Quest Insider: Quest for the West® Artist Selection

Quest Insider: Quest for the West® Artist Selection

By: Elisa Phelps, Vice President & Chief Curatorial Officer

New Quest Artists (left to right) Bruce Lawes, Dean Mitchell, Paul Moore, and Michael Untiedt

This year’s virtual Quest for the West® marks the fifteenth year for the Western art show and sale. Eight of the featured artists have been with Quest since the very beginning: Gerald Balciar, John Buxton, Robert Griffing, George Hallmark, Karin Hollebeke, Denis Milhomme, Rock Newcomb, and Dan Smith. Others, such as last year’s “Artist of Distinction” David Wright, and 2018 Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award Winner Krystii Melaine, have been part of Quest almost as long. Each year, a few new artists are invited to participate. Have you ever wondered how they are selected?

The Eiteljorg Museum’s Western Art Society has an artist development committee that researches and tracks artists for potential inclusion in Quest for the West®. Suggestions for Quest artists come from gallery visits, attendance at other Western art shows and sales, articles in Western art publications, and individual recommendations. However, the quality of an artist’s work is not the only element that is considered.

The Quest for the West® show and sale is a careful balance of styles, genres, subjects, and media. Maintaining the balance between sculpture and two-dimensional art; featuring a range of subjects such as landscapes, wildlife, people, and Western scenes; and insuring diverse approaches to Western art from representational to contemporary are all an important part of the Quest mix.

Elisa Phelps with 2009 Quest for the West ® Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award Winner: Daniel Smith (American, born 1954) Stillwater Crossing, 2009 Acrylic on canvas 24 x 34 inches

Four new artists are part of 2020’s virtual Quest:.  Their work encompasses painting, sculpture, and subject matter ranging from wildlife, to Western scenes, to Native American subjects. Artist Roseta Santiago, is returning to Quest after some years away, and we are excited to have her beautiful images of women once again part of the Quest mix.

Creating the perfect mix of art and artists is itself an art, and a process that has continued to evolve over the 15 years of Quest for the West® . Do you have an artist you would like to recommend for consideration? Please let us know. Contact Elisa Phelps at ephelps@eiteljorg.com.



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