Text or Call 801.210.0479 westernartrodeo@gmail.com
Select Page

WARA Judging Staff

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We’ve all heard that old saying, and like most old sayings it contains truth. But not the whole truth. Centuries, millennia, of artistic creation have established standards, ideals, archetypes that define beauty. These principles are evident in masterpieces that have withstood the test of time, and they remain invaluable in defining and understanding the great art of today.

The Western Art Rodeo Association goes to great lengths to select judges who have studied and understand the timeless principles of beauty and use them to inform and enlighten the “eye of the beholder.” As a result, uniformed personal opinion plays no role in the WARA judging process. Rather, our judges apply abiding fundamentals to each work of art to determine placement in WARA competitions.  

Whether we are artists, enthusiasts, or collectors, we owe our judges a great debt of gratitude for sharing their time, knowledge, and expertise. They play an important role in the betterment of western art and art education through understanding and using the ageless, established principles of artistic beauty in judging WARA events.

Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas - WARA JudgeAndy began his professional art career began in the fall of 1991 after sixteen years with Leggett & Platt, Inc.
He works from his studio in Carthage, Missouri to create unique oil paintings that tell a story.

You can find his work in magazine articles (recently Quarter Horse Monthly), Western Art Collector, Rural Missouri, National Park Service brochures and educational books by the Franklin Watts Children Press, Harcourt and others.  He has also illustrated books and his images have been used on many book covers.

The hardback books titled The Artful Journey & The West in Action contains over one hundred color images of his work and many include their stories that were mostly written by Thomas.

Andy’s work can be found in videos produced by the NPS, US Federal Claims Court and National Geographic.  He had the honor of being the Artist in Residence at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas where he lectured and gave painting demonstrations to college students and the general public.

His work has won numerous awards and he participates in many shows throughout the country.

Visit http://www.andythomas.com to learn more and see Andy’s work.

Tim Joyner

Tim Joyner - WARA JudgeTim Joyner’s love of Fishing, Wildlife and Cowboys is reflected in the subjects he chooses to sculpt and paint, often in unique or humorous ways.

Growing up in Montana, Tim has always had close ties to the land . He depicts the landscape and wildlife that he loves with humor and accuracy. There is often a contemporary twist in his work that warms the soul. As an art educator, he was able to share his passion for the arts with his students. Among his artist friends he is known as “The Warhol of Western art”, and for good reason.

Tim’s interests in wildlife and the western lifestyle are reflected in his work. He is talented in many mediums including painting, glass etching, and bronze sculpture. Tim is often recognized for his achievements and was given a community service award for his generosity to many organizations. He exhibits his work in many galleries and at select art shows, most notably the C. M.Russell Art Auction in Great Falls MT. Tim makes his home in Hamilton MT, with his wife Jennifer and two children. 

Visit Tim’s Website to see and order his work – http://timjoynerart.com.

Perry Stewart

Perry Stewart - WARA JudgePerry Stewart has spent a lifetime studying and teaching the principles of art.

As a University figure drawing, painting, illustration professor and with over 20 years experience as a highly successful freelance illustrator, designer and painter Perry Stewart has gained the reputation as one of the most knowledgeable contemporary art critic and juror.   

His name and abilities are linked with such greats as: Pietro Annigoni,  Adolph Robert Shulz,  Anton Azbe,  Gustav Klimt,  Henry YanHerbert James Draper, Kenyon Cox, Mario Fortuny, Mark Demsteader, Nikolai Blokhin, Nikolai Fechin and Otto Greiner to name a few.

Jeff Kuratnick

Jeff KuratnickJeff Kuratnick (b. 1987) is currently a first year master of fine arts candidate in ceramics at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University. Upon acceptance into the program, Jeff was selected for the premium Welch Fellowship, the highest honor a master of fine arts candidate can earn at GSU. In addition to his pursuit of the terminal degree in the ceramics field, Kuratnick is a research consultant for The Marks Project: The Marks Dictionary of American Ceramics, 1946 – Present.

From 2010 – 2017, Jeff was employed as a museum professional. Most recently, he served as Education Director at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art in Great Falls, Montana from 2012 – 2017. For 5 years he developed numerous educational opportunities for the public, including the development of a ceramic arts program and outdoor kiln yard that grew to serve 400+ students annually by the end of his tenure. Prior to his appointment in Montana, Kuratnick worked at the Everhart Museum of Natural History Science and Art in Scranton, Pennsylvania as the institution’s Programs Coordinator from 2010 – 2011. Born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, he studied at Keystone College and Shippensburg University, earning a BA in Art Education, K-12 Certification in 2009.

Kuratnick’s work in the Ceramics field includes making, curatorial and research endeavors. Special interests include the history of ceramics in the state of Montana leading up to the formation of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts; and the development of contemporary ceramics in the state that subsequently aided in the restructuring of the field nation-wide.

