See the work of four women artists, including Donna Howell-Sickles.
The famous Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo won’t be happening this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but The Rodeo Show will go on.
Through March 20, you can immerse yourself in arena action at the Artspace111 gallery in Fort Worth as it hosts a four-woman exhibition showcasing the work of Donna Howell-Sickles, Linda Blackburn, Rima Canaan Lee, and Jo LeMay Rutledge, all artists who create work informed by Western culture.
Donna Howell-Sickles has long used the image of the cowgirl in her paintings and drawings, moving beyond portraiture with her distinctive and colorful style. She herself identifies with the self-reliant and hardworking spirit of the cowgirl and was in fact inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. Her work is in the collections of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Booth Western Art Museum, the Tucson Museum of Fine Art, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, the C.M. Russell Museum, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Linda Blackburn, a Texas transplant since 1966, paints in a style of cartoonish innocence, employing vivid palettes and simplistic landscapes, with comedic characters that mimic old western films. Her work is in public and private collections, including the Modern Museum of Fort Worth, the Amarillo Art Center Museum, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Southwest Craft Center in San Antonio, and The Crescent Collection in Dallas, and DFW Airport.
Beirut-born Rima Canaan Lee combines her love of literature and photography to produce layered compositions of rodeo culture, form, and movement. She’s “interested in how the photograph relies on the simultaneity of vision versus the sequentiality of language to construct meaning.”
Jo LeMay Rutledge had a career in fashion before she threw herself into the Western art genre at age 58. She’s lived in Texas almost all her life, but it wasn’t till she took a course by master painter Dennis Blagg that she began to interpret Western culture as she saw it — and that was thanks to a visit to a friend’s ranch. “What I saw there didn’t have a hint of romance in it,” she writes on her website. “It was ranch trash, beautiful horses, manure, ditches of unmanaged grass, cast-off equipment, and rodeo trailers in need of a coat of paint. That was the real deal. Hard work, thankless hours of maintenance, and the jimmy rigging ranch gear. The life of anyone who chooses to live off the land. Now that's worth my time at the easel.”
The Rodeo Show is open by appointment only, Wednesdays through Fridays, through March 20, 2021, at Artspace111, 111 Hampton St., Fort Worth, Texas, 817.692.3228.