Photo by Jennifer Dennison/Western Horseman
The 2016 Wrangler Brannaman Pro-Am Vaquero Roping will for the second year in a row play host to the Fusion Show & Sale. Subtitled “Creativity Within Constraints,” Fusion is a western art/tack show. Custom-crafted pieces by skilled artisans are featured and reflect a central theme that will change each year.
The Fusion works are displayed on-site during the roping event. All the pieces are for sale during the show and also may be viewed and purchased online through the recently revamped Fusion website: www.fusionshowandsale.com.
“Last year I was blown away by the response to the entire show,” says Nevada Watt, Fusion’s creator. “It was definitely a different style of show and held at a different venue than most things like that. We sold over 50 percent of the pieces—10 out of 18 of the headstalls that were there. I was really happy for that.”
Last year’s “constraint” stipulated that the pieces all had to be headstalls. Other than that one requirement, the leather and silver work were wide-open artistically. An extensive spectrum of silver work on the headstalls ranged among many themes including floral patterns, feathers, birds, and even a rather outlandish pin-up girl sitting atop a skull.
“I really think the people liked the interactive aspect of Fusion,” Nevada says. “I had canvases [set up next to the pieces in the gallery] that people could write comments on about all the headstalls.”
Nevada sent the canvasses to the makers after the show closed so they could enjoy the notes and impressions that folks had shared.
“I think the makers really appreciated that,” she says. “I had a lot of people contact me and ask if I was going to do it again, and I am.
“The whole premise of Fusion is ‘creativity within constraints,’ so this year the constraint is actually a price point. This year everything has to retail for $2500 or under, and it can be any kind of piece. I just wanted to see what kind of reaction we got from a price point and leaving it wide open.”
Entries for the Fusion show close on June 1st. All the pieces have to be to Nevada by September 15th. To contact Nevada about participating in Fusion use the contact page on her website: www.nevadawatt.com.
“The display aspect this year is going to be a lot more intensive because all of the pieces are going to be different,” Nevada says. “I put a note into the makers and said that this is at a roping so people that are there primarily are going to be people that are using gear so it might be helpful to keep that in mind. It can be silver, leather, rawhide, mohair—the only stipulation I put is that it be western craftsmen.”
The dates this year are October 20-23. On the morning of the 20th, the show will open both on-site and online.
“We’ll have pictures of the pieces up before [the sale begins], but you can’t purchase them until the opening day of the show to allow people to have the opportunity to but them in person as well,” Nevada says. “It’s in a separate building—there are the two arenas for the roping, there’s a big barn and outdoor tent for the trade show, and then there’s another little side building that Fusion is held in. So they are on display throughout the whole weekend during the day. The pieces will be for sale online for six months following the 23rd—so they will be online until April 23rd.”