How to be an Arts Champion

Fiddlers. Break dancers. Painters. Sculptors. Singers.

130 young people armed with brass and kettle drums.

Calgary Fiddlers

The Telus Youth Arts Showcase was an inspiring start to the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.

As the Calgary Stampede Showband, joined by the Stetson and Round Up bands thundered “Jubilateo” (commissioned for the Showband as part of the 2012 Stampede Centennial celebrations) to open the lunch, I couldn’t help but feel a little humbled by all the time and passion that these young people, their instructors and their parents invested to bring them to that moment.

Stampede Showband

The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions “celebrates the transformative power of the arts, building momentum for the future.”

Arts Showcase_Pulse Studios

If we believe that arts are a vital part of any vibrant community, how can we support? How can we be an arts champion?

In her welcome message, Patti Pon, president & CEO of Calgary Arts Development and chair of the Stampede Community Projects and Development volunteer committee writes:

“[Arts champions] see the arts as a good thing, as something of value, as a way to make discoveries to connect with others, to celebrate life, and to make meaning about what it is to be alive. They see arts as a way to develop youth into their best selves and to help tell our stories in the world.”

Youth Showcase

Did you know that Calgary Arts Development invested in 150 arts organizations on behalf of the City of Calgary in 2015 alone? Wow.

When I started working for Stampede, I had no idea how invested the organization is in the arts.

Stampede invests in youth development programs like the Stampede Showband and The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Did you know that every one of the participants in these programs is given a scholarship by the Calgary Stampede Foundation?

The new Youth Campus will be a hub for creativity—as home to the Calgary Opera, Calgary Arts Academy in addition to the aforementioned youth programs.

The Public Art volunteer committee works to bring public art works that tell the story of our western heritage—they have brought works like Outlaw to the community, and By the Banks of the Bow to Stampede Park. They will unveil a new artwork in ENMAX Park this May.

Western Showcase committee brings Western Canada’s largest Western Art Show to Stampede each year, showcases crafts, culinary arts and runs an artist-in-residence program throughout the year.

Youth Talent Search gives young people the chance to showcase their craft and winners get access to incredible resources, including a $10,000 grand prize.

The great takeaway? There are infinite ways to be an arts champion and we all have the capacity to be one.

The Stampede is honoured to work with artists of all ages – to invest in the next generation of creatives and patrons. And to live in a city where arts and arts champions abound.

2016 Calgary Stampede poster and the poster artwork legacy

The Calgary Stampede unveiled our 2016 poster in the Shaikh Family Welcome Gallery of the Calgary Public Library’s central branch on October 5, 2015. Community members and Stampede volunteers and employees were thrilled when the curtain pulled back to reveal the priceless piece by award-winning local artist, Michelle Grant: Born to Buck, pictured below.

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“When you visit the Stampede Ranch in Hanna [Alberta], you witness many scenes of horses running freely in the fields together,” said Bill Gray, president & chairman of the Calgary Stampede board of directors, “and that was the inspiration for the poster.” Continue reading

Cowboy Poetry Week: 100 Years from Now

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “100 Years From Now.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Stampede Park art: "100 Years of Champions," to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.

Stampede Park art: “100 Years of Champions,” to honour the champions of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and chuckwagon races.

100 Years from Now

100 years from now, if the world’s still in the game, May the earth recall our footprints, may the wind sing out our names.
May someone turn a page and hearken back upon this time, May someone sing a cowboy tune and someone spin a rhyme.

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Cowboy Poetry Week: “Pancakes”

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “Pancakes.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Pictured: A volunteer at a Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast

Pictured: A volunteer at a Calgary Stampede Pancake Breakfast

Pancakes

It was love at first sight when we met at the dance,

A short order cook on the prowl for romance.

We cheered at the rodeo, bet on the chucks

We partied as hard as a bucking bull bucks.

We fueled the affair with big rock and steaks

But love was ignited with his first stack of cakes.

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Cowboy poetry week: “A Real Partner”

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “A Real Partner.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Pictured: Grace Bensell (Florence LaDue) and Guy Weadick

Pictured: Grace Bensell (Florence LaDue) and Guy Weadick

A Real Partner

My name is Guy Weadick, how do you do?

A pleasure to meet you, Miss Flores LaDue!

The horses are saddled, would you care for a ride?

I’d love to step out with you by my side.

