New Exhibitions in the Wiegand Gallery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2010

Contact: Darcy Minter, 775.340.4240
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New Exhibitions in Wiegand Gallery Feature
Ranch Gates of the Southwest,
Nevada Panoramic Photography, and the Art of Will James


Elko, Nevada—The Western Folklife Center has installed three new exhibitions in its Wiegand Gallery: a photographic exhibit of ranch gates in the Southwest; black and white panoramic photos by Nevada photographer Deon Reynolds; and a tribute to renowned western artist and author Will James. Together, these exhibitions bring focus to the legacy of handcrafted and artistic work unique to the American West. Many of the items on display are for sale.

Ranch Gates of the Southwest: Manifestations of Individualism
The ranch gate is one of the most recognizable cultural artifacts of Americana, representing the people and landscapes, history and folklore of the American West. As ranches are consolidated and ranching becomes industrialized, the number of ranches is dwindling and the handcrafted gate is becoming a thing of the past. Across the West, the ruins of derelict gates are the landscape equivalent of ghost towns, signs of once thriving places, now abandoned and left to the elements. This photographic exhibition developed and produced by Henk Van Assen, Daniel M. Olsen and Texas Folklife curator Nancy Bless, invites viewers to explore the meanings behind this western cultural icon. Dwarfed by the immensity of the landscapes they inhabit, ranch gates are local monuments to the grand space of the American West.

Ranch Gates of the Southwest: Manifestations of Individualism is made possible by generous support from the University of Texas at Austin, Design Division, Department of Art & Art History, and the College of Fine Arts, the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division, and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Where the Cowboys Once Roamed
Where the Cowboys Once Roamed is an exhibition of black and white panoramic images created by Eureka, Nevada, photographer Deon Reynolds. All images were created using a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera re-loaded with black and white 35 mm film and developed in Reynolds' darkroom. Reynolds began exploring ideas and images for Where the Cowboys Once Roamed when he was creating scenic photos for the coffee table book Nevada. He says, "Originally, I was captivated by the beautiful landscapes of the high desert. Though, during my travels through the state I found evidence of an era gone by and realized it was deteriorating rather quickly. Around that same time, I began playing with Kodak Funsaver Panoramic 35 disposable cameras and found the format complimented the landscape while the low-fi camera quality evoked a sense of history, creating the perfect look for my new-found, disintegrating subject matter." Reynolds attended the Museum Art School in Portland, which is now the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He and his wife, Trish, own and operate the Eureka Gallery in Eureka, Nevada.

A Tribute to the Brian Winter Will James' Collection
This exhibition from the collection of Brian Winter, pays tribute to this past president of the Will James Society. In addition to the Brian Winter collection, the exhibition features a display of Will James' classic books and a visual tribute to Will James by artist Larry Bute. The Western Folklife Center is proud to be a part of the annual meetings of the Will James' Society taking place in Elko, September 30 through October 4. Selected items in the exhibition will be available for purchase.

Brian Winter began collecting Will James books in the early 1980s and in the mid-1990s he began collecting pieces of Will James art. The Will James Society fostered Brian's passion for Will James, providing a platform for him to share his admiration and love of Will James books and art with other members of the society. Brian never missed an opportunity to share with others his love and his admiration for Will James, a man who embodied the rugged individualism of the 20th century American cowboy with whom Brian was so enamored.

These exhibitions will remain on display through December 11. An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 30 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Photographer Deon Reynolds will be on hand to discuss his work. The Western Folklife Center's Wiegand Gallery also features interactive displays including our popular Deep West Videos installation, Cowboy Music Jukebox, Why the Cowboy Sings high definition video, and Cowboy Poetry Listening Station. The Gallery is open Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults; $3.00 for students and seniors; and $1.00 for children ages 6-12 (Free for children under age 5). Western Folklife Center members get in free; there is a $3.00 charge for each adult guest of a member. The first Saturday of every month is free.

The mission of the Western Folklife Center is to enhance the vitality of American life through the experience, understanding, and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the American West.Photos available upon request.

Special thanks:
These exhibitions and related programming are made possible through the generous support of the Nevada Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Union Pacific Foundatoin and individual contributions to the Western Folklife Center stakeholders and members.