Cultivating Community

Western artist Megan Wimberley creates bright and bold art, while also fostering a vibrant sisterhood of cowgirl artists.

by Abigail Boatwright

Megan Wimberley grew up immersed in a life with horses, and she drank in their beauty with an artist’s eye. Her bold, bright and colorful acrylic artwork illustrates Megan’s love for the Western lifestyle, and capturing the connection between humans and horses is central to her work. So too is it part of her life beyond the studio: Megan, founder of Cowgirl Artists of America, champions other women in Western art and has embarked on a mission to increase opportunities for female Western artists and makers.

A Solid Foundation

Splitting her youth between Weatherford, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Megan was always surrounded by animals, including horses, goats, dogs and more. Megan’s interest in art took root from her mother, who was a horse trainer and a Western artist.

“I think I was always naturally inclined to be an artist, especially drawing,” Megan said. “I grew up drawing a lot of horses from the Paint Horse Journal, Quarter Horse Journal and Western Horseman. That’s how I practiced.”

Megan pursued a bachelor’s of fine art at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, and followed that with a master’s degree in education at Boston University. Years of watching her mom make art and taking formal courses was helpful, Megan says, but she ultimately honed her craft with hours upon hours of practice.

“The secret thing about art is you just have to do it a whole lot,” Megan said. “Even artists who have professional training, there’s some level of putting in the work that goes with that learning. You can’t just watch a course and suddenly be able to do it. There’s a lot of practice and experimentation. You have to be willing to make the ugly work to get to the beautiful work.”


This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2024 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.