The 2019 Bronze Buffalo Festival is a three-day event at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, beginning Sept. 26, will be highlighted by an exhibition and gala 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 28.
The festival will feature an exhibition of paintings of Owensboro/Daviess County by several dozen visiting artists, a community painting event offering guests an opportunity to win a private party for 25 at the museum catered by city commissioner Pam Smith Wright and an auction of fine jewelry, oriental rugs and original art.
Two days prior to the Gala dozens of artists from Kentucky and surrounding states will visit Owensboro for the Bronze Buffalo en Plein air paint out to render paintings of familiar local sites and community events. The paintings will be entered into a competition and presented in a one-night exhibition at the museum.
Purchase and Merit Awards totaling $5,000 will be distributed by the Exhibition Juror, John W. Streetman, III, Director Emeritus, Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science, Indiana. A nationally recognized authority on living American Realist painters, Streetman was featured in an article in “PleinAir” magazine, noting that he was responsible for “changing the status of Contemporary Realism in America”, and as a result was named to the Advisory Board of that publication.
An auction conducted by Mick Ford, of Ford Auction and Realty, will feature fine jewelry including an 18K yellow gold bracelet set with 300 diamonds surrounding a large amethyst stone; an 18K white gold ruby ring set in a circlet of diamonds and an 18K white gold diamond and aquamarine ring, all gifts of R. Wathen Medley, Jr., and his wife.
Other auction items are a Middle Eastern, hand-knotted Tabriz rug; a weekend in a cabin in the Smokey Mountains, wines and bourbons.
The buffalo theme for the Gala is derived from the museum’s two heroic-sized bronze buffalo installed in Ryan Park along Frederica Street. The bronzes celebrate the Bronze Buffalo Trace, a visual arts documentation designed to celebrate the origins of Owensboro. Present-day Frederica Street began as a buffalo trace created by centuries of thundering buffalo as they made their way from salt licks to the Ohio River to drink. It was this trace that early settlers followed to the banks of the river and established the settlement of Yellowbanks, the predecessor of Owensboro.
The Buffalo Festival and Gala are sponsored by Swedish Match North American and Atmos Energy.
Admission to the gala is $50 per person and Friends of the OMFA Foundation receive a $10 discount on their admission. For reservations, email the museum at [email protected] Proceeds from the gala will be designated to benefit the museum’s continuing education and outreach programs for the community.