21 Over 31 | Mejo Okon

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

Mejo Okon is fond of repeating what natives from the Lone Star State often say: “There are two Texases: Texas and West Texas.” Okon moved to West Texas from Indiana three years ago, straight into the heart of ranching country. Since settling there, she has found endless inspiration in cowboys and rodeos. But then again, she has always loved horses and cows. “I grew up when cowboy movies were popular on television,” Okon says. “I still have my boots from when I was 3 years old. And my old cap guns hang in my studio.”

MERTZON COWBOYS originates from a series of photos Okon snapped at a nearby rodeo. When it comes to style of work, Okon is a self-described colorist. “Out here when the sun sets is when I really like to take photographs, because I can capture the extreme shadows, colors, and contrasts,” she says. Okon has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. See more of her work at www.mejookon.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” issue in November 2009