Buffalo Bill’s 41st Art Exhibit and Sale Raises Over $1 Million
One of the most prestigious art exhibitions in the American West continues its streak of success in 2022, as a record number of patrons raise more than $1 million to benefit fine art and mainstays of the Cody community.
From the moment guests entered the huge tent in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West parking lot, the excitement was palpable. Miss Wyoming greeted patrons as they entered, and Buffalo Bill himself led the national anthem (and the University of Wyoming’s fight song.)
The 41st annual Buffalo Bill art exhibition and sale brought together 650 guests under the marquee – a new attendance record. 70 additional people joined by telephone or by invitation to tender, another attendance record.
The Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale live auctions totaled over $1.079 million.
Over 104 artists had their work featured in the show. By the end of the auction, 96 of the 104 pieces had been sold.
Proceeds from the live auction totaled $1,032,900, with an additional $22,650 coming from the sale of By Western Hands pieces. In addition, at least $23,965 was raised by the silent auction.
The top-selling piece — $55,000 — was “Wyoming Buffalo,” a 20 x 24-inch oil painting by “one of Wyoming’s greatest masters,” Tucker Smith.
“Wyoming Buffalo” also won the show’s two-dimensional award.
“By the Light, Psalms 75:15-17” won the Spirit of Buffalo Bull Art Show and Sale. Thomas Kegler’s oil painting sold for $25,000.
However, the most exciting bidding battles were for other works. “Embrace” – an oil painting by Mark McKenna – had a market value of $16,000. After intense back-and-forth, the painting (also a People’s Choice Award winner) sold for $40,000.
Meanwhile, “Great Horned Owl” was a bronze sculpture on wood by Paul Rhymer. Priced at $5,250, it sold for $20,000.
There was an unfortunate turn of events during the tender – an EMS call.
Cody Regional Health paramedics were called to provide medical assistance to a customer who collapsed during the auction. Fortunately, he was alert and conscious when he was taken by ambulance to Cody Regional Health, saying he was just “a little dizzy”.
All proceeds from the exhibit go to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and local arts organizations.
The prestige and reputation of the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale grows with each successful year. In 2022, it is considered one of the best annual art exhibitions in the United States.
Special recognition was given to the three people most responsible for the staging and success of the event:
- Kathy Thompson, Director of the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale
- Tina Hoebelhenrich, executive director of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce
- Rebecca West, Executive Director of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
That same night, Thompson was also nominated as Cody Chamber Employee of the Year.