Aspiring local takes top prize from Cowboy Artists of America – Cache Valley Daily

“Desolate Symphony,” an oil painting by Michael LeFevre of Mendon, captured top honors in the national 2020 Western Horseman & Cowboy Artists of America Youth Art Contest.

LOGAN – Cache Valley now has an award-winning cowboy artist among its residents.

Michael LeFevre of Mendon was recently named national grand champion of the Sixth Annual Western Horseman & Cowboy Artists of America Youth Art Contest. The 15-year-old’s oil painting entitled “Desolate Symphony” was selected as the best of hundreds of submissions to the contest sponsored by Western Horseman magazine.

Those submissions were screened by the magazine’s senior editor Jennifer Denison and then judged by Cowboy Artists of America members Chad Poppleton and Jason Scull.

The judges praised young LeFevre’s painting as a “bold rendering of its subject” with “successful mood and harmony.”

LeFevre explained that his painting was based on a photo of a cowboy model that he took while attending a workshop sponsored by the Cowboy Artists of America during 2019.

“He was such a great model that I just had to paint him,” the young artist added. “I love the calmness of the cowboy figure and oil is (an easy medium) to work with.”

The Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) is an exclusive organization founded in 1965 by prominent western artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Pippen. Its members are dedicated to promoting art celebrating the American cowboy and the Old West.

Since 1936, Western Horseman magazine has been recognized as one of the America’s leading publications for admirers of the past and present cowboy lifestyle. The magazine’s only stipulation in its annual youth art competition is that all submissions must depict horses in some way.

CAA has been sponsoring an annual art exhibit and auction for more than five decades. The 55th Annual Cowboy Artists of America Sale & Auction is set to be held in Fort Worth, TX in November and LeFevre has won a free trip to that event.

The CAA event is highly regarded by collectors of western art and artists’ work displayed there often fetch substantial prices. At the 2003 auction held in Santa Fe, for example,  Howard Terpning’s painting entitled “Cooling Off the Hard Way” sold for a record $305,000.

LeFevre was also selected as champion in the CAA contest’s competition for aspiring artists aged 14 to 18, winning a $1,000 scholarship from the group’s Joe Beeler Foundation to be used for art education or materials.



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