Creatively country

Artists from across the region participated in the third annual event

by: Shelby Case/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Marianne Fellmer of Tumalo looks at some silent auction items at Sunday's Ochoco Western Arts Round-Up.

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition presented its third annual Ochoco Western Arts Round-Up on Sunday at the Crook County Fairgrounds indoor arena. The event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., attracted more than 100 art-lovers throughout the day.
   Gayle Hunt of the Wild Horse Coalition estimated the turn-out was about the same as last year's show and acknowledged her appreciation of all those who came out on the chilly April day.
   "I'm proud of that. Given the economy and the price of fuel, it's encouraging," she said.
   Artists from across the region, as well as elementary-aged children, participated in the art show, which showcased all mediums of western art, from paintings to decorative mirrors and leatherwork.
   The round-up kicked off with cowboy church at 9 a.m. and continued throughout the day with western-influenced entertainment.
   "We had the entertainment going all day," Hunt said. "We had cowboy church from 9 to 10, and that was entertaining because we had a great band with Ramona Truman, Dave Hulick and the gang. There were some real quality acts. I'm really pleased with the willingness of our area musicians to do that for us, because they don't get paid anything."
   Tom McFarland of Colorado, a member of the Fiddlin' Foresters, was also on hand to perform his old-time string music inspired by the Rocky Mountain region.
   "[The Fiddlin' Foresters] are a long-standing national group, comprised mostly of Forest Service employees, and he's a world class musician and a fine entertainer," Hunt said.
   The event also brought cowboy poetry, a silent auction, and other assorted old west fare to the fairgrounds.
   At the end of the day, $2,100 was cleared in donations, and Hunt mentioned she was very happy with the contributions.
   "I understand that people don't have discretionary income right now," she said. "We are more than happy with that.very pleased."
   The proceeds from the Western Arts Round-Up will support a mustang show that is set to occur at the fairgrounds in July.
   "There are a lot of expenses that are incurred with getting the world's best wild horse trainers to help solve problems for people, and if we can solve problems, that furthers adoptions," Hunt said.
   "We're going to try to improve upon it every year, and we
   really appreciate the support," she said.