Artspace exhibits honor Louisiana’s Black trail riding history, culture

This summer, two Artspace exhibitions will dare to redefine the idea of a cowboy. “Louisiana Trail Riders” and “Saddles and Spurs: Out of the Shadows” will explore the deep-rooted history and lesser-known culture of Black equestrians of Louisiana as it exists today.

“African-American cowboys are underrepresented in popular accounts of the West,” Shreveport Regional Arts Council President Henry Price said in a statement. “Throughout history, the iconic lifestyle of the cowboy has been glamorized in countless books, movies and television shows, and although African-American cowboys don’t play a part in the popular narrative, historians estimate that one in four cowboys in the West was Black.”

Jeremiah Ariaz's "Louisiana Trail Riders" exhibition documents the Black cowboy culture through photographs. The exhibition runs June 12 through August 7 at Artspace in Shreveport. Pictured: Homer (center) and Riders, (Jeanerette) 2015

“Louisiana Trail Riders” and “Saddles and Spurs: Out of the Shadows” exhibitions will open from noon to 6 p.m. on June 12 at Artspace, located at 708 Texas St. in downtown Shreveport.

The exhibitions will run through Aug. 7. Admission is free for the exhibitions. Regular gallery hours are Noon to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday.

In Mainspace, the “Louisiana Trail Riders” exhibit will feature black-and-white photographs of the modern-day Creole horse-riding community of south Louisiana as witnessed by Jeremiah Ariaz.

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