It’s been a busy week here at Young’s Western Wear! If you’ve been into the store before, you may have noticed our artwork in the back room, the Jeans and Workwear Department. Local artist Matt Lanz has been crafting a one-of-a-kind mural to depict the story of the store, the region, and the people that have made it great. Last Friday, the final pieces of the mural were delivered to the store.
Artist Matt Lanz (L) and his son Jarred carefully bring in a panel of the Cowboys and Indians mural section.
The existing portion of the mural depicted local Nebraska and Valentine history, as well as some local Native American figures from the Rosebud Sioux tribe. The new sections add to this and depict some famous cowboys. Can you name any of these movie stars?
Panel 1 of 2 in the famous movie cowboys series. Stop in the store to see who else made the list. (Hint: “There’s a snake in my boot!”)
We also have our own local celebrities represented, such as our boot repairman, Johnny Kolessa. How did we ever get Johnny to sit for the mural? SMILE! You’re on candid canvas!
Young’s own Johnny Kolessa, long time boot and saddle repairman. The foundations of Young’s Western Wear go back to 1928 when Curtis Young came to Valentine and set up shop as a boot repairman. We’re proud to still offer those same services today.
The mural also gives us the chance to reflect back on what the store and its people mean to us. Here, Mike stands with his mother, Mary, and daughter, Katie, along with a portrait of his late father Cork Young. The artist’s strong conception of family and passing traditions down through the generations is shared by the Young family.
Three generations of the Young family along with a portrait of the late great Cork Young.
Stay tuned to the blog and to our facebook page for video footage of the murals and their delivery, as well as exclusive interviews with the artist and the commissioner of the murals (aka Boss Mike). Thanks to Matt for all his dedication to this beautiful work!
About the artist:
Matthew J. Lanz specializes in bronzes, oil and acrylic painting, custom woodcarving, hide painting, and Native American apparel. Check out his gallery of recent artwork at www.flickr.com/photos/mattlanz