What is the Art of the Cowgirl? Sounds like some kind of exclusive fine art event at a carefully lit gallery, where fine wine and cheese is served, and the patrons are dressed to the nines and speak in polite tones. Don't get me wrong- That does sound like something I would stroll through (after the opening) and admire the amazing art work, and go home inspired and uplifted. However, the Art of the Cowgirl covers a lot more country than fine art.
The Art of the Cowgirl is the culmination of a dream for Montana cowgirl, Tammy Pate. Born into a ranching family, Tammy stepped into her heritage at an early age. Ranching, rodeo, and all things involving a horse, have been in her blood from the start. From competing in rodeo, as well as earning the title of Miss Rodeo Montana, to building boots and painting pictures about the life that she loves, Tammy herself is the ultimate Cowgirl. In 2019, her long-time dream to host an event that showcased women in every aspect of the American West was started at the Corona Ranch near Phoenix, Arizona. This event features Master Artists in the fields of Boot Making, Silversmithing, Bit & Spur Making, Photography, Saddle Making, Fine Art, and Horsemanship. Each Master displays and demonstrates their work, with an emphasis on sharing knowledge and education. Fellowship applications are accepted for the opportunity to spend time with each of the Masters in a one-on-one learning experience. While requirements for selection vary, the main goal is for the Master to teach a student that will go on to advance their own skills, as well as pass on the knowledge to others in the future.
The event also includes a variety of horsemanship competitions, including the exciting "World's Greatest Horsewoman" and a Ranch Rodeo. Each day is filled with horsemanship demonstrations of every kind, from trick riding to ranch roping to stock dog training. An exclusive trade show features a hand-picked group of vendors who sell a wide variety of unique, high quality gear, art, clothing, tack, jewelry, and much more. A women-only consignment horse sale features an elite offering of solid, well-broke horses from some of the best hands in the West. Several workshops offer hands-on learning in a variety of trades and disciplines.
A highlight of the event is the Art Auction, featuring one-of-a-kind pieces created by the Master Artists, their fellowship students, and more. The proceeds of this auction go back to benefit the Fellowship program, and help perpetuate the dream.
I am honored to return in my third year as the Master Saddle Maker for the event. Each year has become bigger and better, from a personal and event-wide outlook. I have gained new friends and re-connected with old, from my participation in this amazing event. My fellowship students have been the most hard-working and eager to learn women that I have ever seen. I am confident that they will go on to greater success in their own business, as well as pass their skills on to others.
My description barely covers all of the activities included in the Art of the Cowgirl. The third year of this five day event will be held at the Horseman's Park complex in Queen Creek, Arizona on January 13-17, 2021. To learn more, and purchase your tickets for the 2021 event, please follow the links below.