Cowgirl Up! spotlights the works of 55 female artists whose perceptions represent the face of the modern West.

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Cowgirl Up! is the largest event held annually at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona.

For centuries women have shown strength and grace in shaping Western heritage. Pioneer women who persevered with their families as they traveled West by covered wagon and entertainers such as sharp shooter Annie Oakley and trick riders Fern Sawyer and Mable Strickland all paved a path for contemporary cowgirls who rope, ride and even paint and sculpt their depictions of the West.

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Arizona saddlemaker Carson Thomas donates his time and skills as an auctioneer during the live and quick-draw auctions.

Cowgirl Up!, a premiere invitational art exhibition and sale held at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona, was created in part to showcase the works of art created by women artists who capture the stories of the Western lifestyle. The opening weekend of the 13th annual show was held March 23-25 at the museum and featured the works of 55 top female Western artists. More than an art show, however, Cowgirl Up! is also a meeting of creative-minded people wanting to share knowledge and stories in an atmosphere steeped with camaraderie. Throughout the weekend, there are several opportunities for artists and collectors to interact, including a preview party, chuckwagon breakfast, educational panel discussion and quick draw.

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The quick draw is a popular event during Cowgirl Up! Longtime Cowgirl Up! artist Laurie Lee of Wyoming was among the artists who participated. The artists have one hour to complete a painting that is auctioned off. Proceeds from the auctions go to support the Desert Caballeros Western Museum and Cowgirl Up!

A groundbreaking concept, Cowgirl Up! is an example of how a exhibition targeting a specialized group of artists can also be all-inclusive, embodying the diversity of the West in landscape, subject matter, artistic medium and style. It’s not that the female artists need their own exhibition to shine; in fact, many of their works hang next to members of the Cowboy Artists of America and other top male artists at prestigious shows throughout the year. Cowgirl Up! offers them a platform to show their perspectives and celebrate their diversity collectively in and effort to support each other, the Western art industry and the museum. With the addition of a small works show, the event also provides a venue for emerging and veteran collectors to see and purchase high-quality artwork in a range of sizes and prices.

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Jessica Garrett’s quick-draw painting was the high-seller in the record-breaking auction, going for $3,000.

The show remains on exhibit through May 13. For more information visit

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The gallery featuring the Cowgirl Up! exhibit

Cowgirl Up! Awards
Best in Show: Susan Kliewer for her bronze Teton Warrior
First Place Two-Dimensional on Canvas: Erin Hanson for her oil North Canyon
First Place Two-Dimensional on Paper: Rox Corbett for her charcoal A Golden horse and Spotted Cattle
First Place Three-Dimensional: Rebecca Robey for her bonze Into the Wind
Museum Purchase Award: Stephanie Revennaugh for her bronze Mutual
Governor’s Choice Award: Jessica Garrett for her oil Blinding Beauty
Patron’s Choice for Body of Work: Painter Marcia Molnar
Artists’ Choice for Body of Work: Painter Sheri Farabaugh
Director’s Choice New Artist: Pastel artist Ann Huston
Western Art Collector Award of Excellence: Painter Suzanne Baker
People’s Choice for Body of Work: Announced May 13

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All Work No Play, 23.75-by-13.5-by-8-inch bronze by Deborah Copenhaver Fellows
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Soon Impending Snow, 30-by-24-inch acrylic on canvas by Suzanne Baker. This artist’s body of work in the show received an award of excellence from Western Art Collector.
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Mutual, a 63-by-52.5-by-18-inch bronze by Stephanie Revennaugh, received the Museum Purchase Award.
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Morning Ride, 48-by-36-inch acrylic on panel by Maura Allen
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Just Before Dawn, 29-by-25-inch oil on canvas attached to board
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Through a Prism, 40-by-40-inch oil on canvas by Barbara Meikle

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