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National Western Stock Show artists share their stories

Anyone visiting the National Western Stock Show might overlook the western art exhibit tucked away in a corner of the Expo Hall.

DENVER — Many people go to the National Western Stock Show to see the rodeos, animals, exhibits and to sample the food.

But if you miss visiting the Coors Western Art Show, you may be missing the best part.

The show is tucked away in a corner of the Expo Building, on the third floor.

The show is in its 30th year, and always features a group of handpicked artists curated by artist, writer, and marketing specialist Rose Fredricks.

“I ask an artist to be in the show because they’re doing work that makes sense in the show,” Fredricks said. “They’re doing work that my audience really loves, and they have something important to contribute to the genre of western art in America today”.

The artist and mediums they use are diverse, and include oils, watercolors, photographs, sculpture, and furniture.

They come from across the country and have one thing in common, western art is part of their heart and soul.

Two standouts this year are Quang Ho and Adrienne Stein. They are married with a beautiful little boy named Liam. They are not your typical western artists, if there is such a thing.

Quang’s family escaped Vietnam during the war, and he moved to Denver when he was 12.

Since he couldn’t speak English, he drew art during school and got better and better at it. 

Now Quang is a successful artist and teacher with works in shows galleries around the country. He loves doing western landscapes.

Quang said the light, color and detail are like movements in a symphony that form a beautiful finale.

Adrienne Stein is new to western Art. She’s from Pennsylvania and didn’t discover the west until she met Quang.

Stein has a drastically different style, using bold vibrant colors and images to form symbolic western imagery. She said it’s been a challenge, but one she successfully overcame.

One of Stein's paintings got the Artist Choice Award at the Stock Show, an award given by her peers.

Through the years the Coors Western Art Show has raised nearly $1 million dollars a year thru sales, and much of that money goes to provide scholarships for college students in agriculture.

Fredrick invites people to stop by, enjoy the wonderful art but to leave their notion of western art at the door.

“I want people to come in, I want them to hear the different voices, but I also want them to feel really proud of the west and really proud of the stock show.”



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