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. Meant to say Heather Gessell

  2. They are all amazing! But I will have to go with “between classes”. Amazing tallant!

  3. Yvonne Mangan says

    I vote for Karen Coe’s ” Take your eight and shove it”, the intensity of the work is fantastic.

  4. Jerri McPhee says

    Between Classes by Heather Gessell

  5. I vote for Karen Coe.

  6. Dorothy Voegeli says

    Between classes. Heather Gessell.

  7. Rachelle Carrier says

    Heather Gazelle. Lover her work.

  8. Brenda Sheetka says

    Between Classes by Heather Gessell

  9. Karen Coe for the bull with all it’s strength and power. True grit!

  10. Chelsey lundback says

    My vote goes forhearher gessell

  11. Kate Johnson says

    I vote Karen Coe

  12. 8 seconds has my vote great piece of art

  13. judey jackson says

    I vote for Karen Coe’s ” Take your eight and shove it”.

  14. Deb Mallett says

    Heather Gessell is an amazing artist! I was fortunate enough to receive one of her originals a couple years back. So my vote with with Heather Gessell!

  15. Renee Racine says

    Love them all but I have to go with Between Classes.

  16. Susan Margetts says

    Between classes. -heather Gesell

  17. It’s tuff, I like Karen Coe

  18. Val McLean says

    I vote for Heather Gessell!

  19. Grant McMurray says

    I really like Heather’s “Between Classes”.

  20. Jackie Hunt says

    Definitely Heather Gessell!


    These are all great but im voteing for Karen Coe

  22. Claire Meaker says

    I vote for Karen Coe. Her details on this painting of the bull are amazing. Good Luck.

  23. Chantel Johnson says

    Another beautiful piece of artwork. I vote for Heather Gessell.

  24. I vote Heather Gessell

  25. They are all great but I’ll go with Karen Coe

  26. Love Heather Gessells artwork!

  27. Heather Gessell is my vote

  28. Karen Coe, Take your eight and shove it! Amazing! you can almost feel the bulls intensity and power!!

  29. Madonna Decker says

    Take your Eight and Shove it–hands down

  30. Jamie Forrest says

    I love the detail on between classes. Heather Gessell is my pic

  31. Richard Keeley says

    Karen Coe all the way! The bull looks so real….the level of detail is awsome.

  32. Vicki Richardson says

    I vote for Karen Coe

  33. Larae Murphy says

    Julia Palmar –

  34. All pictures a beautiful and cannot decide who to vote for

  35. Laura Dyck says

    Heather Gessell “Between Classes”

  36. Rebecca Poynder says

    Love all of Heather Gessell’s work Between Classes gets my vote.

  37. Heather Dunlop says

    Between classes Heather Gessel

  38. Jackie Blaquiere says

    I vote for Karen Coe..absolutely..

  39. Gloria Murdoch says

    I vote for Karen Coe !!!

  40. joe brauner says

    Heather Gessell

  41. Jackie Blaquiere says

    I vote for Karen Coe

  42. Gloria Murdoch says

    I vote for Karen Coe !!! I think she is amazing!!!

  43. I vote for Heather Gessell.

  44. Janet Baik says

    They are all wonderful but I choose Between Classes by Heather Gessell.

  45. Nanette Spitulski says

    Heather Gessell – Between Classes

  46. Audrey Nault says

    Karen Coe’s “Take your eight and shove it”…. Love all three works, but this one gets my vote.

  47. I vote for Heather Gessell. She did a portrait of our stallion, captured his essence beautifully.

  48. Shannon Blais says

    Heather Gessel gets my vote…her art is so realistic, I feel like I’m right there with the animal <3

  49. Lacey Hutchinson says

    Between Classes – Heather Gessell. She’s unbelievably talented!!

  50. Heather Gessell! She does awesome art work!