Something That a Cowboy Knows

Contact: Darcy Minter
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Western Folklife Center Presents New Exhibit: Something That a Cowboy Knows
Opening Reception and Community Celebration July 26

Elko, NV – Starting July 20th, the Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery will present Something That a Cowboy Knows, a photographic essay by L.L. Griffin, a Denver-area artist and photographer. Through her photographs she provides insight into the character and spirit of cowboy poets, singers and storytellers of the American West. The photographs will be accompanied by a “virtual jukebox” featuring cowboy songs, stories and poems from the Western Folklife Center archives. L.L. Griffin’s book of the same name will be featured in the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop. This book includes photographs, poems and a foreword by Teresa Jordan.

Something That a Cowboy Knows is part of the Western Folklife Center’s permanent collection of exhibits and artifacts and was donated to the Folklife Center by L.L. Griffin who has exhibited her work at the  Walker Fine Art Gallery in Denver. The exhibit Something that a Cowboy Knows first appeared at the Arvada Center and the Colorado Historical Society and has traveled throughout the West. Griffin’s work has appeared in the New York Times, MS Magazine, Woman’s Day, Der Spiegel, Men’s Journal and many other publications. Something That a Cowboy Knows will be installed in the Wiegand Gallery from July 20 through December 2007.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibit and the completion of the new Wiegand Gallery, the Western Folklife Center will host a reception and community celebration on Thursday, July 26, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Pioneer Saloon. The reception is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

In January, during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center opened its new Wiegand Gallery, an exciting new space featuring interactive exhibits and multi-media presentations, including a station for viewing Deep West videos, the black box theater showing the music video Why the Cowboy Sings, and a virtual jukebox of cowboy music and poetry. The E.L. Wiegand Foundation awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to the Western Folklife Center for the creation of the Wiegand Gallery. The balance of the cost of the renovation was provided by the Nevada Cultural Commission and individual contributions. Preston Muir Architects of Salt Lake City, Utah, designed the new Wiegand Gallery space.

“We are very proud of the new Wiegand Gallery and are excited to celebrate its completion with the Elko community,” says Western Folklife Center Executive Director Charlie Seemann. “It is a state-of-the-art gallery space with opportunities for visitors to interact and experience the cultural life and art of the West. We hope the community will come and celebrate this milestone with us on the 26th.”

In order to continue to offer the highest quality exhibits in the Wiegand Gallery, the Western Folklife Center will begin charging admission to the Gallery on August 1st. Fees will be $5.00 for adults; $3.00 for students, $1.00 for seniors 60 and over, and $1.00 for children 6 to 12 years. Children 5 and under are free. Admission is free for Western Folklife Center members and $3.00 for members’ guests if they are accompanied by a member. Admission to the Wiegand Gallery will be free of charge to the public on the first Saturday of every month. The Gallery is closed Sundays.

In addition to the new exhibit, the Wiegand Gallery is presenting Buckaroo! The Hispanic Heritage of the High Desert, which chronicles the regional customs and history of the buckaroos of the Great Basin. Produced by the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, this unique collection of artifacts and photography includes the striking photography of Kurt Markus and Charles A. Blakeslee, and gives visitors an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the buckaroo way of life.

Producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for 23 years, 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.