This article appeared in the Jackson Hole News & Guide’s August 2008 issue.
What: Trailside Galleries’ Annual “Western Classics” Show
When: Opening Reception Thursday, August 21 5-7 pm
Where: Trailside Galleries, 130 East Broadway
Sculptor Bruce Greene’s exuberant, life-sized bronze sculpture, “A Cowboy’s Carnegie Hall,” just might be the signature work for Trailside Galleries’ 2008 “Western Classics” Show, celebrating the best of Western-themed art. This year, the annual event will be held for the first time at Trailside’s new, dynamic two-story space on East Broadway.
Leading Western artists bring their finest bronze sculptures and paintings to the coveted venue, and gallery owner Maryvonne Leshe is looking to make the most of this year’s exhibition. The show’s short list includes many Cowboy Artists Arists of America members. Bill Anton, Dan Mieduch, Paul Mann, Robert Duncan, Richard Thomas, Bill Nebeker and Herb Mignery are just some of the artists contributing a variety of masterful original works.
As is tradition, the Western Classics Show pays homage to the historic and contemporary west, as well as western Indian subjects.
“We pride ourselves on our collection of bronze sculptures,” says Leshe. “And our collection of landscape paintings is breathtaking. The new gallery is an exciting space to view these works. The two-story entry stone fireplace magnificently displays painter Howard Rogers’ expansive landscape for instance, and we have lots of ‘rooms within rooms’ at the new gallery.” Visitors can wander in and around expertly lighted gallery partitions, and discover intimate spaces showcasing smaller works. The gallery also carries a fine selection of contemporary western furnishings.
A quick peek at painter Bill Anton’s page on Trailside’s website is all it takes to appreciate the artist’s popularity. Most works are marked “Sold,” and Anton is considered one of the finest impressionistic painter-portraitists of the contemporary working cowboy. Painter Paul Mann is a kindred spirit and avid researcher, having grown up loving the old West and relishing, in his words, the “Golden Age of Illustration.” Indeed, a great percentage of fine western painters began their careers as illustrators, proportionately developing their artistic expertise with their love of western landscapes and cultures. Drama and an attention to strong light mark Mann’s work.
Sculptor Herb Mignery’s 28-inch high bronze portrait, “Seventy Winters,” is a favorite of Leshe’s. “The Indian’s exhaustion and cold are so evident in this sculpture,” she says. “Mignery beautifully captures the emotion and power of this moment in time.”
Leshe and her staff are looking forward to Thursday night’s reception. Expect music, delicious fare, plenty of western hospitality and room to roam. And of course, a grand display of inspired western art.
Says Leshe, “We’ll make this a “Cowboy’s Carnegie Hall” kind of party!”