Two-man show by award-winning Colorado western artists opens during First Thursday Art Walk
Western Stories Now and Then: New Work by Duke Beardsley& Greg Kelsey opens at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango during First Thursday Art Walk on September 3. Greg Kelsey will be present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to meet the public.
The show, Western Stories Now and Then features Duke Beardsley’s contemporary western Pop-art influenced oil paintings and Greg Kelsey’s bronze sculptures of traditional western scenes. Each artist is inspired by a deep appreciation of western life and his work is informed by a first-hand knowledge of the working cowboy’s experience.
A sixth generation Coloradan raised in Denver and on a cattle ranch in eastern Colorado, Duke Beardsley’s “duel” upbringing is integral to his art. As a result he blends traditional western iconography with a contemporary sensibility. Beardsley’s new work presents his signature iconic western images in a cutting-edge format. He offered, “My work continues to explore and challenge the romanticized icon of the working cowboy by extracting it from the conventional, traditional western landscape and instead placing it against an equally romanticized and often highly stylized background. Where it goes from there is up to it.”
An active cowboy on his working ranch in Ignacio, Colorado, Greg Kelsey considers himself a storyteller who captures the movement, action and mindset of his western subjects in his realistic bronze sculptures. Among Kelsey’s work on display will be his new award-winning sculpture, Sundance & the Wild Bunch Hit the Union Pacific. The sculpture depicts the robbery of a train portrayed in the Hollywood film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Kelsey offered, “This historical tale resonated with me, it is a dynamic story that was perfect material for a sculpture. I live in one of the old stomping grounds of the Wild Bunch. My neighborhood of the Four Corners was a known hideout.”
Both academically trained, their work is collected world-wide and held in the permanent collections of the most prestigious western art institutions in America including the Denver Art Museum, The Booth Western Art Museum, the Whitney Collection of Western American Art, the Briscoe Western Art Museum, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
Sorrel Sky Gallery owner Shanan Campbell Wells offered, “Duke and Greg are two great western artists with different approaches and styles yet both are grounded in a love of the West –today’s West and yesterday’s.”
Sorrel Sky Gallery’s fresh approach to Western art presents a select collection of contemporary and traditional fine art and jewelry for the discerning collector. Sorrel Sky Gallery was founded in Durango, CO in 2002 and opened its Santa Fe, NM location in 2014. It represents over 60 painters, sculptors and jewelers including bronze artist Star Liana York, painter Billy Schenck, and Ben Nighthorse, among others.