“Hold Your Horses!” at the Phippen Museum

“At the Tree” by Don Weller. Watercolor, 19”x25.”

The horse, that quintessential symbol of the American West, will be celebrated at the Phippen Museum’s fourth annual Hold Your Horses! invitational exhibition and sale. The opening reception takes place at the Prescott museum on Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The reception will feature hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. It will be the first opportunity for art collectors to view more than 100 sculptures, photographs, watercolors, oil paintings and pastels featuring the horse, says Lynette Tritel, the museum’s curator and collections manager. Some of the show’s participating artists, including featured artist Don Weller, will be present. Don was the 2016 People’s Choice Award winner. (Phil Beck, the 2014 and 2015 winner, also has work juried into this year’s show.) During the seven-week exhibition, visitors will be given ballots and asked to vote for their favorite piece of art. Hold Your Horses! will be on display through Sept. 24. Tickets to the opening reception are free for members and $10 for guests.

Lynette says the impetus for the show was simple. “The American horse plays an important role in the history of the West, so we wanted a show strictly for horses,” she says. “We invite artists well-versed in the anatomy of the horse, and we rotate the artists each year to keep the show fresh. Artists come from all over the West including two photographers, Beverly Pettit and Kathy McCraine, from Prescott.”

All in all, 32 artists will participate in the show. Unlike the museum’s huge Western Art Show & Sale that happens in May, the entire horse show takes place at the Prescott campus, which boasts four main galleries and numerous smaller showrooms. On Aug. 5, the museum has a full lineup of horsey activities including demonstrations, lectures and a journal-making workshop for children at 10 a.m. For a full list of events, visit www.phippenartmuseum.org.

The Phippen Museum was created in honor of George Phippen, the first president of the Cowboy Artists of America, which formed in Sedona in 1965. George passed away in 1966, and in 1974, the George Phippen Memorial Foundation was formed to create a venue that would support western art. The actual museum opened its doors in Prescott in October 1984 and celebrated a major 10,000-square-foot expansion in 2011. Erika Ayn Finch. Photo courtesy of Phippen Museum.

Phippen Museum, 4701 AZ-89 in Prescott (928-778-1385)

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