Sunday, June 10, 2007

Continuing an unprecedented decade, artist Curt Walters of Sedona, Arizona has won 2 more medals on Sunday, June 10th, from the Prix de West Art Exhibition and Sale, the western art genre’s most prestigious show. This pair brings Walters’ total to a staggering 6 -- and only one other artist has won more than three since 1995.

In years past, Walters has twice won the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyers’ Choice Award and an historic back-to-back win of the Frederic Remington Award for exceptional artistic merit, but this year he took home top honors with the Prix de West Purchase Award. More remarkably, the decision was unanimous among the judges. Walters was also bestowed with a third Nona Jean Hulsey Buyers’ Choice Award -- again, more than any other artist in the museum’s history. Walters was greeted with a five minute standing ovation when the announcement was made.

Spring’s Caprice,” a 36” x 36” oil-on-canvas, was the Purchase Award winner, a rendition of Bright Angel Canyon from the South rim of Grand Canyon, near Maricopa Point. Walters has been known as the “greatest living Grand Canyon artist” for the past ten years, an honor he carries with a great sense of pride.

The Grand Canyon is more than just a place to set up an easel, however; Walters believes in giving back to Mother Nature, too. Only a week before the Prix de West show, Walters, as a board member, hosted a special fundraising dinner for the Grand Canyon Foundation. An adamant supporter of the Foundation as well as the Grand Canyon Trust, two groups instrumental to the preservation and maintenance of Arizona’s beloved national park, Walters passionately raises awareness in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars for these organizations.

Walters was presented with the Nona Jean Hulsey Award for “Ra’s Domain,” a massive 60” x 90” canvas that also features the Grand Canyon. It was Prix de West’s largest work submitted this year, capturing the famous Tower of Ra.

Spring’s Caprice” will be the artist’s second addition to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s permanent collection. The first piece, “Snow Flurries Over the Rim,” was inducted this past December.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Artist Curt Watlers Celebrates 10 Years at Prix de West

Friday, June 8, marks the 34th annual Prix de West invitational, and will embrace more than 100 artists, including every past winner, so Curt Walters, of Sedona, Arizona, is going to have to be in top form. Preparing for his 10th year with the exhibition at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Walters has prepared what proves to be the largest piece of the show, a 60” x 90” Grand Canyon interpretation titled “Ra’s Domain.”

This substantial showpiece “embodies some of my favorite canyon themes,” Walters says. “The challenge of such a large canvas is to examine that which I love and fear. Here, great earthen temples named for the Egyptian Gods speak to us of eternity. We see the Tower of Ra keeping watch over a land of extremes: sun versus shadow; reason versus imagination; simplicity versus complexity; and, yes, even love versus fear. Grand Canyon perfectly embodies these disparate factions that compose everyday life.”

The artist’s repertoire for this year includes a second Grand Canyon, “Spring’s Caprice,” 36” x 36”, and two pieces from his trip to Banff and Yoho National Parks in Canada last year. The 10” x 12” “Bow Lake” captures Bow Glacier, headwaters for the Bow River, and “Afternoon at Lake O’Hara,” 12” x 12”, is one of three works at this year’s show to feature the quiet Canadian lake. The other two are by friend and fellow hiker John Moyers, who actually introduced Walters to the secluded location.

Curt Walters has won a remarkable four medals from Prix de West over his past nine years, more than any other artist in the museum’s history. Awarded the Nona Jean Hulsey Buyers’ Choice Award his very first year, Walters was again honored with the same award in 2002. Then, in 2004 and 2005, the artist was bestowed with an unprecedented back-to-back win of the Frederic Remington Painting Award. Walters has also received Patrons’ Choice Awards from the Masters of the American West expo at the Autry National Center and the Artists of America show in Denver. Last year he was honored with the Best Overall Presentation at the star-studded, first annual Quest for the West show at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. He is also featured in the June/July issue of Art Talk.

When Walters is not busy with art shows, he devotes time to his other great passion, conservation of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau. Through personal donations of profits and paintings, and time devoted to fund-raising events and special seminars, Walters has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Grand Canyon Trust and the Grand Canyon Foundation, where he sits on the board of directors.

Walters has been represented by the Trailside Galleries of Scottsdale, AZ, and Jackson, WY for more than 25 years. His work can also be found at the Claggett/Rey Gallery in Vail, Co, and the Morris Gallery of Hilton Head Island, SC.