All Geared Up

The Tra­di­tional Cow­boy Arts As­so­ci­a­tion cel­e­brates 20 years with a new cof­fee ta­ble book.

Western Art Collector - - WESTERN ART NEWS -

At this year’s Cow­boy Cross­ings ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Cow­boy & Western Her­itage Mu­seum in Ok­la­homa, the Tra­di­tional Cow­boy Arts As­so­ci­a­tion will cel­e­brate two decades of creat­ing top-qual­ity leather and sil­ver cow­boy gear. As an added bonus to this year’s event, which opens Oc­to­ber 4, the TCAA will also un­veil Cow­boy Re­nais­sance,a cof­fee ta­ble book that doc­u­ments the works pro­duced by the group’s mem­bers over the last 20 years.

“This is a great way to tell our story and to build mo­men­tum for what we’re all about,” says sad­dle­maker and TCAA mem­ber Cary Sch­warz. “We’re ex­cited to show the book off be­cause it’s re­ally quite amaz­ing.”

The 10-by-11-inch full-color book is writ­ten by A.J. Mangum, with con­tri­bu­tions by TCAA sad­dle­maker Chuck Stormes and Don Reeves, who re­cently con­cluded a 38-year mu­seum ca­reer at the Na­tional Cow­boy & Western Her­itage Mu­seum, which has been the home of the TCAA since its in­cep­tion in 1998. Since its found­ing, the or­ga­ni­za­tion has cre­ated a unique mar­ket for high­end, top-qual­ity cow­boy gear, from finely tooled sad­dles and in­tri­cately braided rawhide ob­jects to metic­u­lously crafted sil­ver works and one-ofa-kind bits and spurs. The works are a mar­riage of fine art and func­tion­al­ity at the high­est level.

“In the group we have a strate­gic plan­ning com­mit­tee that has a con­fer­ence call ev­ery two weeks or so. We dis­cuss all kinds of dif­fer­ent things, and the book was one of the ideas that came from it. From ba­si­cally one phone call we planned the whole thing out,” sil­ver­smith and found­ing mem­ber Scott Hardy says, adding that once the idea was firmly in place the book it­self was a chal­lenge to bring to­gether but was well worth the ef­fort. “The idea was that ev­ery­body who has been a mem­ber would be in it—it would of­fer a com­plete pic­ture of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. There’s never been a book like this. For me per­son­ally, I’m hon­ored to be in­cluded, and it’s go­ing to be big fun to have in my home.”

The book will be sold at Cow­boy Cross­ings dur­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion. For in­for­ma­tion about other ways to pur­chase the book, visit www.tcow­bo­yarts.org.

Cow­boy Re­nais­sance, a new book fea­tur­ing cow­boy gear from the Tra­di­tional Cow­boy Arts As­so­ci­a­tion.

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