Eiteljorg Musuem Blog
  • Quest for the West artist Blair Buswell

    by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 18, 2016

    Buswell 2016
    Blair Buswell

    Born 1956 in Ogden, Utah; lives in Alpine, Utah

    2016, bronze, edition of 22, 27 x 23 x 10 inches

    This Plains Indian stands as a sentinel, watching from the high ground. Mounted on his trusted pony, overlooking the valley below for game or intruders, he is ready to take action. This is the scale model for the first of the Native American pieces that I will be adding to our wagon train project in downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

    BLAIR BUSWELL HAS ALWAYS been fascinated with the human figure. He likes the challenge of capturing the gesture, mood, and expression of a person in thought, which brings a sense of life to his work. Buswell has also studied the skilled athlete in action and has used his artistic talents to sculpt famous sports figures of our day. He is also well known for his portraiture, and since 1983 has sculpted more than eighty busts of the inductees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Buswell enjoys sculpting a wide variety of subject matter in a range of sizes. His pieces are displayed in museums, private collections, college campuses, sports complexes, and fine art galleries nationwide.

    His traditional training has prepared him well, and he continues to push himself to learn new skills and techniques. The largest and most challenging project of his career was completed in 2009. In a collaborative effort, he and fellow sculptors Ed Fraughton and Kent Ullberg have produced larger-than-life-size works for downtown Omaha, Nebraska. Buswell accepted this new and daunting task as yet another opportunity to broaden his skills. Along with his figurative work, he has now sculpted mules, oxen, horses, and other animals. He loves the Old West and is excited to have had the opportunity to permanently capture its spirit as exemplified by the early pioneers.

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    2013       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Cyrus Dallin Award for Best Sculpture
    2013       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Artists’ Choice Award
    2007       Northwest Rendezvous, People’s Choice Award
    2004       Northwest Rendezvous, People’s Choice Award
    2003       Gilcrease Museum, Rendezvous, Featured Artist
    2003       Northwest Rendezvous, Award of Merit (Artist’s Choice Award)
    2002       Northwest Rendezvous, People’s Choice Award
    1997       National Sculpture Society Annual Exhibition, Bennett Prize


    National Sculpture Society
    Northwest Rendezvous Group

    Gallery Representation

    Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, Colorado
    The Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
    Nedra Matteucci Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico
    The Red Piano Gallery, Hilton Head, North Carolina
    Wilcox Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming

  • Quest for the West artist Dan Bodelson

    by The Eiteljorg Musem of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 17, 2016
    Bodelson 2016
    Dan Bodelson

    Born 1949 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; lives in Santa Fe


    The Artist
    2016, oil, 30 x 24 inches

    This piece had two inspirations. The first was a photo that a friend of mine let me use, and the second was a day-trip adventure with another friend of mine, who is four-and-a-half years old (the half is very important). My little friend and I explored large culverts under the highways, which are full of graffiti and things. One had this great light that cast down from a vertical metal culvert. I took a picture of my friend under the light. I then reposed the photo from my other friend, added the light, and put the whole thing in a teepee. So there you have it: inspiration.

    ALTHOUGH HE WAS BORN IN MINNESOTA, Dan Bodelson grew up in Colorado and New Mexico. After graduating from high school in Santa Fe, he attended the California College of the Arts in San Francisco/Oakland, receiving his BFA in 1972. Intending to pursue a career as an illustrator, his love of painting took him back to Santa Fe, where he has lived and painted ever since.

    Bodelson’s scenes of American Indian life and landscapes are inspired by Western literature and the natural beauty that surrounds him. He and his family also travel widely; he has painted in places as far-flung as Brazil, the Bahamas, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. His work can be found in many outstanding private and corporate collections. Since the early 1970s, Bodelson has been involved with many group, individual, and invitational shows.

    Gallery Representation

    InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas
    Joe Wade Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Trailside Galleries, Jackson, Wyoming, and Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Quest for the West artist Gerald Balciar

    by The Eiteljorg Musem of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 16, 2016
    Balciar 2016a
    Gerald Balciar

    Born 1942 in Medford, Wisconsin; lives in Parker, Colorado

    Guardian Angel
    2016, bronze, edition of 45, 12 x 15 x 12 inches

    In this sculpture I wanted to show how protective a mother duck can be of her brood. I remember as a kid sneaking up on a small slough no bigger than a puddle by the river with a hen and about a dozen ducklings. I made a dash into the water, thinking, “I am going to catch a baby duck.” The hen flew off and all the ducklings dove under water. I still don’t know to this day how that mother duck saved her family, because I waited for them to surface and they never did.

