DENVER, CO – Joseph McGurl from Cataumet, Massachusetts has been named the 2024 Featured Artist of the Annual Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale. McGurl’s painting, Morning Light on a Western Landscape, has been selected for the National Western’s permanent art collection. This signature work will also be available for sale as a poster during the 2024 Coors Western Art Exhibit at the National Western Stock Show, January 6-21, 2024. This artwork personifies the contemporary imagery of the West that the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale has become known for and why it is one of the nation’s most attended western art exhibitions, as well as one of largest fundraisers for the National Western Scholarship Trust, the philanthropic pillar of Colorado’s National Western Stock Show.
As a realist, McGurl works in a sphere which must function on several different levels simultaneously. Although he has a deep personal connection to the landscape, it is also a vehicle to explore his interest in modern physics, spirituality, and the exploration of light, form, space, and color interpreted with paint. The slice of reality that man is capable of experiencing and the higher reality that permeates time and space is his true subject.
However, the ideal location to explore this subject is also important, and many of his paintings are derived from painting trips to the American West and the seacoast. The West has a similar appeal to McGurl as does the ocean. As well as being places where he can have a clear view of the sky and light shining upon the earth, they both have a sense of endless space, openness, and freedom. At the ocean, McGurl feels as though he could sail off to the ends of the world, and in the west, he could jump on a horse and “ride off into the sunset.” While painting the western landscape, McGurl experiences an incredible sense of optimism as he gazes upon the expansive landscape.
The 2024 Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale opens Wednesday evening, January 3, 2024, with the Red Carpet Gala Reception. The show features contemporary artists from North America who capture the western way of life. The exhibition is open to the public during the National Western Stock Show, January 6-21, 2024. Last year over 700 people attended the Red Carpet Gala Reception on opening night, and over 30,000 viewed the exhibit during the National Western Stock Show. Also look for exciting emerging artists at the Young Guns Reception on Thursday, December 7, 2023 – an art opening and social event for Colorado’s community of young professionals and emerging collectors.
The National Western Scholarship Trust was formed in 1983 to provide scholarships to students studying agriculture, rural medicine, and veterinary sciences. Since then, the Trust has grown to award 120 scholarships annually, ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per student.
2024 COORS WESTERN ART EVENT SCHEDULE:
- Thursday, December 7, 2023 – YOUNG GUNS RECEPTION. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall, Third Floor. Tickets on sale now at Eventbrite: Young Guns
- Wednesday, January 3, 2024 – RED CARPET GALA RECEPTION, Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale opening night, 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the National Western Complex, Expo Hall, Third Floor.
- Saturday, January 6 through Sunday, January 21, 2024, Coors Western Art Exhibit and the National Western Stock Show open to the public, hours on www.coorswesternart.com.
For more information or images of artists’ work, please contact show coordinator Grace Weihs or curator Kate Hlavin at 973.670.8479.