The 30th Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale returned Tuesday with the traditional Red Carpet Reception, a by-invitation soiree where some 900 guests gathered for drinks, dinner and the opportunity to have first crack at purchasing the paintings, sculptures and furniture created by 75 artists whose work celebrates the American West.

Proceeds from the Red Carpet Reception ticket sales, along with a percentage of the art sales, goes to the National Western Scholarship Trust. It annually provides scholarships to 110 students pursuing degrees in agriculture, rural medicine and veterinary science at colleges in Colorado and Wyoming. The amount raised at this year’s Red Carpet Reception was still being tabulated as of press time.

The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale had its start in 1993 as a joint venture between the Coors Brewing Company and the National Western Stock Show.

And, oh, has it grown.

“I remember back when we had a folding table and cash box by the front entrance and two volunteers who hand-wrote sales receipts,” said Rose Fredrick, who has curated the show since 1998. She was given the 2023 Mary Belle Grant Award as a token of appreciation for her service.

“At the Red Carpet Reception,” she said, “Pete Coors used to give a welcoming speech, which was always interrupted by roosters in the petting zoo crowing loud enough to drown him out.”

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Fredrick, who succeeded inaugural curator Ann Daly, has grown the exhibit and sale to national prominence, including new artists and established favorites and contemporary Western viewpoints with traditionalists.

Red Carpet Reception guests included:

  • Former Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll, a member of the National Western Stock Show board
  • Doug Jones, chairman of the National Western board
  • Paul Andrews, the stock show’s president/CEO
  • Pete Coors, chairman of the stock show’s Honoring the Legacy campaign
  • Pat Grant, president emeritus of the National Western Stock Show
  • Sean Kerins, president/CEO of Official Sponsor Arrow Electronics
  • Silver Patron Renee Duncan
  • Doug Tisdale, former mayor of Cherry Hills Village and two-time chair of the Regional Transportation District board
  • Architect David Tryba
  • Rockmount Ranch Wear president Steve Weil
  • Art consultant Ann Benson Reidy
  • Dianne Bartlett, an underwriter of the Red Carpet Reception who has also purchased steers at the Junior Livestock Auction for 22 years

About the organization: The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale will be open to the public for the run of the 2023 National Western Stock show, Jan. 7-22, on the third floor of the Expo Building. Entry is free with the purchase of a grounds admission. In addition to the paintings, sculpture and furniture displayed in the gallery, additional works can be seen in the National Western Club, also on the Stock Show grounds.

Website: CoorsWesternArt.com

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