Photographer Rochelle Villanueva shot an image that will be unveiled as part of the Sisters Rodeo poster on Friday, February 22.photo provided
Photographer Rochelle Villanueva shot an image that will be unveiled as part of the Sisters Rodeo poster on Friday, February 22.

photo provided
The 2019 Sisters Rodeo poster will be unveiled at a ceremony on Friday, February 22, at Dixie's in Sisters from 4 to 6 p.m.

Serendipity sometimes takes charge, as Sisters Rodeo experienced in the development of this poster.

Rochelle Villanueva attended her first Sisters Rodeo in 2018, where she took lots of photographs. She was inspired to share a riveting shot of a barrel racer with Sisters Rodeo through the rodeo email address.

The photograph was so impressive that it was forwarded to the rodeo's board of directors. Rodger Dwight, who manages the rodeo posters, responded that this would make a great poster.

A request to Villanueva was greeted with extreme excitement, since part of the reason for the rodeo visit with her husband, Kevin, was to practice her photography. She is a member of a photography club in Eugene.

Villanueva, whose family immigrated to the United States in 1967 from the Philippines, is a retired medical doctor. She was in a private practice for 14 years in populous Southern California. Then she joined the Veterans Administration medical program in Sonora, California.

"The availability of technology in the veterans' medical program was really exciting," she said, "but the rewards went beyond working with veterans."

Becoming a small-town resident was a very new experience for a "city girl." She and Kevin were immensely attracted. She remained in the VA program until she retired another 14 years later.

"The quality of life was so enticing that we welcomed the change the small population offered."

It was in Sonora where the Villanuevas attended their first rodeo. They were smitten with the action, the fans and the sport itself.

They continued to attend rodeos until they moved to Eugene in their retirement. One of her photography club friends suggested they go to Sisters Rodeo.

"I was really attracted to the action, speed and grace of rodeo competition. This barrel racer was right in front of us, her hair flying. There were great expressions on the faces of both the rider and her horse," Villanueva said. "Every event at Sisters Rodeo moves so fast. The hospitality of the people at the rodeo was awesome."

The rider in the photo is Danyelle Williams, a professional barrel racer from Vale, Oregon. She was thrilled to give her permission for the rodeo to use her image for Sisters Rodeo's poster.

Both Rochelle and Kevin hope they can get to the unveiling ceremony. Road conditions will dictate that possibility. However, they have purchased tickets for each day at the 2019 rodeo.

Sisters Rodeo hopes that the public will join them at Dixie's to view this piece of art that many have said looks more like a painting than a photograph.