Western Art Today Panel featuring three important voices in Western art
What is the current state of Art of the American West? Bob Brown of Big Horn Galleries, artist Logan Maxwell Hagege and artist Donna Howell-Sickles discuss what is happening today in this genre with moderator Christine Brindza, senior curator, Glasser Curator of Art of the American West. This program is provided by the Western Art Patrons, a support organization of the Tucson Museum of Art. Recorded October 2020.
Big Horn Gallery in Tubac, AZ
Robert P. Brown
Bob Brown is the owner of Big Horn Galleries, proud to present the finest in Western and Wildlife art and Landscapes of the West in two locations: Cody, Wyoming and Tubac, Arizona.
The gallery was established in 1982 in Cody, Buffalo Bill’s town in the Rockies, and is located downtown across the street from the historic Irma Hotel. Cody is located 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. Because of the western history, natural beauty and abundance of wildlife, many artists are drawn to the area. The gallery represents many well-known artists from Cody as well as other areas of the country and world. It offers a wide variety of subjects, style, media and price in paintings and sculpture by living and deceased artists as well as fine jewelry and original graphics.
The second Big Horn Galleries location was opened in February, 2002 in the historic art colony of Tubac, Arizona. It is located in the La Entrada de Tubac shopping area, immediately behind the popular Tumacookery store in Building K. Located 30 miles south of Tucson, Tubac dates back to 1752 and is said to be the place “where art and history meet”. This gallery has a Southwestern flair, and represents many of the same artists as Cody, but some specific to the region as well. In addition to fine art, this gallery offers original graphics, jewelry, giclee and traditional prints, posters, books and artistic gifts.
The Tall Flowers, 46 x 52 in.
The Song at Sunset, 96 x 144 in.
The Lucky Old Sun, 74 x 79 in.
Logan Maxwell Hagege
Logan Maxwell Hagege (b. 1980) is a Los Angeles based contemporary artist with modern visions of the west. The paintings of Hagege exhibit all the hallmarks of his classical art training from an academy in Southern California, a modern-day atelier, in which students refined their skills by drawing and painting live models every day for years.
Yet, it is in the artist’s departures from strict realism where his work now draws its strength and where his vision is fed by a heady mix of nature and imagination. A power born of observation, recollection and creative inspiration imbue Hagege images of the American Southwest. He is arguably one of the most adept artistic narrators telling and re-telling a modern story of a hauntingly beautiful desert land.
Hagege’s mature style, which he terms “stylized realism,” has made him a master of geometric design where angles and edges are softened by the curve of billowing clouds. His signature clouds often mimic the shapes of the blanketed figures in the foreground, creating visual roadmaps for the viewers, further adding to the design, and narrative of each composition.
What is seen in Hagege’s paintings are the elements of a region and its inhabitants that may go all but unnoticed by the casual observer. His mastery of light is faithful to colors and shapes that exist in nature but whose forms and hues have been stripped to their essence to reveal and to celebrate their complexity. The artist is directed by an inner voice that speaks of a kind of artistic alchemy in which the purity and perfection of nature can be referenced – in paint – for an eternity. There is no mistaking an Hagege image, just as there is no equivalent for the emotion it can evoke.
“It’s my vision of the world; that’s where it starts and that’s where it ends,” he says.
An inventive yet disciplined artist, Hagege is an accomplished musician, former competitive surfer, a husband and a father. Today, Hagege travels extensively to cultivate inspiration and to deepen his relationship with his subjects and with the culture of the land. He produces field studies on location near a home in remote northern Arizona where the landscape – in the form of red cliffs, towering clouds and cerulean sky – is among his guides. Those works inform the pieces he later creates in his studio in Southern California.
In a mark of the artist’s mounting critical and commercial success, Hagege’s works are part of the permanent collections of such ranking institutions as the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, California; the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia; the Cal Poly Pomona University Collection in Pomona, California; the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida; the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Scottsdale Museum of the West in Arizona, among others
Thunder Road, 31.5 x 48 in., Mixed Media
One Ride at A Time, 31.5 x 48 in., Mixed Media
It’s An Adventure, 44 x 30 in., Mixed Media
Having grown up on a ranch in North Texas close to the Red River, Donna Howell-Sickles developed her affinity for nature and animals at an early age. Howell-Sickles’ artwork is about women and their role in the American West. She retells women’s stories and myths using the cowgirl as a medium.
Howell-Sickles graduated from Texas Tech University with a BFA in Painting and Drawing in 1974 and has been following her passion for making art ever since.
An antique postcard of an unidentified cowgirl she found over while in college sparked Donna’s interest in the cowgirl. The original “cowgirls” were America’s first female professional athletes, women of skill and daring like no other women America had ever seen. They defied conventional wisdom by following their own hearts and in doing so; they became a symbol of women living an active life filled with friendship, family and joy.
Along with winning numerous awards, Howell-Sickles has been published in countless print articles and has been included in many books. A book about her artwork, “Cowgirl Rising” was published in 1997 by Greenwich Workshop. In November 2007, Donna Howell-Sickles was inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas in honor of the body of work she has created about the Cowgirl.
Her distinctive artwork filled with bright colors and spirited cowgirls can be found in nine museum collections and has been included in many gallery exhibitions across the country.
Donna Howell-Sickles and her husband John Sickles are Native Texans. Donna was born in Gainesville and her Great Great Uncle is Saint Jo’s co-founder Joseph A. Howell. Donna and John moved to Saint Jo full time in Dec of 2000. They spent the next decade researching Saint Jo history and renovating the historic Davis & Blevins Building that now houses their fine art gallery. John made the dream a reality by lending his talent and vision to the design of the gallery and the restoration of the historic buildings surrounding the gallery.
Wednesday – Sunday,
10 am – 5 pm