Show Preview | Star Liana York

Santa Fe, NM
Sorrel Sky Gallery, August 3-31

Star Liana York, Spring Snow, bronze.

Star Liana York, Spring Snow, bronze.

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Since she was a child growing up on the East Coast, sculptor Star Liana York has admired the strong, self-assured character of the iconic American cowboy and cowgirl. “As Americans, we’ve always identified with that rugged individualism, which I think is at our core, no matter where you’re from in this country,” says York, who now lives in New Mexico. This month the award-winning artist pays tribute to cowboys and cowgirls in a solo show at Sorrel Sky Gallery in Santa Fe, NM, where more than 10 new and rereleased bronze sculptures are on view. The show opens on Friday, August 3, with an artist’s reception at 5 p.m.

York, a passionate horsewoman who learned to ride as a teenager, showcases several pieces inspired by her early counterparts: the vaudeville cowgirls who starred in the old Wild West shows at the turn of the 20th century. “I love reading their stories about what it was like to go traveling around, doing these extreme performances like trick riding,” says the artist, whose figurative portrayals capture their timeless confidence and valor. “Just seeing these women do these things, I really think it was inspiring for other American women to realize that they could also follow their hearts to be what they wanted to be,” York adds.

Also on display are classic depictions of the working cowboy. One rereleased piece, titled BRANDING FIRE, features a rancher caught in the rain while working out on the range. “He’s trying to get a fire started, yet there’s a contented smile on his face because he’s doing the work he loves,” notes York. “There’s a great inner peace that comes with that.”

Other themes emerge in the show, too, from the bonds between riders and their horses to York’s love for the Southwest, where she works with her own horses, dogs, and a small herd of cattle on her ranch near Abiquiu, NM. “All of that [experience] becomes a feeling I can bring to my works that I can’t just get from a photograph,” she says. While the sculptor has portrayed a variety of subject matter throughout her 46-year career, from wildlife to Native American figures, she notes that all her pieces express “what we all seek: a sense of pride and uniqueness.” —Kim Agricola

contact information
505.501.6555
www.sorrelsky.com

This story was featured in the August 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art August 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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