I’ll tell you my dreams about a big wild west show.

I’m throwing a big loop by the banks of the Bow.

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Celebrating cowboy poetry week with Doris Daley: “Heartbeat”

In honour of Cowboy Poetry Week, Sunday, April 19 to Saturday, April 25, we are featuring poems by Doris Daley! Today’s poem is called “Heartbeat.”

Born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, Doris Daley writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humour, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD.

Pictured: Doris Daley

Pictured: Doris Daley

Heartbeat
Hey, Listen to the sounds of a city in July.
The grand shebang begins again beneath a Calgary sky.
The music soars, the infield roars, the midway hums and thrums
But listen…high above it all…the beating of the drums.

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Wanda Ellerbeck of the Artist Ranch Project

Today we have a guest post from Wanda Ellerbeck, one of the five artists participating in the Artist Ranch Project. Her work will be on display at the Western Art Show in the Western Oasis during the 10-day Stampede

I have had a busy and creative life for which I am grateful. My career spans classical dance, art and arts education. My company, Grotto Designs, led the development of the decorative concrete industry in Western Canada for fifteen years. I received a Master degree of Fine Art from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and have taught in post-secondary art colleges across Canada. Currently, I teach community classes from my studio and at the Alberta college of Art and Design. I have exhibited across Canada and continue to draw, paint, make sculpture, and teach.  My art practice employs many mediums and is grounded in my response to the mysteries of nature and life.

Rare Bird, Wanda Ellerbeck

My family homesteaded in Alberta in 1904 and I spent childhood summers and a great deal of time as an adult on the Hereford Farm near Lloydminster, Alberta. Working fire lookouts for the Alberta Forest Service reinforced the deep respect I have for nature and the interconnectedness of people and the land. I love the mountains and foothills of Alberta. Inspiration often takes me by surprise. Sometimes the smallest glimpse or connection precipitates the journey into my work.

My visit to OH ranch was a wonderful experience echoing the memories, images, smells and textures of my childhood. I was inspired by the presence of other artists and by the people who still live and work in that historic environment. My strongest impression was the relief I felt that the land and its profound beauty would be preserved. This experience inspired me to reach deeply into my responses. I discovered a profound respect for the traditional western art I grew up with but paid little attention to. Silversmithing and leatherwork of western artists speak broadly about this passing way of life. I wanted to address this significance and reference it in the textures and materials of my art. The evidence of time on the land and the delicate balance between nature and the life of a rancher directs this body of work.

I am grateful for the opportunity to visit the fantastic OH ranch and to be involved in this contemporary art project. The ranch has deep history and the Artist Ranch Project in its continuing engagement with artists helps to educate and share these special places. The generosity of our hosts and the hard work of the committee made this residency an inspiring experience. I love the mixture of contemporary art with the historical richness of the ranching life.

Sheila Kernan of the Artist Ranch Project

Today we have an interview with Sheila Kernan, one of the five artists participating in the Artist Ranch Project. Her work will be on display at the Western Art Show in the Western Oasis during the 10-day Stampede.

Calgary Stampede: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

Sheila Kernan: I was born and raised in Saskatoon Saskatchewan in a large family. As one of six children I was encouraged to follow my passions. At the tender age of three I began drawing and painting. It was through spending hours upon hours creating that I discovered my love for the arts. So it was no surprise that I would seek out the life of an artist. I enrolled in the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2003 and completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006. In 2008, I was given the amazing opportunity to showcase my work at the Calgary Stampede, where I was the featured artist of the Stampede Rotary Dream Home. Over 100,000 people were exposed to my work and it was because of this experience that I decided to take the leap and become a full time practicing artist. Continuing to showcase my work through the Stampede Western Showcase programs.

Sheila Kernan

Fast forward to 2014 I am now represented by five elite Galleries across Canada. Achieving exposure through multiple sold out solo exhibitions, national awards, and media publications. My work can be found in many private, public and corporate art collections across Canada, US, and overseas.

Through continual development, exploration and innovation my work explores my passion for experiencing, observing and interacting with our world. I am excited to transpose my vivid imagination in to one-of-a-kind works filled with vibrant colour, flat shapes and unusual patterns.

CS: As an Artist, what inspires you?

SK: I am always excited to see what will inspire me next. For the world is filled with an endless array of fascinating subjects. With my camera on hand I am always eager to explore and document my surroundings for future studio use.

