Strathmore native Bret Kenworthy has enjoyed every minute of creating the Strathmore Stampede’s posters for the past four years.
“The first one was inspired by a video game called Red Dead Redemption and I used a font called Chinese rocks and I based it off of that for an outlaw feel,” said Kenworthy.
The second posters origin was to depict the rodeo energy with powerful animals such as the bulls.
“The 2013 one was with the bull jumping into the fire. I wanted to capture the energy of the rodeo and I know the bull riders are the main attraction,” said Kenworthy.
“Nothing is more fierce then fire, so having a bull jump through fire was pretty cool.”
With fire being the theme of the 2013 stampede poster, Kenworthy wanted to carry over the fire, and for contrast he put that into the 2014 edition of the poster.
“I was thinking what can contrast with fire, red was very hot, so I wanted to go with the blue theme. So this year’s poster I went with a lightning theme which is kind of the same energy,” said Kenworthy.
“There is a couple of photos we applied with it and ended up being the one with the chucks.”
Kenworthy admits the 2015 poster is the one with the most country feeling to it.
“For this upcoming year there was a new general manager and they wanted to go back to the country roots and what really sparked it was home town boys, Denver and Dawson Johnson” said Kenworthy.
“The guys came down and we sat around for five to six hours taking photos. We really went with a dust and dirt, gritty lifestyle.”
This was Kenworthy’s first time doing the cowboy themed posters. His previous work included other sport themes like hockey.
“I normally deal with hockey. I only do western once a year and that is for the Strathmore Stampede,” said Kenworthy.
The pop-culture approach displays a rebellious attitude in the stampede paintings and that is what Kenworthy is hoping to depict in his posters.
“I look for relations to pop culture. When some one see’s the new poster I hope they see some kind of western movie; for example, in the very first one I wanted to use the Chinese rock that they used for the video game and I hope it was going to give off that same rebel attitude.”
The 2015 poster is a piece that reflects how much of his own vision was used to produce a phenomenal image for the next year’s stampede
“It has been a real pleasure being able to work with photography. I went in not knowing the image, but when I saw it, the poster all came together,” said Kenworthy.
“I feel like this was my favourite poster and it does the most for speaking to the western vibe and staying classic, but staying modern at the same time.”
The 2015 Stampede poster was auctioned off at a volunteer banquet to Jack and Patty Stewart for $3,000.