6/25/2012 9:05:00 AM Western sculpture at its best featured at Sedona's Mountain Trails Galleries
Vic Payne: The North Winds of Chisholm (detail) Bronze, ed. 35 23”h x 71”L x 15”d
Bronze, ed. 45
18”h x 16”w x 16”d
For 25 years, Mountain Trails Galleries and its sculpture artists have had a love affair with the history of the American West.
The fascination with the stories and history continues to inspire the gallery's artists who carry on the tradition of its founder Ken Payne. Vic Payne and Dustin Payne, Ken Payne's son and grandson, along with Sedona artists Michael Trcic and Susan Kliewer all keep the spirit of the Old West alive as they sculpt the adventures and way of life of the ranchers, mountain men, pioneers, and famous leaders and outlaws.
These sculpture artists also have a strong affinity with the Native American plains and pueblo people which compels them to create memorable moments of courage when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, as well as peaceful moments of dignity and repose, at rest from what took place the day before.
Vic Payne can often be seen in the gallery working on his latest sculpture Vision of the Anasazi (clay precast for bronze, 37"H x 31"W x 15"D) which shows the moment in time a plains warrior meets his totem spirit, a guardian and way-shower, that will accompany him for life.
The mountain lion and the warrior are eye-to-eye, as the totem is transferring courage and wisdom to the startled warrior. Wind River Raiders (clay precast for bronze, 15"h/24" to top of staff x 51"w x 7"d) by Dustin Payne tells one of the stories of the Rocky Mountain fur trade as mountain men like Jim Bridger, John Colter, Kit Carson and Hugh Glass would be raided by Blackfeet, Sioux, Apache and other warriors who would take off with their cache of horses, equipment, and furs.
Michael Trcic's James Bowie: The Man Who Took a Knife to a Gunfight and Won (33"H x 24"W x 22"D, with encased Bowie Knife replica) tells the infamous 1927 story of Jim Bowie, a 19th century explorer and Texas folk hero, who became internationally famous as a result of a long running feud that became known as the Great Sandbar Fight.
Whether legend or fact, Bowie was bludgeoned with a sword, shot 4 times, had multiple stab wounds, and was still able to deliver a fatal stab with his Bowie Knife.
The Bowie Knife included with this bronze has been hand forged by Arkansas knife maker Dennis Riley. The steel is 5160, the handle ebony, and the fittings brass. Michael's love of old Western movies inspired his sculpture Out Here a Man Settles His Own Problems (18"H x 14"W x 9 "D).
"There was a code of honor that ran through all the best shows and movies," Michael said. "I learned many valuable lessons from the heroes of those Westerns."
Susan Kliewer's bronze Nampeyo (18"H x 16"W x 16"W) pays tribute to the Hopi potter Iris Nampeyo who brought fame to her pueblo for her polychrome Sikyatki pots.
In this beautiful bronze, Nampeyo is depicted as a young married Hopi woman making the pottery designs that she would have done at that time (ca. 1880). Susan's sensitivity and respect for the Native American culture comes through in every figure that she so beautifully portrays. Susan can often be seen at work on her latest sculpture in the gallery and has been demonstrating her techniques with visitors and collectors for over 18 years.
Mountain Trails Galleries is known for showcasing their artists at work in the gallery as they create their latest masterpiece. The gallery is also known for its award-winning painters who are inspired by the beauty of the deserts and mountains, the history of the American West, as well as the way of life of the Native American and the cowboy.
Still-life painter Lisa Danielle captures the authenticity of historic Sityaki, Hano, Zuni, and Hopi pottery in her acrylic paintings on board. Impressionist painter Betty Carr fills the canvas with luscious floral still-lifes and timeless landscapes. Mountain Trails is proud to welcome award-winning landscape painters Linda Glover Gooch and Joshua Been, as well as celebrated Chinese artist Wei Tai into its family of artists.
Stop by both Mountain Trails Galleries on First Friday, July 6, from 5-8 p.m. and talk with these inspired artists.
Mountain Trails Galleries is located at 336 SR 179, Suites A-201 (upstairs) and B-122 (downstairs) at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, Sedona, Arizona (928-282-3225). www.mountaintrails.com