Jeff is a member of the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Recent honors include securing contracts with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for special needs art education programs in Montana schools and museums. Recent exhibitions include the 22nd San Angelo National Ceramic Competition, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo,Texas. Recent publications on his collaborative work with the ceramic arts community in Montana include the article ‘Hope & Possibility in Montana Clay’ by Brandon Reintjes – featured in the January 2016 issue of Ceramics Monthly.

For more information, visit www.jeffkuratnick.weebly.com.

Theodore J. Smith

Ted grew up learning from his artist father R. H. Smith, in high school he started by pin striping cars and went on to manage the sign shop for Mobile Construction Battalion 11 while he was in the Navy Sea Bees. After managing a paint store for Dutch Boy Paints for 16 years, he started carving birds for a hobby. In five years he turned his hobby into a vocation.

Ted has been a member of Ducks Unlimited, The Peregrine Fund, the Ward Foundation, National Wood Carvers Association, International Wildfowl Carvers Association, the Idaho Woodcarvers Guild and has helped to band birds of prey with the Idaho Bird Observatory. He was also co-founder of the Idaho Wildlife Art Show, and an adviser to the Idaho Woodcarvers Guild’s yearly competition show for 9 years. He has been a Artist Advisor for the Ellensburg National Art Show in Ellensburg since 1999, and he has been judged wood carving shows not only in the North-West and Canada but also at the World Wildfowl Carving Championships that are held in Ocean City, Maryland each April.

Ted’s bird carvings are displayed in private collections such as the Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science in New York City, the Pautzke Art Collection in Ellensburg, Washington, and the David Walters Art Collection in Kauai. The carvings have been displayed at the C. M. Russell Art Auction in Great Falls, Montana in March, at the Ellensburg National Art Show in Ellensburg, Washington in May.

Often asked what his favorite bird to carve is, the answer is always the same, “it is the bird that he is working on“, when working on a bird carving, he will read books about the bird and studies his reference photographs, to capture the smallest detail and give life to the bird and often also to its immediate habitat.

Some of the things that make Ted’s carvings stand out above most others is the passion he has for his work, he does his own reference photography and has hundreds of photographs of each specie to work from. He ages his carving wood in his studio, which he built just for bird carving. On all of his major carvings, he makes up a photo album showing the steps that he takes from the block of wood, reference work, up through the painting of the unit, and presents a copy to the collector of the piece. All of his carvings are numbered in the order of which they are completed, and to date he has carved over 1052 decorative birds.


Craig Neil Hone

Craig Hone has been creating high end sculpture in wood, bronze and stone for over 18 years.
Craig’s youth was spent wandering the mountains and other wild places in his home state of Utah, both on foot and horseback. His countless hours immersed in the study and observation of plants and animals were, and continue to be, the source of inspiration for his generally nature themed artistic style.
A great enthusiast of the visual world, Craig has dedicated himself to the ongoing study of art in all of its forms, especially the master works of Rodin, Donatello, Bernini and Michelangelo. Craig’s work spans the range from realistic to impressionistic, and each piece has an uncanny ability to bring out the spirit and life of the subject.

“I tend to sense form in sculpture as visual music which helps me  “feel my way through the creation process”; he relates. “I make no compromises in my art. I want to do things the way they
should be done.. museum quality.”; This spirit of pursuing excellence is evident in all of his creations….from his large scale
architectural projects to his smaller works. His largest masterpieces include a stunning wooden mantel that measures 2 feet wide by 16 feet long and an enchanting, impressionistic 8 inch thick walnut door entitled ” Forest Baroque”. Craig’s bronze sculptures have won first place in the Dixie Invitational in both 2012 and 2013 as well as the Purchase Award at the Spring Salon in Springville, Utah. Craig has also won the “Carver’ s Cup”  competition in Park City, and he is the only artist to have ever won both first and second place at the Northern Nationals, one of the top two wood carving
competitions in the country.
Listed amongst Craig’s clients are best selling author and mega marketing guru, Robert Allen, Nu Skin Corporation, Tahitian Noni Juice Corporation, Snow Basin Ski Resort, the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, Utah and numerous private clients and collectors.

See Craig’s work at www.craighonestudio.com

Julie Rogers

Julie RogersJulie Rogers grew up in the small town of Goshen, Utah working on a ranch. The country lifestyle became a part of her as she learned to love animals, work hard, and enjoy the beauty of simplicity. Julie started to develop her talents in art at a very young age, she began drawing in kindergarten and painting in 6th grade. After high school Julie studied fine art at Brigham Young University. It was there that her talent really began to blossom. At age 21 she then served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Boise, ID. Serving a mission really helped Julie to have the desire to continue serving and reaching out to those who need the gospel. To this day she has continued that great work through her art. What sets her apart from any other artists is Julie’s unique ability to capture the light of the soul. Julie has always been especially drawn to paint the stories of the pioneers. As she got married and became a young mother she would dress her children in pioneer clothing and in the soft glow of the evening she would paint.

