Katie Anne Sharpe
Cowboy Culture is the mystical, wonderful, always free, and wild story told about the Wild West and the people that were decided to tame it. The cowboy has developed stereotypical personality traits, mannerisms, and ways of dressing that are instantly recognizable. There are many different types of cowboys, though, and how they rank on the scale of “How Cowboy Are You?” is going to depend on who you ask. Growing up riding horses, competing in rodeos since I was 5 years old, and having parents who have competed in rodeos professionally and in amateur associations has steeped me in Cowboy Culture. I have made art about the wide-open spaces that captivate everyone who search for it, the great and humbling relationships we cultivate between us and 1,200-pound animals to be incredible athletes and the inevitability of nature’s cycle that people become acquainted with when they raise and take care of animals. It took me a while to connect what I was truly making art about was Cowboy Culture and the aspects of it that I enjoyed. Associating everything has also made me curious to learn about how we created this culture and how we truly manufactured it to be exactly what we, as white people, desired. Making art that is commentary for the hidden secrets of Cowboy Culture is just as important as making it about everything that is good.