Over the weekend, five Alberta-based artists visited the historic Calgary Stampede  OH Ranch to gather inspiration for the 2014 Western Art Show.


The visit was part of the Artist Ranch Project, “an initiative designed to create a discourse about western heritage and values for the 21st century by inviting contemporary artists to examine what it means to experience Western Canada from a traditional perspective” and now in its sixth year.

The five artists–David Zimmerman, Danielle Bartlette, Sheila Kernan, K. Neil Swanson and Wanda Ellerbeck—use a variety of mediums including oil, acrylics, mixed media and concrete.

Artist Ranch Project - 2013 Residency 017

On Friday, they toured the ranch and on Saturday, they met the cattle herd, went down to cow camp, sugar shack and the building site. They met the Stampede horses, learned how to saddle them up and even got to hop on for a photo op.


Over the course of the two days, they learned about the history of the OH Ranch as a working ranch and what life is like for the people the animals who live there. They collected images, impressions, photographs to take back as inspiration. On Sunday, they were off to meet Scott Hardy, a fifth generation stockman who in 1981 turned his full attention to silversmithing and hand engraving.


Over the next year, each artist will produce art work based on what they saw and learned over the weekend to display and sell at the 2014 Western Art Show during the 2014 10-day Stampede.