Along The Way I Stopped To See You Oil on Canvas 30 X 60 2014 $3305

I pay close attention to the many different characteristics of each unique environment. Absorbing the ambiance. I feel compelled to reflect my love for such moments on canvas. I draw upon sketches, memories and photographic references when producing my work. It is pure delight transcribing my many whimsical visions through paint gliding across the canvas. For a multitude of patterns and reflections form from the paint squishing, oozing and blending together. Surfaces become filled with thick impasto marks melding together to create conversations and ultimately a recognizable image. It makes me see the world in a new and exciting way. My work celebrates this. For I believe paintings should be alive. Filled with energy and excitement. I paint to share with you my understanding of the world. I paint to emulate the calmness of nature. I paint to create images where you can choose to let your imagination fill in the gaps. I paint to experience life. The world is breathtaking and I just have to capture it. The possibilities are endless!

CS: Why did the Artist Ranch Project appeal to you?

SK: I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the Stampede Western Showcase. I strongly believe that if it was not for the opportunities I have had through the Stampede, I would not be where I am today in my art career. So when I was invited to participate in the Artists Ranch project I was incredibly excited. I would get to see a real working ranch and get up close to the animals. Something I had never really experienced. I am always up for new experiences.

You Caught My Eye Oil on Canvas 48 X 24 2014 $2255

CS: Tell us about your visit to the OH Ranch last fall. What was the most surprising/made the biggest impression on you?

I came into the project with a very open mind not really knowing what to expect and I truly had a blast. Getting to see how a real working ranch operates was incredible. I was fascinated by the history of the OH Ranch and found myself really trying to understand what life would be like on the Ranch both from a historical and modern day perspective. WOW, Is all I can say. Working on a ranch would be a tough job! I was instantly mesmerized by the vast diverse landscape the rolling hills, fresh water, and many varieties of grasses. I became especially interested in the wildlife. Although I had a close call with a bull who apparently was a little camera shy!

CS: How did your visit influence your work?

SK: It’s hard to say exactly how the visit influenced my work, but I would say that my colour choices in this body of work pay closer attention the amazing golden prairie hues. As well, each painting I produced for this show documents my time at the ranch and acts as exclamation point highlighting prominent scenery that really struck a chord with me.

CS: Anything else you’d like to tell us about being a part of the Artist Ranch Project?

SK: I just want to thank the Artist Ranch committee for giving me the opportunity to experience something new. I really enjoyed the whole process and want to give a big Thank You to all the committee members for all your hard work and dedication to this project. It’s truly a unique project. I hope you all enjoy my Stampede showpieces.

Western Art Show Hall of Fame

 

On a recent weekend trip to the Rocky Mountains, I stopped to admire a beautiful bronze sculpted by Vilem Zach on display in the Art Gallery at Chateau Lake Louise. Before I knew it, the gallery owner was by my side. “Did you know,” he began, “that Vilem Zach is one of only seven artists who have been inducted into the Calgary Stampede’s Western Art Hall of Fame?” I did not know this, but was determined to find out more.

In 2007, the Calgary Stampede established the Western Art Show Hall of Fame, and inducted the first members, Malcome MacKenzie and Gina McDougal Cohoe.  The Wall of Fame aims to honor the work and participation of those who have had a significant impact on the continued success of the Western Art Show. Inductees are chosen by a selection committee based on their contributions to the show, leadership, and outstanding attitude.  Other early inductees include Jay Contway in 2008 and Dale Auger in 2009.

Vilem Zach is both a sculptor and a painter and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2010.  Vilem is one of the original participants of the Western Art Show, and was chosen for the Hall of Fame for his detailed portraits that depict our western heritage.  His life sized statue “Farm Family” can be viewed on Stampede Park in front of the new Agrium Western Events Center and is one of seventeen pieces of public art on Stampede Park that will be featured on this Sunday’s Art Walk (http://art.calgarystampede.com/art-walk).

Vilem Zach's Our Land - Our Future (The Alberta Farm Family)

                      Vilem Zach’s Our Land – Our Future (The Alberta Farm Family)

Vilem Zach is in good company in the Hall of Fame – Henri De Groot was inducted in 2011, followed by Linda Stewart in 2012. The eighth member of the Hall of Fame to join these incredible and accomplished artists will be announced at this year’s Western Art Show. You’ll find plaques honoring the exceptional achievements of these individuals at the Western Art Show which is not to be missed during Stampede!

