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6/26/2013 8:37:00 AM
Phippen Museum features Louise Serpa, first female rodeo photographer
Special to the Tribune

From Saturday, June 22, through Sunday, Sept. 22, the Harold & Mitzie James Gallery at Phippen Museum will proudly host an amazing collection of stunning images created by the first professional woman Rodeo photographer, Louise Serpa.

Her images cover almost 50 years of rodeo and not only exude energy, excitement and emotion but, as Rodeo broadcaster and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Clem McSpadden, said, "She is the Ansel Adams of our sport!"

Serpa was born in 1925 and grew up in the high society world of New York City. However, a trip to Nevada when she was just a child made a lasting impression.

Although she never trained professionally, Serpa's shutter skills, and a natural instinct for anticipating the action quickly, gained her entry into the professional arena in 1963. But you don't spend that many years in the rodeo arena with bucking broncs and snorting bulls without accumulating a few bragging rights, or at least a couple of black and blue spots. And Serpa had her fair share of kicks, bruises and tight moments.

An angry bull once broke her sternum in Boulder City, and in another scary incident she was "squeezed like a tube of toothpaste" up against a fence. In her book, Rodeo, she warned, "Never don't pay attention."

Admission to this special exhibit is included in the general admission price: $7 for adults, $6 for AAA members, $5 for Students with ID and free for museum members and children 12 and under. The museum is located at 4701 Highway 89 North.

For more information on this or any other event at the Phippen, please call 928.778.1385, or visit their website at www.phippenartmuseum.org

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