Left painting by Donna Howell-Sickles. Right painting by Linda Blackburn.……

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Artspace111 is pleased to present The Rodeo Show, featuring artists Donna Howell-Sickles, Jo LeMay Rutledge, Linda Blackburn, and Rima Canaan Lee. 

This Group Show will celebrate Texas Rodeo Culture by showcasing women artists who have first-hand experience with the rodeo and create work around the social influences the rodeo has on Texas. 

Since 1896, the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo has been known as the most authentic Western lifestyle experience. It is an entertaining and unique part of Texas culture that significantly enhances the way locals and tourists alike view Fort Worth. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rodeo will not be taking place, or at least not in the way Texans are used to. The only other time this event was cancelled was in 1943, near the height of World War II. Artspace111 has not taken this news lightly, and it has inspired the gallery to present artworks created to embrace rodeo culture and give patrons the opportunity to experience rodeo nostalgia through visual art. 

Linda Blackburn

“Red Ground Oklahoma” 2015. Watercolor on paper. 18 x 24

Linda Blackburn, born in 1941 in Baltimore Maryland, has lived and worked as an artist in Fort Worth since 1966.  In 1962, she received her BFA in painting from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in painting from the University of California at Berkeley in 1965. Her compositions portray a cartoonish innocence which include comedic characters mimicking old Western Films. The simplistic landscapes and vivid palettes almost shield the often dark realities of the Old West.  Her work is in public and private collections including the Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, the Amarillo Art Center Museum, Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC., Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio, The Crescent Collection, Dallas and DFW Airport.

Rima Canaan Lee

“Showdown” 2014 Archival Pigment Print. 22 x 33

Rima Canaan Lee was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. She earned a B.A. in American Literature and English from Harvard University and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Yale University. Lee credits her obsession with photography to her study of literature, stating that she is, “interested in how the photograph relies on the simultaneity of vision versus the sequentiality of language to construct meaning.” With her extensive knowledge of art history, literature and film studies, her images portray a layered composition of rodeo culture and juxtapose form and movement for a complex narrative.

Donna Howell-Sickles

“The Stars At Night” Acrylic on Canvas. 24×24

In her paintings and drawings, Donna Howell-Sickles has used the image of the cowgirl and taken it beyond the constraints of portraiture. In 1972 Howell-Sickles earned her BFA at Texas Tech in Lubbock and has been creating a career in the Western Art genre ever since. Howell-Sickles herself identifies with the self-reliant and hard-working spirit of the cowgirl. In 2007 she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame by the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. Howell-Sickles’ work is a part of the art 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.

Jo LeMay Rutledge

“Line of Credit” Oil on Canvas. 26 x 36

Jo LeMay Rutledge has always been artistically motivated. Attending the University of Texas, but leaving the art department her sophomore year, led her to the world of Fashion and a job at Neiman Marcus. She became a wife and a mother after, keeping painting as an interest and a hobby. It wasn’t until Rutledge took a course by master painter Dennis Blagg, that she began to really think seriously about art. At the age of 58, she threw herself in the Western Art genre. However, Rutledge knew she would have to put a different spin on her paintings to make them stand out. With that, she began to articulate the reality of Western Culture, painting mangled garbage, old equipment, and sweaty animals.

The show will run Friday, January 15 – March 20, 2021. For more information on Artspace111 and the show click here!