Original artwork for the 2015 Calgary Stampede poster goes on tour

The 2015 Calgary Stampede poster original artwork is coming to you, Calgary.

By renowned western artist Oleg Stavrowsky, the painting depicts a thundering chuckwagon race. You can see it up close and personal in the coming weeks at the following locations:

Monday April 21-Sunday, May 4: Lobby of 8th Avenue Place office building, 525 Eighth Avenue Soutwest.

Monday, May 5-Monday May 15, Hyatt Regency Calgary, 700 Centre Street SE.

2015CSPosterOriginalPainting_2

The artwork will be on display in the Western Oasis throughout the 10-day Stampede and will go on sale at the Western Art Auction on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 6 p.m. in BMO Centre. To purchase tickets for the auction, contact auction@westernshowcase.com.

Artist Ranch Project tours the OH Ranch

Over the weekend, five Alberta-based artists visited the historic Calgary Stampede  OH Ranch to gather inspiration for the 2014 Western Art Show.

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The visit was part of the Artist Ranch Project, “an initiative designed to create a discourse about western heritage and values for the 21st century by inviting contemporary artists to examine what it means to experience Western Canada from a traditional perspective” and now in its sixth year.

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Quick Draw at the Western Art Auction

If you are like me, you cannot draw worth a dang, but you love art and marvel at anyone who can create beautiful images. While there are an abundance of opportunities to admire finished pieces, rarely, if ever, do we get to see the artist in action. Even more rare to find a room full of artists just. Creating.

Last night, in a prelude to the Western Art Auction, a handful of artists participated in the Quick Draw. Right before our eyes a blank canvas became a work of art. Figures materialized like ghosts.

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Q and A with Adeline Halvorson, 2014 Stampede poster artist

CS: How did you get to be the 2014 poster artist?

AH: Artists are invited to submit. Bob (Bob Thompson, Calgary Stampede president and chairman of the board) liked my work and so we sat down to discuss what I might do. Bob knew he wanted heavy horses to be the subject, and working horses are a favourite subject of mine. We saw eye to eye from the very beginning.

adeline and bob

CS: Tell us more about the process of developing the painting.

AH: Bob wanted a black background, something different than the horse paintings you typically see. We both wanted it to be more modern given that the Stampede is beginning a new century. I really wanted this painting to be one of my best pieces.

CS: Do you think you succeeded? And if so, what makes it one of your best pieces?

AH: Yes. I truly feel it’s one of my best. It took me years to learn how make my paintings   look realistic. Once I got that down, I starting pushing the blacks and colours to where the animals fade into the shadows, and your eye has to fill in what’s missing.

The scale of this work is another component. It’s larger than life, so it’s a challenge to get the proportions right. It took more than three months working long, hard hours to complete it.

I love painting draft horses. It’s a subject that resonates with me and I think that comes through in the painting.

And lastly, I knew from the beginning that this painting would be shared with the world. I think that simple fact created an energy in itself that’s visible in the completed piece.

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CS: Why do you love painting draft horses?

AH: I grew up on a farm. We begged our dad to get a couple of horses until he finally did. He said, if they’re going to eat as much as a cow, they’re going to do their work. So we harnessed them up, and they became both workers and companions on the farm.

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CS: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of painting this piece?

AH: I started as soon as I finished talking with Bob. I work from photographs I take myself and then rework and interpret the photo. So, I began to draw it out. Bob gave me total freedom, which I really appreciated.

IMG_9790 started

CS: Have you always known you wanted to be an artist? What has the journey been like?

AH: I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I sold my first painting in high school. Later in my career I heard that around the time I started virtually no Canadian artists were making a living on their craft. I guess it’s good I didn’t know that. There’s no road map to being an artist and there are no guarantees. But I can’t imagine doing anything else. Being chosen for the 2014 poster is like winning an Academy Award. It’s a real honour.

 

The transformation of Stampede Park

This time last week, the Elbow River had crested. We were glued to the news, seeing pictures and video as flood waters raged through Southern Alberta.

