Artzainak: A Life of Solitude & Hard Work

(April 2013-present)

Artzainak (sheepherders) focuses on why sheepherding was such an important part of the Basque immigration story and their entry into the workforce in the American West. Life as an Artzain (sheepherder) was tiring and lonely, for weeks the herders would be alone in the hills tending to sheep. Artzainak: A Life of Solitude & Hard Work depicts the everyday lives of these herders, both on the ranch and in the wilderness. The exhibit features photographs taken by local photographer Jan Boles of the Aldecoa and Son sheep ranch, alongside other tools of the trade. Take a look inside an authentic sheepwagon, a place where many Basques herders spent several months at a time living while they were in the hills. The exhibit also features arborglyphs, or tree carvings, made by Basque sheepherders while they spent their days in the wilderness with their sheep.