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Award-winning artist Joan Wright is known as “The Artist who looks at yesterday…with the eyes of today”.  This ability to re-create the Early West on paper and canvas is the result of years of painstaking literary research, on-foot exploration of a multitude of ghost town sites and crumbling ruins, and a vast collection of memorabilia.  Traveling extensively in the West, she has amassed a large collection of early artifacts that are used in many of her paintings as are the many people and Old West characters she has met.

Joan began drawing as a child in Dayton, Ohio.  Her love of trains and the West developed early, for the men in the family were second and third generation railroaders and her step-mother was an avid Western movie buff who would take Joan to the all the Westerns that came into town.


After the family moved to California, Joan finished school, married and while raising her family, started her serious art studies under Joyce Pike and Hal Reed.  It was only natural that her love of the early West would manifest in vibrant colors, living colors.  It is her versatility and ability to depict and feature harsh, stark realism as well as poignant, sometimes biting humor of those early days that has appealed to discriminating art collectors around the world.


Joan’s dedication to authenticity and realism, her penetrating whimsical humor, combined with her very special insight and talents, has earned her special recognition for her work.  She has received hundreds of blue ribbons and first place nods at art exhibitions as well as the George Phippen 1976 Bicentennial Award.  Her work has been honored in museums and seen on television and in films.  One of her prints was presented by President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, as representative art from the state of California.   


Ms. Wright is widely known for her versatility.  Her paintings express her many interests, her many travels, her sense of humor and love of nature’s beauty. Her love of animals, birds, landscapes, garden subjects are also depicted in her art.

Many companies throughout the world have or are using Joan’s images in their business, among which are nine collector’s plates from the Danbury Mint and prints for Leanin’ Tree Publishing Company. She has ceramic murals worldwide. 


She prefers painting in a series...saying all she has to say at that moment about that subject, coming back later for other series on that particular subject.


She has written numerous articles for art publications and has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine, Contemporary Artist and Western Art.   Joan is also in Marquis Who'sWho in the West, Who’sWho in America, Who’sWho of American Women and Who’sWho in the World.   


Joan is a co-founding member of Women Artist of the West (WAOW, est. 1971), has been a past President, Vice President, Board member and Historian.  Its purpose was/is the promotion and advancement of professional women artists.  From a handful of dedicated women, WAOW now has over 200 members.

To learn more about Joan's distinguished career, please see the attached link:


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