Verne Rainey: Generation to Generation
Riding & Roping, A Kittitas County Way of Life
July 23 - Sept 5 2022

1st Friday Reception and Benefit for County Roping Club

Jerry Anderson Memorial Education Scholarship

August 5, 5-7 PM

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Curator's Notes:

Verne Rainey has been documenting the Cowboys of Kittitas County for years.  His photos go beyond our Hollywood notions of the cowboy. 

In Rainey’s photos an intimate, expansive story emerges.    Rainey, through his documentation, reveals an important aspect of Ranch life in Kittitas county- The Spring Roundup.

As Mike Allen points out in his book, “Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination,” roundup, with all its work- hard riding, roping, branding and doctoring of sick calves- is enthusiastically anticipated.  It’s a time to catch up with friends, swap stories, and have a good feed and a few beers.

Rainey’s people, men and women, young and old, participate in the roundup.  They ride hard. Display incredible roping skills, and tussle with the calves, inoculating, tagging and branding. Working together, within the dusty chaos, noise and muscular resistance of cattle, the job gets done.  Round up has purpose.  It’s about work, skill, learning and family. 

The roundup may be the backbone of rodeo but with a subtle difference.  Rodeo is individualistic, the round up is a collaboration. 

Rainey shows us the Kittitas kids watching, learning to throw a rope at an early age and preparing for the life ahead.  He gives us a glimpse into one of the best events in Kittitas County, The Junior Rodeo.  Rainey has captured the energy, seriousness and determination of these aspiring athletes; and the fun.

Rainey’s photos reveal the important elements that keep the Kittitas County ranching life alive.


416 N Pearl Street, Ellensburg, WA 98926

Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 5 pm

Saturday 11 am - 3 pm

509 962 6416

Closed January 1, Thanksgiving & December 25