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Bill Nebeker

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
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Last known State: AZ
Start/Birth date: 1942
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Known for his sculpture of authentic depiction of the American West in the tradition of Charles Russell and Frederic Remington, Bill Nebeker of Arizona has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1978, serving as president in 1992. His interest in sculpting was sparked in 1964 when he accompanied his parents to a one-man showing of sculptor George Phippen’s artwork -- eventually working at the Phippen foundry with his wife where he met many top western sculptors such as Veryl Goodnight, Richard Greeves and Joe Beeler, before going out on his own in 1974.

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Known for his sculpture of authentic depiction of the American West in the tradition of Charles Russell and Frederic Remington, Bill Nebeker of Arizona has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1978, serving as president in 1992. In Kerrville, Texas, the Cowboy Artists Museum featured a 30-year retrospective of his work in the late 1990s.

Cowboy artist Bill Nebeker grew up along the Snake River in Idaho. As a boy, he always whittled dogs and horses, miniature cowboys, boots, and saddles but never considered it an art. His interest in sculpting was sparked in 1964 when he accompanied his parents to a one-man showing of sculptor George Phippen’s artwork. From that day, he just knew he had to try his hand at clay.

At first, Nebeker only sculptured in his spare time, but in 1976, he decided he was ready to swim or sink as a full time artist. Two years after his leap of faith, he was elected to membership with the Cowboy Artists of America. He was 36 years of age and the association’s youngest member. During the years since, Nebeker has solidified his reputation among his peers and collectors alike and in 1992, served as President of the Cowboy Artist of America.

He does not have traditional art training and describes himself as having irregular work habits, working sometimes intensely and then taking many days off. He has been a full-time artist since 1976 and is devoted to realism and accurate depiction of his subjects. He was inspired to become a sculptor in the early 1960s when he saw a sculpture by George Phippen at a one-man show in Skull Valley, Arizona.

Once established on his path of creating western sculpture and the year after Phippen died (1966), Nebeker began to work at Phippen’s foundry, the Bear Paw Bronze Works in Skull Valley, operated by a son of Phippen. Nebeker’s wife, Merry, also took a job at the foundry, and because of this immersion, Nebeker received a hands-on education from the Phippen family in making western sculpture. He also met many top western sculptors such as Veryl Goodnight, Richard Greeves and Joe Beeler.

Realizing he could make more money selling his own sculpture, Nebeker quit the job at the foundry in 1978 and moved to Prescott with his wife and three children.

Biography courtesy of www.askart.com

 

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