Heart of the West heads to Coeur d’Alene

After Bozeman debut, art sale and auction returns to Coeur d'Alene Sept. 1-4

Art Beat

The Heart of the West Art Show and Auction – organized by the creators of the Western Masters show in Great Falls – returns to the Coeur d’Alene Resort Sept. 1-4 after debuting in Bozeman Aug. 11-13.

Morgan Cawdrey, his dad, Steve, and Pat Hagan – the trio that launched the Western Masters in 2010 – decided to change the brand to Heart of the West Art Show and Auction and move the event to the Coeur d’Alene Resort in 2015. “We saw a niche in that area, which hadn’t had a major annual fine art show since the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction moved its event to Reno, 10 or 15 years ago,” says Morgan Cawdrey.

"Sundown Social" by Colt Idol
“Sundown Social” by Colt IdolPhoto © Colt Idol

After a very successful inaugural year, they decided to add one more venue and location: the Best Western Plus Grantree Inn in Bozeman.

“Bozeman and the surrounding communities are Montana’s fastest-growing area, with a vibrant art scene and some of my favorite Montana artists, like Michael and Meagan Blessing and Whitney and Terry Hall,” says Cawdrey. “It’s a fun and beautiful town and the Grantree Inn was very excited to host a major high-end annual art show, which Bozeman currently lacks.”

Both shows feature Quick Finish artist demonstrations on Friday and Saturday and live art auctions on Saturday. More than 60 juried artists and galleries, including many previous Western Masters participants, will exhibit their newest bodies of work in convention-room booths. This format gives collectors and artists a unique opportunity to form connections and friendships and engage with other art aficionados.

The live auctions – held Aug. 13 in Bozeman and slated for Sept. 3 in Coeur d’Alene – each offer 100 lots of contemporary and consigned artwork, plus 25 pieces created on-site during Quick Finish artists’ demonstrations to benefit local nonprofit organizations.

“What is unique about Heart of the West is that it’s a show run by artists for artists,” says Cawdrey.  “We take a very low commission on auction sales and no commission on booth sales to try to encourage and support the fabulous artist exhibitors we represent, because we know it isn’t easy to make a living as an artist.”

The Whitefish resident specializes in finding online systems that make for a smooth exhibiting and sales experience, and exploring “the brave new world of online fine art auctions to reach the maximum number of art collectors.”

One of his initiatives includes a new podcast, Ctrl+ART+Del (available on iTunes and Youtube), that explores the ins and outs of being a young artist in Montana. The current installment features Flathead Valley residents Kenneth Yarus and Richie Carter. “They paint demo pieces while I interview special artist/art industry guests and we have a lot of fun with that.” Both artists are part of the Coeur d’Alene show.

Here’s the schedule for Coeur d’Alene:

Sept. 1-4 at Coeur d’Alene Resort; Quick Finish events are 5-7 p.m. Friday and 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday; and Art Chats with participating artists are on tap 10 a.m.-noon Saturday and Sunday. The event culminates in the Heart of the West Live Auction, 4-7 p.m. Sept. 3.

This year’s North Star Award winner, Linda St. Clair of Santa Fe, will lead Saturday’s Art Chat and participate in that afternoon’s Quick Finish. The quick, decisive painter has made a mark in the art world with her loose, expressive paintings of animals from the barnyard to the Serengeti.

Call 406 781-0550 or visit www.heartofthewestart.com.