Cheyenne is pretty well known for having boots with different types of art styles.
Christy McCarthy, executive director of the Cheyenne Depot Museum, and Jill Pope, director of operations for the tourism office Visit Cheyenne, both said this program is important.
“It’s a nice way to brand our city,” Pope said. “Chicago, Illinois, has cows; Tucson, Arizona, has horses; so it’s a nice way to brand the city. Plus tourists and the locals enjoy it.”
The idea of the Big Boots Program came about during the rebuild of The Depot.
“During the rebuild is when we had the idea,” McCarthy said.
Pope added that it was a nice way to include public art in the community.
“Public art is important because it’s not just for the community’s enjoyment, but there is also a deeper meaning to it,” Pope said, “It really brings out the idea of the ‘Live the Legend,’”
McCarthy agreed it helps preserve the history.
“The boots are good for the community, and are good for preserving the Depot,” McCarthy said. “The money left after the artists have been paid goes into maintenance and restoration of the Depot.“The Depot is a historical place in Cheyenne, so the money helps to keep it restored. The money amount doesn’t matter just as long as it’s a consistent stream.”
Another thing about the program is that any person or business can purchase a boot and choose which artist will be responsible for the design.
“We usually contact past artists or known artists in the state to do a boot,” Pope said. “A person chooses the artist they want, we call them. It takes six to eight weeks for the boot to be poured, and once it’s delivered to the artist they have four months to paint it, so the whole process takes about six months.”
The program was rebooted in January of 2018.