Friday, September 15, 2006
Artist Curt Walters of Sedona, Arizona is having a fabulous decade. Since 1998, the plein aire impressionist has received seven major awards from some of the country’s biggest shows, including Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center, Prix de West, and now the Quest for the West, presented by the Eiteljorg Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Walters was granted the Best Overall Presentation award at Saturday night’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony. The award comes with a $4,000 prize, presented by long-time Indianapolis resident Betsy Harvey, which Walters donated back to the museum. The centerpiece of his presentation was “La Plata Thunder,” a 40” x 60” landscape of towering clouds rolling over the bluffs near Farmington, New Mexico. Unable to disappoint the fans who have long known him as the “Greatest Living Grand Canyon Artist,” Walters included two visions of the chasm, the 36” x 28” “A Diviner Air,” and the smaller “West From Lipan Point.” Rounding out the display was “Calf Creek Gorge,” part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Though this was the first annual Quest for the West, it was certainly no small event, and Walters had to be in top form. Attracting such artists as William Acheff, Martin Grelle, and Terri Kelly Moyers, it was no surprise to find sales for the event exceeding $1,000,000. Other winners included Dennis Doheny, who took home the Purchase Award for “Guardian of the Lake,” Robert Griffing who was awarded for Best Painting, and fellow Arizona artist Doug Hyde won for Best Sculpture. Other artists from The Grand Canyon State included Bill Anton, Matt Smith, John Coleman and William Scott Jennings.
When Walters is not painting, the artist gives much of his time, money and energy to conservation of Grand Canyon and the greater Colorado Plateau, raising almost one million dollars in sales and royalties in just a few short years. In Arizona, Walters’ work can be seen at the Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale. The Trailside Gallery of Jackson, Wyoming also features his canvases, as well as the Claggett/Rey Gallery in Veil, Colorado.