Back at the Ranch: An Artful Life

Showcasing the expressive culture of the ranching community, with gearmaking videos, ranch videos, audio cowboy poetry and music. We invite you to listen to and view the creative work gathered in the Western Folklife Center Contemporary Gear Collection, and learn a bit more about these art forms as they are practiced today.

Al Tietjen bit

Over the past thirty years the West has seen a renaissance of artistic expression emerge from its ranching neighbors. Traditions of reciting poetry, making music, sharing stories, and creating tools of the trade have found fresh energy and new audience in today’s West. We invite you to listen to and view the creative work gathered in our Collection, and learn a bit more about these art forms as they are practiced today.

Many individuals have contributed to our deeper understanding and appreciation of life Back at the Ranch. We can never thank them enough, including:

Anne Pattee, Wes Dixon/Studix Foundation, The Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest      Foundation's Community Folklife Program-the Fund for Folk Culture

About the Western Folklife Center Contemporary Gear Fund and Collection

The items shown in this exhibition are from the Western Folklife Center Contemporary Gear Collection. In 1992, artist William Matthews approached us about establishing a fund to purchase contemporary crafted horse gear. With Matthews’ support and leadership, the Western Folklife Center established our Contemporary Gear Fund as a means of building a collection of contemporary handcrafted gear representative of the region and its respected makers. It has grown incrementally over the years through the generous donations of gear and funds, and though modest in size, is iconic of the quality and range of work being created today. The collection is housed at the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada, with elements available to travel to other sites. An ad hoc committee oversees the fund. If you would like to contribute, please contact Meg Glaser at 775-738-7508 or at mglaser@westernfolklife.org.