Virtual Cowboy Art Exhibition in Ray Drew Gallery

July 1, 2020

Waitin’ charcoal drawing by Jared Buhrmester

Waitin’ charcoal drawing by Jared Buhrmester

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents a virtual National Day of the Cowboy Art Exhibition in the university’s Ray Drew Gallery.

The 15-minute video of the art exhibition can be viewed online at http://galleries.nmhu.edu/ray-drew-gallery/ It features 14 cowboy artists from New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona.

“The art displayed consists 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 as leatherwork made by cowboys and cowgirls used in everyday life to perform their work.”

Gonzales said new this year to the Cowboy Exhibition is a collaborative piece that features 19 artists. The 2-minute video of the piece can also be seen online at http://galleries.nmhu.edu/ray-drew-gallery/

“The piece was created collectively by 19 artists from a large Julie Carter photograph of horses cut into 21 pieces. Each artist painted their interpretation of the portion of the photograph they received onto a 6-inch by 6-inch canvas and then the pieces were assembled into a whole painting. It’s intriguing how the finished image developed without the artists’ knowledge of the original photograph,” Gonzales said.

The cowboy art exhibition this year is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Sedillo, a New Mexico cowboy artist who died in 2019 shortly after showing his artwork in Highlands’ annual Cowboy Art Exhibition.

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 2020, the day is July 25.

“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 has two graphite drawings in the exhibition.

Other artists featured in the virtual exhibition include:  Alex Carone, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, photography; Elaine Querry, Las Vegas,  New Mexico, etching; Gayle Bone, McIntosh, New Mexico, graphite drawing; Jared Buhrmester, Oklahoma, charcoal drawing; Julie Carter, Mountainair, New Mexico, photography; Mary Beth Atwood, Roswell, New Mexico, acrylic painting; Cody and Misty Lewis, Mosquero, New Mexico, mohair textile; Shane Parker, Belen, New Mexico, leatherworks and saddlemaker; Stephen E. Lee, Arizona, bronze and forged metal sculpture; and Stewart Williamson, Portales, New Mexico, silversmith engraving.

The musical entertainment for the virtual exhibit includes Mp2, a New Mexico musical team consisting of cowgirl Leigh Ann Marez and cowboy Gary Persons.

“This musical collaboration began over 18 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. One of Leigh Ann’s new songs, ‘Ridin’ for the Big Boss Man,’ was written in memory of Charlie Sedillo,” Gonzales said.

In addition, Randy Huston, an award-winning musician from Sapello, New Mexico, is also featured in the video with a song, “Day of the Cowboy.”

The National Day of the Cowboy Art Exhibition continues online through Aug. 31. For more information, contact Gonzales via email at karlenemartinez@nmhu.edu