In 2006, Desert Caballeros Western Museum embraced a revolutionary idea: an annual exhibition showcasing the brightest contemporary female artists working in the Western genre. In the male-dominated world of Western Art, Cowgirl Up! turned the spotlight squarely on women’s voices and perspectives, serving up a new, deeper understanding of the American West. Over a decade later, CU! remains one of the major national events for Western women artists.
More than a show – Cowgirl Up! is a crossroads where artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts come together to explore what it means to be a Western artist. CU! artists ride the range of techniques, styles, and mediums, traditional and contemporary.
Join in the camaraderie – During opening weekend in late March, Frontier Street transforms into a tented venue for catered dinners, dancing, live auctions and an artists’ quick draw.
Continuing the tradition – Your purchase of original artworks supports the endeavors of women artists working today and of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum. CU! art can be bought throughout the run of the exhibition at the Museum or online at westernmuseum.org.
An exhibition first and a sale second – Art featured in CU! remains on display until the exhibition closes in early May, allowing viewers to experience the art “all in one place, at one time” on each and every day of the show.
The Cowgirl Up! exhibition is divided into two parts: a gallery of “miniatures” (artworks under 144 square inches) and a gallery of full-sized art (artworks over 144 square inches). The miniatures are the first to sell on Friday, and the full-sized pieces become available on Saturday. Sunday morning features a quick-draw by a group of the Cowgirl Up! artists in attendance, followed by a live auction of the pieces that were just created.