Southwest Ranch Country
Western Folklife Center
|This exhibition sheds light on the material and visual landscape of America's ranching Southwest; the artistry of the region as represented through the vivid photography of Kurt Markus and Jay Dusard, and the work of handcrafted gearmakers including leatherworkers, silversmiths, weavers, bootmakers, hatmakers and more. During the 2014 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Wiegand Gallery featured slide shows and gallery tours by Jay Dusard and Arizona cowboy poet Ross Knox, and leatherwork demonstrations by master saddlemakers Don Butler, Bob Park and Andy Stevens.||
|For this exhibition, photographer Kurt Markus, of Kalispell, Montana, selected some of his favorite images from visits to ranches in the American Southwest. These western photographs capture lives of tedium, isolation and communal living among majestic sweeping landscapes, and demonstrate Markus' poetic sensibility combined with his realistic approach to image-making. His work cuts across many genres and he has exhibited and published widely, in this country and abroad. His books include After Barbed Wire, Buckaroo, Boxers, and Cowpuncher. This is the first time that Markus’ Southwest Cowpuncher photographs have been printed for exhibition.|
Jay Dusard, of Douglas, Arizona, has meticulously photographed the landscape of the American West for 45 years, and has punched cows, off and on, for over 50 years. For this exhibition, the Western Folklife Center displayed his monumental-size portraits of working cowboys of the American Southwest. The featured photograph is of Bill Moorhouse, Bob Phillips, Jeff Shipp, Jack Bowlin and Jerry Brashears of Arizona's ORO Ranch, circa 1980. Jay still shoots large format film, and the resulting images have resulted in award-winning exhibitions and extensive publication, including his acclaimed first book,The North American Cowboy: A Portrait. During the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Jay will present slide shows and stories from his ongoing and extensive work in the rural West.
|The renaissance of ranch-related craftsmanship is alive and well in the American Southwest, with these artists putting their unique stamp on an ever-evolving style. In addition to the photography of Markus and Dusard, this exhibition brings together some of the finest Southwest artists and the work they enjoy doing as either occupation or sideline, including boots, hats, silverwork, beautiful leather pieces, photographs, and more.|
Many of the items on exhibition in the gallery were for sale. Sales lists and photos of available items were available from the Western Folklife Center.
Southwest Ranch Country is presented with support from the Nevada Arts Council, the R.C. Baker Foundation, and Margaret T. Morris Foundation of Prescott, Arizona. The exhibition premiered during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the standing-room only opening reception was held Friday, February 3, 2012.