The 2015 Calgary Stampede poster artwork, created by artist Oleg Stavrowsky, was revealed at the annual Canvas Auction taking place on Thursday, March 20. The annual auction of chuckwagon tarps used for business advertising, proved to be a suitable venue for the chuckwagon-themed painting. The artwork pays homage to the chuckwagon drivers and horses that have been an integral part of the Stampede for the past 91 years.
“This year, I wanted the insert some action into the poster — and nothing speaks of action more than the chuckwagon races,” says Calgary Stampede Vice-Chairman of the board, Bill Gray.
“The chuckwagon races have been a part of the Stampede since 1923 and are one of the most exciting events during the 10-day Stampede. To capture this iconic event, I chose an artist who has a particular talent for bringing his subjects to life.”
Gray commissioned Stavrowsky to create the piece himself, as it is the official duty of the incoming president to choose a potential artist, and Gray will become Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board in May 2015.
Stavrowsky’s original artwork depicts the thundering chuckwagon races of the Calgary Stampede. The stunning detail in the piece was achieved through Stavrowsky’s three-part process. Initial pencil sketches were completed then he built a wooden “scale model” of wagons for an accurate reference for the painting the figures and horses in the piece are painted from life, real life and real people.
In August of 2013, Stavrowsky was one of the first artists to become a member of the Russell Skull Society of Artists, a new elite group of contemporary western skills.
“Being granted the opportunity to create the artwork for the 2015 Calgary Stampede poster was an honour,” says Stavrowsky. “Western art is my passion; there are so many aspects of western heritage that I could capture. I chose to paint the chuckwagon to represent the spirit and action of the Calgary Stampede.”
The Calgary Stampede has been creating posters for more than 100 years. Although they have now become a collector’s piece, they were originally used as the primary form of promotion for the event.
The 2015 original artwork will be on display at the Western Oasis until it is sold during the Western Art Auction on Thursday, July 10, 2014 in the Palomino Room, BMO Centre. Tickets for the auction can be purchased from the Western Art Sales Desk located in the Western Oasis, BMO Centre.