SHERIDAN — Dayton resident Sonja Caywood earned a first place award for her oil painting “Saturday Brunch” at the Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Exhibition for 2014 held in Red Lodge, Mont., April 5.
After her early years near Ekalaka, Mont., Caywood and her family moved to the Crow Reservation and ranched near Lodge Grass. Growing up in the region, Caywood said her family ranched in “the forgotten ways” — with a mess wagon, tents, teepees and a rope corral. From these early experiences, she developed an intense appreciation for the landscape.
Later, family, school and career took most of her time. When her 17-year teaching assistant position was dissolved, Caywood called it a “blessing in disguise,” and she was able to devote her time to her dream of painting full time. She credits her upbringing as her inspiration for her current work as a painter of the landscape and livestock found in and around Sheridan.
She currently teaches art, manages the Hans Kleiber Studio Museum during the summer, and writes regularly for The Sheridan Press. Most recently, two of her cow paintings were selected to hang in the Wyoming State Capitol. Caywood is also a featured artist in the current edition of Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine.
The Rocky Mountain Regional Juried Exhibit is the Arts Guild’s annual art competition open to all artists in seven Western states. Caywood’s “Saturday Brunch” is a bright, springtime painting of mare and foal and was chosen from among more than 180 entries.