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New Art Provides Means for the Historic
The City of Mexico, Thomas Moran [detail]

CANYON, TX.- From temporary contemporary to permanent historic, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum opens two art exhibits on February 27, 2010: one an opportunity for visitors to buy museum-quality art and the other a chance to see what the museum has bought with proceeds from previous sales.

The annual Panhandle-Plains Invitational Western Art Show and Sale moves from its traditional Foran Gallery location to the Harrington Changing Gallery in 2010, affording Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Curator of Art Michael Grauer room to invite more notable western artists. The Panhandle-Plains Invitational reception and viewing begins at 5:30 pm with fixed-price sale following at 6:00 pm.

The event’s growth in popularity among art aficionados has spread throughout the region because of its quality, juried nature. Grauer, an expert in western art, chooses a mix of professional artists from the region and across the United States who depict and interpret the American West. Most are established artists who have earned their stripes while some “up-and-comers” are included to spice things up.

“We want to host a combination of traditional Western art and some interpretations of the West with a twist. So don’t expect tired old Western clichés in our exhibition,” Grauer said.

Proceeds from the sale are used to fund museum acquisitions for its historic Texas and Southwestern art collections and conserve works within the collection that have never been exhibited due to their condition. Acquisitions purchased with Panhandle-Plains Invitational funds will make up the content of Wet Paint: Art Acquisitions Since 2000, including the oldest known painting of the Texas Panhandle, an 1876 watercolor by E. H. Ruffner; pieces from PPHM’s Albert Schmidt Collection, (the largest in the world); W. Herbert Dunton’s 1910 painting General Custer and I Were Nearly the Same Age and the Best of Friends, found in an office building in downtown Wichita Falls; and one of the museum’s latest acquisitions, Thomas Moran’s major 1894 oil painting The City of Mexico.

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