Cowboy Poetry Stokes The Flame

cowbpsAs critics have been bemoaning the decline of poetry and literary writers have been defending their small yet loyal audience, another trend has taken root at ranches, rodeos and country-and-western bars across America: the rise of cowboy poetry.

I was able to explore this trend last year when I was asked to judge the National Cowboy Hall of Fame poetry competition out of Oklahoma City. (The biggest cowboy poetry event, The Gathering — a convention that began in 1985 in Elko, Nevada — now attracts more than 8,000 poetry lovers, which may make it the largest annual celebration of verse in the world.)

Generally, cowboy poets don’t approach the …

Western Artist Points The Way

wapFritz White defies the stereotypical image of the Western artist You can usually find him in his studio, a partially renovated church in Loveland, wearing shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and tennis shoes. Strains of classical music jazz fill the cavernous space. Here, every day, he paces around a work in progress, sketches new ideas on his chalkboard, and discusses board with other artists, referring to Rodin and Michelangelo more often than Russell or Remington.

The human figure has always been the primary focus of his art. Western art, especially his studies of the Native American, is a natural extension of his interest in the human body. “I like to keep …

Jay Dusard: Western Photographer

jadwpJay Dusard’s techniques have proven extraordinarily successful, catapulting him into the regional and national spotlight in everything from ad campaigns to book projects…all the while never compromising his singular artistic vision.

“My favorite kind of photography is landscape, and that’s what I’ve been working on mostly since I built my 4×10 `point-and-shoot’ camera,” offers Dusard, even though he is better know for his portraits. “I don’t see any difference between portraits and landscapes; I approach all of my photography similarly and the only difference between a portrait and a landscape is that in the portrait some of your subject matter is movable. Not so in landscapes, wherein you must move …

Cowboy Statue Rejected!

cowboysrGeorge Lane was reportedly tall enough to hook his spurs under the belly of a horse. Born in Iowa in 1856, he came to Alberta in 1887 to run the Bar U for Fred Stimson, manager of the North West Land and Cattle Company. In 1905, Mr. Lane and some backers bought the ranch–1,800 acres, 5,000 head of cattle and 1,000 horses–for $220,000. Mr. Lane kept it until his death in 1925, and meat-packing magnate Pat Burns took over in 1927.

Mr. Lane was one of the top 10 operators in the history of Canadian ranching, says Hugh Dempsey, retired curator of Calgary’s Glenbow Museum. A shrewd businessman, Mr. Lane …