Do you miss going to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo this year? Yeah, you and the other 1.2 million guests, exhibitors, and competitors who attend the annual event.
The Stock Show and Rodeo began in 1896 and has been a Fort Worth fixture ever since. Before COVID, the only other time the event had only been canceled was in 1943 during World War II.
If you still hanker to see the pageantry of the Grand Entry parade, cowboys and cowgirls galloping on horses – the western way of life and rodeo culture on display – then head to Artspace111.
Artspace111 will start their 2021 programming with the exhibition “The Rodeo Show.”
Ariel Davis is the gallery manager for Artspace111.
“When we heard last year that the Stock Show and Rodeo was going to be canceled, we were just as shocked as you.
“We typically do something that is themed around the rodeo or Western-themed at the beginning of the year to tie in with the rodeo. But since the actual rodeo is not going to happen this year, we really wanted to emphasize [the rodeo experience] . . . Really connect ourselves with that [rodeo experience] and produce “The Rodeo Show.”
“The Rodeo Show” is a group exhibition featuring four women artists. All have deep and long-time experiences with the Stock Show and Rodeo. The show features paintings, drawings, and photography by Linda Blackburn, Donna Howell-Sickles, Jo LeMay Rutledge, and Rima Canaan Lee.
Linda Blackburn draws her inspiration from old Westerns. Her paintings and drawings’ focus is centered around scenes from old films and painted in a playful and cartoon manner, said Davis.
“She looks at western lifestyle through the lens of film, even though her work is paintings.”
Donna Howell-Sickles’ work focuses on the women in rodeos and the western lifestyle. “We have portraits of cowgirls by Donna Howell-Sickles that are really joyful expressions of rodeo culture.”
Artist Jo Lemay Rutledge’s paintings are more behind-the-scene looks during rodeos, as well as preparatory scenes, like calf rope practicing out on the ranch.
Davis is excited about one arena image by Rutledge that will be on view, her 2017 large-scale oil painting of the Grand Entry parade at the old Will Rogers Coliseum.
“If you’re kind of missing that [rodeo] experience, I think that Jo Lemay Rutledge’s piece “Rogers Over and Out” may be a great way to experience that through her work. I think that there is a grandeur about the rodeo and she really captures it with that piece.”
Photographer Rima Canaan Lee’s work centers on the frenetic action of the rodeos. The photos are taken from the audience’s point of view looking in toward the arena.
Lee’s photography “really captures the motion and energy of the actual rodeo and performances that you would see during the competition.”
“Each artist has a very different view and perspective surrounding rodeo, and western culture and you can really see that kind of played out through their works and in the way that they look at different aspects of rodeo life. . . . It’s definitely an interesting show.”
To see the exhibition in person, normal gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For people who are unable to or prefer not to come during normal gallery hours, make an appointment by emailing [email protected] or by calling 817.692.3228.
Don’t feel comfortable coming to the gallery? Works will be available to view online.
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