Exhibit captures ‘Western Spirit’

Elbert artist’s equine portraits to be shown

“Boone,” a pencil drawing by Karmel Timmons, will be included in the Coors Art Exhibit.
“Future Prospect color study” by Karmel Timmons is her first drawing in colored pencil. It will be in the Coors Western Art Show Jan. 7 to 26 at the National Western Complex.
Karmel Timmons of Elizabeth will exhibit her skillfully drawn portraits of horses at the Coors Western Art Show Jan. 7 to 26 at the National Western Stock Show Complex, Denver, during the National Western Stock Show.

The 21st Annual Coors Western Arts Exhibit and Sale draws works by 62 artists from across the nation with special skills in portraying the western scene: cowboys, horses, incredible landscapes, wildlife and much more.

It opens with a red carpet reception on Jan. 7, 5:30 to 10 p.m. (ticket required) and is open to the public Jan. 11-26. Usually, a good many pieces of art are sold at this event. A portion of art show proceeds — a record $254,000 in 2013 — goes to the National Western Scholarship Trust, which supports more than 70 college students studying agribusiness and rural family medicine.

Coors National Western curator Rose Fredrick says that due to the show’s popularity, it will be expanded into a second venue in the Gallery at the National Western Club, with 15 additional artists. Colorado-based Quang Ho is the featured artist and has created the annual promotional poster, which will be for sale.

Among the invited artists is Karmel Timmons of Elbert County, who has gained national recognition for her skillful portraits of horses and an occasional human or bison. Included in the National Western will be her first-ever color study: “Future Prospect,” capturing a beautiful, alert, young horse.

According to a recent story in “Southwest Art” magazine, 10 years ago Timmons was a single mother working as a bookkeeper when she met her husband Matt, an engineer. They bought quarter horses in 1999 and she said, “I bet I can draw those horses.” Now, Matt runs the business side of her artwork and she draws.

Timmons soon started drawing neighbor’s horses and has plenty of models close at hand in rural Elbert County. She works from photographs and uses charcoal and wax blend Nero pencils, which come in five strengths. She draws from lunchtime to late at night, seven days a week, unless she’s traveling to horse shows. Each amazingly detailed drawing involves 150 to 200 hours of work, taking her about a month.

The couple no longer own horses, which are expensive, but depend on her horse art, which adds a plus on the ledger.

For lovers of western art, this show has become a must-see event.

Also scheduled: a lecture and luncheon at the History of Colorado Center on Jan. 7 with Quang Ho, Teresa Elliott, Dean Mitchell and Keith Jacobshagen discussing “What is Western Art?” and “Journeys West,” a Petrie Institute of Western Art Symposium, at the Denver Art Museum on Jan. 8.