Fort Collins Artist Wins Two Awards at High End Art Show in Indianapolis

Dave Santillanes with his award-winning painting Silence of Winter, at the 17th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale on Sept. 9 at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis. Photo is courtesy of the Eitejorg Museum.

 

More than $1 million in high-end Western art was sold September 9-10 during the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, held at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis. At the 17th annual Quest for the West®, 304 collectors and guests were able to purchase art created by 50 of the nation’s leading Western American artists.

This year’s luck-of-the-draw sale and awards dinner was memorable for two reasons: It was the first museum event held in the Eiteljorg Museum’s newly expanded multipurpose space, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court, since its summer renovation. And, this was the final year that Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall presided over the popular event as emcee before his retirement next year.

“For 17 years, the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale has been a major initiative for the Eiteljorg Museum. It has built support for Western American art and artists and raised the museum’s profile nationally in the art world,” Vanausdall said. “Quest also provides the general public an opportunity to experience some breathtaking art during the month-long exhibit, and we are grateful to the curators, museum staff, volunteers, and sponsors who make it possible.”

Including artworks sold during the Quest main sale Saturday, smaller artworks by the same artists purchased at the Quest miniature art sale on Friday, and additional pieces purchased since then, a total of $1,087,415 in Quest art has been sold so far this year. Collectors could purchase in person or as absentee buyers. Most sales proceeds go directly to the artists, with the museum receiving a percentage. Any artworks not sold during Quest weekend (paintings as well as additional casts of bronze sculptures) can be purchased through October 9; visit quest.eiteljorg.org for a list of artworks available.

Artists at Quest for the West® were recognized with awards in multiple categories. A painting by Nathan Solano of Pueblo, Colorado, Portrait of a Cowboy, received the Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award, meaning it was acquired for the museum by sponsor The Western Art Society and is added to the museum’s collections. A painting by Dave Santillanes of Fort Collins, Colorado, Silence of Winter, won two awards: the Henry Farny Award for Best Painting, sponsored by Stephen and Jane Marmon; and the Artists’ Choice Award, sponsored by Phyllis Cockerill.

In other Quest awards, artist Dean Mitchell of Tampa, Florida, was honored with the Victor Higgins Award of Distinction, sponsored by Catherine Turner, for the best body of work presented at the show. A bronze sculpture by Tim Cherry of Branson, Missouri, Migration, received the Cyrus Dallin Award for Best Sculpture, sponsored by Mike and Carla Leppert. A painting by Gladys Roldan-de-Moras of San Antonio, Texas, Anticipation, received the Patrons’ Choice Award, sponsored by Stan and Sandy Hurt.

Meanwhile, the Quest paintings and sculptures, whether sold or not, remain on view at the Eiteljorg for one month for the general public to enjoy before purchased works are shipped to their buyers. The Quest for the West® art exhibition is included with regular admission and continues through October 9. A beautifully illustrated 2022 Quest for the West® art catalog is available in the Frank and Katrina Basile Museum Store.

Also celebrated during Quest for the West® weekend this year was the recipient of last year’s Quest Artist of Distinction award: artist Denis Milhomme of Three Rivers, California. Milhomme and members of his family were present at the Eiteljorg to see the opening of a related new exhibit, Natural Wonders: The Art of Denis Milhomme, which brings together 20 of Milhomme’s stunning landscape paintings of mountains and deserts. Most of the Milhomme works are on loan to the museum from various collectors; and that show continues through Oct. 16 in the museum’s Gerald and Dorit Paul Gallery. Natural Wonders is included with regular museum admission.

This year’s Quest was dedicated to the late Stephen Zimmerman, one of the founders of The Western Art Society who helped launch the annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale in 2006; he died last year.

On both evenings of the two-day sale event, guests enjoyed fine dining provided by Kahn’s Catering inside the museum’s renovated multipurpose space, the Allen Whitehill Clowes Sculpture Court. Under the museum’s Project 2021 capital / endowment plan, the elegant round room with skylights was expanded recently to accommodate seating for 375, by enclosing the outdoor OneAmerica Terrace and creating a wall of glass on the east wall that offers an outstanding view of the Indiana Statehouse. Quest was the first museum event held in the expanded space, which also will be used for Día de Muertos Community Celebration on October 29, the Jingle Rails holiday model railroad November 19-Jan. 16, and other Eiteljorg events. The space also can be rented for private occasions such as wedding receptions and corporate seminars.

The Eiteljorg Museum thanked the presenting sponsors of the 17th annual Quest for the West®, The Western Art Society and the Avis Foundation, Inc., as well as other donors. Over 17 years, a cumulative total of approximately $17.6 million in Western art has been sold at Quest for the West®

Western art aficionados should mark their calendars for September 8-9, 2023, when the 18th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale is scheduled at the Eiteljorg Museum. “Quest weekend is one of the most enjoyable events at the museum each year, and presiding at the annual Quest awards dinner as emcee has been a delightful experience. I look forward to attending the 2023 Quest after my retirement – in the audience with so many Quest friends next time, instead of onstage,” Vanausdall said.

About the Eiteljorg
A cultural pillar for 33 years in downtown Indianapolis’ scenic White River State Park, the Eiteljorg Museum seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the arts, histories and cultures of the Native peoples of North America and of the American West by telling amazing stories. Located on the Central Canal at 500 West Washington St., the Eiteljorg is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It was named one of the USA Today Readers’ Choice 10 Best Indiana Attractions.

Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award
Nathan Solano of Pueblo, Colorado
Portrait of a Cowboy, 2022
Acrylic on canvas on board
30 x 40 inches
Sponsored by the Western Art Society

Victor Higgins Award of Distinction, for best body of work presented in the show

Dean Mitchell of Tampa, Florida, for work including:
Vast Land of Dreams, 2022
Acrylic
18 x 20 inches
Sponsored by Catherine Turner

Henry Farny Award for Best Painting

Dave Santillanes of Fort Collins, Colorado
Silence of Winter, 2022
Oil
24 x 38 inches

Sponsored by Stephen and Jane Marmon

The Cyrus Dallin Award for Best Sculpture

Tim Cherry of Branson, Missouri
Migration, 2022
Bronze
16 x 36 x 5 inches
Sponsored by Mike and Carla Leppert

Patrons’ Choice Award, given in recognition of the work voted most popular by Quest patrons

Gladys Roldan-de-Moras of San Antonio, Texas
Anticipation, 2022
Oil on linen
40 x 30 inches
Sponsored by Stan and Sandy Hurt

The Artists’ Choice Award, given in recognition of the work most popular with Quest artists

Dave Santillanes of Fort Collins, Colorado
Silence of Winter, 2022
Oil
24 x 38 inches
Sponsored by Phyllis Cockerill

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