Nave Museum exhibit mixes art, culture (video)

Camille Doty

Aug. 23, 2012 at 3:23 a.m.
Updated Aug. 24, 2012 at 3:24 a.m.

On Thursday, people brought their boots early to downtown Victoria.

Members and prospective ones stomped through the Nave Museum for the Art of the Hoof! exhibit, which displays the unique cattle ranching story in the coastal bend.

The portraits depict a part of the culture that helped mold Texas history.

Although some ladies were dressed in their after-five dress, cowboys flashed their best belt buckles.

The yodels of Cowboy Randy Erwin livened up the crowd. The 55-year-old Ganado native entangled the audience with his undeniable range.

Erwin's roping techniques and stage presence has landed him shows in Alaska, Great Britain and Canada. He now lives in Springfield, Ill.

His versatility has allowed him to perform at The Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall and serve as the Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon. The famed yodeler has performed 100 shows this year alone.

"It's just a lot of fun. It doesn't feel like work," he said.

Museum Executive Director Amy Leissner invited Erwin to Victoria for three days to creatively introduce the new showcase as well as round up new members.

She later discussed privileges of joining the Victoria Regional Museum Association Inc., including free admission to the museum and special event invitations.

The father of two will perform at noon Friday at the DeLeon Plaza and at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Victoria Mall.

Ranching families donated oil canvases, rustic spurs, and rifles to the seven-week exhibit. All the elements were intertwined with a local connection.

"You won't see this art anywhere else," Leissner said.

Gary Dunnam said the pieces passed some time warp along the way. He explained the origins of the selection while using some down-home humor.

"Once I tell the story, it's going to be true," he said.

One Longhorn head was given the nickname, "Randy." The legendary ranch animal was notoriously known for hopping the fences and breeding with first class heifers. "He (Randy) was eventually turned into a cowhide rug," Dunnam said. Everyone laughed.

Erwin said he was delighted to return to the Lone Star State. Although, he said he doesn't miss the heat or humidity, he does pine for Texas-sized hospitality.

The award-winning vocalist said he lent his talent to a noteworthy cause.

"It's one of the most important parts of the history of Victoria," he said.



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