Local artist Suzi Bradley Sheward’s western style, sense of humor and vibrant use of color has created a unique niche for her artwork. Not only is she a three-time Sisters Rodeo poster artist, Sheward’s creative inspiration is based largely in the Central Oregon landscape and lifestyle.
Immediately drawn to the area after a trip up from California to attend the Small Farmer’s Journal Horsedrawn Auction & Swap Meet in 1997, she thought, “This is the place,” and promptly rented a barn to live in. The adventurous and sometimes unconventional spirit of Sheward brought an added verve to the community; some of her life experiences including professional vocalist, sailboat and motorcycle racer, Berkeley boutique owner, airplane pilot and most important of all, mother.
Her artistic inclinations, and love of horses, began at and early age. From first sitting on a horse at two years old and drawing sketches on table napkins at five, to taking art classes in high school, attending art college at Long Beach State, studying commercial art in New Jersey and continuing to own and ride horses, Sheward’s constants in life have been art and horses (not necessarily in that order).
“I studied with Sam Savitt, the famous horse artist, and took other courses throughout the years whenever I could,” she said. Her artistic interests ranged from welding and sculpture to painting (especially western subject matter) and recently leather work.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Boy and guitar. The romance of musical discovery at a young age has captured the imagination and passion in local musician, Todd Haaby, from the tender age of four sitting around the piano with his family, to 15 when he received his first guitar. The path music has presented to Haaby has remained a constant; his many adventures and experiences serving to fuel each note and melody he writes.
This self-taught musician emerged from many generations of accomplished musicians before him. When he received the desired guitar at his 15th birthday, Haaby couldn’t put it down. “I was at it for eight hours a day,” he said. “It came to me quickly and it was my goal to be a lead guitarist for a group.”
Not one to idly set goals, he started a rock and roll group and was playing clubs in Northern California within six months, headlining just a couple of years later. By 18 he had tired of the scene and decided to start a career in business, going to work for a distribution center of True Value Hardware. “I wanted to work my way up the corporate world, so I made business a priority, but never put the guitar down,” he said.
Working his way up the ladder allowed Haaby to buy a mini recording studio for his house, beginning his foray into blues, jazz and all the varieties of music he could find. At 24, a serendipitous meeting with Ken Buchannan, who sold him a keyboard, suggested he check out the group The Gypsy Kings. His introduction to The Gypsy King’s rumba flamenco style with pop influences fueled the fire for Haaby’s musical interests, a fire that burns hot to this day.