Western Poet and author of the Sunday Creek Series, Jeff Streeby will be among those featured in the new book Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion. Gibbs Smith and the Western Folklife Center have joined forces to publish this new anthology in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Edited by master poet Virginia Bennett, the book will feature some 75 Cowboy Poets.
Scheduled release is at the Gathering in Elko in January 2004.
Jeff's poem Old Smoke, about a curmudgeon cur will be among the poems featured along with Spirits Pure by Debra Coppinger Hill and D. Enise.
Embers of Time will feature several original compositions; Fair Blows the Wind by Gary Prescott and Dust Devil Waltz, written by Jean Prescott and Debra Coppinger Hill and based on a C.Boeve story about a ranch woman. Also featured are How Far is Lonesome and two WWII era songs, Put Me in Your Pocket and Gene Autry's Each Night at Nine. In all the album has twelve selections all arranged and produced by Rich O'Brien.
Jean is a multi-AWA Award winning singer/songwriter and has four other albums to her credit. You can learn more about Jean's music and purchase her CDs at SilverCreek Music
The positive experiences he has experienced through WestFest will be carried forward and built upon in the new Roller Studio Gallery. Placitas, New Mexico will be the new home of the works of Gary Roller in the near future. Gary's vision of a gallery that provides a gathering place for art and music has become a reality. "It’s my ultimate dream gig! A place where the public can come and enjoy themselves not just once, but many times over. My wife Carolyn custom jewelry and we have several ideas in the works that incorporate her jewelry and my art. It’s very exciting and we are looking forward to presenting these pieces to the public.She works in silver and specialty stones producing one of a kind pieces that are highly prized by collectors. We excited to have a permanent place to display them with my sculpture and art. We want to promote our culture and believe art and entertainment are key to the Spirit of the West."
When asked about his ability as a hoop dancer, Gary Roller laughs and then tells a story about what being inside the hoop has meant to him. As an eleven year old he began his journey as a performer with the Native American Interpretative Dance group Kwahadi. The Amarillo based group appealed to Gary’s sense of preservation through their dedication to authenticity. Modeled after the Koshari Dancers, Kwahadi gave Gary his first taste of show business. Impressed with their attention to detail in costume and their appreciation for Native American dance, he found himself inside the hoop, learning skill, agility, stage presence and more important, the history of Native American dance.
"Going through the hoops takes concentration and dedication. I love the spirit of the dance itself...it’s inspiring."
It’s this dedication, applied to preservation, that drives Gary’s art. Working in several mediums he strives to preserve the integrity of his Western subjects through authentic detail. He attributes his teacher and mentor Lincoln Fox with lighting the fires of creativity within him. "Lincoln was the catalyst for my learning to sculpt. He is a magic man who taught me to pull out the spirituality and give the piece a strength all its own."
Spirituality is all evident in Gary’s unique sculpted fountains. "I live across the road from a stream; we drift off to sleep hearing the water. A WestFest was coming up and I had been working on a sculpture of the flute player. In a magic moment I got a vision of the sound of the water and the sound of the flute. They became one sound and I went home immediately and began to work. It was a Devine flow of energy that I poured into this piece. I took the wax model with me to WestFest and we took orders for it. People loved the concept of sculpture and water. They may not stop to look at sculpture, but the sound of the water pulls them in. After all, people, for the most part, are made of water and they are drawn to it. The sound is soothing and satisfying, it’s an ice-breaker like music is. People identify with the motion and the sound."
"It’s the same concept that we use in the Symphony shows. People who wouldn’t come to the Symphony will come because of the integration of the Western theme. The motion of the music draws them in and they end up enjoying something they never thought they would."
But not all of Gary’s subjects are Western in theme. He considers a statue of Walt Disney one of his best pieces. The bronze was purchased by Disney Corporation. "I have a great deal of admiration for Walt Disney and am in awe of his accomplishments and vision. He had a great sense of showmanship and was an inexhaustible source of wisdom." Another of his favorites is his bust of John Wayne, which was presented to Wayne’s family by the State of Texas as the official state tribute to Wayne. His art is not limited to bronze; it includes cast paper, fountains, paintings and prints. (All are available at http://www.rollerstudio.com or contact him at 1-800-609-7655.)
As a bass player for Michael Martin Murphey, Gary has been afforded the opportunity to not only play the music he loves, but to display his art. "WestFests and concerts are great venues for what I do as a musician and an artist. I enjoy working with Murphey and appreciate what he does to put real Western music back in front of the public. WestFest is a great concept. It’s about the music and the art and preserving tradition. I like being a part of all this."
It's the positive experiences of WestFest on which Gary plans to base the growth of his new studio. Placitas, New Mexico will be the new home of Roller Studio Gallery in the near future. Gary's vision of a gallery that provides a gathering place for art and music has become a reality. "It’s my ultimate dream gig! A place where the public can come and enjoy themselves not just once, but many times over. My wife Carolyn creates custom jewelry and we have several ideas in the works that incorporate her jewelry and my art. It’s very exciting and we are looking forward to presenting these pieces to the public.She works in silver and specialty stones producing one of a kind pieces that are highly prized by collectors. We are excited to have a permanent place to display them with my sculpture and art. We want to promote our culture and believe art and entertainment are key to the Spirit of the West."
The gallery will house Gary's sculpture, paintings, prints and sculpted fountains, as well as the art of other well-known artists and musicians. J.D.Challenger, Amado Pena and Willie Matthews will be among those featured in the gallery along with the works of Michael Martin Murphey and Robert Maribel. "Our vision is to eventually have a chuck wagon theater-type situation...a place where other artists in the community can gather and a place where people can come back over and over to enjoy art and music." Grand opening is scheduled for mid-spring of 2004. Information on the opening will be announced on http://www.rollerstudio.com, on Cowboys-n-Cowgirls.com and right here in the OYS Cowboy Gazette.
Gary’s web site carries many examples of his art. Pieces are available for purchase and new pieces are being introduced on a regular basis. Rollerstudio.com also offers a new Gary Roller Collector’s Society where folks can join and receive many benefits including a newsletter, discounts on Roller Studio Art and events like WestFest, a copy of the Roller Collectors Studio Video, first chance to purchase new releases and an invitation to the annual Society picnic. You can get more information on the web site or contact Gary Roller Collector’s Society, Member Services Center, 2532 Wisconsin NE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87110.
Phone:1-800-609-7655. Email: GAROLL@aol.com . Those things which are ingrained in us when we are young serve as the base on which we build our lives. Gary Roller stepped through the Hoop as a young man and landed in the middle of Tradition. Good teachers set his feet upon a good road and instilled in him the ability to listen to his heart and to interpret his artistic visions in many mediums. His talents and dedication produce art worthy of being a part of Tradition.
Having watched Gary hoop dance at WestFest in Steamboat Springs, I will tell you this; Gary Roller understands the Sacred Hoop. Through his art, his music, his hopes and dreams, his dedication to preserving the Spirits and Traditions of the West, Gary is indeed One with the Hoop. My Father's people believe that the Sacred Hoop endures when we share our visions. Through fine and performing art Gary does exactly that. Art is truly art when it endures. The Hoop endures and is complete when we share. Thanks Gary, for sharing the Dance. Wado.