Arts & Culture / January 31, 2014

New Exhibit Highlights Gay Rodeo

Jill Sheridan
New Exhibit Highlights Gay Rodeo

A new exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art offers an intimate look inside the world of the gay rodeo circuit in the late 1980s and early '90s. 

"Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo" is a collection of 41 black and white images depicting this sometimes ignored section of American Western culture.

Twenty-five years ago Los Angeles based photographer Blake Little became immersed in the scene.

"Part of what really drew me to the rodeo was the comraderie," says Little, "and having a singular purpose in a competition together and having that as being out as gay men was really unique and special."

The shots are a mix of striking portraits and candid moments that display the closeness of the gay rodeo community while focusing on the seriousness of the sport.  This picture from Little's website show one cowboy comforting another. 

Independent curator Gregory Hinton produced the show.

"He came to me four years ago and said 'I remember your pictures and I'd like to come take a look at them,' and he came and looked at them," says Little, "they were actually in a file cabinent and the only place they'd ever been seen was in some local magazines."

The exhibit is on display through July at the Eiteljorg as part of the museum's Out West series highlighting the diversity of the American West.