Friday, July 20, 2007

Stampedin it

Just back from our 2nd effort at the Western Art Show of the Calgary stampede. I was there with Lisa as 'Artist's Assistants'.

Assistants to my Mom whose western work has been hanging on walls across western Canada and the States for a while now. The stampede was another chance to have her work accessible to private collectors and corporate collections.

I flew over to Vancouver and we made a 'triage' of the many paintings in her home and found a good assortment that showed off her old and new material and then we loaded that into the car and headed for Calgary.

The show is in the immense Round-Up centre: there must be 40 or 50 other artists also showing their work. Jay Contway, who does super detailed bronzes of western subjects, has been there since 1972, and his work now sells in the 15 - 50 thousand range.

Mom mostly stayed put in the (air conditioned and out of the 32C heat) art gallery, but Lisa and I wandered back and forth across the blistering tarmac to see everything we could.

We checked out the heavy horse pull. The animals are magnificent: they range from 1600 to 2500 pounds and pull up to 15,000 pounds with a two man team.

also the Working Cow Horse competition was incredible: I could never be sure who was doing all the thinking during this one - the horse or the rider.... it certainly wasn't the cow!

And of course there was no shortage of the weird and the wacky and the wonderful

- cowboy bands,

very big horses

roast beef in the cowhands cantines in the animal barns,

immense teams of immense Clydesdale horses pulling immense black carriages

the Calgary Police Choir (who sang an unnervingly straightfaced and strange cover of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust),

innumerable ways in the midway to fall from the skies and, of course,

a new cowboy hat for Lisa.....

Mom's work did really well. It was, as usual, wonderful to sit there and see the delighted faces of the crowds as they turned into her stand.

She sold a bunch of work and we celebrated with a glass of champagne and burgers!

the ride home west over the Rockies was filled with the lights of the setting sun and the endless trees and peaks...

we made a pit stop in an old Copper Mining town

and, of course, one last latte in Vancouver....