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April 2006

Release Date: April 6, 2006

West Texas Collection Examines Role of Area Sheep Shearers

"Clipped: Sheep Shearers and the West Texas Wool Industry," a new exhibit utilizing materials and research from Angelo State University's West Texas Collection, will debut with a public reception Thursday, April 20, on the ASU campus.

The reception is scheduled 6-8 p.m. April 20 in the West Texas Collection (WTC), located on the second floor of the Houston Harte University Center. The new exhibit, which will provide the basis for a traveling exhibit this summer, focuses on the role of the region's sheep shearers, 99 percent of whom were Hispanic, and follows the evolution of the West Texas wool industry from its beginning in the 1870s until the present.

The exhibit will also mark the first public display of a bronze sculpture of sheep shearers by San Angelo artist Raul Ruiz, whose family has been involved in the industry for many generations. The sculpture will be the centerpiece of the traveling exhibit, which is scheduled to debut in June in Kerrville at the annual meeting of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association (TSGRA).

Both the WTC display and the traveling exhibit, currently in production by Museumscapes of Richardson, were made possible by a donation from Mrs. Eva Camuñez Tucker, who will be honored during the reception both for her generosity and for her 95 th birthday.

The WTC exhibit will include from the archive dozens of photos and documents on sheep shearing and the Concho Valley wool industry as well as pictures, records and artifacts loaned by area families for the display.

Families contributing interviews and other materials for the exhibit include the Santiago Uriegas Jr. family of San Angelo, the Daniel Ruiz family of Eola and the Eddie and Stephen Franco family of Rocksprings. Additional support came from Sonora Wool Warehouse, Sandy Whittley of TSGRA, Dave Richardson of San Angelo, Sue Mims of Water Valley, Rick Albin of Midland and Fred Campbell of Paint Rock.

The exhibit will be available for public viewing through the summer during regular business hours at the West Texas Collection, which has accumulated extensive materials on the sheep shearing trade during the production of this exhibit.

Individuals interested in more information on the display or in donating photos and materials to the archive, should contact the WTC at 942-2164