New Ad­di­tion

The Cow­boy Artists of Amer­ica in­ducts Chad Pop­ple­ton dur­ing Cow­boy Cross­ings open­ing week­end.

Western Art Collector - - WESTERN ART NEWS -

Prior to the Oc­to­ber 6 open­ing of the Cow­boy Cross­ings ex­hi­bi­tion at the Na­tional Cow­boy & West­ern Her­itage Mu­seum in Ok­la­homa, the Cow­boy Artists of Amer­ica qui­etly met for an an­nual mem­ber meet­ing in one of the mu­seum’s halls. In ad­di­tion to CAA busi­ness, the group also viewed art­work and voted on new mem­bers. This year one artist made the cut, Utah painter Chad Pop­ple­ton.

“I don’t know how else to re­ally say it, but I was blown away,” says Pop­ple­ton. “I’ve known the CAS since I was a lit­tle kid. I al­ways wanted to be a CA— it was a child­hood dream.”

Pop­ple­ton, who is pri­mar­ily a wildlife painter who also paints cow­boy sub­ject mat­ter, will be the most prom­i­nent wildlife artist in the group. Dur­ing the in­ter­view process, the painter says, he was asked if he would change what he painted if he was ac­cepted into the fold. He re­spec­tively de­clined, say­ing that he felt both wildlife and cow­boys were im­por­tant to him as an artist. Based on Pop­ple­ton’s in­clu­sions in the CA, the an­swer must have pleased the mem­bers, each of whom rep­re­sents West­ern art in their own unique way.

“As a wildlife artist I never felt I had a chance, but I was go­ing to go for it any­way be­cause I re­spect these guys so much,” he says, adding that sev­eral CA mem­bers are dear friends. “I look up to them so much. I’ve known Ja­son Rich since I was in col­lege and we’re re­ally good friends. I look up to Jim Nor­ton as a fa­therly fig­ure. And peo­ple like Grant Red­den and Michael Du­dash are great friends and men­tors. I was shocked when I was asked to join them.”

Pop­ple­ton, who lives in Lo­gan, Utah, grew up on a ranch and dairy farm, and to­day still main­tains a herd of quar­ter horses for breed­ing. He’s also ac­com­plished in the sad­dle with plenty of time spent round­ing up horses and cat­tle—even his chil­dren com­pete in rodeo events.

“Get­ting in the CA was the easy part. Now I have to kick my work up a notch,” he says, adding that he is look­ing for­ward to serv­ing with the other mem­bers. “Af­ter I was made a mem­ber they threw me into a board meet­ing and let me tell you I was re­ally blown away—these are good men, im­pres­sive men, and it’s hum­bling to be in their com­pany.”

Chad Pop­ple­ton, The Vi­sion—charles Mar­ion Rus­sell, oil, 36 x 48"

Chad Pop­ple­ton, Happy Hour, oil, 30 x 48"

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