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Her Ellensburg heritage and pride in her Western culture is clear and decisive in her work. Through that understanding, she knows how it works out west where the lifestyle is passed down from one generation to the next.

Samantha (Robbins) Brune’s photo journalistic essay on display on the New Artists Wall at the John Clymer Museum/Gallery is the latest exhibition of work by new artists from around the Kittitas Valley.

The 2010 Kittitas Secondary School graduate is a wedding photographer, a portrait photographer, both human, and animal. She does a little oil painting to help raise money for the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame. But this is her first exhibit at the Clymer Museum/Gallery, which will be on display until Oct. 2.

It showcases the calf branding at the Hunter Farms Cattle, which supplies cattle for PNW Beef. Her work gives insight inside the cattle industry and its day-to-day operations.

“I didn’t have an idea going in. I went along to help and just sort of brought my camera along,” Brune said. “I captured them bringing them in. They were really big on not stressing the cattle out and keeping them quiet.

“As you can see, it was a family event and there were generations learning the information being passed on to the little ones there.”

Brune is the owner and head photographer of Samie Jo Photo in Ellensburg. She is back to shooting 15 weddings a year, coming off the pandemic shutdown where she was limited to just two. She has always loved art and played with photography most of her life, she said. But she is not confined to any one genre or subject matter.

Her 10-photo display is her first museum exhibit.

“It’s pretty awesome. I’ve never had anything on display before in terms of my photography,” said Brune, who photographs in Kittitas County as well as on location around the state. “I do paint as well, which is something I do in my free time.

“So, it was really nice to be asked by the Clymer to bring something in. I’d love to do more photojournalism and fine art prints.”

Brune is one of the many local artists involved in the fundraising efforts for the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame. Most recently, the Flags of Fame project.

Now her photographic work is on display in the entrance way just outside the local hall of fame at the Western Culture & Art Center on Pearl Street.

Local artists interested for consideration for the New Artists Wall should contact Matthew Lennon at (509) 962-6416

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at


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