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The Western Art Rodeo Association introduced the World’s First Sport Featuring Art – Art Rodeo – at Sundance last weekend.

It was a huge success for everyone involved, including the High School educators and students that were recognized on stage.

High School Participants with WARA Staff on Stage at SundanceCraig Hansen, art educator and WARA member, shared his thoughts about the WARA Spring Challenge and we wanted to share his message with you.

From Craig Hansen –

For an emerging artist and art educator, the camaraderie found by the established artists of such a high caliber, was worth its weight in judged prize money for both myself and my students. I was thoroughly impressed by the friendly attitude and helpfulness by the professional artists in critiquing the work of both myself and my students.

As an art educator, I found the atmosphere to require several days of soaking in the quality, styles, and media of the work of such talented artists to show my students the direction, with time spent what they can achieve. What complimented the media on display was the camaraderie these professional artists had with each other and how they shared those qualities with me and my students. Several of them critiqued both my work as an exhibiting artist, passed along information about other shows for my artwork to be submitted to and critiqued the work of my students. In addition to the critiques, we were invited to artist studios and arranged for another artist to visit our classroom this fall, so the influence of the WARA Sundance Spring Challenge will continue with us long after the show ended.

One artist commented on how he comes to the show, expecting to have his pieces win, and then he sees the caliber of the work which pushes him farther for the next show and has the same reaction and motivation to continue improving his artwork year after year.

Wes and I commuted back and forth, just over two hours each way each day and had a lot of time to discuss the show and its effects on us.

I felt more appreciated by you as an art educator and what I do with my students than I have over the last fourteen years as an educator.

I feel sorry for the other schools to not take advantage of the opportunities we had as my students were showered in praise and gained quite an education from Jerry Anderson, Darwin Dower, Patricia Griffin, Robert Lee, Joe Cummings, Craig Hone, Lanny Hathaway, Brent Flory, Ronald Wilkinson and Dyke Roskelley.

Thank you,

Craig Hansen

Delta High School

Special thanks to Craig for sharing his thoughts about the WARA and the artists involved. A key component to the WARA’s mission is to involved youth in art in an effort to create younger artists, art enthusiasts and art collectors.

The Western Art Rodeo Association is proud to have Craig Hansen as a member.

Artwork by Don Weller

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Artwork by Don Weller

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