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 Michael Thomas  (1954 - )

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Lived/Active: Wyoming      Known for: sculptor-animal, history, cowboy

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Ad Code: 3
Michael Thomas
from Auction House Records.
Out of the Clouds
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A cowboy and sculptor whose highly detailed cowboy sculpture reflect his own life, D Michael Thomas has a studio and barn together on his Wyoming property overlooking the town of Buffalo. He models his bronzes after real people but works primarily from memory and not from photos.

He was born in Big Piney, Wyoming to a five-generation Western family that includes the famous mountain man, Joe Meek. His father was a game warden and taught him about animals including the raising and riding of horses and the life of a cowboy. In his family, art was encouraged by his mother who was an accomplished easel painter. She introduced her son to the work of Charles Russell. A second grade teacher reinforced him by displaying his paintings in the school hallways.

But Thomas didn't really get serious about art until he attended the University of Wyoming majoring in Animal Science. One of his friends was sculpting in bronze, gave him some clay, and he was very taken with it, quickly losing himself in the creative process.

He earned the degree in Animal Science, worked for the Production Credit Association, and later managed a feed and ranching supply store. He was also selling his sculpture on the side, and in 1993, made the full commitment to this endeavor as a profession. Soon after he was winning awards at the George Phippen Show.

He is also a musician and performs on trail rides by playing the guitar and singing. He is on the Board of Directors of the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in Buffalo and is part of the volunteer fire department.

Source: "Art of the West", August 2001

D Michael Thomas' recent awards include:
State of Wyoming Governor's Art Award; Best of Show at the Phippen Western Art Show in Prescott, Arizona; Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, California; the Spirit of the West Show in Cheyenne, Wyoming and the Phippen Foundation Award for Museum Quality Work.

"Art of the West Guidebook of Western Artists 2004"

Biography from Blackhawk Gallery:
A native son of Wyoming, Mike Thomas grew up on ranches in the Big Piney area. His father, a game warden and mother, an artist, helped Mike gain insight and respect for the western way of life. Mike attended the University of Wyoming, earning a degree in Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Medicine.

For sixteen years he worked in agri-business in Buffalo, Wyoming as an ag-loan officer and a manager of a feed and ranch supply business. He began sculpting in 1976 for pure pleasure. By the early 80's his work began selling, which led him to become more serious.

In 1993, Thomas began sculpting full time, and that year he was commissioned to create and sculpt a three-quarter life size scene depicting the range wars leading up to the infamous Johnson County Cattle War; now on display at the First National Bank in Buffalo, Wyoming. He is thankful to be born in a time where he got to know some of the first cowboys and ranchers in Wyoming. Even though there was a vast difference in ages, he enjoyed their mannerisms and humor. He believes much of the old dry wit is becoming increasingly rare; however, as long as there's horses, cows, coyotes and Democrats, the West will live on with humor, sprinkled with some old dry wit.

Biography provided to Blackhawk Gallery by Artist

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