“Ruckus Rodeo” exhibit opens at the Longmont Museum
Exhibition features celebrated pop artist Red Grooms
Beginning this summer at the Longmont Museum, visitors can explore “Ruckus Rodeo: Pop Art & Cowboy Culture,” an immense walk-through work of art consisting of colorful 3D figures that depict the rodeo at the Fort Worth Stock Show. Internationally-renowned pop artist Red Grooms used wire, canvas, burlap, acrylic paint and fiberglass to construct the work’s larger-than-life rodeo archetypes. Museumgoers will see a rodeo queen and her steed, a bucking bronco, playful rodeo clowns, a giant yellow bull named Butter and much more.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth first commissioned “Ruckus Rodeo” for their 1976 exhibition, “The Great American Rodeo.” In preparation, Grooms attended every rodeo performance during Fort Worth’s 1975 Stock Show and made many sketches. From these studies, Grooms drew a panoramic rodeo scene spanning more than seven feet, which served as the basis for “Ruckus Rodeo.”
Red Grooms is best known for his pop-art constructions depicting chaotic scenes of modern life. His work is included in nearly 40 museums across the world, and, in April 2019, the International Sculpture Center presented him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
“It’s a real coup for the Longmont Museum to showcase this iconic walk-through sculpture by the much-loved artist, Red Grooms,” said Gwen Chanzit, Denver Art Museum Curator Emerita. “The lively work captures the excitement and free-for-all atmosphere of the western rodeo. With its colorful, three-dimensional caricatures of rodeo favorites, the installation is bound to be popular with visitors of all ages—whether regulars at rodeos or never-beens.”
In addition to featuring Grooms’ work, the exhibition also celebrates the grand heritage of the American West with historic objects that weave the story of cowboy culture. A kids’ corral of hands-on activities—including a hobbyhorse obstacle course, lassoing, a large animal veterinarian station and more—bring the rodeo to life.
The exhibition will run June 14, 2019–January 5, 2020.
Thursday, June 13, 7–9 pm
$8 adults, $5 students/seniors, children 3 and under free, Museum members free
Wear your boots and baubles to celebrate cowboy culture and be among the first to experience the new exhibit. Featuring Americana music by Bonnie & Taylor Sims, light appetizers and a cash bar. Buy tickets ahead online longmontmuseum.org, by calling 303-651-8374, or at the door.
Chuck Wagon Dinner & Square Dance
Saturday, June 29, 6–9 pm
$25 adults, $20 students/seniors, $17.50 Museum members
Join us for a good ole fashioned hoedown and some genuine cowboy grub in celebration of our “Ruckus Rodeo” exhibition. Hightail it on over to the Museum to enjoy live fiddle and banjo, square dancing and some tender vittles. Put on your fancy western duds, break out your bolo tie and shine up those boots—prizes awarded for best dressed! Buy tickets online at longmontmuseum.org or by calling 303-651-8374.
Media are invited to take photos during installation June 6–12. Curators are also available for private interviews. Contact Joan Harrold, 303-774-4715, to coordinate.
Red Grooms, Ruckus Rodeo (detail), 1976, mixed media; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; © Red Grooms, Member of Artists Rights Society (ARS)
The Longmont Museum is a center for culture in Northern Colorado where people of all ages explore history, experience art, and discover new ideas through dynamic programs, exhibitions and events. Regional history, internationally-recognized artists, and explorations of culture are all part of the mix of exhibitions at the Longmont Museum. Permanent exhibits document the 14,000 years of human history in Longmont and the people who helped to create this community. Special exhibits in the Museum’s main gallery, Portal Gallery and Swan Atrium change several times a year. Learn more at www.longmontmuseum.org or visit us at 400 Quail Road, Longmont CO 80501.