Working cowboy culture on display in Vail |

Working cowboy culture on display in Vail

Daily staff report
Special to the Daily/ William Matthews"Cold Spurs," 14x10 watercolor

VAIL, Colorado ” Watercolor painter William Matthews is in town for an exhibit at Claggett/Rey Gallery in Vail, Colorado where he’ll be exhibiting more than 15 new pieces. He’ll be at the gallery, located at 100 East Meadow Drive in Vail, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday for a reception.

Matthews’ portrayal of the Nevada Buckaroo cowboys and the working cowboy culture began early on in his career. His long-held respect for their work ethic and skilled horsemanship has remained a steady influence in the artist’s compositions and subject matter.

“William Matthews, like many great artists, is a true student of the arts,” said Tom Bassett, the gallery’s director of sales. “The gallery’s relationship with William grew out of a mutual respect for the ideals of truly fine art in both painting and sculpture.”

The focus of this exhibition will include, for the first time, the Gauchos from the Pampas plains of Argentina based on a recent trip Matthews took to Buenos Aires. The Gaucho culture shares similar characteristics with the Buckaroos. They are self sufficient, often isolated by long stretches of tending cattle and their seasonal migrations. Their individualistic style of dress ” white shirts, brightly colored neck-rags and pants tucked into their boots ” is also akin to the Buckaroos, as well as their being competent and skilled horsemen.

“William Matthews is not only a master watercolorist; he is also an avid collector of fine art and beautiful objects,” Bassett said. “It is this appreciation and true aesthetic sense that is so apparent in the paintings and his choices of subject matter.”

In addition to working cowboy portraits and compositions, depictions of desert landscapes with mountain backdrops and old ranch outbuildings will also be included.

Call 970-476-9350 or visit for more information.

Who: Watercolor painter William Matthews exhibits new work

Where: Claggett/Rey Gallery, 100 E. Meadow Drive, Vail

When: Through March 7. Meet the artist from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.

More information: Call 970-476-9350 or visit

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