SUBMITTED APRIL, 2017
In March of 2014 True West Magazine honored Forrest with their second annual “True Westerner” award for his contribution to and preservation of America’s Western Heritage.
Forrest was chosen because of his work in Santa Fe as an author, collector, entrepreneur and artist and also for stoking “the national media fires with his $1million hidden treasure hunt”.
Forrest received this award in pretty good company. The inaugural award went to the irascible Larry McMurty and talented Diana Ossana in 2013 for their work as authors and screenwriters who together turned Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain into an award winning screenplay. Not a work that portrays the classic vision of America’s western landscape. Certainly Bob Boze Bell, the editor of True West Magazine uses a wider lens when seeking candidates for his magazine’s heritage award.
While Forrest, to my knowledge, has not turned in a screenplay, his contribution to the heritage of the American West is none-the-less towering..although largely undocumented. He has helped, nudged and sometimes dragged artists into their own glorious spaces. Books he has authored on established artists have uniquely framed their experiences for the rest of us to comprehend. Forrest is both a respected admirer and a gifted promoter of the artistry of others and in doing so has diversified the market, increased the value and expanded the availability of works by the well known as well as the lesser appreciated. He has become the necessary angel of many artists and craftfolk of the wide west, tirelessly encouraging and pointing.
Certainly Bob Boze Bell is a wise man to have recognized Forrest for his contribution to America’s Western Heritage…and if you ever have a chance to visit Forrest’s home, I’m sure you will be wildly enthusiastic about his stunning collection that preserves a meaningful and beautiful portion of our magnificent western heritage.