DeSoto Arts Council hosts inaugural Cowboy Art Championship

    DeSoto Arts Council hosts inaugural Cowboy Art Championship

Charlotte, Florida – DeSoto County will christen its newest Mosaic Rodeo Arena using the 90th Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo opening March 8.

To coincide with the occasion, and in honor of this significance of the cattle tradition in Florida’s heritage, the DeSoto Arts and Humanities Council is currently holding its first All-Florida Cowboy Art Championship. The series will celebrate the significance of this Florida Cowboy to our region’s heritage, culture, history and market by showcasing the most legendary cattlemen through the visual arts.

DAHC Board Member Gordon “Mac” Martin said, “We believe the opening of this brand new Mosaic Rodeo Arena in Arcadia is such an exciting occasion, we wanted to celebrate it with a show honoring the heritage of Florida’s cowboys.”

DeSoto County is the ideal place to sponsor the art show featuring Florida’s cowboys, since much of the country’s history is combined with the cowboy tradition, and its market remains significantly encouraged from the cattle industry.

Artists are invited to go into the series, which will comprise cash prizes for first, second and third places, together with an engraved belt buckle to your first-place winner. “We made a decision to include a engraved belt buckle to our top winner, just as they do in the rodeo,” Martin said.

Entries must conform to the theme of this Florida Cowboy. Entries must depict Florida cowboys or cowgirls, cattle, horses, cattle dogs, rodeo, cattle drives and the like (no shore scenes, no scenes with Western hills, etc.).

Both 2- and three-dimensional functions are eligible, including painting, photography, sculpture, fiber art, pottery and assemblage. The job must be original and artists can submit up to five pieces. Entrance fees are $20 for your very first entry for DAHC members ($25 non-members), and $10 for every additional piece ($15 non-members).

Entries have to be attracted on the Martin Art Gallery in Gulfland Real Estate, 207 E. Magnolia St., Arcadia, Fla. on Sunday, March 4 involving 1 p.m. and 4 pm (Telephone 863-703-0373 to make alternative arrangements)

The All-Florida Cowboy Art Championship will open with a reception on Wednesday, March 7 in 6 p.m. to 2 pm in the Martin Art Gallery. It’s completely free and open to the general public and light refreshments will be served.

Winners will be announced and prizes awarded. First place will win an engraved belt buckle together with $200 cash; next place wins $150 and third place $100, together with ribbons, and Honorable Mention ribbons will be awarded to three additional pieces. The Crowd Favorite, chosen by votes of people who attend the reception, could win $50 cash.

For details, including entry requirements, visit the DeSoto Arts and Humanities Council’s site at, choose “Occasions” and select “Florida Cowboy Art Championship.” The prospectus and entry forms can be found there.

The exhibit will remain on display in the Martin Gallery. Many of the pieces will soon be available for purchase.

Proceeds of the series goes toward DAHC’s many community programs, including free weekly Artwork for Children, Colleges for DeSoto County High School graduates, Art in Public Places and other programs through which DAHC promotes the artists and arts from DeSoto County.

Sponsors for the All-Florida Cowboy Art Championship comprise the Arcadia Rodeo Association, Publix Supermarkets and Mosaic Co..

For more information, visit, call 863-703-0373 or email

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