April 5, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

The Idaho Commission on the Arts is holding its annual showcase this weekend. This time it will be highlighting the work of women from around Idaho. The event is called The Idaho Cowgirl Congress Showcase and Demo.

Saddle makers, silver smiths, rawhide braiders are just a few art forms that will be present.

“Idahoans are pretty proud of their cowboy arts,” said Jocelyn Robertson, the public information officer and literature director for the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

Usually, at these annual events, there are only two or so women there showcasing their work. This time there will be 25 to 28 women and no men. This summer will mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Idaho was the fourth state in the union to grant women that right.

Robertson said they wanted to celebrate that.

“We thought it would be appropriate to gather women gear makers from around the state to show the public the tremendous work they do and give people the opportunity to see what goes in to producing these works of art that are also used as practical tools in ranching and farming,” Robertson said.

In the past there hasn’t been both an exhibit and demonstration. Usually there is only an exhibit to showcase the work. This time the public gets to see women do the work as well as view the finished products. The event will highlight the projects in progress and the process of these womens’ work.

First, all of the artists will be gathered to have workshops and networking opportunities with other professionals and master artists.

“We know that practitioners of cowboy arts, especially in our state which is very large and is defined by the rural states, tend to be isolated from each other,” Robertson said. “It’s a nice way to be reminded they are not alone in their pursuits.”

After the workshops for the artists the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will be open to the public for the demo and exhibit.

Robertson explained that even if someone isn’t into ranching or farming it is still a great chance to see amazing artwork and talent of local Idahoans.

“This gives others the opportunity to get up close and see the details and intricate process of what goes into cowboy art,” Robertson said.

She said to come and meet the artists and learn about the Idaho Commission of the Arts.

The event will be held April 6 from 1 to 5 p.m at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls.