The long term success of any big-circle outfit requires a sustainable vision, hard work, family, faith, stewardship, and community – a rich store of values shared by everyone in the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association. And it’s at their seasonal works, like a spring branding here in the high Cascades — where friends and neighbors come to rope and drag and lend a hand — that those core values are on their best and fullest display.
Cowgirls and cowboys in this part of the country follow traditions to a letter. In the rodear dust you’ll find horses in every stage – from froggy colts in the bosal to horses working out in the two-rein, and finally up into finished bridle horses which can only mean a spade bit – half moons, Nevada cheeks, and sunflowers abound. They ride with tapaderos and throw just enough silver on their rigs – a horncap or a pair of conchas — to wink in the sunlight without being precocious. They build big loops and stack their dallies with reatas stretched by their makers through juniper posts. They take pride in knowing just who it was that built their saddle, their spurs, their bits, quirts, and romals – the essential tools of a living culture.
It’s here among the bawling calves and red-hot irons that the true weight and worth of The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association – and our mission to preserve, promote, and advance functional art and museum-worthy master craftsmanship — rings loudest. It certainly rings in the eyes of young Everett Brady, seven years old and the fifth generation of his family to work cattle from a bridle horse on this flat. It’s in the big-rowel pride of Ross Ringold, whose cold-backed palomino broke in half and put on a show before anyone even cracked out after a cow. It’s in the blinding smile of Darlene Miller, who home schools her kids and hasn’t missed a heelshot all morning. This is counterculture and antidote in action, where form meets function, where craftsmanship meets necessity, where legacy, tradition, and firm values are braided into an unbreakable and beautiful loop.
The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association is the centerpiece of this vibrant culture and the natural home of legacy master craftsmanship in America. That’s true on the functional end and also on the collector end.
Maybe you aren’t riding a big desert circle or dragging slicks to the fire, but your heart is, and the unmatched craftsmanship in the functional cowboy arts compels you to collect and display legacy artwork and to share this passion with your friends.
The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association is asking for your help to continue building a home for this renaissance of interest in things that last, functional artwork that represents the best of who we are, and to help build on the combination of values, form, and function sorely needed to counter a dominant-culture narrative packed with toxins. We are asking you to ride for the brand. We are asking you to help us so that these visions and skills – cornerstones of the uniquely inclusive American cowboy culture, which has always been dedicated to quality, inclusivity, and continuing education — may remain a vibrant source of resiliency well into the future.
We are asking you to help us so that young like Everett Brady, whose dad once roped a bear out here on South Flat, might some day come in off the desert, or down from the mountain cow camp built by his great-great grandfather, and learn to braid, or work in silver, or to build a saddle in a class taught by a dedicated TCAA master craftsman whose work sets the standard for functional excellence anywhere in the world.
The Traditional Cowboys Arts Association is intensely focused on preserving and advancing our shared passion for these proud historical traditions. Help us to build on this legacy, this devotion to creating beautiful things that represent — each piece in its perfectly unique way — a culture built on faith, family, friends, and resilient communities who still ride the big circles with gratitude for the lessons found in the past — and an unwavering belief in a shared, sustainable, and equally prosperous future.
Our goal is to raise $250,000 to build out virtual educational programs and communications allowing us, regardless of circumstances to increase our reach to all students and followers alike.
Thank you in advance for your support!
The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association
If you prefer to send a check please mail it to:
TCAA, PO Box 2002, Salmon, Idaho 83466
If you have any questions please contact: Kent McCorkle: firstname.lastname@example.org