Boots, chickens and rodeo: a Bashaw artist’s odyssey to help stampede cowboys

Bashaw artist Laurie Hall created a work of poultry art for the Cowboy Kicks event held in Red Deer Mar. 18. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Stu Salkeld

Bashaw artist Laurie Hall created a work of poultry art for the Cowboy Kicks event held in Red Deer Mar. 18. ECA Review/Submitted

A Bashaw artist has been boosted by artistic efforts to help rodeo cowboys, and it’s all due to chickens on cowboy boots.

Bashaw artist Laurie Hall recently took part in Cowboy Kicks, a special fundraising event to benefit the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team (CPRSMT) March 18 in Red Deer, which centred on purpose-built fibreglass cowboy boots to be auctioned off. Hall’s efforts raised $7,000 for the rodeo charity.

Cowboy Kicks was an evening of art, entertainment and benefit at Westerner Park, although the COVID pandemic delayed the event more than once. Hall stated she was flattered to be offered a chance to paint for the event.

The auction was planned to benefit CPRSMT, a group that helps rodeo athletes with their health.

Hall stated her interest was piqued when she noticed a callout for artists for the Cowboy Kicks event on social media. Hall sent the organizers a selection of her work that induced animals and cars and “…they said they really liked my chickens,” said Hall in a phone call March 31.

Hall noted planning out images for the boot was one challenge, but just getting the huge fibreglass footwear home was another. “It barely fit in the back of my car,” she said.

The artist said she was inspired to create her boot design with a chicken romance, and benefited from the input of other Bashaw artists, which she greatly values. But the boot definitely had a fowl story to tell. “I knew I was going to put the chickens on,” she said.
The artist noted that the night of the auction was a bit nerve-wracking for her, as she wasn’t sure people would appreciate the wry humour of her work, but those worries were unfounded.

After all was said and done Cowboy Kicks raised about $300,000 for the CPRSMT.

She noted that art lovers of all kinds should mark down May 1 on their calendar, that’s when the Bashaw Art Club will hold their charity benefit sale.

One Cowboy Kicks experience Hall said she will remember is the accomplishment of seeing her work sell at the auction for a final bid of $7,000.

Seeing the final tally of her boot’s price brought one reaction from the artist: “…crying my eyes out, just absolutely sobbing,” added Hall.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.