Waylon Kenny pulls Breckin Reed in a wagon at Art of the Cowgirl on Jan. 19, 2024, in Queen Creek. (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)
QUEEN CREEK – Welcome to Art of the Cowgirl, where the spirit of the untamed West converges with the elegance of female empowerment. The five-day event earlier this month paid homage to the remarkable women who embody the country lifestyle, weaving together tradition in a tapestry of strength, skill and creativity.
Haddie Clark, 12, rides her horse at the Art of the Cowgirl on Jan. 19, 2024. Haddie’s mother, Reata Clark, with Clark Ranch Horses & Performance Prospects, was introduced to Art of the Cowgirl by a friend and has attended the event ever since. She says that it’s the livelihood and womanhood of Art of the Cowgirl that makes people connect with the event. (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)
From left, Jayla Reed, Lacey Richardson and Madison Kenny play with their band, The Reed Family, on Jan. 19, 2024. Their favorite music to play is fiddle and bluegrass. “We have had so much fun learning and performing songs that have been forgotten by many,” band member Brian Reed says. (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)
Clockwise from top right, Arthur Lujan, Jennifer Lujan and Betty Lujan interact with horses on Jan. 19, 2024. Beth Godbey, who handled the horse, did a demonstration at Art of the Cowgirl showcasing the importance of connection with horses. The demonstration centered on Betty, who has a strong connection and communication with the animals, Godbey says. She says Art of the Cowgirl “is a place where cowgirls can connect and shine.” (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)
From left, Ashton Richardson, Anne Mae Reed and Devin Richardson take a break with their band, The Reed Family, on Jan. 19, 2024, at Art of the Cowgirl in Queen Creek. The band started playing in 1994, when violins were given to some of the family for Christmas. Two of the children already knew how to fiddle and taught the rest a song. One week later, on New Year’s Day, the family performed onstage at the Pinal County Fairgrounds. Since then, the family has added more guitar and bass to the ensemble. “The kids play multiple instruments and take turns playing them,” Brian Reed says. “We don’t perform on stage hardly anymore, but we sure have fun making music with the next generation.” (Photo by Mariah Temprendola/Cronkite News)
At the heart of the event lies a commitment to fostering the next generation of artists and horsewomen. The event is more than a gathering: It’s a platform for women to feel connected and confident in themselves. By raising funds and channeling support, the Art of the Cowgirl propels aspiring artists toward opportunities that can transform their passion through fellowship programs.
(Video by Denzen Cortez