Cattle Brand Art Sculpture in Mancos Approved for Funding – The Journal

Artists Marilyn Kroeker and blacksmith Steve Williams have teamed up to create a permanent art exhibit in Mancos that showcases local cattle brands and Western culture. (Courtesy picture)

The brands come from breeders in the Mancos Valley; the project fits well with the Mancos slogan “Where the West still lives”

A western art installation in Mancos will showcase Mancos Valley cattle markings, historic ironwork and stylized horses.

The Mancos Valley Brand Project is a collaboration between organizer Marianne Griffin, artist Marilyn Kroeker of Raven House Gallery, blacksmith Steve Williams of Cowboy Forge, the town of Mancos and the Mancos Creative District.

On Wednesday, the Mancos City Council approved a $3,000 grant for the $6,500 project.

The William A. Griffin family is also a sponsor and is conducting fundraising to cover the final costs. During the presentation to city council, a member of the public donated $500 for the project.

The 8-foot-tall double-sided exhibit will feature 40 tiles, each featuring a brand of livestock from the Mancos Valley.

This art exhibit showcasing cattle brands and herding life horses is created by local artists and will be featured in a Mancos park next summer. (Courtesy of Marianne Griffin)

Two panels will feature Kroeker’s copper and enamel patterned horse designs that evoke a shimmering patina representing movement. The sculpture will also include a historical panel on branding and its importance to animal husbandry.

The intention is to showcase the region’s cowboy culture and pay homage to the endangered art of cattle markings, Kroeker said in an interview.

“Tagging is on the way out with new technology to track and tag livestock,” she said. “This artistic project is a moment in time to preserve the tradition of the brand and Western heritage in general.”

The structure of the project built by Williams is a tribute to creative metalwork and forging.

Project organizer Marianne Griffin said the brand memorial evolved from her idea of ​​creating garden art with her family brand of ranching from the Westcliffe area.

As the concept was discussed, it became clear that the history and designs of local brands in the Mancos Valley was a good subject for a larger art project.

“Western art can sometimes be dismissed because of its utilitarian appearance,” Griffin said Tuesday. “But that’s precisely what makes it so incredibly beautiful and unique.”

Consider, for example, the designs carved on an old rifle butt, a knife handle, or a rancher’s leather sheath.

The different brands also carry artistic designs, she said, and need blacksmithing skills to create.

“We cherish this old style. They put beauty and pride in the tools they used every day. We weren’t surrounded by it as much anymore,” Griffin says. “I believe that Western art unites history, heritage and culture. We are thrilled to recognize all of this with this public art project.

The horse art mark and sculpture is expected to be in competition by June 2023. It will be displayed in Pocket Park on Main Street next to the new City Marshal’s Office.

If you would like your brand to be included or make a donation, contact Griffin at [email protected]

Applications and information can also be found at Raven House Gallery, Fahrenheit Coffee Roasters and Coldwell Banker Realtors.

[email protected]

Mildred D. Field