Art of the Cowgirl, the premier annual gathering celebrating cowgirls and their artistic contributions to the western lifestyle, from art to arena, kicks off its exciting lineup of events on Friday, January 24 and runs through Sunday, January 26 at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona. Here are some highlights spectators won’t want to miss.
- Horsemanship demonstrations: Starting Friday at 1 p.m., horsemen and women will offer demonstrations on colt starting, reining, trick riding, mounted shooting, sidesaddle riding, stock horse fundamentals and more. Learn practical tips and the diversity of the horse culture.
- Opening ceremony: In the evening, the opening ceremony start at 5:30 p.m. and includes a western style show, presentation of the second-annual Western Horseman Women of the West Award, live art auction to benefit the Art of the Cowgirl Fellowship program, and concerts from talented teenaged siblings Brigid and Johnny Reedy from Montana, the Canadian trio Genuine Cowgirls and mother-daughter duo Joni and Oliva Harms of Oregon.
- Artist demonstrations: On Saturday, the event opens at 9 a.m. and continues with trade show vendors and horsemanship demos, plus discussions with Art of the Cowgirl Master artists and makers, including horsehair hitcher and rawhide braider Teresa Black, hat maker Sheila Kirkpatrick, fine artist Shannon Lawlor, saddlemaker Nancy Martiny, guest silversmith John Mincer and photographer Barbara Van Cleve.
- Trade Show: Art of the Cowgirl takes pride in curating a marketplace for all things Western, including custom made gear, jewelry and home décor.
- Ranch Rodeo: Throughout the week four-women teams of cowgirls have competed in the long-go of the Clark Butte Ranch All Women Ranch Rodeo. On Saturday afternoon, the top four teams will vie for cash, prizes and the championship honors.
- World’s Greatest Horsewoman presented by Western Horseman: This year, Art of the Cowgirl debuts the World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition presented by Western Horseman, featuring more than 70 women competing in four events–reining, herd work, steer stopping and fence work–on one horse and with one bridle. The top 10 from the preliminary round advance to the exciting finals on Saturday afternoon. The winner will receive cash, prizes and an entry in the prestigious National Reined Cow Horse Association World’s Greatest Horseman competition next month in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Elite Ranch Horse Sale presented by Western Horseman: On Sunday afternoon, more than 25 well-bred, versatile horses that are the products of some of the handiest horsewomen in the ranching industry will go on the auction block, as well as a few working stock dogs. Online bidding is available for those who cannot attend the event.
- Friends and Fellowship: The heart of Art of the Cowgirl is its fellowship program to unite master Western artists, horsemen and makers with emerging artists to advance their skills and careers. Six fellowship recipients in fine art, silversmithing, horsemanship, saddlemaking, photography and bootmaking spent a week in the masters’ shops this year and will be at Art of the Cowgirl to share their experience and art produced.
- Poster Cowgirl: Master artist Shannon Lawlor of Alberta, Canada, created this year’s commemorative Art of the Cowgirl poster titled Miss Nevada. A lifelong horsewoman, accomplished artist and student of vaquero horsemanship traditions, Lawlor is familiar with the subject matter she depicts in her art and a perfect featured artist for the event.
For the poster, she had a vision of portraying the “quintessential cowgirl, wholesome, gritty and a truly authentic woman of the West.” Her model, Emily Lowe and her horse Newt. Lowe is a southern Alberta horsewoman and rancher.
“She had the real working cowgirl components I was looking for and that saw last year at the first Art of the Cowgirl event,” says Lawlor. “I saw how handy those women were on their horses and knew I had to find someone equivalent to them.”
Lawlor’s framed 36-by-24-inch painting will be auctioned on Friday night, and posters will be for sale at the event and on the website.
The complete schedule of events and tickets are available at www.ArtoftheCowgirl.com. Three-day and daily passes are available. Kids 15 years old and younger are free.
About Art of the Cowgirl
Founded by Montana horsewoman Tammy Pate in 2018, Art of the Cowgirl is a three-day gathering that celebrates cowgirl artisans and their contributions to the western lifestyle and culture through discussions, demonstrations, rodeo and ranch horse competitions, an art auction and trade show, and an elite ranch horse sale. Proceeds from the event fund educational fellowships that unite emerging artists with masters in their respective fields. The gathering will be held January 24-26, 2020, at Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Phoenix, Arizona.
Art of the Cowgirl is sponsored by Western Horseman, COWGIRL Magazine, Western Horseman, Wrangler, Montana Silversmiths, Preifert, Stetson, Purina, The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Outlaw Spirit, J Five Horse Ranch, Horse Guard, Yonder Horse, National Reining Horse Association, Tri-State Livestock News, BetterHorses.com, Equus Film Channel, National Ropers Supply, Lucchese, All American Hay, the Cowboy Channel and Clarke Butte Ranch.
Photos available upon request
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