The Western Way of Life: Bradley Chance Hays

"My mom is a high school art teacher. I grew up around her doing a lot of illustration work for greeting cards and children's books. I thought it was real organic and I liked it a lot and I wanted to pursue that career as an artist."

Bradley Chance Hays, better known as Chance, grew up with a pencil in one hand and a rope in the other.

"My father was a rodeo cowboy and their family did rodeo and I've always been around horses."

From then on he mastered the sport of rodeo and fine tuned his art skills. Now, his art tells the story of the plains of the Texas Panhandle to the mountains of Colorado.

"Obviously I rodeo professionally, so I enjoy the aesthetics of the west, but I usually paint or do larger oils and water colors a little different pattern than some of your traditional western paintings."

His contemporary style of western art even caught the eye of an Olympic athlete.

"I was just commissioned to do a painting for MiKaela Shiffren who won the slalom in Sochi."

Chance says he's inspried by what he experiences in his travels.

"I was staying in Colorado at the hotel Roosevelt and I was influenced by that quite a bit. This is a painting of him playing polo right outside Glenwood Springs back in the early days before it was developed along the river."

The colors and styles Chance combines in his paintings show the way he feels about the western lifestyle. 

"When I paint, it's what I want people to see. Last year I made the PRCA Mountain State Circuit Finals up in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Enjoyed rodeoing in Wyoming and Colorado, was inspired by some of the scenery along the way, turned into being nice pieces of art. I'll be painting out side in the Canyon. Even though it won't necessarily be the Palo Duro Canyon, the color still inspires me."

Even though rodeo has come naturally to Chance and he plans on competing in the rodeo circuit, he relies on his artwork as his livelihood.

"It's my soul. I enjoy painting and drawing and if I did anything it would be continue to do art. Rodeo, and training horses and training working cow dogs being outside-it's a nice release from the studio and painting, and it's a good way to get out and see and do it and be apart of it. I feel like when you sit down and do it and paint, it comes out easier after you've been out and see it. It gives people an idea that I'm working around ideas." 

Chance will be holding an art show and sale at Crouch Fine Art Gallery in the Sunset Center. 25% of each painting that's sold will go to the High Plains Children's Home.

The Contemporary West

- May 24

- 7 to 10 p.m.

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