New western show opens at Claggett/Rey
A new show featuring western artists Jim Rey and Dave McGary opened Thursday, March 20, at Claggett/Rey Gallery in Vail Village, and it runs through April 10.Rey and his wife Sharon live on a small farm in the sand hills just north of Mitchell, Neb. Surrounded by wide-open prairies to the south and east, the Rocky Mountains to the west, and the tall grass ranges to the north, the landscape provides a proper setting for his field studies. It also serves as an inspiration for his paintings of life in the American West.”I have lived in the West for my entire life. My earliest memories (and incidentally, my earliest drawings) were of horses and cattle. For the most part, I have always made my living as a painter, though, much of that time has been spent in the saddle. Therefore, it seemed natural to try and depict what I lived, observed and loved. I’m most content when I’m around western activities, whether it’s a movie, a book, a rodeo, or a branding. “However, if I was asked to sort out the one element, of the western experience, that I identify most closely with, it would clearly be the horse. I have always loved and identified with horses. I’ve hadpositive and negative experiences with them, but, in my mind, there’s still nothing like a horse… it’s the driving force behind my choice of subject matter.”McGary, at 41, 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. His newest masterwork, “Blessing of The Bear,” is based on the following:Kicking Bear, an Oglala Sioux by birth, joined the Miniconjous through marriage and became a band chief. He fought at the battles Rosebud, Slim Buttes, and the Battle of Little Bighorn. Kicking Bear, a full brother of Flying Hawk, gained great honor for killing some of Major Reno’s soldiers as they fled across the river during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.Kicking Bear gained his notoriety from his participation in and the leadership of the Ghost Dance movement among the Sioux Indians in the period around.Claggett/Rey Gallery is located at 100 E. Meadow Dr. in Vail Village. Call (970) 476-9350 for more information.q– Vail Trailstaff report
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