July 26 event features more artists, artwork and special events

EBS STAFF

The third annual Big Sky Art Auction is expanding this year to feature 75 artists, and nearly twice as many pieces of artwork as last year’s event, adding up to a total value of $800,000.

A new preview event will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, preceding the live auction, which runs from 3-6 p.m. Both events will take place under the big tent at the PBR arena prior to the first night of bull riding.

At the preview, the public will have a chance to browse auction pieces before the fast-paced excitement of the live auction and, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., meet guest artist R. Tom Gilleon, and hear the artist discuss the evolution of his work. Gilleon, who is one of the most sought-after Western artists working today, will have three large paintings in this year’s auction, including a Native American portrait and two tipi paintings, the subject that first won him notoriety.

“With Gilleon originals increasing in value and becoming harder to find, this is an excellent opportunity for any collector or follower of his work,¬” said Colin Mathews, owner of Creighton Block Gallery.

This year, auction attendees will be entertained by the rapid–fire delivery of Troy Black, one of the premier art auctioneers in the West. Although new to the Big Sky Art Auction, Black has conducted many well-established auctions in the West, including the C.M. Russell Live Auction in Great Falls, Montana, the Jackson Hole Art Auction, the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale in Cody, Wyoming, and the Big Sky Arts Council’s annual Auction for the Arts.

In addition to the many returning artists, including Kevin Red Star, Ben Pease, Brenna Tyler, and Harry Koyama, a number of new artists from near and far are participating in this year’s auction and further diversifying the art offerings.

1. C. Michael Dudash, a member of the elite Russell Skull Society of Artists and the Cowboy Artists of America will have two pieces up for auction. He’s participated in many museum shows and auctions across the West, and received the Spirit of the Buffalo Bill Art Show Award in 2016; the Quest for the West’s Patron’s Choice Award in 2015 and the Artist’s Choice Award for three consecutive years.

2. Raised on a racehorse ranch in Southern California, John DeMott loved hanging out with cowboys. He began painting at age 10 with an art kit his family gave him, and had gallery representation by the time he was 24. Now living in Loveland, Colorado, DeMott paints wildlife, Native Americans, and frontier figures in landscapes.

3. Idaho artist Robert Moore is one of the leading impressionistic oil painters in America today, and is represented by several of the top art galleries in the country. Known for his use of vivid colors and high-keyed values, he’s been profiled in numerous magazine articles including Western Art Collector, Southwest Art, Wildlife Art, Big Sky Journal, and Art of the West.

4. The work of Billings artist Allen Knows His Gun reflects his Native American Crow heritage, through authentic portrayals of period clothing, equipment and scenery.

5. Dwayne Wilcox of Rapid City, South Dakota, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota, a subtribe of the Great Sioux Nation. Wilcox conveys the Lakota history and culture through his contemporary ledger art, often integrating humor, dance, and modern day vices.

6. For the past 10 years, Ali Darvish has been photographing the wild horses of Nova Scotia’s Sable Island. Darvish, who will have two prints in the auction, says his goal is to record the last testament of wild animals, endangered species, and the places they inhabit.

Other artists who are new to the Big Sky Art Auction are Troy Collins, Carol Guzman, Terry Cooke Hall, David Mayer and Michael Ome Untiedt.

Consigned artwork will be more plentiful at this year’s event as well. Among the highlights are a pair of Sitting Bull’s moccasins, painted buffalo hides, and bronzes by Chris Navarro, Lincoln Fox and Jay Contway.

Visit bigskyartauction.com to view the full auction catalog and to RSVP to the 2018 event.