Three Stampede showriders in bright red and white western wear are featured on the 2023 Calgary Stampede poster, which was unveiled Friday.
Calgary artist Brooklyn Payne said the showriders’ sense of community inspired the poster’s art.
After pouring countless hours into the painting — the artist’s fifth submission to the annual Calgary Stampede Foundation’s youth artist poster competition — Payne was left speechless after being told of the win.
“I didn’t expect it when they told me, but I was overjoyed and speechless,” Payne said.
During this year’s event, Payne was able to meet the showriders at their barn and was encouraged by the trust they put in each other.
“It was largely the atmosphere and community element that I found in the image that attracted me the most. And community is such a big part of what the Stampede is all about,” Payne said.
Payne, who identifies the pronouns they and they use, is a 2022 graduate of the Alberta University of the Arts, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, but they held the Stampede Youth Artist Competition for a fifth year because of the positive experiences since the program started.
“I first applied while I was in my last year of high school and there is a lot of work that goes into this,” they said. “I got better as an artist over that time, and I gained confidence in my abilities and had more fun with this one than the other. I think it shows.”
Growing up in Calgary, they said the Calgary Rush is the backdrop for many memories, and they connect with Western culture because of their ties to farming.
“I paint a variety of things. I tend to do a lot of figurative artwork. It’s all very theatrically inspired, which I think is part of the reason the showriders drew me in specifically. There is something very theatrical about them – they put on shows,” they said.
Payne wants to continue growing their work and is applying for a master’s degree in fine arts.
The winning artist of the youth poster contest receives a $10,000 Dustin Peers Memorial Scholarship, funded by the Brandon Flock Foundation. The foundation also offers an additional $10,000 in scholarships to the top eight artists between them.
The competition also offers successful applicants mentorship opportunities and hands-on learning experiences.
Calgary Stampede first vice-chairman Will Osler said in a news release Friday that the youth poster contest is a commitment to community and youth achievement.
“Having the 2023 poster representing the Stampede Showriders, a dynamic team of young riders, fits perfectly with our commitment to supporting youth. Congratulations to Brooklyn on their beautifully detailed artwork.”
The 2023 Calgary Stampede is scheduled for July 7 to 16.