Arizona Cowgirl: The Next Generation by Charles King
Gallery 4 is now showing Arizona Cowgirl: The Next Generation, the latest exhibition by Arizona photographer Charles King. On display are large, black and white prints depicting Charles’ love for the traditions of the American West through the new generation of Arizona cowgirls.
All Images by Charles King
As a child, I was fascinated by stories of Cowboys and settlers exploring the Western Frontier, as it gave me the chance to dream of what life was like in the Old West. This photographic series, Arizona High School Cowgirl represents an escape into the history of an American Western tradition. The images capture the energy, determination and the commitment of the Cowgirls to the traditions of the American West.
My photographs portray the spirit of the Cowgirls and their dedication to the beliefs and history of this American Western tradition. I chose to focus on the Cowgirls because of their visible love and respect for the traditions of the rodeo. The Cowgirls epitomize the values that represent the foundation of the American West, ideals fading from today’s culture.
The dreams from my youth may have faded but my fascination with the Western heritage has not. The moments captured in this series individually and collectively represent a time society seems to have forgotten. The intent is to bring the viewer back to a time when men and women worked from sunrise to sunset, a time when honor and integrity were not just words; they were words to live by. They represent a time when your word was your bond and your handshake was firm. The cowgirls of the Arizona High School Rodeo Association represent all that is good about the west; they represent the best of American Values.