Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Quest for the West® is presented by The Western Art Society and Avis Foundation, Inc., and sponsored by Faegre Drinker.
Guests enjoy bidding on Western American art at the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale at the Eiteljorg Museum,
taking place Sept. 9-10, 2022.
File photo from 2018, courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum
About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 33 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native 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.
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Editor’s Note: This article about Quest for the West® appears in the September 2022 issue of Western Art Collector magazine:
Western Art Collector_2022 Quest for the West story