Neosho artist to showcase artwork in CFD Old West Museum Western Art Show

Seth Kinker
Neosho Daily News

The 41st annual Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) Western Art Show and Sale, celebrating western art traditions with some of the nation’s top western artists, will take place from Jul. 22 to Aug. 15 in Cheyenne, Wyoming with a reception on Jul. 22 to kick off the 125th Cheyenne Frontier Days.

The CFD Western Art Show is one of the most prestigious shows in the western art community and the Rocky Mountain region that takes place at the CFD Old West Museum.

Since 1981, the Western Art Show has raised over $3 million in support of the museum’s art education, exhibits, collections, and operating funds. The goal of the museum is to cultivate an educational space for the diverse, international community served by and rooted in the American western legacy of the CFD.

This year, it will feature 50 artists from across the nation who’ve depicted images of the American West.

Robyn Cook

One of those artists is Neosho’s Robyn Cook, who has four pieces that will be included in the show.

For Cook, art was always a passion.

“I don't know what really got me into it,” said Cook. “It’s always been an interest of mine; I’ve always loved it ever since I was a little girl. I loved art day in school, I just loved creating things and seeing what else I could come up with, Painting, sculpting, and drawing. Drawing just ended up being my favorite medium. I’ve probably been doing artwork professionally, maybe 20-25 years.

Cook said that it’s a lot of work getting her artwork out to different venues and shows, she had plans to ship out more artwork to more shows in the following days, but it’s challenging, rewarding and fun to participate.

For many years, Cook just drew for the fun of it. But it got to the point where more and more people were asking her for commissioned portraits of their pets or people, whatever was requested, and it grew from there.

“Probably about 20 years ago,” answered Cook when asked about the transition began from hobby to a chance to earn some extra income. “Word of mouth spread, and I kept getting more requests. That’s when I started venturing out trying to do juried shows, trying to get a little more national recognition by doing those shows by getting the art and my name out there for galleries and what not.”

Juried shows mean artists sends in artwork and then they are told whether their art was accepted, or not, for the show.

Cook works from home for Leggett and Platte in Carthage in their printing department. Working from home, where she has a studio for her art, allows her more flexibility to draw and work.

She touched on the balancing act that she’s performed over the years, juggling a full-time job, and working on the evening and weekends to continue growing the art side of things.

The CFD Western Art Show focuses on western art traditions, a favorite subject of Cook’s art.

“I like to draw the animals more than anything,” said Cook. “Drawing a western scene, the horses, the rode bulls and baby calves. I like the farm/western themed artwork, it’s always been my priority when I do my drawings for shows.”

Cook has been submitting artwork to another one of the museums shows, the Western Spirit Art Show, and won an award that automatically qualified her to participate in the CFD Western Art Show and Sale.

This year will be her second year participating in the CFD Western Art Show and Sale after also participating last year.

“It’s really exciting to get to participate in it a second time,” said Cook.

Cook will have four pieces, First Sign of Spring, American Gangster, A Mother’s Love and The Runaway, on display and for sale at the CFD Western Art Show and Sale.

“I’m constantly working on things,” said Cook when asked about the process in what to submit for the show. “Sometimes I’ll have several (pieces) and I’ll pick some I want to send to different shows. There was a couple of them, I actually did specifically for that show because I thought they might go over well. A bronco drawing and another one called The First Sign of Spring, I thought they might go over well there. A lot of times I just pick out what I think would go over well at that show.”

Depending on the size of the drawing, Cook says they can take anywhere from 20-30 hours or more, but she never really keeps track.

Although her long-time hobby has turned into something that she can profit from as well, Cook never thought she would be able to sell her art.

"I really didn’t. I thought it would be something I did for fun,” said Cook. “Once in a while I entered some shows and once in a while, I received an award or made a sale and its kind of motivated me to keep trying. I started trying to participate and submit to more shows and get more and more involved to get my name out there.”

“It’s really grown over the years that’s for sure, it’s surprising,” added Cook. “It’s just so rewarding to get to draw, even if it’s for myself. Something I think would be an interesting piece. It’s fun to see how it turns out and where I can improve and what I can learn from.”

To find Cook’s art, visit her website at www.robyncookart.com, her Facebook page by searching “Robyn Cook” or Cherry's Art Emporium and The Woodshed in Carthage.