Another Successful Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale Opening Reception
Written by Caleb Nelson on August 25, 2022
With another successful Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale reception in the books, Director Kathy Thompson says, “I love that opening reception because it’s for the town.” Last Thursday, the opening gala started with a ceremonial ribbon cutting to begin the evening.
For those uninitiated in the Cody art scene, the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale is a nationally renowned art show and sale offering “a broad range of stylistic interpretations of the American West,” the Chamber writes.
The show is organized by the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce, and it supports both established and emerging Western artists while engaging patrons of the arts and enriching the Cody community with events that provide education and entertainment, all of which benefit the prestigious Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Discussing the show and the opening gala, Thompson says, “I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of the town.”
“I love that opening show because it’s so fun to see people come out and really appreciate one of the great humanities, and that’s art,” Thompson says.
Thompson says she’s still having fun working as the Director for the event noting that the efforts of the town, the artists, and the patrons make for “fabulous” events during Rendezvous Royale week.
The Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale is invitation only, “these artists have all been selected to be in our show and invited to be in our show by a committee,” Thompson explains. Considerations for selection include being a good “fit” for the show and matching what “patrons want.” All the pieces selected meet an extremely high bar of quality and composition.
Whether it’s traditional landscapes, “cowboy images,” or even contemporary visions of the “New West,” the Buffalo Bill Art Show has immense variety and aesthetic depth.
“I find that our show has something for everyone,” Thompson says.
Even though artists can choose to take their work to a variety of different shows and venues, many prefer the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale. As Thompson explains, “Buffalo Bill is one of their favorites. And that’s partly because this little town rolls out the red carpet.”
All the artists featured in this show are still alive (not deceased), which places this contemporary art show here in Cody in a unique position in terms of Western art shows throughout the region.
For the size of the show, the artists and the town do well monetarily. Past shows have generated as much as half a million dollars in sales. “Not bad for a little town,” Thompson adds.
Each year, the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale hosts several events leading up to the annual “Rendezvous Royale” week. The main events include the “Friday night Live Auction” and a dinner located at the “Party Tent” next to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. There’s also the Saturday Quick Draw & Brunch. The 41st Annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale takes place on September 23rd, 2022.
“It was formed to sort of say, this is Art Week, this is the week to celebrate the arts,” Thompson notes. Initially, Rendezvous Royal “tagged on” to the patron’s ball for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, calling itself “Cody High Style.” Eventually, the original name was changed because it made the art show sound like a “fashion show.” Cody High Style became the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale.
Referring to the early days of the art show and sale, “We knew that people who loved the Center would also love Western art,” Thompson says. Over the years, a rich and meaningful partnership has developed between the Cody Country Chamber, the art show, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
“We bring people here who love Western art and don’t know much about the museum and it’s a real kind of kumbaya experience because then they go ‘wow,’ who knew this museum was here,” Thompson says.