National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman, Jane Chu, announced this week that the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of only 163 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Challenge America grant. The Center will use the funds toward its upcoming exhibition, Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley on the works of artist John Mix Stanley.
“John Mix Stanley (1814 – 1872) was a major figure in nineteenth-century American Art, yet his life and art remain unexplored,” writes exhibition co-curator Mindy Besaw. “He was an ardent adventurer who traveled to the West more than any other artist of his time… His imagery played an important role in creating the legacy of the American West and in shaping our American identity. Yet, even for enthusiasts of American art and the West, Stanley is relatively unknown.”
“I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Challenge America including the award to the Center of the West,” Chu said. “The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”
The Challenge America category supports projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. The NEA received 347 eligible Challenge America applications and awarded 163 grants for a total of $1.63 million.
Previously, the Center obtained an $11,367 grant from the Wyoming Arts Council primarily for interpretive education for the Stanley exhibition. The Wyoming Arts Council receives funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Excitement is building about this exhibition, and these grants will certainly be put to good use,” adds Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “John Mix Stanley is an engaging subject—a tremendous artist and adventurer who suffered the loss of a majority of his works through fire. To gather 60 of his remaining works here in Cody, Wyoming, is simply extraordinary.”
Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley is on view June 6 – August 29, 2015 at the Center of the West.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit the Center’s website or the Center’s Facebook page.