Artist Tim Cox Lassoes Prix De West Award

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum held its 30th-annual contemporary Western art exhibition in June. The event attracted 1,000 buyers, and more than $2.1 million worth of art was sold, according to organizers.

Artist Tim Cox of Bloomfield, N.M., received the museum's Prix de West Purchase Award for his oil painting "On To Better Pastures," which was purchased by the museum for its contemporary Western art gallery and will hang alongside work by previous Prix de West award winners such as Wilson Hurley, Gerald Balciar, James Reynolds, Howard Terpning, Clark Hulings, Grant Speed, Alan Houser and Bob Kuhn. Cox received a $5,000 cash award, 75 percent of the $20,000 purchase price and a medallion.

Cox, who has participated in the show for four years, focuses on real cowboys and ranchers in his paintings. "On To Better Pastures" depicts a modern cattle drive moving ahead of a storm. Of his winning painting, Cox said, "The entire time I was working on this painting, I was thinking about the vanishing way of life of the cowboy. …