Saving Cowboy True 2020

We have always appreciated a challenge, especially when it comes to helping an organization or cause that we support. Well, that was the case with Cowboy True, a local arts organization that was needing help bringing it all together in this new virtual world. That’s where we came in.

It started when I received a referral from one of our great friends and partners, Tana Dale of Star Expos. We have worked with them for over 10 years and the experience has been all positive.  Darren and Tana own Star Expos and put on three big agricultural trade shows each year in Wichita Falls, Texas, Great Bend, Kansas and McCook, Nebraska.  In fact, we relocated to Wichita Falls after being exposed to it through the trade shows.

With less than one month before the show was to begin, we were asked if we could build a Virtual Art Show that would allow both Judging, Sponsors, Full Artist Galleries and give them the ability to conduct their auction, all online, in approximately 3 weeks.

I knew we would need to meet with ‘the committee’ to make sure this event was even going to take place this year, as there was much talk about just shelving it until next year. We could do it, but would they understand enough to make a decision? We hoped so because this could be a fun event and the artists deserve it. During the meeting, the decision went from “no way” to “ok, if you think it will work” several times I recall.

Just like the less-than-one-month leadway we had on our first Virtual Farm Expo, this one had to be done quickly, and it had to be done right.  It especially needed to be easy-to-use, we were told, due to the age and computer experience of the clientele we were working with.

By the start of the show we had over 600 pieces of cowboy artwork uploaded by the amazing artists and their assistants with very little help needed from us. The artists credited us for the ease-of-use of our programming, but we commend the adaptability of the artists that participated.

Winners of each category were as follows;

Bits : Ken Cunningham

Buckles : Clint Orms

Cartoons : Polly Kennedy

Drawing : Gayle Bone

Jewelry : Bobby Dove

Painting : Dee Elliot

Photography : Dee Elliot

Sculpture : Gary Ward

Trappings : Susan Lankford

Woodworking : Joshua Bradley

The auction saw 36 registered bidders ranging from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California, New Mexico, Utah and Nebraska.  A total of 19 items were offered for sale, some of them with some pretty high reserve prices, but in the end, 9 items sold to 8 different buyers and grossed over $4,000 for the artists and the organizations involved.  Whispers of Hope Horse Farm and The Forum were the beneficiaries of this year’s auction and showed much appreciation for the help we gave them in helping save Cowboy True 2020.

by Brian Hale, Digging Deeper Media

Website by Hale Multimedia

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