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Dave McGary

Birth place or City of origin: Cody
State of origin: WY
Last known City: Alto
Last known State: NM
Start/Birth date: 1958
Death/End date:

Dave McGary is becoming a living legend among contemporary artists of the American West. He is considered the Master of Realism, depicting Native American Indians, and his many awards during the past decade more than verify his popularity among collectors and fellow artists. His ability to capture the human spirit knows no equal, and his attention to detail in form and historic content are exhilarating.

Dave was born the son of a ranching family in Cody, Wyoming. As a teenager, he was awarded a grant to study anatomy and the bronze making process with master craftsmen in Italy. After returning to America in 1978, Dave spent the next three years working a bronze foundry and finishing facility in the southern mountains of New Mexico.

By 1982, Dave’s bronze work began receiving recognition at national art competitions, receiving gold and silver medals for Death Mask, Story of the Little People, My Heart Is The Eagle, War Deeds, Birth Of Long Soldier, and Long Soldier. Two of his bronzes, Horse Thief and Buffalo Warrior, are in the permanent collection in the Old Executive Office building at the White House Complex, Washington, D.C.

Dave has been selected by jury twice to show in the prestigious Hubbard Art Award for Excellence Show, where he was one of the most popular artists, selling out his work. His life-size work, Long Soldier, was selected for public display at the State Capital Building in Santa Fe. He was commissioned by the City of Santa Fe to depict Don Pedro de Peralta, founder of Santa Fe. The one and one-half times life-size, 18’ foot high and 22’ foot long monument was installed and dedicated during Fiesta Days in September 1992.

Early in 1995, he constructed his own Finishing Studio and Expressions in Bronze Gallery. In July, Free Spirits at Noisy Water, Dave’s monumental sculpture of eight horses running through a natural landscape, was installed at The Museum of the Horse in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico. The bronze sculptures and the surrounding park were designed, sculpted and engineered by McGary. Considered an engineering feat, the eight horses, weighing 3,000-5,000 pounds each, are balanced on only nine feet. The Paint Mare with Foal, Arabian, Morgan and Standard-bred is one of the largest equine sculptures in the world, totaling 255’ feet in length. The top-most horse, the Standard-bred, stands more than 36’ feet in the air as he leaps from a man-made mountain. In July of 1995, Dave also received the New Mexican of the Year Award, and in October he received the Honorary Lifetime Alumni Award from Eastern New Mexico University for his contributions to the Arts in New Mexico.

In 1996, Dave introduced three new Masterworks, Not Afraid of Pawnee, Young Men of the Enemy Fear His Horses, and The Rainmaker Top-Edition. He also introduced Crow King Study and his third artifact, Lakota Hoofprint.

In March of 1997, Dave premiered Strong Hearts, the first bronze in a series of Native American women. Strong Hearts portrays a Sioux Mother with her baby son in a beaded cradleboard on her back and her young daughter at her side. They represent the surviving family of a Strong Hearts Society Warrior who died protecting his family and the tribe. In August of that year, he also premiered his second new image for the year, A Matter Of Honor depicting the famous warrior Crow King on his warhorse, at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Dave released his new limited edition book in May of 1997 entitled Dave McGary, American Realism in Bronze: A Twenty Year Retrospective. This limited edition volume features text by noted author Michael Duty, as well as detailed photographs of Dave McGary's works over the past twenty-three years. In addition to the Basic Edition book, Dave premiered the second state of The Rainmaker, the Bust, signed and numbered for all the Collectors who had purchased this piece. During this Gala his Collectors where introduced to the first piece in his Native American Children Series, In Her Father’s Footsteps.

On February 22, 1998, Dave installed a 30’ foot tall, 15’ foot wide monument at the Houston Astrodome. The sculpture, Touch The Clouds, depicts a nineteenth century Miniconjou Chief who fought alongside Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The project was announced at a ceremony and national media press conference in February of 1996, where Dave unveiled a 43” inch bronze Masterwork of the monument. Although the fine art collection owned by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is extensive, Touch The Clouds will be the first and largest sculpture to portray a Native American.

In 1998, Dave introduced several pieces. The first, released in March, depicted the warrior Gray Hawk and was entitled Bounty of Gray Hawk. Walks Among The Stars, the second in his Native American Women’s Series, was released in May. Later he released a two-figure piece in which a Strong Hearts Society Warrior and his wife is depicted in the piece called Hearts of Conviction. Along with these pieces, Dave released the newest addition to his Artifact series, Home Sweet Home, which depicts a field mouse sitting on top of his home, a pair of moccasins.

February 1999, Iron Hail premiered featuring a Teton Sioux Warrior. Iron Hail was thought to have the power to make it rain and hail on his enemies. August 20, 1999, brought wonderful news to McGary Studios, Dave was selected to sculpt the Shoshone Warrior and Peacemaker, Chief Washakie. There will be three life sizes completed of Chief Washakie, one in our nations capitol, the two remaining placed at the Wyoming state capital and at the joint Shoshone and Arapaho Complex in Fort Washakie. In May, Bounty of Gray Hawk and Bear’s Nest masterworks were on loan to the International Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas for the grand opening of the museum. August also saw the completion of Dave’s Symphonies of the Heart, the third in his acclaimed Women Series. It depicts a young Lakota Sioux couple of the mid 1800s and shows an important part of the courting ritual of the Lakota people.

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