Cowboys and indians on canvas in Vail |

Cowboys and indians on canvas in Vail

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
"Over The Moon," a limited edition painting by Carrie Fell.

VAIL, Colorado – Sure, he’s 91 years old, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed Ken Riley down much. Riley, a renowned western artist, and a handful of other artists represented by Claggett/Rey Gallery, are in town this weekend to help the gallery celebrate its 21st anniversary.

“He’s the youngest 91-year-old you’ve ever seen,” said Bill Rey, gallery owner. “And he isn’t slowing down. He’s painting more than ever.”

The gallery will be exhibiting six paintings by Riley this weekend and hosting an artist reception with Riley and several other gallery artists from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

A realist oil painter of the historical West, Riley was born in Waverly, Missouri in 1919 and enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute when he was 19 years old. In 1941, he moved on to the Art Students League and Frank Vincent DuMond in New York City, with evening classes at the Grand Central School of Art and Harvey Dunn. Soon Riley was selling illustrations, working for National Geographic, the Saturday Evening Post, and other national publications. One painting was even accepted by President Kennedy for the White House collection.

“He was a big New York illustrator. He’s really known as a great designer and colorist in the world of western art,” Rey said.

Riley’s current focus is the life, culture and philosophies of native peoples, particularly the Apache, Mandan and Plains tribes. A dedicated researcher, Riley draws upon factual resources that include journals and diaries, as well as the visual records left by explorer artists such as George Catlin. Riley’s art is both a literal story of a landscape and its inhabitants, paired with a romantic commentary about the families, tribes, clans and nations.

“He’s honored his subjects in everything he does,” Rey said. “He’s a rare breed, and to still be creating enthusiastically at 91 is great.”

Claggett/Rey Gallery is located at 100 E. Meadow Drive in Vail. Call 970-476-9350 or visit to learn more.

Parker artist Carrie Fell is known for her colorful contemporary cowboy art, which has been on display at Masters Gallery in Vail for nearly eight years now. Her latest show, aptly titled “New Perspectives,” makes it clear “she’s found a new voice inside of herself,” said gallery director Rayla Kundolf.

“Carrie has taken her work to the next level,” Kundolf said. “She is still true to her traditional theme of putting a breathe of fresh air into new west subjects, but she’s putting a breath of fresh air into her style and what’s she’s trying to say as well.”

The exhibit includes a mixture of contemporary cowboy pieces and lots of abstract pieces.

“It’s a lot of color, but at the same time it’s not since she’s working with white backgrounds,” Kundolf said.

West will give a painting demonstration at the gallery from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and attend an artist reception from 3 to 7 p.m. West will also be at the gallery on Sunday following the July 4 parade through Vail.

Masters Gallery is located at 100 East Meadow Drive in Vail. Call 970-477-0600 to learn more.

The Squash Blossom is hosting a trunk show this Fourth of July weekend showcasing the new summer collection of Pamela Froman. Froman is known for her hammered 18-karat mix gold pieces in yellow, white and rose gold. Froman will be at the gallery from 1 to 4 p.m. today and Sunday.

Froman’s textured style was inspired by watching her mother, sculptor Ann Froman, create and design beautiful works of art. While living in Paris, Froman – who is originally from Manhattan – designed high-fashion jewelry for salons, and upon her return to the United States, she was the head designer for Keyes Jewelers, designing for the Valentino, Natori and Joan Collins collections. She launched her own collection in 2004.

For more information about the trunk show, call 970-476-3129.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-48-2984 or

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