With a click of her camera’s shutter, Samantha Callioux captured a striking image. A young woman on horseback with long, curling blonde hair and a gentle smile on her face.
“The photograph represents to me the multifaceted art of being a woman, not just in the Western culture that I love so much, but a woman in today’s world,” says the photographer from the tiny Alberta hamlet of Wildwood. “Women cannot be defined by just one thing; we can be strong, kind, independent, creative, soft, yet fierce.”
The vibrant photograph caught the eye and the imagination of another talented young Alberta artist, Rebecca Shuttleworth.
“It was striking,” says Shuttleworth. “I like the elegance that Samantha captured in the photograph.”
With the image as her inspiration, she used pastel to create the artwork now featured on the 2019 Calgary Stampede poster. Originally produced as the central marketing tool for the city’s iconic annual festival, the poster has evolved into a celebration of western art and for 2019, the next generation of women in western culture. This also marks the first time the artwork was created by a youth artist, through a unique new initiative.
Shuttleworth with her original artwork and the 2019 Calgary Stampede Poster
The Calgary Stampede Poster Competition, which began in 2018, is one of the largest arts scholarships in Canada with $20,000 distributed among the top eight finalists. Young Albertans were invited to enter for their chance to create the 2019 Stampede Poster art and participate in a youth achievement opportunity of a lifetime. Successful applicants participated in hands-on learning and development experiences, which included one-on-one time spent with local western artists and mentors.
“The whole experience of being involved in the Poster Competition was surreal,” describes Shuttleworth. “As a fifth-generation farmer I know how hard women work on the farm and that’s something that motivates me every day to do my best – It’s what I wanted to show in my piece.”
“I feel the artwork captures the elegance of the female role. It portrays a hardworking woman, but she’s elegant too; graceful and hardworking.”
Much like Shuttleworth, Callioux’s upbringing on her family’s ranch created deep roots in the western way of life and inspires her art.
“It was a privilege to grow up in a rural setting surrounded by horses and a culture of hard work and practical life skills. I love being able to showcase the beauty that has surrounded me my entire life.”
For the next year, the beauty created through the artistic collaboration between two talented young women will be showcased far beyond their rural homes, far beyond our province, far beyond Canada’s borders. Annually, more than 30,000 Calgary Stampede posters are distributed around the world. That’s not what Samantha Callioux was thinking about as she fastened her father’s antique saddle to her mother’s horse, pulled a few special items from her closet, tucked some red roses into her favourite hat and placed it upon her model’s head. But reality hit home when the 2019 poster was revealed to the public on October 17.
“It is a complete honour to have one of my photographs used in collaboration for something as prestigious as the Calgary Stampede Poster Competition,” Callioux reflects. “I will always be grateful to Rebecca and to the Stampede for choosing my artwork to help showcase women in western culture and for it to become a part of the Stampede’s history.”
Chief, one of Callioux’s photographs. You can view more of her photographs by visiting www.sjoriginals.com
Rebecca Shuttleworth is hoping the eye-catching artwork encourages greater conversation about women in agriculture, with the art she created for the poster representing not just the Calgary Stampede, but a way of life.
“Great art isn’t great art unless it creates some kind of emotion, some kind of thought,” she says with a smile. “It’s been interesting to be a part of this.”
You could be the 2020 Calgary Stampede Poster Artist
Albertan youth, age 15-24, are invited to submit their best 2D works of art with the hope of being selected as a finalist to create their vision for the iconic 2020 Calgary Stampede poster and take home the first place $10,000 scholarship.
The deadline to apply is Sunday, November 18, 2018. Visit www.calgarystampede.com/postercompetition for more information.
Shuttleworth (centre) with Dana Peers, First Vice-Chairman of the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors, the 2019 Stampede Royalty, and members of the top 8 from the 2019 Poster Competition