Artists, collectors, and gallery owners share their insights about traditional Western art markets in 2019.
Manitou Galleries, Nelson Museum of the West, Military Memorial Museum
Artist, Coleman Studios
Collector and CEO of Trailside Galleries
Editor, Western Art Collector
Artists, collectors, and gallery owners share their insights about the contemporary Western art markets in 2019
Coeur d’Alene Galleries, March in Montana
Artist, Schenck Southwest Publishing
Executive Director, Booth Western Art Museum
Editor, Western Art Collector
Joshua Rose, Moderator
Joshua Rose is the Editor of Western Art Collector, American Art Collector, American Fine Art, and Native American Art magazines—all publications that address trends and developments in the Western art world. Rose travels extensively to attend, present, and jury key art shows and exhibitions across the country. Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, his work and writing centers on the historic and contemporary art world with an emphasis on the genre of Western art.
Bob Nelson established Manitou Gallery in in 1975 in Cheyenne, Wyoming while practicing law. A full-time collector since 1960, he founded the Nelson Museum of the West and the Military Memorial Museum. Add to that two galleries in Santa Fe and two annual auctions, March in Montana and Auction in Santa Fe, and the couple manages seven businesses in two states. It’s enough to keep the Nelsons busy, they say, but not too busy to spend time with their family; together Bob and Charla have four children and nine grandchildren.
John Coleman is an award-winning artist working in sculpture, oils and charcoal. John is an Emeritus member and past president of the Cowboy Artists of America and Fellow member of the National Sculpture Society. He has served on the boards of The National Sculpture Society in New York City, and the Preservation Commission, The Phippen Museum, and The Granite Mountain Hotshot Memorial Partnership in Prescott, Arizona, his hometown.
Christine Mollring is a Collector, Fine Art Consultant and has been the owner and operator of Trailside Galleries for 23 years. At one time Christine and her husband Ted owned locations in Wyoming, Arizona, and California. The Jackson Hole, WY location operated as the mother store, while the Scottsdale, AZ location opened in 1973. The team also opened a location in Terminal III in the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. Additionally, along with Art Star, Christine and her husband purchased the Gallery Americana in Carmel, CA and named it Trailside Americana.
Buddy Le is “The Western Art Dealer.”
In fact, just about anyone who ‘collects’ Western Art, will at some point ‘sell’ Western Art, so he’s more of a Western & Wildlife art CONNOISSEUR. Buddy’s goal is to share his knowledge of buying and selling Western & Wildlife Art with anyone who wants to build a more valuable art collection and have a great time doing it.
Buddy Le was one of the top, high-end diamond salesmen for a reputable jeweler in Southern California before taking his skills to Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leader in document management solutions specializing in hardware and software products. Buddy quickly became the #1 rep in the Los Angeles North Region. Today, Buddy Le owns the Coeur d’Alene Galleries, one of the nation’s premier Western, Wildlife, and Sporting Art galleries specializing in 19th & 20th century art as well as today’s leading contemporary artists. In 2011, the North Idaho Business Journal selected Buddy as one of the “Top 30 Under 40”. Nominated by his peers and awarded by a jury of prominent business executives, Buddy was selected as one of the Top 30 business people under 40 years old.
Originally, from Coeur d’Alene, ID, Buddy and his wife Shawny were living in Southern California, when a very special person presented the idea of purchasing Coeur d’Alene Galleries. A very well-respected Western, Wildlife, and Sporting art gallery that was established in 1986 by Bob Drummond. Buddy’s sales/marketing background was a perfect fit for the reputable gallery, and in 2004, Buddy and Shawny purchased the Coeur d’Alene Galleries from Mike Overby and the immersion began. Buddy immersed himself in the Western Art World by traveling to the major Western art auctions and major Western museum shows around the country and he read everything he could get his hands on regarding Western Art. Buddy quickly became an expert on collecting works by 19th and 20th century artists as well as today’s leading contemporary Western & Wildlife artists.
Buddy has contributed to building major collections around the country and was invited twice to be a juror for the annual Charles Russell Benefit Auction in Great Falls, MT to benefit the Charles Russell Museum. Buddy has a keen eye for quality works, and has repeatedly promoted emerging artists to national household names. Buddy believes the Western Art World is so much more than just the art. The people, the relationships, the “hunt for the perfect painting”, the social events and of course the historical significance of the artwork all make collecting Western Art unlike anything else.
Buddy is married with two children and currently resides in Hayden, ID. He always enjoys a good laugh, a cold beer and spending time with his family and friends. Buddy has served as President of The Coeur Group, a community service organization made up of young business professionals who are dedicated to giving back to their community. Buddy has served on the Board of Directors for the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, but his favorite volunteering venture is organizing and running the Watch D.O.G. program at his kids’ elementary school. The program includes having a volunteer dad spend an entire day at the school playing, helping and having a positive male influence on the students. Buddy’s other passions include golf, fishing, backpacking, playing basketball, traveling, and coaching youth sports.
One of the originators of the Western pop art movement, Billy Schenck incorporates techniques from photorealism with a pop art sensibility to both exalt and poke fun at images of the West. Schenck is known for utilizing cinematic imagery reproduced in a flattened, reductivist style, where colors are displayed side-by-side rather than blended or shadowed. In the August 2014 issue of SouthwestArt magazine, his work was described as “a stance…a pendulum between the romantic and the irreverent.”
Schenck’s artwork is now in 52 museum collections, including Smithsonian Institution, Denver Art Museum, Briscoe Western Art Museum, Autry Museum of the American West, Booth Western Art Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, the Mesa Southwest Museum, Museum of the Southwest, Albuquerque Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art. Private collections include the estate of Malcolm Forbes, Laurence Rockefeller, the estate of Fritz Scholder, and Sylvester Stallone. Corporate collections include American Airlines, IBM, Sony, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
With over 100 solo shows in the U.S. and Europe, career highlights include the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s 2018, Andy Warhol: Cowboys and Indians and Billy Schenck: Myth of the West retrospective, Denver Art Museum’s 2011 Western Horizons and the 2013 Utah Museum of Fine Art’s exhibit Bierstadt to Warhol: American Indians in the West.
A genuine cowboy himself, Schenck is a ranch-sorting world champion and the proprietor of the Double Standard Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, his home for the past two decades.
Seth Hopkins is the Executive Director of the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, a position he has held since 2000. Since 2003, he has also served as the Executive Director of Georgia Museums, Inc., which operates the Booth Museum, Bartow History Museum and Tellus Science Museum. Prior to entering the museum profession, Hopkins worked in the fields of journalism, public relations, and telecommunications management. Hopkins holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from Syracuse University. He has completed courses in art history at Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University and the University of Wyoming, as well as museum studies courses at West Georgia State University. He received a Master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma in 2005. While at OU, he completed his Master’s Thesis: Andy Warhol Played Cowboys and Indians. Hopkins twice served as a juror for the annual Arts for the Parks exhibition in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and has also judged the annual Cowboy Artists of America Show and Sale in Phoenix, Arizona. He has had articles published in American Art Review, Western Art Collector, and Persimmon Hill. In 2010 he was honored with the prestigious Kennesaw State University Flourish Award, given annually to a leader who has helped the arts flourish in Georgia. He has also served as the President of Museums West Consortium, an association of 13 museums located in North America organized for the advancement of Western American art, history and culture.
In October 2015, Hopkins became an Honorary Member of the Cowboy Artists of America.
Hopkins is a native of Dexter, Maine, and currently resides in Cartersville, Georgia, with his wife Joyce, sons Stephen & Alex and daughters Hadley & Ansley