This retrospective showcases the scope of Walter’s career from his early exploration as a student at Concordia College, Moorehead, ND and the University of North Dakota to the development of his signature style and method of—as he would say it—of ‘putting on paint.’ The exhibition gives the viewers the opportunity to visually experience the evolution of an artist’s style, looking at 56 years of creative energy.
Widely recognized as one of North Dakota’s senior painters and as an early pioneer of the contemporary cowboy art movement, Piehl is an aficionado of history and art with a lifelong passion for Western Americana. This stems from his upbringing in Marion, N.D., in a ranching family that rode horses, raised stock and participated in rodeos.
“I will always be a painter of Western Americana. The horse culture and the ranching culture were always so important to me, part of my everyday life. Pursuing art and pursuing that subject matter which was so important to me, naturally led me into all sorts of themes of the Wild West, of the tame West, of the rodeo and of the historic West,” Piehl says.
His passion for rodeo, horses, cowboys, and cowgirls permeates nearly every artwork. This exhibition is organized to highlight Piehl’s many suites, the hallmark of his work, with interpretive panels for his different series; Sweethearts of the Rodeo, American Minotaur, Les Fauvres, Roping Fools, etc.
June 1 – August 15, 2121: MonDak Heritage Center, Sidney
September 1 – October 15, 2121: Gallery of Visual Arts, University of Montana, Missoula
April 26 – July 31, 2022: Holter Museum of Art, Helena