High Desert Museum Art In The West Celebrates Our Culturally Rich Region

This juried exhibition of fine art depictions of the western U.S. by contemporary artists kicked off in July with a “first view” opportunity where guests were able to place a bid or purchase a beautiful piece of artwork outright.


“We’re thrilled by the number of pieces submitted for consideration and the caliber of the works,” said Executive Director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. The Curator’s Choice Award went to Michael Blessing for his piece The Long Arm of the Law and the Jury’s Choice Award to Ben Pease for his piece, Honor and Respect Come to Thee.

These works, as well as pieces by popular artists Rod Frederick, Dawn Emerson, Ken Roth, Barbara Slater, Xiaogang Zhu, Colt Idol and Diane Whitehead, will be on exhibit and available for bidding. “It is always inspiring to see the myriad ways artists interpret and portray the stories of the West, whether they’re reflecting on Native American culture or the character of the landscape,” added Whitelaw.


Art in the West culminates with the silent auction at the High Desert Rendezvous, the Museum’s signature annual fundraising gala, on August 26 from 5–9:30pm. A rip-roaring night of dinner, live and silent auctions, raffle, gambling, hosted saloon and dancing helps support Museum programs. The evening event is the final chance to bid on art in the juried exhibition Art in the West.

“Rendezvous is a perfect opportunity for members and friends to gather together to celebrate our past accomplishments and support the future success of the Museum,” said Whitelaw. “This year marks the Museum’s 35th anniversary and we know this amazing resource couldn’t exist without the continued support of generous donors, sponsors, members and visitors from around the world.”


Cost for an individual ticket is $150 for members and $200 for non-members and for a couple costs $300 for members and $350 for non-members. Limited sponsorship tables are still available for parties of 8 or 10.

Bob Shaw, NewsChannel 21 chief meteorologist / community affairs director, will be the evening’s MC. Greg Quiroga, auctioneer for Stellar Fundraising Auctions, Inc., will keep the bidding lively during the live auction. Caterer Tate and Tate will prepare a scrumptious dinner and Dry Canyon Stampede will have the dance floor swinging with their country western tunes.
A gallery guide of the artwork is available to preview on the Museum’s website. Opening bids range from $80 to $6,500. Bids or outright purchases may be made through August 26. Phone bids will be accepted during business hours through August 25 at 541-382-4754 ext. 365.

Art in the West and the High Desert Rendezvous are made possible by Bank of the Cascades and with support from the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation.

541-382-4754 ext. 241


JURY’S CHOICEBen Pease Ben Pease_Honor and Respect Come to Thee
Honor and Respect Come to Thee, 2017
Mixed media, 40” X 30”

Ben Pease describes himself as a contemporary Native American storyteller who comes from the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Nations in southeastern Montana. Ben’s narrative mixed-media paintings explore the history and culture of Native people. His work has recently been featured in the publications Fine Art Connoisseur, Mountain Living, Western Art Collector and Western Art & Architecture’s art issue. Ben’s work was included in the Creative Indigenous Collective group show at the Wyoming State Museum of Art. He has exhibited at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Yellowstone Museum and the Bigfork Art Museum.

Value: $4,800
Opening Bid: $1,400
Buy it Now: $9,600


Michael Blessing
The Long Arm of the Law, 2015
Oil on canvas, 51” X 27”

Michael Blessing’s innovative and vibrant oil paintings merge traditional subjects with contemporary elements. Michael is particularly drawn to the nostalgia associated with neon, as is depicted in his Neon West series, which brings historical figures to life with mid-1900’s pop influences. Michael’s paintings have won awards of excellence from Western Art Collector and Southwest Art. He was the recipient of the BOLDBRUSH award in April 2016. 079 Michael Blessing_The Long Arm of the Law

Value: $8,000
Opening Bid: $4,000
Buy it Now: $16,000

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