The exhibitions of the 2019 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering are funded by the NV Energy Foundation, Nevada Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Newmont Mining Corporation, Barrick Gold North America, Inc. and Western Folklife Center stakeholders.
Portraits of the Gathering
January 22 - September 7, 2019
Opening Reception January 31, please see full daily schedule for details
As we come together to celebrate 35 years of gathering in Elko, we honor and remember the individuals who have brought heart and soul to our community through their poetry, story, song and artistry. To shine a light on poets important to this artistic movement, we have invited photographer Kevin Martini-Fuller to curate downtown storefront and Wiegand Gallery exhibitions. For over three decades, Martini-Fuller has traveled to Elko to create portraits of cowboy poets, musicians and other special guests. Over the years he has photographed over 1,000 individual participants of the Gathering. Vintage videos and other memorabilia from the Western Folklife Center archives will add further dimension to this reflection on the Gathering’s artistic community.
Featured in storefront windows around downtown Elko and beyond will be the portraits and poetry of 24 poets whose voices contributed to the early years and success of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. We invite you to stroll the streets and meet these poets and their work. When the exhibition opens, you’ll be able to pull out your mobile device and scan a QR code to be taken to an online site to hear and learn more. During the Gathering, walking tours will be scheduled and guided by photographer and curator Kevin Martini-Fuller. A map for a self-guided walking tour will also be available.
I’ve Got Spurs
January 22 - September 7, 2019
Since the first Gathering in 1985, the makers of handcrafted horse and work gear have been an important part of the Gathering’s artistic community and have experienced a renaissance. In 1992, through the vision and generosity of artist William Matthews, the Western Folklife Center launched a Contemporary Cowboy Gear Fund to build a collection reflecting the fine artistry and craftmanship flourishing in the American West. For this exhibition, spurs from our collection will be displayed alongside other contemporary and historic examples. Plain and purely functional or highly ornate and showy, spurs enable the rider to ask a well-trained horse for a range of responses. Adding to the spur bling is neon signage recovered from the Silver Spur Motel in Reno, Nevada, borrowed from the neon collection of Will Durham. Durham has been preserving Nevada's neon signs for over two decades and directs the Nevada Neon Project. Some spurs are available for purchase, benefiting the artist and the Western Folklife Center.
In the Fireplace Nook at the Pioneer Saloon will be Sweater Weather, featuring artist and author Teresa Jordan’s portraits of wooly friends - a small band of Navajo Churro sheep living in southern Utah with Teresa and her husband, Hal Cannon. http://teresajordan.com/
In the G Three Bar Theater and Main Elevator Lobby
Be sure to visit the annual Elko School District Student Art exhibition of mixed media and photography, as our youth’s creativity, imagination and craftsmanship go on display at the Western Folklife Center every year, January through March.