Palen Wins Wyoming’s Governor’s Arts Award
Jerry Palen, the artist behind STAMPEDE, the most reproduced and popular rural cartoon series in the United States and Canada, will be honored February 13, 2009 for his contributions to the arts at the 27th Annual Governor Arts Awards banquet in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Governor Freudenthal commented about Palen’s ever popular STAMPEDE series and the characters ELMO and FLO, “In the case of Jerry Palen, his particular mode of expression allows us to laugh at ourselves and somehow gain a greater appreciation for our western way of life.”
Not only is Jerry Palen an acclaimed cartoonist, he is also an accomplished bronze artist whose works grace many public and private museums and grounds, including the state Capitol, the Cheyenne regional airport and the University of Wyoming. Every President since Jimmy Carter has requested artwork from the soft-spoken Palen, who is known for his infectious laugh and funny stories on himself. Unlike most artists today, who use a camera, Jerry depends solely on a sketchpad and a small watercolor set to record what he sees.
When asked about the award, he shrugged, laughed and said; “I couldn’t have done it without looking over the shoulder of every farmer and rancher everyday for the past 35 years!” Watch out rural America, Jerry’s out there somewhere with his note pad.
Other recipients are the Park County Arts Council, Cody, Wyo.; Diane Springford, Lander, Wyo.; and Tandem Productions, Sheridan, Wyo.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.