Friday, August 04, 2017

Exhibits capture the gritty spirit of Las Vegas Cowboys’ Reunion Centennial Celebration

In celebration of the Las Vegas, N.M., Cowboys’ Reunion Centennial Celebration, New Mexico Highlands University will host art exhibitions in Kennedy Hall and Donnelly Library’s Ray Drew Gallery. The Ray Drew exhibit captures the gritty spirit of the Centennial Celebration through rare historic panoramic photographs, and the Kennedy exhibit provides a taste of contemporary cowboy art by New Mexico artists such as nationally known sculptor Duke Sundt. Both exhibitions open Aug. 1. Las Vegas fine art photographer Elaine Querry curated the photography exhibit, “Picturing the Past: Photographs and Souvenirs from Early Cowboys’ Reunions,” which includes Cowboys’ Reunion panoramic rodeo images as large as 5 feet in diameter along with smaller rodeo actions shots from wild horse races to trick roping. Colorful old-time characters like Idaho Bill Pearson, Prairie Rose Henderson and Doggie Jones appear in the photos. Sundt’s roots are also in ranching. As a teenager, he spent summers at a family ranch in Sapello Canyon near Las Vegas. At 18, he competed in the 1966 Las Vegas Cowboys’ Reunion Rodeo, earning second-place for bareback bronc riding.
After stints on the rodeo circuit and as a ranch foreman, Sundt earned his BFA from New Mexico State University. “I was always drawn to sculpting. After working the rodeo circuit I chose the next hardest way to make a living: being an artist,” Sundt said. Sundt’s is best known for his bronze cowboy sculptures, which have been featured in national magazines like Time and Western Horseman. The life-size bronze longhorn sculpture he created for the University of Texas Centennial made the cover of Sports Illustrated. Sundt grew up in a military family and is also known for his sculptures that honor U.S. soldiers such as the massive 14-foot tall Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument...more

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