Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

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

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