An intimate and accurate image of a subject is what two Prix de West artists — painter Andrew Peters and sculptor Doug Hyde — strive for in every completed artwork.
Hyde and Peters are among the 103 artists who will participate in the 41st Annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale on Friday and Saturday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
In recent telephone interviews, both artists said the annual June exhibition is always a much-anticipated event on their calendars.
“On the Monday following the Prix de West show, I’ll begin working on what I’ll bring to the next show,” Peters said from his studio in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
“It’s so I can be content that I’m honoring all the artists that I show with and that I so look up to. I want to be sure to bring my best work to each Prix de West,” added Peters, who is returning for his eighth time.
Hyde voiced a similar sentiment.
“Being invited to show your work at the Prix de West is the biggest honor of all for a Western artist,” he said, speaking from his studio in Prescott, Ariz. “It gives you a chance to see what other artists are doing and, at the same time, with only three or four pieces in the show, you have to be able to impress other artists and buyers with what you’re doing.
“I think it perpetuates the quality of the art that’s on display there each year,” said the award-winning sculptor, who is marking his 18th Prix de West appearance and has designed this year’s commemorative bolo medallion.
The great outdoors
Peters, who grew up in Iowa, fell in love with birds at a young age and quickly began drawing them from life and from Audubon prints.
“I loved looking at the ducks my dad would bring home from hunting,” Peters said. “Drawing became a way of looking deeper into birds and nature.”
He earned a bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University, with a minor in art, and at age 22, won the Iowa Duck Stamp competition, which launched his fine art career.
Peters prefers plein air painting whenever possible. “Painting outdoors you get to see everything. You get a very intimate experience with nature,” said Peters, who contends that light, not line, determines form. “A painting should read like a window onto a place.”
He is bringing four oil on canvas paintings to the Prix de West show.
“Evening Sanctuary,” priced at $11,000, shows pheasants scampering across an Iowa dirt road at dusk. “It’s about the beauty of light on the landscape in the moment before sunset,” Peters said. “It’s as if Mother Nature is putting on her evening gown. It’s beautiful and it’s fleeting.”
IF YOU GO
41st annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale