We often regard The West as a utopia. It is not merely a location on a map, rather it is an attitude. The West is about being resilient and doing what is right rather than what is easy, even under unprecedented and challenging circumstances. Yes, The West ties us to the land but more so it connects us to each other through a common bond. The unparalleled attributes of The West are truly the quintessential way of life, and as such the idea of The West exists as a safe haven for us all.
Much like The West, art is also a unifier. As a utopian representation of life, we approach art unbiased and open. Art allows us to escape during times of uncertainty while simultaneously enabling opportunity for self-discovery. Even when we are miles apart, art gives us the opportunity to connect with others—which is especially important during times when physical connection is limiting.
In this piece, Create The West, we showcase the interchangeable relationship between the ideal attitude of The West and the unifying nature of art through the lens of western artists. With their respective crafts, the highlighted artists in this piece give us the opportunity for creative escape into our own western utopia, and allow us to connect with each other.
Ben Christensen uses his artistry to bring the Old West back to life. As a western photographer and film director, Ben captures the awe- inspiring simplicity of the western lifestyle with the stylistic choice s he makes within his craft. Specifically, he simplifies every aspect of his art: he shoots while sitting horseback, he uses warm light, he sticks to simple patterns and colors, and he utilizes the outdoors as his back drop —all with the objective of illustrating the Old West. As an artist, Ben’s ultimate goal is to contribute to the western community by sharing the unique stories within it.
Quincy Freeman Eldridge
Founder of western fashion brand Rodeo Quincy, Quincy Freeman Eldridge is a western artist and a true rodeo cowgirl. Coming from a rodeo family and growing up with a mother and grandmother who both have always had a flair for fashion, Quincy naturally merged her two passions — rodeo and art — from a young age. With her fashion line, Quincy wears many hats as an artist, designer, marketer, and fearless leader as she brings her vibrant and wild creations to life.
As the grandson of a cattle rancher and son of an art teacher, it is no surprise that Greg Kelsey is an award-winning western sculptor. Growing up in the western lifestyle, Greg is drawn to the spirit of The West and his every day cowboy way of life is inspiration for his art. The success of his work comes from the authenticity he brings to his craft — rather than just having an appreciation of The West, he lives and breathes it, and that realness appears in his sculptures. Greg aims to portray real life through his art, and he immerses himself in his subject matter, the western lifestyle.