Tall in the Saddle: Cowgirls, Ranch Women and Rodeo Gals
December 20, 2007 - March 17, 2008
SFAC Gallery, San Francisco City Hall
Tall in the Saddle marks the
culmination of over seventeen years of artist Ann P. Meredith’s
dedication to documenting the achievements of remarkable women
determined to preserve their heritage and break new ground in the arenas
of ranching and rodeo.
Tall in the Saddle: Cowgirls, Ranch Women & Rodeo Gals was a
solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Ann P. Meredith as
part of the SFAC Gallery's ongoing Art at City Hall program. Visitors encountered 75 black and white
fine art documentary-style photographs depicting cowgirls in a variety
of scenarios including competing in rodeo events, working the land and
relaxing at home on the ranch. Presented in tandem with the photographs
will be Meredith’s documentary film of the same title that riotously
reflects the cowgirls of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA)
filmed at the Annual Sierra Stampede at the Rio Linda Show Grounds in
Sacramento, California in 1999.
"Long before Annie Proulx's short story became Brokeback Mountain,
Ann Meredith was chasing down the truth behind the fiction at our very
first Sierra Stampede in Sacramento in 1999," says Matt Bowers, former
Director of the IGRA Capital Crossroads’ Sierra Stampede.
women are only allowed to compete in the barrel racing category in
Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association-sanctioned rodeos, it is an
important distinction that the IGRA and the Women’s Professional Rodeo
Association allow women to compete in all their featured events (which
include bronc and bull riding, chute dogging, steer wrestling and more).
Meredith not only captures the thrill of rodeo events and the
flamboyant character of these pioneering women, she also documents a
subversive slant on what dominant/popular culture would perceive as the
cowboy’s domain – the West.
women depicted in the exhibition hail from Alameda, Arroyo Grande,
Bakersfield, Brentwood, Clayton, Glendale, Hayward, Inverness/Tomales
Bay, Lakewood, Moss Landing, Norco, Orange, Pedley, Pacifica, Rio Linda,
San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Standish, Susanville and
Woodacre in California, as well as Phoenix, Arizona, Hot Springs,
Arkansas, Blackfoot, Idaho, Whitefish, Montana, Battle Mountain, Reno,
Fallon and Winnemucca, Nevada, Weehawken, New Jersey, Cimarron, Raton,
Roe, Folsom, Sapello and Willard New Mexico, New York City, Hereford,
Texas, Riverton, Delta and West Jordan, Utah and Falls Church, Virginia.
For Tall in the Saddle
Meredith worked with The Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Western Heritage
Center in Hereford, Texas; the International Gay & Lesbian Rodeo
Association in Sacramento and The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association
in Kingman, Arizona. Tall in the Saddle is supported by the
San Francisco Arts Commission, Swordfish Productions, Grants for the
Arts & the Zellerbach Family Foundation.