STAMFORD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — An artist at the Texas Cowboy Reunion in Stamford says the art show helps maintain cowboy history.
The Texas Cowboy Reunion has nearly 20,000 attendees every year, a number that was unimaginable when it was founded in 1930.
But when the rodeo arena is empty, a glimpse of old West Texas can still be seen within the brush strokes of local and statewide artists.
For the artists showcasing their paintings and sculptures, this is their connection to the wild, wild west.
Bill Barrick has been painting since he was a small child, and has now attended art shows in Stamford for nearly 40 years.
Barrick says his paintings represent not only his fondest memories, but are also symbols of what he believes makes America great.
“I do a lot of paintings of old houses and old buildings,” Barrick said. “Rural Americana. These are the things I think make America strong.”
Barrick says he believes the art show is a staple of the Texas Cowboy Reunion, and that building and keeping legacies, whether that’s his own personal legacy or the legacy of the old West Texas cowboy, maintains history.
While Barrick is portraying Texas and a cowboy’s life through his eyes, he is also furthering the cause of the Texas Cowboy Reunion and Mayor of Stamford, James Decker’s, that was established in 1930.
“The event [art show] was established in the early 1970s to bring fine art to the Cowboy Reunion,” Decker said. “It was associated with the West Texas Rehab Center shortly thereafter.”
The Texas Cowboy Reunion’s art show gives part of their proceeds to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center.
In the art gallery, the artist receives 70% of the profits made off of their paintings, while the other 30% is donated to the rehab center.
But, that’s not the only donation given.
Barrick said the artists participate in a “quick draw” competition, where they are to paint and frame a painting within an hour. After the hour is up, their paintings are auctioned off and the money would be split evenly between the artist and the West Texas Rehab Center.
Decker said that the first few nights have been very successful, even calling it a “banner year” for the art show.