Cowgirl Up! captures the imagination of just about everyone who is attracted to the lifestyle and spirit of the West. In less than seven years, the show and sale have become the most important for Western women artists in the country.
In 2006, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum decided that it was time to step forward on behalf of the West’s women artists. We brought 56 of them together to both celebrate and recognize their enormous contribution to the cultural legacy of the American West. And immediately, the world stepped up, too.
Motivated patrons became captivated by the idea, convinced by our event’s first chairman Dick DeVore to come along for a ride destined to be big. Motivated media raised their hands, willing to splash their pages with the spunk, the spirit and creativity that could only come “from the other half of the West.” And motivated artists called, over 300 a year, eager to find not just another show, but a new home for themselves.
And now it is the tenth charmed year and all we can say is that it’s been quite a ride. The show designed to kick off with a weekend bash, then run for a month, has taken on a life that makes its presence known all year ’round. More than a onetime exhibition and sale, Cowgirl Up! has grown to become a gathering place along the trail for the women artists themselves, many of whom have traditionally been more familiar with each other in print than in person.
It has also become a western portal for art enthusiasts who are catching on to the fact that this is more than a wonderful place to gather. It is a place to do serious business. And why wouldn’t it be? With over 200 paintings and sculptures so full of life that they nearly jump off our walls and pedestals, who can afford to miss the color…the energy…and the just plain fun of this show.
So join us as we salute the Cowgirl Up! artists and the Desert Caballeros Western Museum’s volunteers who have shown us all the true meaning of Cowgirl Up! with over 150 of them contributing countless hours and sweat equity to make the weekend festivities and exhibition into a galloping success. When you Cowgirl Up!, there’s no tellin’ how far you’ll ride!