2014 Artist of the Year

Deborah Copenhaver-Fellows

Deborah Copenhaver-Fellows Named Friends of Western Art 2014 Artist of the Year

Deborah Copenhaver-Fellows was born and raised on a cattle and Quarter Horse ranch in northern Idaho.

Work on the ranch was shared by all, and a life-long passion for horses grew from those responsibilities. It was at this time that Deborah sold her first drawings of horses.

Deborah spent her first year of College at Washington State University where she earned a full scholarship. That same year Deborah won the competition to become Miss Rodeo Washington and was Runner Up Miss Rodeo America.

Her second year of college she transferred to Fort Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane Washington. Here she met a nun, Sister Paula Mary Turnbull, who taught sculpture. Deborah received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Fine Art major following study in Italy where her passion for sculpture came alive and continues today.

During a stay in Arizona, she went to Prescott and met Ernie Phippen who ran a western art foundry. Her world came together. She went back home gathered all of her belongings and returned to Prescott to get a job as a head wrangler in a dude ranch. That year she cast her first bronze... and started her art career.  Her most recent commissioned monument is one of Barry Goldwater that upon completion is destined for Statuary Hall in the rotunda at the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

In the last decade, Deborah’s life and career have reached new heights as she has returned to her original inspiration source, the American West. Living now in southern Arizona with her husband Fred Fellows, Deborah is devoted to creating fresh, original and accomplished sculptures which express her heartfelt feelings for the Western way of life.

Photo Contest!

The Friends of Western Art's first annual Louise Serpa Western and Rodeo Photo Contest was a great success with over 140 images submitted. The event will return in 2015.

To learn more and see the top three finishers, click here.

Supporting Western Art since 1981

Incorporated in 1981, the Friends of Western Art (FWA) is dedicated to supporting awareness of and promoting Western Art in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

FWA raises funds for education and various projects through such means as the annual Artist of the Year Dinner, the sale of signed lithographs, and the "First Tuesday" lecture series.

We are committed to helping Western artists of all ages grow through various programs including underwriting, mentoring, scholarships, and individual financial assistance.  Click here for Teacher's Art Grant Application.

 Featured auction item at the 2014 Artist of the Year event
by Deborah Copenhaver-Fellows:  "A Little Border Issue"

Size: 22.5"H x 36"L



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FWA News & Events


NEWS!  Bill Moomey is named as the 2015 FWA Artist of the Year


2014 Events

January 7, 2014
"First Tuesday" with Ron Riddick, 2003 FWA Artist of the Year and Cowboy Artist of America painter.

February 8, 2014
Opening of the FWA Artist of the Year Retrospective featuring the works of Deborah Fellows, William Hook, "Shoofly" Schufelt, Fred Hambly and John Fawcett at The Amerind Museum.

February 12, 2014
Mix and Mingle with Wine and Cheese at Huff Reality ;   featuring all AOY lithographs and sale of those not fully subscribed.

March 1, 2014
FWA / Western National Parks Lithograph event with artist presentations and sale of selected lithographs.

March 4, 2014
"First Tuesday" with Owen Rose and his father Frank Rose.  Both artists in thier own right, but with different perspectives and subject matter.

March 15 - 16, 2014
Tucson Festival of Books, visit the FWA booth and attend the FWA-sponsored Youth Artist/Illustrator Awards presentation.

May 6, 2014
"First Tuesday" with saddle maker and rodeo cowboy Adam Tanner.

Watch for the Fall Season events to be posted here!


"First Tuesday" Events

Join your FWA friends and special guests for a wonderful evening of art and entertainment at the Mountain Oyster (MO) Club!  

A dinner buffet is available to FWA members for $40.00 (which includes the lecture) beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. -- the charge for the lecture only is $10.00 for FWA Members and $20.00 for Non-members

To reserve your space for the lecture
Please RSVP to Beth at:

To join us for the buffet:
-Non-members and MO Club members MUST make reservations through Beth at the email above.   

FWA and the Amerind Foundation

The Friends of Western Art is proud of its ongoing association with the Amerind Foundation in their mission of preserving both Native American and Western art which includes the Friends of Western Art Gallery in the Amerind Art Museum.