Wyoming Arts Council

Governor Mead announces recipients of 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards


The Bar J Wranglers (left to right): Bryan Humphrey, Donnie Cook, Danny Rogers, Tim Hodgson, Scott Humphrey. They will be performing at the Governor’s Arts Awards Gala Feb. 28 in Cheyenne.

Governor Matt Mead has announced the recipients of the 2013 Wyoming Governor’s Arts Awards.

Guadalupe Barajas of Cheyenne, Babs Case of Jackson, Bruce Richardson and Norma Sturges of Casper, and the Bar J Wranglers of Wilson will be honored at the annual Governor’s Arts Awards Gala on Feb. 28, 2014, at Little America in Cheyenne.

“We have wonderful artists in Wyoming and a thriving arts economy.  The five awardees this year are standouts in their fields and show the depth and breadth of the artistic talent we have in our state.  I am pleased to recognize them and look forward to the awards ceremony,” Governor Mead said.

Sculptor Guadalupe Barajas is best known for his monumental works of Wyoming wildlife. His sculptures of a herd of mule deer in flight and a group of galloping antelope are just two of his 12 pieces located in Cheyenne.  The inspiring work of this Wyoming native and retired art instructor has been exhibited all over the state.

Babs Case is the artistic and executive director of Dancers’ Workshop in Jackson.  Since 1998, she has helped raise dance’s profile in Wyoming by promoting a year-round schedule of quality programming at the Center for the Arts in Jackson.  She also presents workshops in schools and communities all across Wyoming.  Through an energetic outreach program, she brings dance to our rural communities.

Educator and arts advocate Bruce Richardson has been called the “arts ambassador” for the State of Wyoming.  He served as a board member of the Wyoming Arts Council for eight years, including one term as its chair.  He represented Wyoming for two years as an officer on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.  He has volunteered for many local arts organizations, all the while teaching full-time at the University of Wyoming/Casper College.

Norma Sturges has taught the art of rug braiding to generations interested in this ageless folk tradition. She is a master braider, instructor and author.  Her book, The Braided Rug Book: Creating Your Own American Folk Art, is in its third edition and is considered the definitive guide to this art form.  At the age of 90, she is still teaching her art to others.

The Bar J Wranglers entertain hundreds of summer visitors nightly at the Bar-J Chuckwagon and Western Show near Wilson.  They have served as “ambassadors of the western way of life” to every state and at venues such as the White House, Kennedy Center, Walter Reed Hospital and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. Known for their “family friendly” show, and for keeping the old cowboy songs alive, this group is a favorite both in and outside Wyoming.  The group will be performing during the Governor’s Arts Awards event.Ouse, the Kennedy Center, Walter Reed Hospital and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.

The Governor’s Arts Awards were first made possible by an endowment from the Union Pacific Foundation in honor of Mrs. John U. Loomis, a life-long patron of the arts.  Over the years, individuals and organizations from more than 20 Wyoming communities and statewide organizations have been honored for their dedication to the arts in Wyoming.

For more information, contact Camellia El-Antably at the Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-5305 or camellia.elantably@wyo.gov.

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