" Horses, dogs, team roping, my family, Jesus, making good art, these are a few of my favorite things,

                       not necessarily in that order."

"While graphite is my forte, my personal quest for unique, alternative media combinations and drawing surfaces is never ending. Can't help myself...don't want to."

Cheryl Harley-Volz

The ribbon was larger than the art that won it! 

 Meeker Sheep Dog Trials Art show

Cheryl and "Trinket"


"Turpin Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming during Fall Art Festival


Mr. and Mrs. Mike Volz

Mountain Oyster Club

Tucson, Arizona

​​​ I don’t know which I loved more as a child, my art supplies, or my stick horses. I blame television’s Roy Rogers and Trigger for the horse obsession. Over time, I gradually began drawing realistic horses, and got more and more infatuated with the pencils. While I still love the challenge of manipulating graphite between whispers of gray and the blackest of blacks, I have a fascination  with new media and drawing surfaces.

The feel of a horse, as we work together as a team, helps me achieve the sensuality of mass, muscle, and motion I want to transfer to my art in order to give it a visceral quality. When I train a horse, it literally feels like I’m sculpting their body. When I draw, it is the other way around. I work from the inside out, placing the skin over what I know to be muscle and joint. Thinking in 3-D helps my 2-D representation: like Michelangelo, I draw on the physicality of the experience. My work elevates the common but unique personalities that are emblematic of the West. Striving always for gritty realism, I capture the cowboy life, soul, and spirit of the people and animals I deeply admire as they live and work, displaying their zest and gusto for life.


Cheryl has Western jeans in her genes. The factor must be dominant because she is an accomplished cowgirl having won various collegiate in goat tying and pro rodeo titles barrel racing and team roping. Cheryl was reared a “city kid” in Missouri, but had the delight of visiting her mom's two Colorado cattle ranches every summer. The days were spent riding horses all over Cripple Creek and Victor, working cows, brook trout fishing, trapping chipmunks, and exploring old gold mines. It was exquisite.

Her father was an architectural engineer. His artistic gene must have been dominant too.  He used to sit Cheryl down in his study with pencils, paper, erasers, French curves, scales, and erasing shields.  She was entertained for hours. She still has an affinity for pencils and what they can do. Precision and a draftsmanship quality are prevalent in her drawings.

These two hereditary traits are well-partnered in Cheryl’s art with the beloved pencil being her forte. She loves the Western attitude and revels in competition, believing in the intense work inherent to both.

While still in high school, Cheryl studied drawing at the Kansas City Art Institute. She has a BFA in drawing and painting from Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, Colorado. Her father said she majored in art and minored in horses. He might have had it backwards. Cheryl later studied drawing and painting at Western States College, Gunnison, Colorado, and earned her art teaching license from Colorado State University


Bosque Classic: John Steven Jones Purchase Award
AAEA: American Academy of Equine Art

Jean Bowman Memorial Award
Fall Open Juried Show Postcard
Categorical Award for Interaction

WAOW: Women Artists of the West, Signature Member
Superior Drawing
Publishers Award of Excellence, first and second places
Honorable Mention

SWA: South West Artists Award of Merit

Snake River Stampede Art Show 1st, Western Heritage

WARA: Western Art Rodeo Assn., Premier Member
Year End Champion, Dry Media

WRVAG: Wind River Valley Art Guild
Best of Show
Best Wildlife
1st Mixed Media
1st Graphics
2nd Graphics

Meeker Classic Dog Trials International Art show
2nd Overall
Best of Southwest Colorado, multiple years
People’s Choice, multiple years


Mountain Oyster
Bosque Classic, multiple years
National Wildlife Art Museum, Jackson, Wyoming
South West Artists, multiple years
American Women Artists
Women Artists of the West, multiple years
American Academy of Equine Art, multiple years
American Plains Artists, multiple pieces
Cultura Del Vaquero, Fr Worth, Texas, multiple pieces
Art Fair Jackson Hole, multiple years
Western Spirit, Cheyenne, Wyoming, multiple pieces
Equine Art In The Park, Denver, Colorado, multiple pieces
Colo 144, Parker, Colorado, multiple pieces
Cowboy Classic, Phoenix, Arizona, multiple pieces
In The Company of Cowgirls, Oregon, multiple pieces
Art Show At The Dog Show, Kansas City, Missouri, multiple pieces
Snake River Art Show, Nampa, Idaho, multiple pieces
Draft Horse Classic Art Show, California


Fine Art Connoisseur, representation in an article depicting the horse in art
Art of the West, representation in an article on the Bosque Classic Show
Horses In Art, feature article
Grand National Stock Show and Rodeo Event Guide, biography and illustrations of rodeo events, two years
Rodeo News, feature articles, two editions