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Spotlight: Giddy-up to Artesia

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Submitted Photo The musicians of the Patsy and Friends return for the second time to Artesia's National Day of Cowboy celebration.

The National Day of the Cowboy is celebrated in Artesia

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

They are called stockmen in Australia, Kuhhirte in Austria, Switzerland and Germany, vaquero in Spain and Mexico, but no other word than “cowboy” automatically connects the lore of the Wild West and the American way of life.

On July 20, along the West Main Street of Artesia, the town celebrates its annual National Day of the Cowboy.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., an equine petting zoo is set up at the First American Bank, 303 W. Main St. At noon, a free lunch at Bennie’s Western Wear, 205 W. Main St., is prepared. Cowboy music accompanies the lunch.

At 1:30 p.m., free cowboy music continues at the Artesia Public Library, 205 W. Quay Ave.

The Artesia Arts Council presents once again the production, “Patsy and Friends,” at 3 p.m. at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, 310 W. Main St.

Laurie Schotz, executive director of Artesia Arts Council, said that she ran her own company in Indiana, Best Schotz Production. “With some help from some talented singers, musicians, directors and technical folks I call friends — they put together one heck of a great show about Ms. Patsy Cline,” Schotz said. “Five solid Patsy and Friends musicians and two electrifying Artesia graduates will take the stage one time in a production filled with laughter, joy, praise and celebration of the first ever cross-over artist, Ms. Patsy Cline.”

Patsy Cline and Friends is a show featuring Timm Adams, musical director, keyboards and vocals; Cheyenne Nelson as Patsy Cline, vocals; Michael Clark, steel guitar and lead guitar; Jay Heare, vocals and stage manager; Tayler Gothard, vocals and performer — Artesia High School Class of 2018 and his older brother Lakota Gothard, drummer.

Tayler Gothard said, “My passion is music and Christ. With God’s gift to me, I will be pursuing the music ministry to further His kingdom.” He is planning to continue his studies in the fall in Portales.

A recent dad, Lakota Gothard is finding time to be with his new daughter, wife and family. He has been playing drums for Joel Gothard’s Band since he was 8 years old and is known regionally as one of the best percussionists. Schotz said, “We are excited to be working with these amazing musicians and hope they enjoy this experience, as we are sure to enjoy the new energy they bring to the project.”

According to Schotz, after being an audience member in 2018, Joel Gothard asked to be part of the Patsy and Friends show. He will be adding percussion and vocals to the show. He has served on the Artesia Arts Council board for three years and is currently its vice president. “He is always present and available to the staff and provides insight on music, construction and finances, to name a few,” Schotz said. “Joel is also the father of Lakota and Tayler and couldn’t be prouder of his family.”

Adams is currently an associate professor of music at Rockford University in Illinois. Schotz said she met Adams performing when they were in their 20s. “Who knew so many years later, we would be putting shows together and still be involved with the entertainment industry? Timm has been with the production since the inception in 2011,” she said.

Nelson, who brings the iconic singer Cline to life, is from New York City. Originally from Jonesboro, Arkansas, and a graduate in musical theater from Arkansas State University, she has performed across the country at regional theaters. She and Schotz have worked together on many levels but seem to always return to their passion — Cline.

Clark joined this group in its second year and has been playing with Nelson and Adams almost every year since. Clark resides in Indianapolis after attending Ball State University where he received an advertising/commercial arts degree. He is a multi-instrumentalist, record producer, studio, songwriter and performer. He performed with Vince Gill, Eddie Money, Herman’s Hermit and John Mellencamp.

According to Schotz, Heare was co-owner and the biggest cheerleader of Best Schotz Production. “Jay and I have been family since 2000 when Jay musically directed my first show,” she said. Originating from Ohio and moving to Indiana for Taylor University, Heare lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and works at St. John’s Lutheran Church. “He fits in being a father, grandfather, husband, choir director (Chain-o-Lakes Barbershop & Festival Choir), plays piano, flute (Fort Wayne Flutes) and bells in his free time. Jay is still learning less is more and not everything needs glitter,” Schotz said.

For more information, visit artesiaartscouncil.com or call 575-746-4212.