Artist Paul Rhymer visits Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Artist Paul Rhymer visits Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek

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"Mourning Sun," by Paul Rhymer.

BEAVER CREEK — It would be hard to know any more about animal anatomy than Paul Rhymer. For 25 years Rhymer worked as taxidermist/modelmaker at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., as did his father before him and his grandfather before that. Because of his knowledge in the field of taxidermy Rhymer traveled the world helping other museums when special expertise was needed. Two full years were spent in Swaziland designing and building the natural history wing at their National Museum. He left behind a staff with skills capable of carrying on with the exhibition process, creating dioramas and murals as well as taxidermy.

So why are we going to find a gentleman with these qualifications at Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek this weekend as artist in residence?

Rhymer himself explains that he loved what he did, but "There came a time when I wanted to do art for art's sake. To put myself into the medium — to manifest the experiences I've had with the animals and the feelings I have about them."

Bronze sculpture allowed for just that process and his background gave him the perfect foundation for becoming one of our country's finest wildlife sculptors.

Rhymer's knowledge goes beyond anatomy — when he sculpts his understanding of the animal's habits, social structure, movement and personality make the resulting artwork more than a mere copy of the animal.

"I want to sculpt the way an impressionist paints," he said.

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The garden piece, "Mourning Sun" is a perfect example. Two bronze mourning doves sitting comfortably on a sunflower atop a 4-foot basalt column is a cameo of peace and contentedness that would bring delight to any home.

You can find Paul at Horton Fine Art in Beaver Creek Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. His bronze artwork spans the spectrum from mountain lions to hippos and he has a story to color each one.

If you go …

What: Sculptor Paul Rhymer.

Where: Horton Fine Art, 154 Beaver Creek Plaza.

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

More information: Call 970-949-1660.