High Desert Museum’s Rendezvous Back in the Saddle

rendezvousRoping, Shooting & Art at 23rd Annual Fundraiser

For the first time in more than a decade, High Desert Rendezvous, the High Desert Museum’s annual fundraiser and gala, will return to its heyday as the wildest of Western nights, with live rodeo events and games at Horse Butte Equestrian Center, the ranch of Museum Trustee Elizabeth McCool.

On August 18, gala goers will experience an exciting evening of team riding, roping, quick-draw shooting, frying pan tossing, card games, a bona fide Western barbeque, open bars and a live and silent auction of 20 exclusive global getaways and adventures, Western art and private dinners.

“This signature, 23rd annual event will rival the legendary excitement of Rendezvous galas of the past,” commented Janeanne A. Upp, High Desert Museum president. “Combining rugged Western fun with incomparable community spirit will raise funds for the Museum’s renowned educational programs.”

In the early days of the Rendezvous, Museum Founder Donald M. Kerr partnered with Lesley and Matt Day who hosted the event at their Hooker Creek Ranch. Enormously popular, the Rendezvous attracted supporters from all over the state to become one of Central Oregon’s most time-honored traditions. The gala has been at the Museum for the past 11 years, but recently supporters began reminiscing about the Western rodeo nights of past, prompting the Museum to bring the signature event back to the roots.

Many of the best memories were of the Team Calf Branding Calcutta competition, which returns this year and offers the chance to be a true cowboy. Teams of two, along with a trained roper, compete in roping a calf and “branding” it with chalk. The timed event and the winners are awarded signature Rendezvous belt buckles and a year’s worth of bragging rights. In the Calcutta betting procedure, each team is auctioned off to the highest bidder prior to competition. Half of the proceeds will go to support the Museum’s education programs, and the bidders on the first and second place teams receive 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

High Desert Rendezvous is presented by Wells Fargo, The Private Bank.

For tickets, sponsorship, calf branding teams and information: 541-382-4754, ext. 365, or Museum Members, $150 per ticket. Non-Members, Couples: $350 (Includes a Family Membership), Singles: $200 (Includes an Individual Membership). Sponsorship packages start at $2,000.

Art of the West Show

The High Desert Museum’s annual Art of the West Show, on display from August 3 -17 in the Brooks Gallery, offers the opportunity to view some of America’s best artists’ works, as well as a chance to make one of your own. The juried art works are also included in a silent auction, with proceeds supporting the Museum’s unique and acclaimed educational programs.

The Museum invited award-winning artists to submit works inspired by the region’s landscape for consideration in the show. The 28 selected works are creative expressions from a number of  regional artists including: Janice Druian of Terrebonne, Sheri Greves-Neilson of Dunnigan, California, Travis Humphreys of Cedar City, Utah; Linda Loeschen of Basalt, Colorado, and Sherry Salari Sander of Kalispell, Montana.

Museum President Janeanne A. Upp said, “Bringing these works of art to Central Oregon allows visitors to enjoy fresh perspectives on our dazzling Western landscapes and cultural icons, from rugged terrain and pristine rivers to tough cowboys.” 

Can’t make it to the show? The art works may also be viewed at To bid, call 541-382-4754 ext. 365, or

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