October 21, 2015

Gold Buckle Champion Western Heritage Art Project


The Art of Building a Community

Gold Buckle Champion is excited to introduce two projects for our 2nd annual Western Heritage Art Competition for prizes and scholarships.
The first project is open to school-age kids in Idaho.

In Jan 2015, Idaho ranked amongst the lowest in education and per-pupil spending.  Art has been dropped from early education and offered only at the high school level.   Educators are focused on developing academics, which does not allow the brain to develop its greatest potential fully.  We are confident that our efforts can help these kids develop both sides of their brain to help with recall, analytics, problem-solving, and retention.
Our program gathers volunteer artists to teach the principles and fundamentals of art to volunteers and parents to go to the schools and teach art regularly. We also offer art classes at our location at Karcher Mall for students and volunteers free of charge.

The art projects the kids submit are judged, and they can win scholarships and prizes to further their art interests and education.
Scholarships for best of show, reserve, people's choice, and more in prizes for the top 3 in each category.

The second project is with the Stampede Festival Horses.  All the businesses and individuals of Nampa and Treasure Valley are encouraged to show their support by displaying a decorated horse to show the strength of our community. These are not just limited to business, and everyone is encouraged to participate. Gold Buckle Champion is willing to custom decorate these horses for each business for a donation to our “Legends in the Making” program, which rewards our youth and charities for doing positive things in our community.
We started this project by offering this for kids to decorate to win a classroom makeover. Judging for the kids’ horses is voted on by the community. Our area's four teachers/youth groups will win cash prizes for much-needed projects and supplies to further our children's education.  Prize values will be determined by the sale of the horses.
All horses will be auctioned/sold, and the proceeds will go back to Gold Buckle Champion to fund this project and projects like “Legends in the Making.”

“We are excited to present our Western Heritage in Art through interpretation from our youth.  Many of the art forms from our Western heritage resulted from the original recycling program. Everything was repurposed and reused, and nothing went to waste; leather into saddles and garments, horse hair into belts and reins, plants and seeds into dyes for paints and clothing, and used clothing into quilts, and the list goes on”, quoted Executive Director Sue Marostica.

  • Wood Working
  • Array of images

The drive for this project came from the fact that Idaho’s education is ranked amongst the lowest in the U.S.  Economics has forced most of the arts out of the schools, which we feel is part of the low academic scores in our area. According to the PBS Kids Org, skills learned from the arts are critical in all aspects of learning. It has become a mantra in No Child Left Behind education that, with its pressure to raise test scores, has reduced classroom time devoted to the arts (and everything else besides reading and math). This is supported by contention, but the reality is more complex. Arts education has been slipping for more than three decades due to tight budgets, an ever-growing list of state mandates that have crammed the classroom curriculum, and a public sense that the arts are lovely but not essential.

With the monetary focus of the budget being on left-brain reading and arithmetic, it makes it harder for children to learn.  The right brain focuses on music, color, images, intuition, and creativity.  Children who learn to develop both sides of their brains equally are more inventive, become problem solvers, and have improved academic performance.
 Americans for the Arts state that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair, or to win an award for writing an essay or poem, than children who do not. Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. The children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children often do not. Arts education enables those children to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences.

One of the volunteering artists, Angela Stout, explained her reasons for getting involved,

“As a teacher, I was feeling the need to share my knowledge with local students and heard that the Gold Buckle organization was looking for artists to help them teach the Western Heritage ideals to inspire young artists. What a great opportunity! Though my personal art style is very abstract and may not be considered necessarily Western, the Western Heritage goal of "renew and reuse" is something I feel passionate about. Being an art teacher for more than 12 years has given me a knowledge base in many styles of creating art, and I feel I can contribute greatly to the Gold Buckle organization. The morals and sense of community that is the heritage of a Western upbringing can and should be expressed in art. I look forward to helping out in any way I can.”

The winners of the art contest and the art from the artists who inspired them will be displayed at several events this year.
The Stampede Festival has endorsed this project for its western heritage preservation by providing our youth with horses to decorate to be auctioned in May for our youth program.  In the 1800s, every large ranch held a rodeo or a cutting and invited the entire community to be involved.  With this came the original community networking celebration where everyone shared their wares, which we will experience in full force this July in downtown Nampa.
All the businesses of Nampa are encouraged to show their support by placing a decorated horse out in front of their business to show the strength of our community.  Gold Buckle Champion is willing to custom decorate these horses for each business for a donation to our “Legends in the Making” program, which rewards our youth for doing positive things in their community.

“We want this to be a true example of our Western heritage and the community involvement that made this country strong. We want to include as many Artists, Contestants, Sponsors, and Volunteers as possible and let them be our inspiration,” said Executive Director, Sue Marostica

Gold Buckle Champions is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization….to further the education of equine health and safety while preserving our western heritage and history by promoting equine events that incorporate the youth and community.  Daring everyone to Imagine the Champion within themselves.
Please consider contributing to this tax-deductible cause



Show the Champion in you and make a donation today!
Thank you in advance for your generous donations. Without people like you, organizations like ours would not exist. You have given hope to yet one more generation to experience the values of what made our country great.

To learn more about how you can donate and what programs are influenced by your amazing gift, please visit this page, or click the link below.
Donate here hearts
snow pony
Artist Lisa Bower
Thank you Les Schwab Tires
purple heartThank You Peterson's Stampede Dodge for purchasing the Purple Heart
CowboysThank You Peterson's Stampede Dodge for purchasing "Cowboy"
Kiwanis 2015Thank you Melissa Close for purchasing this for the Nampa Kiwanis Club
Thank you Melissa Close for purchasing this for the Nampa Fire Department
Fire Department 2015Thank you Melissa Close for purchasing this for the Nampa Fire Department
CowboyThank you Melissa Close for purchasing "Country" to show your support of our Community
File_002Thank you Mary Villarreal for purchasing this horse to support our community!
File_003Thank you Mary Villarreal for purchasing this horse by artist Robin Cox for our projects!
Thank You Les Schwab Tires for purchasing the School Makeover Winner and sponsoring the Dummy Roping Contest
Blue & orangeThank You Julene Dodd for supporting our youth and community!
John Deere 2015Thank You Dan Campbell and Campbell Tractor for supporting our "Legends in the Making"
BudwiserThank you Chris for purchasing Budweiser for our community
Book of LifeThank You Andy Rodriquez for purchasing "Book of Life" to show your support of our Community
NHA CustomThank You Andy Rodriquez and Nampa Housing Authority for showing your support for our community.
Thank you Les Schwab Tires
Artist Angela Stout - Paintings by AKS
Thank you Peterson's Stampede Dodge
Artist Sue Marostica
Thank you Peterson's Stampede Dodge
Artist Robin Cox
Thank you Peterson's Stampede Dodge
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