Relics of the West - Oil and Clay on Canvas

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Relics of the West


Oil and Clay on Canvas

As a diversion for our youthful energy my mom would often take me and my siblings to the Museum of the Rockies in my hometown of Bozeman MT. While this museum is known for its collection of Dinosaur fossils which inspired my early career aspirations as a paleontologist, their exhibit on native Americans also left an impression on my young mind. I remember reading about how Native Americans would use every part of the bison they hunted including the tongue! Not far beyond this exhibit there was a photo of a few men who worked on the early railroad standing in front of a mountain, a mountain of bison skulls. This photo perplexed me then and it still does today. Traveling to Yellowstone or driving past the occasional ranch was the only exposure I had to these beasts in life that used to dominate the plains. How could a staple of life so quickly become a scarcity? I don’t have the answers, but in searching for understanding my respect for these beasts has increased. This piece is an embodiment of my early museum impressions laced with my growing respect for the animal on whose back the American west was founded.