There really is a horse in the gallery

The Lloyd Gallery in Penticton followed through on their promise to invite a horse to the gallery to kick off artist Shannon Ford's show

Artist Shannon Ford poses with one of her subjects

Artist Shannon Ford poses with one of her subjects

The Lloyd Gallery wasn’t joking when they said they were inviting a horse into their Front Street gallery.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday, Smokey (Smokin Lynx Olena of the D-Bar-K Ranch in Oliver) arrived to view the paintings with the rest of the crowd gathered for the opening of artist Shannon Ford’s new exhibition, with some of the works featuring Smokey himself.

““Smokey, he’s a quarter horse, and I have painted him for a couple of years.”

Read more: Lloyd Gallery ready for some horsin’ around

Ford wasn’t concerned about sharing the limelight with one of her subjects, in this case, one she had been working with for about two years.

“What a great thing to do, to bring a horse in for everyone to enjoy,” said Ford. “Since a lot of my art is about horses, being able to connect with horses and share the actual horse I am painting, it’s fabulous.”

Ford traces her love of horses back to her early years.

“They touched me when I was very young. I remember being horse crazy from three years old, being fascinated with horses to the point to where I wanted to pretend I was a horse,” said Ford. “I had horse toys and drew horses.”

Ford said she wished for a horse until she was 12, when her parents bought her first horse.

“I went even more horse crazy. I’m still horse crazy and I still have horses,” said Ford. “When you are little like that, who knows where it will lead. I am very happy to have horses in my life and share them with everybody.”