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Maureen White

While many beautiful images of the American West exist in contemporary photography, I have encountered few that include working women. These women are often rendered invisible by popular culture; where images of cowgirls do exist, they are often hyper-sexualized. The images I created last summer were an attempt to begin changing the existing narrative about women in the West.

I began to wonder: can photography help to show the contributions of women to the stewardship of ranch land?  Can we shine a light on the women who work in what is largely seen to outsiders as an all-male space?  Having spent a year of my twenties as a construction worker, I have a personal interest in lifting up the work done by women in industries typically dominated by men.

In 2017 I had the incredible fortune to be hosted by the Taft-Nicholson Center as an artist-in-residence. For four weeks I focused on building relationships with, and creating images of, women who work on the range.  Through these images I hope to convey the strength and beauty of their character, as well as that of the land they steward. 

Having a whole month with no responsibilities other than my artwork was one of the greatest luxuries of my life.  I am incredibly grateful to the Center for all of the support they provided, and to all of the women who participated in this project.  I hope to continue it well into the future.

See more of Maureen's work at her website:

Last Updated: 7/1/21