Painter, sculptor Mell to receive 2020 DCWM Lifetime Achievement Award

Painter, sculptor, and illustrator Ed Mell will be the seventh recipient of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ed Mell (Submitted photo)

The recognition will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at the annual heART of the West Gala in the Museum’s Cultural Crossroads Learning Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, according to a press release.

The artist, born in 1942, grew up in what was then the “small Western city of Phoenix.” After attending the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, he relocated to New York as an art director for a large advertising agency; he eventually opened an illustration studio and became a national success, the release said.

The release noted his return to Arizona in 1970 where he began painting the landscapes he is known for, featuring desert settings, storms, longhorn cattle, desert flowers.

He presents the American Southwest in bold colors and lines, energizing the vistas with his singular style, the release described.

In addition to oil, Mr. Mell has worked in bronze and print. His work has found homes in many private collections, including those of celebrities as well as the public art collections of Glendale and Scottsdale, the release said.

His exhibition will be shown in the Museum’s Fisher Gallery from Dec. 21 through March 8, 2020, according to the release.

He has exhibited in museums across the country. In Arizona, his work can be found in the collections of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Art, and the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.

“Ed Mell’s command of subjects both large and small with an angularity of style, and his ability to excel in multiple venues and media, makes him incomparable,” said Desert Caballeros Western Museum Executive Director Dan Finley in a prepared statement. “He is, without a doubt, one of our state’s foremost living artists.”

The heART of the West Gala was conceived in 2014, according to the release, as a tribute to people who reflect the “unbridled creativity and history of the American West,” recognizing those inspiring others while shaping the cultural legacy.

The gala is chaired by Betty Watt and includes a seated dinner, awards presentation, and live auction benefiting the museum, the release added.

Tickets are $175 per person and will be available on a limited basis on Oct. 1 at; or call 928-684-2272.

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