The Gallatin County Fair Grounds in Bozeman played host to a one-of-kind gathering that combined cowgirls, art and the western lifestyle into one celebration.
The third annual Art of the Cowgirl event recognizes cowgirls and their contributions to the western lifestyle and culture and raises funds to support up-and-coming western artists.
Ryegate’s Tammy Pate founded the event to encourage and assist emerging artists of the western genre.
“I had this idea of having an event that would showcase women,” said Pate. “And at that event, have fundraising for a nonprofit that could fund fellowships. The mission of the Art of the Cowgirl is to empower and lift women up, to not just have a hobby, but for a job in the arts. From saddle making, boot making, rawhide braiding, silversmithing, fine art, horsemanship.”
Idaho’s Annie Wangsgard is a previous silversmith fellowship recipient. She expanded her skills under master silversmiths Amy Raymond from Oregon.
“It opens up so many doors as far as connections and being able to ask somebody questions,” said Wangsgard. “Amy (her mentor) is great. I can call her any time and ask questions if I've forgotten something that she's taught me. Or if I have new questions that she knows about more than me. So yeah, it works great, it's awesome.”
The event had activities for the entire family. From horsemanship clinics, ranch rodeo, stockdog trials, trade show vendors, Elite Horse Sale and more. All while celebrating the western spirit and cowgirls.
“We're just really showing what we in the west already know, it's not about being a man or a woman, it's about doing the job,” said Pate. “But, this is really cool to see all of these women stepping up.” Visit https://artofthecowgirl.com for more on the event and opportunities it is providing women in the West.