Michael Goettee, a magazine art director turned painter and sculptor, grew up loving Westerns like The Lone Ranger and The Cisco Kid. But it wasn’t until a trip to Santa Fe 10 years ago that he began incorporating Western imagery into his work. “It was the bluest sky I’d ever seen, with little cotton-ball clouds,” he says. “I could not let it go.” This month that imagery is on display at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, where approximately 30 of his works—most created at his studio in Avondale Estates—will be exhibited. Goettee returns to New Mexico at least once a year and hopes his work informs Georgians about the American Southwest, albeit an admittedly romanticized version. “I have a deep love for it,” he says. “It’s got to go beyond TV cowboys.”
The work that inspired the exhibition’s title, Coyote (pictured) is Goettee’s tribute to Wile E. Coyote of Roadrunner fame. “When I retired early to paint, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff,” he says. “But I flew instead of fell.” When creating the work, Goettee asked himself: What if the Acme catalog Wile E. Coyote ordered from were real? What would the products look like?
Technicolor Coyote runs January 5 through March 13.
This article originally appeared in our January 2016 issue.