    LIKE MANY artists, Gerald Balciar’s fascination with art began when he was a young boy. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, he was fascinated by the wild animals in the woods near his home and taught himself how to sketch them. In 1964, after learning to work in clay, he cast his first bronze. He later began to carve in stone as well.

    Balciar’s empathy for animals, enhanced by careful research and occasional work from live models, forms the basis for his sympathetic portrayals of wildlife, which are admired by zoologists and wildlife advocates. His creations range from small works to monumental installations. His largest marble is Canyon Princess, an 18-foot, 16,000-pound cougar carved from a single block and installed at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. In order to have the marble he prefers, he stores a huge supply near his studio and on land he owns near a quarry.

    Notable Awards and Achievements

    2014       Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Quest for the West, Eiteljorg Keepsake
    2012       Autry Museum of the American West, Masters of the American West, Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Sculpture Award
    2009       Society of Animal Artists, Award of Excellence
    2009       Montana Historical Society, Western Rendezvous of Art, People’s Choice Award
    2007       National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Prix de West, James Earl Fraser Sculpture Award
    1999       Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, William E. Weiss Purchase Award
    1991       National Academy of Western Art, Prix de West, Gold Medal
    1990       National Academy of Western Art, Prix de West, Nona Jean Hulsey Rumsey Buyers’ Choice Award and Silver Medal
    1985       National Academy of Western Art, Prix de West, Purchase Award and Gold Medal 


    Allied Artists of America
    Society of Animal Artists

    Gallery Representation

    Astoria Fine Art, Jackson, Wyoming
    Big Horn Galleries, Cody, Wyoming, and Tubac, Arizona
    Broadmoor Gallery, Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Knox Galleries, Beaver Creek, Colorado
    Sorrel Sky Galleries, Durango, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Whistle Pik Galleries, Fredericksburg, Texas

  • What’s New at WestFest This Year?

    by Emily Hanawalt, festivals and markets intern | Jul 21, 2016
    Keenan Wade & Grace Adele of The Farmer and Adele

    The Eiteljorg is ecstatic to welcome the western swing band, The Farmer and Adele to WestFest this year. Hailing from Tennessee, the band, which includes Grace Adele on sock-rhythm guitar/song/tap tap tappin, Keenan Wade on mandolin/song/guitar, Carco Clave on Steel Guitar and dobro and Erik Alvar on Upright Bass, plays tunes that will keep your foot tappin’ and your hands clappin’ throughout their set. Dressed in western clothes from hat to boot, these entertainers will transport you back to the taverns of the western frontier. The group recently put out an album titled Into the Wide Open Sky, many of which they will perform at WestFest on Saturday, July 23.


    Additional links about The Farmer and Adele:!farmerandadele/cbp8

    AJ Silver

    Trick roping is defined as the art of twirling a lasso for entertainment or competitive purposes. Angelo Iodice, also known as AJ Silver, would define trick roping as his calling. Growing up in the Bronx, Angelo was inspired to learn trick roping when he went to a rodeo at Madison Square garden, a venue in which he recently was able to perform in, bringing his career full circle.  The National Cowboy Hall of Fame awarded Silver the Rodeo Act of the Year award and Silver has also given back by passing on his knowledge to future generations in projects such as The National Circus Project. We’re excited to welcome AJ Silver this summer.


    Additional links about AJ Silver, Trick Roper:

  • WestFest & the National Day of the Cowboy

    by Emily Hanawalt, festivals and markets intern | Jul 18, 2016

    This year, the Eiteljorg WestFest falls on the fourth Saturday of July, which is the National Day of the Cowboy. The non-profit organization that supports the National Day of the Cowboy hopes to “contribute to the preservation of America’s Cowboy heritage so that the history and culture… can be shared and perpetuated for the public good, through education, the arts, literature, celebrations, gatherings, rodeos, and community activities.” Click here to find out more on their website.

    This is similar to part of the Eiteljorg mission to “inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West.” The decision to have WestFest coincide with the National Day of the Cowboy on July 23 seemed like a natural choice. WestFest is about showcasing the diversity of the West and recreating an atmosphere that places visitors into the Old West through sights, smells and experiences while challenging some preconceived notions about all things Western. WestFest will include oxen, horses, a stagecoach, a chuck wagon, performances that paint a picture of a diverse West and more. As an added bonus, visitors can visit The Grand Canyon exhibit to enhance the feeling of being Outwest.

    Michael Smith performs at WestFest

    Some performers include, buffalo hunter John Switzer, black cowboy and storyteller Michael Smith, and buffalo soldier Kevin McKoy.  Other entertainment includes performances by western swing band, The Farmer and Adele and trick roper, AJ Silver. The Eiteljorg invites you to immerse yourself in Western art, history and music at WestFest, July 23. Come celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy with us!

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