Carmen Winter is jumping at the opportunity to paint a cowboy boot that’s almost as tall as her for the second straight year.
The Red Deer artist, who runs Two Sky Art and Design, is one of 10 individuals creating designs on paintable fibreglass cowboy boots – four of the artists will paint the four-foot tall boots, while the other six will paint smaller 1.5-foot tall boots.
These boots will be sold off during Cowboy Kicks on May 18 to raise money for the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association in Ponoka and the Westerner Foundation.
Last year, Winter painted large and small boots for Cowboy Kicks. Her large boot, which was paired with a special night out at Red Deer Polytechnic, raised $32,000 through auction.
“I remember sitting there in the upper part of the stands (during the auction),” Winter told The Advocate on Friday.
“The number kept going up and I said to my friend, ‘I think they’re making a mistake. They must be saying that wrong.’ It got past $10,000 and I was thinking they must’ve meant $1,000. By the time they got to $32,000 I was just sobbing.”
Winter said her experience working with the organizers and people involved in Cowboy Kicks encouraged her to get involved again this year.
“They have been the best organization I’ve ever worked for as an artist,” she said, adding the events gives her the chance to give back to the community.
Last year’s Cowboy Kicks raised money for the Westerner Foundation and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team. Members of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team showed Winter a ton of support when her boot auctioned for so much money, she noted.
“When they heard it raised $32,000, they all came running over, and were screaming and jumping up and down with me. That connection, where I get to meet the people we’re raising money for, is just amazing. When they asked me to apply again I was like, ‘Heck yes,’” she said.
The theme for this year’s boot is “storm.” Winter hinted her new design will feature some electronics.
“In the art that I do through Two Sky, I use a lot of LEDs and light with sculptures. I was thinking about how to beat $32,000 – you either make it walk, talk or light up. I can’t make it walk or talk, but I definitely know I can make it light up.”
Winter will unveil her new boot design on social media when it is complete. Keep an eye on www.facebook.com/twoskyart for the reveal.
Cowboy Kicks will also feature live performances by Nice Horse and The Prairie States.
For more information on the second edition of the event, visit www.westernerpark.ca/events/679-cowboy-kicks.