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Exhibit names Jill Soukup as featured artist

The featured artist for 2013 Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale is Jill Soukup.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Soukup moved with her family as a young girl to Colorado, where she still resides.

Soukup's affinity for horses as a young girl resulted in countless drawings and studies of them, which made for a strong drawing foundation. As a teen, she started a pet portrait business, acquired jobs painting murals, and designed logos for local organizations.

She graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. While attending CSU, she received awards for illustration and design and worked as an illustrator and designer for the university. She initially pursued a career in graphic design while continuing to paint part time.

After 11 years as a designer, she made the switch to full-time painting. Her work continues to gain recognition as she receives awards, appears in national publications, and shows in important juried and solo exhibitions. Recent Solo exhibits include shows at Saks Galleries, Denver; Astoria Fine Art, Jackson, Wyo.; The Longmont Museum, Longmont, Colo.; and University of Northern Colorado School of Art and Design Galleries, Greeley.

Group shows include: previous NWSS shows; Windows to the Divine Exhibition and Sale, Madden Museum of Art, Greenwood Village, Colo.; Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, Pueblo, Colo.; Long Beach, Calif., Museum of Art; and Oil Painters of America.

Recent awards include: Southwest Art Award, Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale; People's Choice, Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale; Best of Show, 2D, Representing The West, Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center; Jury's Top 50, Salon International; Award of Excellence, Oil Painters of America.

Publications include: American Art Collector, The Artist's Magazine, Cowboys and Indians, Denver Woman, Southwest Art, and Western Art Collector. Collections include: Cherry Creek School District; Honeywell, Inc.; and The Children's Hospital.

Soukup's painting titled "Hold Steady" has been selected as the featured piece of the 2013 Coors Art Exhibit and Sale and will be showcased by National Western in its permanent collection.

The 2013 Mary Belle Grant Award recipient is Howard Post. This annual honorary award is given to people closely associated with the exhibit that best represents and support the western way of life.

Post, a native and near lifetime resident of Tucson, Ariz., has been a supporter of the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale since it began.

"Growing up my folks owned a hay and feed store on the edge of town. We lived on 30 acres along with our horses and livestock, mostly used for rodeo competition," Post said.

Post received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona, and later taught at the university level for three years.

"I worked for a time as an art director, designer and illustrator until I began painting full time about 1980," he said.

Post and his wife, Marilyn, have five children and 17 grandchildren, who share their love of the West and western art.

The Mary Belle Grant Award was established in 2000 to honor Mary Belle Grant, a patron and passionate friend of the arts in the Denver community and one of the creators and visionaries of the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale.

Proceeds from the Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale benefit the National Western Scholarship Trust, which awards scholarships to students studying agribusiness and rural family medicine at Colorado and Wyoming colleges.

The annual Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale provides patrons with the unique offerings of 61 artists known for their work in oil, pastel, watercolor, pencil, etching, photography and bronze.

The 200 images showcased represent styles ranging from traditional to contemporary in their portrayal of the West. The Exhibit is located on the top floor of the National Western Expo Hall during the 2013 National Western Stock Show, Jan. 12 to 27.

For more information, call 303-299-5560 or visit

Date: 1/7/2013


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