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Sarah Noble of Kansas City, Mo., checks out Scout’s Celebration of Small Works last week at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

After 40 years, what started as a few artists turning Holiday Inn rooms into galleries, has become a major September event in Cody.

The prelude to that event, the annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale’s Scout’s Miniature Works Sale, is now open at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The show opened Memorial Day Weekend and has already led to sales of the small artworks.

“It is impressive how we have grown during the past 40 years,” said Kathy Thompson, Director of the Buffalo Bill Art Show for the past 16 years.

The first show in 1982, “wasn’t called the Buffalo Bill,” yet, according to Thompson, and was the brainchild of Harold Van Dahlem, Monty Jackson, and Dave Bermingham. Each artist was given a room in the Holiday Inn to use as a personal gallery, and the pool deck was the site of what is still an event favorite: the Quick Draw.

Two years later, with the assistance of local gallery owners Dorothy and Ernest Fuller and Bob and Nancy Brown, the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce became involved. Two years after that, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center – now the Buffalo Bill Center of the West – entered the scene.

In the art show’s online history of the event, Thompson recalled the anxiety of storing all the priceless art in the 100-year-old building that was first Buffalo Bill’s original museum and is now the Chamber of Commerce.

The “Mini” features over 70 artists that will be featured in the show’s live auction in September.

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