The Sweetheart of the Rodeo is coming to the National Day of the Cowboy collectible poster series! Artist Jo Mora’s iconic cowgirl image will grace an NDOC 2011 Hatch poster. Not a typo – it is indeed for the year 2011, the one year we had to skip in our series due to a lack of funds.
We were recently contacted by Peter Hiller, the trustee of Jo Mora’s art estate, and asked if we would like to use a piece of Mora’s work for a poster in our collection. Mora's "Sweetheart" has been a favorite of mine ever since I first saw her many years ago. I even sew baby quilts out of vintage fabric with her image on the cloth, so I was more than excited to be offered the opportunity to make her a part of the NDOC. Also, many of you will remember seeing her on the cover of The Byrds’ 1968 seminal country rock album, "The Sweetheart of the Rodeo." That was the album in which Gram Parsons was a new member of the Byrds, joining Chris Hillman, Roger McQuinn and Kevin Kelly. Before she graced the cover of The Byrds’ album she was the focal point on Mora’s work known as "The Evolution of the Cowboy."
Joseph Jacinto Mora (1878-1947) was born in Uruguay, but his family moved to New York when he was a small boy. He grew up in New York and New Jersey, including attending art school in the east, as well as working as an illustrator in the Boston area. But as fate would have it, one day Buffalo Bill Cody came to town with his Wild West Show and Mora was forever after captivated by the lure and magic of the American west. He subsequently moved west, including spending time in Arizona living among the Hopi Indians. Mora also lived in Carmel and Pebble Beach, California, where he was recognized as a gifted artist in a wide range of mediums; a painter, sculptor, cartoonist, illustrator, cartographer, wood carver and writer.
All of our NDOC commemorative posters , with the exception of the 2005, feature the artwork of a different artist from a different state. Each piece has a unique color scheme and a theme which supports the image. Our growing list of talented artists contributing to this project include; Jennifer Ward of Arizona 2006, Texas artist, Teal Blake 2007, Zane Mead of New Mexico 2008, Christina Holmes 2009 California, Florida’s Jim Harrison 2010, Kansas artist Jim Clements 2012, Utah’s Don Weller in 2013, and the artwork of Oklahoma’s Tyler Crow’s on our 10th Annual National Day of the Cowboy 2014. In recent years, we’ve asked each artist to sign a limited number of the posters that feature their art. We then offer those for sale at an additional cost. For the Jo Mora poster, we’ll be offering 50 of the posters numbered and including the official Jo Mora “estate stamp".
The sale of these posters is one of our main fundraising projects. Every poster is still made from hand-carved woodblocks and is hand-cranked on a press just as Hatch Show Print Letterpress has been doing since 1879. Poster revenue helps us keep the National Day of the Cowboy campaign moving forward and growing. This project will help us raise the funds for the 2011 Hatch Poster to commemorate the 7th Annual National Day of the Cowboy which was July 23rd, 2011 and thus, fill in the one gap in our project.
To date, we have secured permanent passage of the National Day of the Cowboy bill through the legislatures of WY, CA, NM, AZ, OK, OR, MS and KS; awarding permanent status to the 4th Saturday in July as a day to celebrate pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. We intend to keep going until all 50 states have officially joined in.
The NDOC flag flies in 30 states and six countries and traveled to the International Space station aboard the Discovery Space Shuttle. It flew over the barracks of our Desert Cowboys in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
NDOC celebrations take place from coast to coast and have also been organized in England, Wales, Canada, Italy and Lebanon. There were more than fifty NDOC events coast to coast in 2014.
Our goal is to permanently establish the National Day of the Cowboy in all 50 states and in as many countries as possible. Although we are an all volunteer organization, we have significant ongoing operating costs. This remains a grassroots effort, with no corporate sponsors or major donors. Please help us continue by purchasing one, any, or all of our posters. We're very proud of this unique collection of western themed NDOC Hatch posters and proud of the past ten years in which we've worked to preserve and honor this aspect of our heritage.
- Robert w Orth
- KIM CAMPBELL
- KIM CAMPBELL