The C.M. Russell Museum, in conjunction with the Out West Art Show & Sale and The Great Western Living and Design Show, announced in a news release on Wednesday that the previously announced joint show scheduled for September 10-12 at the Montana ExpoPark will not happen due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.
"We are disappointed to have had to make this decision," said John Godwin, executive director of the Out West Art Show and Sale. "The health and safety of our participating artists and attendees is, of course, our primary concern and given the increasing cases in Cascade County and the state of Montana, as well as uncertainty about what restrictions may be in place come September, cancellation seemed to be the only option ."
Chuck Fulcher, show director of the Great Western Living and Design Show added, "We're excited to turn our attention to 2021 and planning an amazing return of Western Art Week."
The C.M. Russell Museum plans to conduct The Russell Sale on September 11 and 12 using online auction platforms with telephone and absentee bidding options available as well. Additional details will be released by the museum shortly.
"Postponing the auction in March, and now having to move primarily online is not how we envisioned The Russell for this year," commented Tom Figarelle, executive director of the C.M. Russell Museum, "but we look forward to offering all the incredible art included in the catalogue for sale in September and giving buyers a variety of ways to bid including multiple online platforms, absentee, and phone bidding. We are working with our auctioneer Troy Black to make this year's auction just as exciting as ever - with patrons and artists being able to enjoy it from the comfort of their own home."
Western Art Week 2020 was originally slated to take place March 18-22, then rescheduled for September 10-12. Each year the multi-day event is attended by hundreds of art fans and artists from across Montana and numerous states and provinces.
- The Out West Art Show and Sale typically features works of more than 140 artists from the United States and Canada. In addition, the Out West Art Foundation works with local area high schools, mentoring artists in the Young Masters Program.
- The Great Western Living and Design Show is the largest western living and design show in Montana with over 90 vendors showing the best of the west. The show typically features boot makers, furniture makers, clothing and jewelry artisans, and a selection of fine art offerings.
- The Russell: An Exhibition and Sale to Benefit the C.M. Russell Museum is the premiere fundraising event for the C.M. Russell Museum, attracting artists, collectors, and patrons from around the country. The schedule of events and exhibitions culminates in Saturday's Live Auction featuring important pieces by Charles M. Russell and other historic artists as well as new work by the country's most acclaimed contemporary western artists.