Think of a cowboy. I’m talking about the real kind, the kind that rode for the brand on the ranches and the acres throughout the Old West.
The life of the cowboy was hard and raw. There was an admirable simplicity to the way he went about it. For example, agreements between cowboys didn’t need a contract, only a handshake. That simple act wedded a man to his word. That’s how business was done.
These sentiments summarize a recent telephone conversation I had with Brad Williams, local sculptor. Brad, you see, is the artist who created the art that’s been in front of Olsen’s since May. The two cowboys shaking hands over a fence is a work entitled “Binding Contract.” His goal in creating the sculpture was to symbolize the honesty of the cowboys’ ethics that inspired our western heritage.
Brad has lived in the Chino Valley area for some time now but grew up on the open plains of Eastern Colorado where he developed a reverence for the men and women who carved the original contours of the American West. His work reflects those historic contours: the simple act of watering one’s horse, a cowboy resting astride a rail fence, a young beau with his horse in tow greeting his lady.
There’s a bit of irony at work in Brad’s artistic process. Before asking, I assumed he began a sculpting project with sketches, but Brad says he doesn’t draw because he’s color blind. He goes directly from mental concept to physical concept with taxidermy foam, then applies clay to create the detail. The lost-wax casting process translates the foam and clay into bronze.
North-bound visitors on Rt….
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