Julie is the mother of five children, three boys and two girls. Because of her own experience, she desired to comfort mothers who had lost their little ones. From the lifeless and heartbreaking images given to grieving parents of stillborn babies she began painting those precious little ones happy and healthy in the Savior’s hands. Giving hope and comfort has always been Julie’s goal.

Being a mother has in so many ways added great depth to Julie’s work, as motherhood can bring the greatest happiness and sorrow in life. From helping her children fight illness to comforting them through heartbreak, Julie has always done everything in her power to help her children find success. Through the joy and the tears she has been able to more fully understand the pioneers she paints. Her message is never intended to depress, only to inspire.

Currently Julie enjoys spending time with her husband and visiting her children. She most especially enjoys spoiling her 12 grandchildren. Julie also enjoys photography, cooking, fishing, and horseback riding.

“I love to record the simple things people do each day and capture the emotion of the moment. I love to paint light as it dances around a subject, especially the human figure. It is my desire to not only paint the physical being, but the personality and sense of soul.”

“Children are my favorite subjects as they portray innocence, purity, and sincere inquisitiveness that is unique to their age. I only pray that as an artist, I may stir the heart of the viewer to a heightened sense of peace and joy.”

To learn more, please visit http://www.julierogersart.com/ 

Ernie Marsh

WARA Official JudgeMaking quality silver mounted bridle bits and spurs has been a passion of Ernie’s since 1990. His unique style of combining firearms engraving with traditional inlay techniques, along with painstaking attention to detail have set his work apart. With function being the underlying foundation, his heirloom quality pieces have become valued possessions of serious horsemen as well as collectors.

Ernie’s work has been exhibited in shows throughout the country, including Elko, Nevada; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; Jordan Valley, Oregon; Paso Robles, California; Flagstaff, Arizona and Wickenburg, Arizona.

He was chosen as one of the Top Ten Spur Makers from 1997 to 1999. In 2000, the Academy of Western Artists honored him with the Will Rogers Award as Spur maker of the Year.

Ernie is proud to be a part of the TCAA.

Robin Coalson

Robin Coalson has always been passionate about bringing beauty to the world through art and design.  She has crafted a career in the arts, specializing in graphic and advertising design, illustration, mural painting and carving.

Her chosen art forms have changed over the years due to changing economies and physical restrictions, but her love of all things creative and aesthetic remains the same.

Robin holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design.


Dave Alderson

Dave Alderson WARA JudgeWhen Idaho silversmith Dave Alderson was accepted into the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) in 2002, the prestige and recognition this honor entails were well-deserved.

Today Dave works from his home in Twin Falls, Idaho, where he turns out exquisite silver pieces. His work is prized for its fine hand engraving and quality craftsmanship

” I am a silversmith that ain’t really a cowboy but a lover of the west and what it stands for!! I participated in the TCAA for 13 yrs, engraver of the yr AWA, recipient of the Idaho council on the arts Governor’s Award for Folk Art and lover of great creativity in silver and what ever else we make art with!!!! Most of all, a free spirited American Artist with to many fires to put out. I love teaching and sharing what I have learned and making things that I want to make as well as custom orders that I allow me to use my creativity to express my style and technical capabilities!!! I love hunting and shooting, training my dogs and fly fishing and seeing others doing the things that give them their sense of joy and happiness!!! That is who I really am.”

Michael S. Parker

Michael S. ParkerMichael S. Parker studied at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. After a few years of freelancing and working in-studio for Castle Rock LLC, a company in Orem, Utah, Michael decided to continue his education with graduate studies in painting. For two years he studied at Laguna College of Art + Design in Laguna Beach, California. There he worked with artists Wes Christensen, Joe Gerges, and F. Scott Hess. In the Spring of 2009 Michael completed his studies at LCAD and received his Master of Fine Arts in painting. Currently, he is teaching at BYU, and painting in his studio. Michael lives in Utah with his wife Mary and three daughters.

Artist Statement

“My aim is to make memorable images. I choose to paint implied narratives through representational realism. It is my goal to make images that invite the viewer to participate in the narrative, to find themselves reflected in and connected to the characters within the story. I find that the implied narrative is a strong way of conveying emotions and meaning that people can interpret and connect to in many different ways. I search for levels of meaning within the painting, not only with the narrative but also through references to art history and my own personal artwork. Through my work, I seek to find interesting moments that present themselves through everyday living. I draw upon personal experiences as well as from the observations of others.”

To learn more about Michael and see his artwork, visit http://michaelsparker.com/


Artwork by Don Weller

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Artwork by Don Weller

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This