Dean Mitchell Sweeps The west Select Invitational

Dean Mitchell Sweeps The West Select Invitational Art Show and Sale 

Published online courtesy Western Art Collector, January 2013

Dean Mitchell West Select

The sophomore showing of The West Select invitational exhibition and set-price sale brought toghether a cheerful crowd of artists, collectors, curators, and dealers from across the country.  The burgeoning Western art exhibition returned to Phoenix Art Museum on November 9 with 27 of the 33 juried-in artists in attendance for the gala opening. Among the participants on hand to meet and greet guests were sculptor Walter T. Matia from Maryland, and watercolor artist Tony Foster, who traveled all the way from Cornwall, England, to join in the festivities.

Presented by the Men's Arts Council, the 2012 show grossed more than half a million dollars in sales, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the museum. 

"We are pleased with the direction of The West Select, and people are enjoying the broad range of styles and subject matter found in the exhibition. With a collection of amazingly talented artists who produce exceptional work, it is a refreshingly diverse take on the American West," states Jerry N. Smith, the museum's curator of American and Western American Art. ...

Seven awards were presented in various categories beginning with the Western Art Associates' Kieckhefer Award for Best in Show, which went to Dean Mitchell for his watercolor Pima Relic.  Additionally, the piece received the Gold honor for Work on Paper and was purchased for the museum's permanent collection by the Western Art Associates.

It was truly a shock that I won the awards as there are so many talented deserving artists in the exhibition.  I was so thrilled because I truly believe in the series I'm doing of the reservations,and to have one chosen as best work on paper, best in show—and then to have the museum purchase— was just heaven-sent," Mitchell remarks. "I was also thrilled it was a watercolor, as works on paper rarely get selected for best of show and the museum purchase. It is gratifying to see watercolor appreciated on this level. I hope to continue to push toward more contemporary subjects that reflect the life and conditions of the West."

Additional awards include: Painting: Gold- Rolf's Place by Howard Post; Silver-77re Water Gatherers by Bill Schenck; Work on Paper: Silver-Fence//ne and Ridges, Painted Desert, Arizona, 2011, photograph, by Jay Dusard; Sculpture: Gold-Trickster Transformation by Steve Kestrel; and Silver-Come Get Some by Richard Loffler.

The West Select exhibition remains on view through December 31. Any unsold art may be purchased through the end of the exhibition and can be viewed online at www.thewestselect.com. The West Select sale will return Friday, November 8, 2013.