Rodeo and the cowboy lifestyle are deeply imbedded parts of Walter Piehl’s soul. The son of a rancher-turned-rodeo-producer, Piehl remains a lover of horses and a fan of the rodeo and the men and women who ply the trade. That affection shows through in his art. Often classified as “cowboy” or “western,” Piehl’s primarily acrylic-based paintings and collages celebrate his roots, while also expressing his love for “paradox, anomaly, contraction and paint — but not necessarily in that order.”
Piehl has been an art professor at Minot State University since 1970, but in his heart he remains a cowboy. A rodeo announcer for three decades, Piehl was president of the Roughrider Rodeo Association for a dozen years, enjoys organizing and taking trail rides in the North Dakota Badlands and even owns and operates his own beer and wine bar in Minot: The Blue Rider.