The story behind the Houston Rodeo's new 'Boot Row'

HOUSTON – While there are horses, goats and cows at Rodeo Houston, the 21-day-long affair has so much more to offer - like art.

Fort Bend County artist Dusti Joyner says the rodeo gave her the confidence to make her passion her profession. This year, she's pouring her passion back into the rodeo. 

You can see one of Joyner's most recent works on your way into NRG Park on what's called Boot Row. It's a walkway lined with 10, 6-foot tall boots. Dusti was selected as one of six artists to paint one of the giant boots. 

"When I got the boot, it was a plain, white boot. And they just said, 'Go for it! Make your design happen,' "Joyner explained.  

She painted the boot in her garage every day from November to January, just feet from one of her very first paintings ever.

"I did this the summer before fifth grade," Joyner said, showing a painting she entered into the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's school art competition in 1993. She won best in show. "And from that day on, I was kind of like, 'Oh, I might be okay at this.' And that's how I started art." 

Fast forward 26 years to Joyner's latest canvas: a boot. Bluebonnets made of thick acrylic pop off of the boot, a texturing technique Joyner uses to add dimension. 

"As you walk around and as light hits the paintings different, that every view is different. Every day is different," Joyner said of the 3D effect of the texturing. 

She wants her art to inspire the same feeling she got when she won best in show all those years ago. 

"I hope that some little kids come up and see this boot and they're like 'Oh, I want to do that.' And I hope it encourages other people to do art and to get involved," she said. 

When you bring your little ones to the rodeo, stop by and take a look at Boot Row. Joyner painted a tiny ladybug she named Loretta on her boot, hoping kids will stop and take a minute to try and find it. 

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