Art, Whisky & Cake Contest

A few weeks ago we announced the Art, Whisky & Cake Contest. It was your chance to nominate an up-and-coming artist as Alberta Whisky Cake’s newest Unbridled Spirit selection. It’s been fun working with the Whisky Baker, Kamla McGonigal, and her company’s mission of promoting the western culture, especially in light of the recent flooding devastation in Alberta. The theme fits beautifully with the “unfolding the real West” mission statement of Western Horse Review, and besides, who could resist partnering with such an enthusiastic entrepreneur as Kam.

Check back here for the original post, but the gist of the contest is that each Alberta Whisky Cake comes with an exclusive AWC Unbridled Spirits certificate, which can be presented directly to a select list of AWC artists to receive $35 off of your purchase price, on an individual piece of art valued at $100 or more. Viewers were charged with nominating their favorite artists to be the next Unbridled Spirit. These artists are folks who are involved heavily in the arts, and have not yet become renowned or rewarded for their exceptional dedication to their creative work.

Kam was charged with choosing three finalists, and via this post and Facebook, you get to determine one final Unbridled Spirit winner.

When she wasn’t testing out new recipes in her kitchen, Kam poured over all the nominations and began to make her choices. I could tell she was having a difficult time; given all the amazing talent that had been dished up, choosing three finalists was going to be difficult.

Sometime during the process she wondered in an e-mail to me. . . ” if I should just go with using ALL of these (love them all!)”

No, Kam, you have to choose three. Those are the rules.

So, she did. She picked three artists, and I’m going to show you a piece of each of their work here. In the comment section, go ahead and vote on your favorite. The bonus: all original nominations notes and all votes will go into a hat and we’ll draw a winner for an Alberta Whisky Cake.

I suppose I can’t really vote, but if I could, I would be all over this for that reason alone.

Meet the finalists:

Take Your Eight and Shove It by Karen Coe.

Karen Coe is a Lethbridge, Alberta artist who recently received the distinction of having two of her pieces juried into the prestigious Calgary Stampede Art Auction.

Ranch Branding by Julia Palmer.

Julia Palmer is a photographer and rancher who lives in southern Alberta. Her subject matter is primarily cattle, cowboys and the changing seasons.

Between Classes by Heather Gessell.

Heather Gessell is a fine artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a focus on pets, horses and vintage cars.

There you have it, three talented western artists. Vote for your favorite in the comment section below and be entered to win an Alberta Whisky Cake!


  1. Tammy Botsford says

    Karen Coe – the depth and lighting in this piece of art is amazing. Great title too ;-)

  2. Mary Rumsey says

    Karen Coe gets my vote.

  3. I vote for Karen Coe. I love that painting it is simply gorgeous. The horse is also beautiful but I have to vote honestly for the bull.

  4. Glenda Wagner says

    Heather Gessell gets my vote

  5. Karen Coe has my vote

  6. Heather Gessell gets my vote !!!

  7. tammi kalin says


  8. I vote for Heather G, beautiful work!

  9. Karen Coe has my vote

  10. Karen Coe gets my vote !

  11. Karen Coe, excellent !

  12. I vote Karen Coe please!

  13. Darlene Tingtved says

    I love the Heather Gessel – Between Classes, reminds me of my mare who is now 20 yrs old and used to look like that between classes and then be ready to give it her all when required.

  14. LeeAnne Harbin says

    Cast my vote for Karen Coe, please!

  15. I vote for Karen Coe. Love her work!!

  16. Linda Desjardins says

    Oh my I love them all! I think I will pick Karen Coe. The photo is beautiful but should almost be a second category for them.

  17. I like Karen Coe’s because it has a scary wow factor.

  18. Karen Coe please.

  19. Karen Coe; without a doubt! The lighting is amazing and you can just feel the strength and power of this beautiful animal.

  20. Cathy Sawatzky says

    Karen Coe is my vote! The dramatic color effect makes this picture come alive!!

  21. Julia Palmer has my vote….