Besides a margarita, the best way to cool off in this Texas heat is to head to the air-conditioned environment of a local museum. San Antonio’s Briscoe Western Art Museum maximizes on this wisdom, knowing the transporting power that a change of scenery can hold — even if just on canvas. The museum’s ever robust programming continues this August with an invitation to roam the West without ever leaving San Antonio.
Of course, the primary means of escape is the ongoing summer exhibition “The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America,” which features 70 works of art showcasing the forefathers of Western art. Including works from 17 public and private collections, the exhibit seeks to show how these pieces provided foundations, traditions, and ideals for today’s contemporary artists. Viewed together for the first and only time, the collection is on display through September 5.
To send the exhibit off in style, August’s accompanying programming brings Western art to life through artist talks, demonstrations, and more. Tour the exhibition during a gallery talk with Briscoe Curator of Art Emily Wilson; paint along with Chad Poppleton, one of the Cowboy Artists featured in the exhibition; or chill and enjoy a Western film (along with free beer courtesy of Ranger Creek Brewery). More details on August events are below:
Cowboy Creations: Learn from Cowboy Artists
Bringing the art of the exhibition to life, members of the Cowboy Artists of America are appearing in a series of demonstrations and talks throughout the exhibition. Guests can enjoy meeting and watching these talented cowboy artists share the processes behind their work. Join Chad Poppleton for a unique painting workshop Saturday, August 6, from 1 pm to 4 pm, where you will create your own cowboy art as Poppleton shares his insights and experience in this hands-on workshop. Hear from Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) artist and the 2022 President of the CAA Bruce Greenwho will provide a glimpse into his life as a cowboy artist as part of The Lessons of Our Fathers programming on Saturday, August 27 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Teal Blake leads another paint-along on Saturday, September 3, from 11 am to 1 pm.
210 West: Gallery Talks
Using the exhibition gallery guide, Curator of Art Emily Wilson will provide an overview of the tools and strategies used to evaluate narrative art during a Gallery Talk on Friday, August 12 at 1 p.m. Exploring selected works from the exhibition, guests will leave with a deeper appreciation of the artistic strategy, methods, and design choices made by the artists.
Family Fun: STEAM into the West with “The Sons of Charlie Russell”
Families and visitors of all ages can learn about the American West through the works featured in “The Sons of Charlie Russell” during the museum’s Full STEAM Ahead series on the third Saturday of each month. From transportation and weather, to animals, astronomy, and engineering, each program explores an aspect of life in the West to engage and inspire learning. Full STEAM Ahead is included with museum general admission on August 20, and a special Whimsical Windmills event from 11 am to 1 pm will explore the iconic and innovative image of the West. Using the windmill as inspiration, families and children will create their own alternative energy homes using recyclable materials.
What is a Western? Summer Film Series
Perfectly pairing with the summer exhibit, the museum’s popular Summer Film Series explores the elements of a Western and how the genre has been reinterpreted through the years. The first film in the series (Wind River) will explore the traditional components of Western cinema, kicking off with a short presentation on the foundations of the Western on Saturday, August 21, at 1 pm, followed immediately by the screening. Each film is included in general museum admission, with free brews courtesy of Ranger Creek Brewery. Popcorn, drinks, and snacks will be available for purchase.
The Lessons of Our Fathers: How Western Art Stays Relevant
Explore the history and significance of “The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America” exhibit, and learn more about its efforts to maintain and evolve the style and subject matter of traditional Western art. Panelists will include renowned experts on Cowboy Culture, including author and Western art scholar Byron Price, whose book, The Sons of Charlie Russell, commemorates 50 years of the Cowboy Artists of America and inspired the title of the Briscoe’s summer exhibition. Moderated by Briscoe’s Emily Wilson, the event will feature light bites and refreshments. Registration for the panel discussion is included in museum general admission on Saturday, August 27.