Author Archives: zongrik

Portrait of Vivian


Vivian was a wonderful young lady who could ride a horse very well. She was interested in Arabian Western Pleasure. She had her own horse named Fortune, who was a Grey seven-year-old Arabian Gelding. Her family also had a paint, but they considered themselves Arabian people and not paint people.

Vivian was 11 years old and in the fifth grade. Vivian enjoyed art in school best of all subjects and wanted to be a professional horseback rider when she grew up. She was interested in attending the Animal Science program at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA, where she could study equestrian care and practice equestrian sports.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Dusty



Jessie was a vendor from Chino Valley, Arizona, USA, with Buckaroo Bobbins. You may see and purchase the items they similar to the ones they were selling at the the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival on their website.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Emmanuel


Emmanuel repaired and installed marble and stone statues, gazebos, and benches for Sculpture Design Imports in Beverly Hills, California, USA. He was doing that for three years and he got the job because his father was the manager in the store. Prior to this position, he was a mobile detailer for exotic cars and prior to that he was in construction. Before that, he was a manager and Driver at Pizza Hut.

Originally Emmanuel was from Guadalajara, Mexico. He was brought to the United States at 5 years old, and grew up in Van Nuys, California, USA and graduated from Birmingham High School.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Justin


To say that Justin was an impressive Motocross rider would be a failed understatement. He was absolutely amazing for his age. He also rode very safely among adult stunt riders and knew exactly what he was doing.

Justin was seven years old and lived with his four sisters, his single dad, and his grandma and grandpa. He was in the first grade and was passionate about Motocross. He also like baseball and football. Justin was the first boy I met, since I started this portrait project, that did not like Legos. He only liked motorized bikes, bicycles and american team sports.

Justin got all A’s in school and was mechanically oriented. There was a good chance that when Justin grew up he would become a mechanical engineer.

 

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of John-2


John came from Orange County with a group of friends to attend the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival for their second year in a row. His group, however, had been participating together in various events, including Civil War reenactment for many years; they were Terry’s Texas Rangers 8th Cavalry.

John was in retail but enjoyed emulating being a cowboy on a cattle drive or Civil War Texas Ranger.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Michelle


Michelle loved selling art from Art One Gallery in Beverly Hills, California, USA because she liked talking to interesting people from different places about art with a “fun vibe.” She claimed that the best part of the 3D art was that people would come back to the store and see it from a different point of view, and then discuss it some more. The majority of the colorful 3D pop art Michelle had was by a New York artist named Charles Fazzino.

Michelle recounted a very interesting story that occurred when their old store was located in Santa Monica California, USA. A gentleman called claiming he contacted five different galleries to ask if he could propose to his girlfriend in the midst of their art. Although none of the previous galleries were compliant, Michelle and her mother were more than happy to oblige. Michelle’s mother hid in the closet and jumped out like a Paparazzi, snapping pictures as the proposal ensued.

A second art gallery proposal involved a gentleman who had a work of sports art made with the scoreboard reading, “will you marry me.” He brought his beloved from the east coast to the Beverly Hills store, and as they were looking at the art, she pointed to it and got the message. He also surprised her with a trip to Hawaii.

Furthermore, Michelle was helpful in that she advised the gentleman to pack all his beloved’s necessities for Hawaii, especially swimsuits, because “it’s very hard for a woman to buy swimsuit at the last minute.”

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Wishbone


Wishbone was a mechanical engineer from Lake Elsinore, California, USA. He was also a blacksmith who, for 27 years, primarily practiced at events such as  the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Wishbone said, “come down to the Cowboy to have fun and keep the old west Alive.”

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Randall


Randall, a native American of the Miniconjou band of the Sioux (Lakota) Nation, was in the process of setting up a teepee  (also interchangeably called a Lodge). His buddy, who was helping him set up the lodge, was for the most part Cherokee. When I got there, Randall had two lodges already set up, one was his Lakota style Lodge, and another one was a Cheyenne style Lodge.

At 65 years old, Randall left his everyday job and came down to Newhall, California, USA (part of Santa Clarita) “by special invitation, to bring the true history of the Indian peoples to the white/American public who’s only exposure to this date has been history books written by Europeans, the Anglos, and the movies that they see. This is how we live. This is how we set them up. ”

Randall was looking forward to speak to the people who would be coming to the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Each year, with determination and dedication, Randall spread the true history of his people to everyone he could reach to offset what they learned incorrectly in school.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Lakota style Lodge

Lakota and Cheyenne style lodges

Randall Erects Teepee (Lodge)
“This is how we set ’em up.”

Portrait of Michael


Michael was seventeen and went to Legacy High School in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA. His father, however, lived in Rosamond, California, USA.

Michael had been doing Motocross since a very young age and his only other interests were participating in BMX and skateboarding. Michael was also mechanical, and wanted to be either a welder or a mechanic when he completed High School.

Michael was a really great guy. I was making action shots of his incredible stunts (see below) and was amazed to see that he was so young when he took his helmet off. It was just such a pleasure being around someone who was so stable and knew exactly what he wanted in life.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

 

Portrait of Cameron


Cameron was a very athletic, eight-year-old, second grader who loved to play basketball. Just before I met him, he had just finished playing in the Palmdale, California, USA basketball league.

Cameron like to watch TV and play games, but mostly, was a very athletic child, one of his favorite things to do was to sleep.

Cameron was  born in San Fernando Valley, but his nuclear family moved to Antelope Valley to be closer to extended family.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.