On this beautiful Saturday morning, the whole city seems to be bustling with recovery. Downtown power has been restored. Volunteers are gathering all over to help  in Sunnyside, China Town, Erlton and other communities that were devastated by the floods. And against all odds, Stampede Park is starting to look like…well, Stampede. DSCF7994

The BMO Centre is transforming into Western Oasis brought you by the Western Showcase committee and Statoil. Every year, the Western Showcase committee puts together an incredible art show, displaying all manner of creative talent including knitting, crocheting, needlework, quilting, paper crafts, ceramics, rugs and weaving, wood working, dolls and toys, paintings and drawings–even sugar art and cake decorating!

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You can come check all of this out in the BMO Centre throughout the 10-day Stampede. Oh and you can also grab a glass of wine in the entirely mosquito-free, air conditioned indoor forest. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? DSCF7999

You want to get your hands on some of this fine art? Get tickets to the Western Art Auction on Thursday, July 11.

It’s all less than a week away. We can’t wait to see you on Stampede Park!

 

An Oasis in the Heart of Stampede Park

This summer, while exploring the many events and sights on Stampede Park you may find that you want a change of pace. Maybe you want to get out of the weather, or the crowds, or just to relax and unwind. You are in luck! We have an Oasis in the middle of the Park just for that!

 

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn

 

Located inside halls D & E of the BMO Centre, you will find a calm, creative retreat known as the Western Oasis. One of the best parts about the Western Oasis, besides the air conditioning, is the feeling you get the moment you walk through the doors. The Western Showcase committee creates such a welcoming, intriguing, and calming atmosphere which makes the buzz of the Midway and Stampede Market feel like they’re 1,000 Kilometers away. Imagine a gently lit room that is illuminated by 2000 soft lights, the feeling of a relaxing breeze, the sounds of trickling water and hushed voices, and the beautiful scent of 1,600 flowers, shrubs, and plants.

 

Photo Credit: Mike Ridewood

 

One of the most magnificent sights is the breathtaking water wall that is highlighted by the glow of twinkling lights and colours. As you’re walking through, make sure you take a peek in the galleries and studios of the artists, as the artwork is simply amazing. You’re also welcome to take a seat at one of the barrel tables and enjoy a glass of wine in the wine garden. For your entertainment, the favourite Bronze Living Statues will also be in the Oasis throughout the day. Do they even blink?

 

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn

 

This year, there will also be a very unique collection of corkscrews that will be on display. Paul Squires is bringing his personal collection of antique corkscrews that date all the way back to the 18th century. If the corkscrews are anything like the wine, they can only get better with age. The Remington Carriage Museum will also be providing the Stage Coach where you, friends, and family can have a great western photo opportunity.

 

Corkscrew

 

 

 

Below is a list of areas to see within the Western Oasis:

Artists’ Studios offers a unique opportunity to meet and purchase art directly from the artists. The artists are on hand daily so you can learn about how that ‘must have’ piece of art was created.

Western Art Gallery features new and emerging Western artists whose original work reflects the life and times of Western Canadians of the past and present.

Western Art Auction – North America’s finest western art auction is held on Thursday, July 11. Auction pieces may be previewed in the Western Oasis until Wednesday, July 10. For ticket information visit http://westernshowcase.com/tickets.php

Western Photo Gallery showcases spectacular photos capturing the rich history of the West and the Calgary Stampede.

Artist Ranch Project Inspired by a visit to Scott Ranch, a working historical ranch in Alberta, contemporary artists will present their creations.

 

Photo Credit: Shane Kuhn

 

You can also experience a taste of western lifestyle and culture in action by visiting some of these areas in the Western Oasis:

Window on the West Stage – Guests will enjoy the eclectic mix of live music and cowboy poetry.

Creative Arts and Crafts - Daily demos take place in the Creative Arts & Crafts area where you can see traditional to modern crafting techniques. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try something new!

Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre features the best of western cooking with daily, non-stop cooking demos and the very popular Dueling Chefs competitions.

Wine Garden presented by Co-op, offers a selection of over 20 wine varieties of Canadian and international wines. Indulge in a glass of wine, along with a cheese plate or evening flambé. Wine specialists are featured daily between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 

Wine Garden

 

Did you know in the 2012 Western Oasis…

  • 2,000 lights were used
  • 100 trees were brought in and cared for
  • 1,600 shrubs, flowers, and plants were brought in and cared for
  • Over 200 tons of rock were lifted and placed

 

Written by:

Jillian Cook

Lindsey Kendrick