Welcome to the Academy of Western Artists

Please bear with us as we are reworking the website, but nominations are being accepted through 2014 in all categories except the Elmer Kelton Book Award.  Please check into the correct page for the nomination procedure.  The awards are open to all.  The 19th Annual Academy of Western Artists Awards will be held March 27-28, 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel in Irving, Texas. Details will be forthcoming.

The Academy of Western Artists is a 501 (c) (3) organization whose mission is to promote and preserve, not only our western past, but also our contemporary western future. We are in our 19th year of the Will Rogers Western Awards recognizing the best in western artists in three disciplines: Trappings, entertainment and media.

The Academy of Western Artists is a small group of folks whose agenda is to recognize and promote those western artists who do excellent work. In the 18 years of its existence, over 500 well deserving individuals and groups have received a “Willie” statue. The award, in many fields, is the most recognized and prized recognition of their work. Since its inception, there have been numerous other award type shows and we welcome each and every one of them. It is nice to be rewarded, by others, for what you do, which is the reason for this type of show. Are always the top or best the ones who receive it. The AWA picks the best they can, as do other award shows, but there are always the “naysayers”, who say “he doesn’t deserve it”, and think that by “putting down others” it will make their own worth higher. You will never please everyone, it’s not possible, but you can do the best with what you have. We have seen the prices of western gear and art continually go up and up and up. Is the AWA the reason, not entirely, but because of increased visibility through award shows, publicity, etc., it happens. Those who do not seek recognition (and a few say they don’t want it) still go to events and expect to be paid, they want to sell their products. If they do not want recognition, then they should stay home and let others show what they can do. Everybody wants acceptance in one way or the other, regardless of what they say. Nobody who has ever received a statue has ever sent one back, so they must be proud of it. Please send in your nominations of of those folks whom you want to recognize as doing good for others and the promotion of the western heritage. Some say the Cowboy doesn’t want recognition. I’m sure that’s why they have rodeos, horse shoes, cuttings, etc., just so everyone can be equal and split the prize money! The Cowboy was based on competition. His horse is the best, his ranch is the best, his wife is the prettiest and so on so the AWA will continue to do what it has done in the past. If you would like to be a part of the AWA, you can go to the website AWAAwards and join. It’s kind of like voting, if you don’t vote, don’t gripe about the ones who are elected.

For more information: email working_cowboy@hotmail.com. Facebook Academy of Western Artists.