What a success the Trail of Painted Ponies public art project has been!
See all of the Trail of Painted Ponies collectible figurines inspired by these beautiful painted ponies.
The Trial of Painted Ponies began in the summer of 2000. A major sculptor was commissioned to create a life-size horse that was cast in a durable resin blend. A call went out to the artistic community around the Southwest, inviting famous as well as emerging artists to submit designs that imaginatively celebrated the creative spirit. And the response was overwhelming, with results that ranged from the delightful to the breathtaking.
The Public Art Project
Corporations, small businesses, individuals and organizations were then invited to select their favorite designs for sponsorship, and 120 Ponies were painted. The magnificent artwork was exhibited around New Mexico, and citizens and visitors were encouraged to saddle up and take a "trail drive." The Ponies brought joy and delight into the lives of thousands of people, and their artistic excellence generated rave reviews in newspapers and magazines nationally.
A New Breed of Fundraiser
In the fall of 2001, the Ponies were rounded up and sold through live and internet Trails End Auctions, as well as direct negotiations. The majority of the proceeds benefited youth, arts, social, cultural, animal and environmental non-profit organizations, and more than a half-million dollars was "ponied up." Painted Ponies now reside in homes, businesses, art galleries and museums across the country.
Back in the Saddle
The tale of the Trail does not end here. What started in New Mexico as a daring and noble art adventure is growing. During the summer of 2002, a fresh herd of Painted Ponies grazed in lobbies and parks across New Mexico, and once again, hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised for nonprofit organizations. And the work continues! Even today more ponies are being created to help fund charities and art projects all over the Southwest and small collectible figurines modeled after some of the painted ponies that were part of the trail are being produced and are available to be purchased. You may see these collectible figurines on this page.
In 2001, as owners of Old Town Emporium in Albuquerque, NM, we sponsored artist Kathy Morrow from Las Cruces, New Mexico. She created a wonderful pony called "Horse Feathers."
You may now purchase this pony as a figurine. High Desert Horse Feathers
In 2002, we sponsored Andersen Kee, a Navajo artist from Taos, New Mexico. He created "The Magician" a wonderful example of Native American art.
iShopSouthwest, a division of Old Town Emporium at the time, partnered with HorsePower New Mexico (the creators of "The Trail of Painted Ponies") to provide a series of t-shirts, baseball hats, magnets, a tote bag and a screen saver of the 2001 ponies as the officially licensed souvenirs of the 2002 "Trail of Painted Ponies" and the sister event "Year of the Horse". We also have been partnering with some of the artists to offer exclusive signed and numbered limited editions of some of the figurines. Most of the additional monies from these ponies goes directly to the artists to help support them.
Here are photos of some of the 2002 ponies!
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