Lampshire wins at Cheyenne Depot Museum
Fort Collins, Colo.
Ross Lampshire, of Loveland, Colo., recently won first place in the Western Heritage Project at The Depot Museum located in downtown Cheyenne. The contest was part of an ongoing project sponsored by the Museum for the Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation.
As a fund-raiser, the museum has been running a series of projects since 2004. It started with artists painting on large 8-foot tall fiberglass boots. The next segment was done in 2006, with life-size, 16-inch-tall fiberglass boots. The most recent part of the project was painting on the medium of the artist’s choice. Lampshire chose to work on a 24-by-36-inch canvas. The theme was to portray the images the artist would use if they were painting a large boot.
Lampshire’s winning submission was titled “Horses, An Enduring Independence” and its subject was images of the wild horse herds found on the BLM lands near Craig, Colo. As a fund-raiser, the museum will be selling prints of the painting and auctioning the original on e-bay.
Ross has been involved in the Museum Foundation Project since its beginning in 2004, and has recently been named as an Official Artist for the Depot Museum. In addition to his most recent win, Lampshire’s work for the museum includes painting a giant boot, two pairs of life-sized boots, and a steam locomotive that sits in front of the museum.
Lampshire has been very successful painting the large boots. “I got into the Project at the last moment. I was surprised that my rough sketch was chosen by a sponsor, the American National Bank in Cheyenne.” The sponsors could then bid on any of the boots that were entered, with the proceeds of the auction going to support the Depot Museum. “They got into a bidding war and my boot went up to almost $14,000 before American National finally won it. It was the highest priced boot when the deal was done.”
Ross went on to say, “I had such a good time with it that I signed up to do the ‘life sized boots’ and then through the Museum Foundation, I have gotten other boot commissions.” Lampshire has done an 8-foot boot for a truck stop in Nebraska in conjunction with the “Boots Along I-80”, and two 6-foot boots for the Houston Stock Show. His most recent projects were an 8-foot boot and a life-size Texas Longhorn. The boot was done to illustrate a very popular book by James P. Owen titled “Cowboy Ethics” and the Longhorn was done for the Paragon Foundation. In the working stages are two boots for LCCC and two boots that will find a home in Spokane, Wash.
The large boots are 8 feet high and 8 feet from the tip of the toe to the end of the spur. They are cast in fiberglass and the entire surface is painted by the artist using separate images to illustrate a theme. Because the boots are displayed outdoors, they have to be able to resist fading and adverse weather conditions. To make them permanent, Ross paints his boots using automotive enamels.
From the huge to the very small, Lampshire has been very successful. He is also an artist for the Trail of Painted Ponies. This hugely popular line of collector horses is painted by talented artists from across the country and sold in retail outlets such as Dillard’s and Corral West. The signed/numbered edition of his highly prized and sought after, “Dream Warrior” has been sold out, but because “Dream Warrior” has been so popular, production editions are still available.
Lampshire also does original ponies that can be viewed on his website (www.rosslampshirephotography.com).
Besides being a very talented and successful artist, Lampshire is also a sculptor, working mostly in bronze. It was his sculptures that lead him into bull ridding. Ross started riding with Kevin Rich on the hill in Windsor in 1992.
“I was doing a bronze of Kevin and I wanted to experience bull riding first hand. Ron Rich put me on a bull and I lasted about 2 seconds, but it was fun and I kept doing it.” Lampshire had 52 professional rides when he decided to retire.
When asked why he decided to retire, Lampshire said, “I had two fractures of my back, one from karate (4th degree black belt) and one from bull riding. My last get-off was a pretty bad one and I was slow to recover. By then, I was almost 40 and I knew it was not going to get any better, so I figured it was a good time to retire.”
Ross didn’t completely walk away from rodeo. Instead he began to compete (and win) at King of the Ring at the Sundance and also became a PRCA Photographer.
With his artistic talents and business acumen (MBA, CSU), there is little doubt that Lampshire will become even more successful as an artist or whatever new project he takes on.
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