Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents a National Day of the Cowboy Art Exhibition at the university’s Ray Drew Gallery in the Donnelly Library, 802 National Ave., through August 30. The artists’ reception is July 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the gallery.
The exhibit features New Mexico artists who have lived the cowboy way.
“The art displayed will consist of sculptures, photography, paintings, and drawings depicting the cowboy way of life,” said Karlene Gonzales, the Ray Drew gallery curator. “There will also be traditional decorative art pieces such leatherwork made by cowboys and cowgirls used in everyday life to perform their work.”
The National Day of the Cowboy was established in 2005 to honor the contributions of cowboys and cowgirls to America’s culture and heritage. In 2019, the day is July 27.
Gonzales said the exhibition puts the public in touch with contemporary cowboy life locally and throughout New Mexico.
“Cowboy culture and heritage are prevalent in New Mexico and that is evident in the art being displayed. We’re fortunate to have in our Las Vegas community nationally known cowboy artists like bronze sculptor Duke Sundt and painter Gary Morton, who are both featured in the exhibition,” said Gonzales, who serves on the board for the Western Art Rodeo Association and has three pieces in the exhibition.
Other New Mexico artists include cartoonist Kamee Young, colored pencil artist Charlie Sedillo, pencil and graphite artist Gayle Bone, cinch maker Misty Lewis, photographer Julie Carter, and saddle maker and leather artist Shane Parker.
Gonzales said there are also featured prints on loan from a private collection by Tim Cox and Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt.
One of Gonzales’ drawings, a collaboration with Shane Thurston and Shane Parker, was done for the Cowboys for Cancer research auction. It depicts four New Mexico cowboys who have recently passed on from cancer.
“These four cowboys were Buster Webb, rodeo contractor; Wayne Wilson, rodeo judge and all-around cowboy; Edker Wilson, rodeo contractor; and Martin Encinias, rodeo pick-up man; all of whom fought courageous battles with cancer,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the musical entertainment for the July 19 reception is Mp2, a team consisting of Santa Rosa cowgirl Leigh Ann Marez and musician Gary Persons.
“This musical collaboration began over 17 years ago when the two teamed up to record some of Leigh Ann’s music in Gary’s studio in Santa Rosa. All of the music is original and bears the signature of cowboy authenticity,” Gonzales said.
The Ray Drew Gallery hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday and 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday.