Balmy, sunny Southern California weather greeted artists and art lovers at the annual Masters of the American West Fine Art Exhibition and Sale, held at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 5. The event kicked off with an announcement of top awards at the Chuck Wagon Lunch, which took place outdoors in the museum’s courtyard. The legendary western painter, Howard Terpning, received the Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting for Among the Spirits of the Long Ago-People. Len Chmiel took home the Artists’ Choice Award for an abstract landscape painting, Gold Rush, Yuba River. The piece also received a museum purchase award.
Other top awards went to Bill Anton, Daniel Smith, Z.S. Liang, Doug Hyde, and Dean Mitchell (who will be featured in Southwest Art’s April issue). Later that evening the gala unfolded in the museum’s galleries with works on display by 75 painters and sculptors from across the country. In addition to the award-winning pieces, other stellar works included paintings by George Carlson, Dan Pinkham, Greg Beecham, and JoAnn Peralta, among others. The exhibition is on view through March 20. –Bonnie Gangelhoff