Fall 2005 Report 

Charlie Russell Painting Sets Records at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction in Reno

Speaking of arts-related activities, cowboy artists Charles M. "Charlie" Russell has been dead for almost 80 years, but that hasn't stopped him from setting a new personal best on the going rate for an original Russell.

Russell's oil painting--one of the rare major Russells to appear at auction--entitled "Piegans," (pictured) went for a record $5.6 million on July 31 at the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction in Reno, Nevada. The painting measures 24 by 36 inches and was painted in 1918 on private collector consignment.

Two of Russell's paintings--the other was the watercolor "Crow Scouts in Winter," at $962,000--were among the three that went for the highest prices at the auction.

The Russell painting was estimated to sell at much lower than the final price ended up being. Says Bob Drummond of the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction's Hayden location, this isn't unusual. Fifty-four percent of the lots exceeded the high estimates this year. And in the case of "Piegans," the high sale price makes particular sense.

"There's never been one [a Russell] this good ever in the world," Drummond explained to BW. "This is the best ever to come to auction--at Southby's, Christie's, anywhere."

The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction is the largest art auction in the U.S. specializing in Western and wildlife art and was started 20 years ago by partners in Idaho, Nevada and Arizona. The business is run out of Hayden, but eventually the Hayden office could no longer accommodate the auction's size and moved down to Nevada, where the Reno office's larger warehouse and room could handle auctions such as the one this summer.

At this year's sale, the Coeur d'Alene Art Auction brought in $21 million in four hours.

NEA Grant for Moscow Dance Group

The National Endowment for the Arts recently awarded a $9,000 grant to the Festival Dance & Performing Arts Association, Inc. in Moscow in the category of "access to artistic excellence." The NEA grant will be used to support the Festival Dance Youthreach Project, where touring professional companies provide free performances and master classes to students in north central Idaho and eastern Washington.

National Makeup Design Award Goes to U of I Grad

Makeup might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the theatrical arts, but it ought to be up there. It takes expertise to make performers look good and stand out.

Apparently, Shasta Hankins, a May graduate from the University of Idaho's department of theatre and film, knows her stuff. Hankins is the national winner of the Mehron Award for Excellence in Makeup Design and was presented with the award this summer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

The Mehron Makeup Awards are given to students in recognition of their work and provides opportunities for recipients to exhibit their work at the Kennedy Center.

Hankins hails from Sandpoint and is a two-time regional makeup design winner as a part of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Hankins received an all-expense paid trip to New York City to tour the Mehron Factory and other makeup schools and to attend a Broadway production. She also received a $5,000 grant to attend a course at the Makeup Designory in Los Angeles, will be highlighted in Mehron's company publications and will be a guest at this year's National Makeup Artists Conference.

Regional Recipients of ICA Grants

The Idaho Commission on the Arts (ICA) made several grant awards to individuals and organizations. Several award recipients are in North Idaho. The following are the region's highlights.

The ICA's Community Development Grants to Organizations are awards that go to arts organizations that demonstrate exceptional artistic merit, strong management, strategic evaluation and marketing strategies and community-based planning, support and collaboration. From 84 applications, 60 were awarded funding. In North Idaho, these awards include: In Coeur d'Alene: $995 and $7,425 to the Carrousel Players of the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theater; $2,807 to the North Idaho Friends of Opera and the Arts; in Grangeville: $4,200 to Grangeville Arts; in Hayden Lake: $2,845 to the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Orchestra; in Kooskia: $7,000 to Communities Creating Connections; in Lapwai: $5,976 to the Nez Perce Arts Council; in Moscow: $5,625 to the University of Idaho Auditorium Music Series; $3,750 to the Moscow Community Theater; $6,879 and $3,640 to the Festival Dance & Performing Arts Assocation; $3,406 to the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre; $2,177 to Rendevous in Moscow; $2,932 to the Washington Idaho Symphony Association; in Post Falls: $6,230 to Community Building Partners; in Sandpoint: $9,617 to the Festival at Sandpoint; $5,000 to the City of Sandpoint; $2,340 to the Panida Theater Committee; $1,027 to the Pend Orielle Arts Council.

The ICA's Arts in Education Grants are designed to help arts organizations, communities and educators foster the development of young people (grades K-12) and their teachers by supporting existing programs and development of innovative curricula. Those receiving grants show effective leadership, partnership and outreach in valuing and communicating the arts. North Idaho recipients include: in Lapwai: $12,225 to the Nez Perce Arts Council; in Moscow: $11,925 to the Festival Dance and Performing Arts Association; $11,190 to the Moscow School District #281; $3,468 to the University of Idaho's Prichard Art Gallery.

The ICA awards fellowships for craft, design and visual arts to individual artists in recognition of their exceptional talent, work and development. Recipients receive a $3,500 award and honorable mentions are unfunded, but high scorers in the evaluation process. From 44, submissions, 11 Idaho artists were chosen to receive awards. Moscow artist Peter Vincent received on of these awards for photography and Rita Hutchens of Sandpoint received one for textiles.

Recipients of the ICA's QuickFunds award include: in Coeur d'Alene: $371 to Borah Elementary School; $735 to St. Vincent de Paul; in Grangeville: $776 to Sts. Peter and Paul School; in Moscow: $655 to Eric Anderson; in Troy: $1,000 to Lynne Haagensen.

--Sara Beitia


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