The History of the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale


The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale began in 1993 as the joint inspiration of Coors Brewing Company and the National Western Stock Show. After a successful trial year, National Western CEO Pat Grant brought on Ann Daley to curate the show in 1994. That year, a commemorative poster was made from William Matthews painting, Waddie’s Slick Fork. This kicked off the Featured Art program in which one artwork is purchased each year for the National Western Permanent Collection.

The National Western Stock Show has primary management and oversight of the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale. Rose Fredrick became the curator in 1998 and has developed the show into one of the nation’s most recognized Western art exhibits. Rose works tirelessly to balance new artists and old favorites, and contemporary Western viewpoints with traditionalists.

Established in 1994, the Coors Western Art Advisory Committee is a powerhouse of professionals dedicated to the exhibit’s continued success. In 2013, the committee vice chair, Cathy L. Carpenter Dea, approached the current CEO of the National Western, Paul Andrews, with the idea to bring younger patrons into the fold. The Young Guns was created, headed by a committee of young professionals, is focused on art education and philanthropy. That same year, an offshoot exhibition held in the Gallery at the National Western Club, opened with the Young Guns Reception.

From the onset, it was important that Coors Western Art and Young Guns support the National Western Scholarship Trust. All proceeds from ticket, table, and art sales help 100 students each year studying agriculture, rural medicine, and veterinary sciences.

The Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale will have a prominent place in the forthcoming National Western Center, with an expanded gallery and a public viewing space for the Permanent Art Collection. The Coors Western Art committee, staff, and volunteers are dedicated to bringing the finest Western art experience to National Western Stock Show patrons and visitors.

Coors Western Art acknowledges that the the National Western Stock Show complex in Denver is on the traditional territory of the Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Oceti Sakowin, and Ute Nations.