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 Loren Entz  (1949 - )

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Lived/Active: Montana/Wyoming/Kansas      Known for: contemporary western ranch genre, figure painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Whereas many Western artists focus on either the more adventurous aspects of the historical West or contemporary ranch life, Loren Entz paints the quieter, more domestic side of rural living.  His paintings often depict the simple moments that make up the fabric of everyday life such as mothers with their children, or a father holding an infant at the end of the hard day's work. 

Raised in a Kansas farming community outside of Newton, and living with his family in Billings, Montana after living in Wyoming, Loren Entz finds inspiration and beauty in people and domestic animals that live close to the land, especially Indians, horses, pioneer women and children.  One of his major themes is preserving Indian culture.  Like his paintings and drawings of ranch life, his depictions of Native American life often show domestic scenes with parents and children and necessary work being done in the context of events that closely tie family members together because they are doing mutual tasks. 

Entz is also carefully selective of subject matter, and often focuses on connections between the shared experiences of Anglos and Native Americans in the West.  His emphasis is on the human emotions that unite, rather than divide, the many cultures that make up the past and the present worlds of the West.  Although his paintings are frequently narrative in nature, many have their genesis in painting trips in the field.  He has said that painting directly from nature allows him a greater degree of spontaneity. 

Working from his Billings studio in an historic building that he has remodeled, Entz approaches his subjects with first-hand knowledge from his background.  He grew up in farm country and visits to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City fired his artistic imagination and ambition.  He later worked as a Montana ranch hand, and coming into contact with other Western artists, Entz soon began to realize it was possible to actually make a living as an artist.  While in high school, he nurtured his artistic talent through course work at the Famous Artists Correspondence School and through his studies with two masters of realistic painting, Bettina Steinke and Richard Schmid.

Entz has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1992.  Working in oil, charcoal, pencil, pastel, bronze and watercolor, he has received numerous CAA annual exhibition awards:  Silver Medal for Oil Painting in 1994; Silver Award for Drawing and Other Media in 2007, 2005, 1995 and 1993; and Gold Medal for Drawing in 2003 and 1996.  Of his affiliation with the Cowboy Artists of America, Entz is quoted in the organizations 2009 exhibition catalogue:  "I'm very proud of my association with the CAA.  My desire is to steadily grow as an artist and become the best painter and sculptor that I can become." (30)

In 2006, Entz was the honored guest artist in Great Falls, Montana, of the C.M. Russell Auction of Original Western Art.  That same year, he received the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award at the 2006 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition.  The award is given to the participating artist who wins the most votes from all of the participating artists for having the best show of three or more works.

Recently a retrospective show was held for him at the Cowboy Artists of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas.

CA Cowboy Artists of America 44th Annual Exhibition 2009, Phoenix Art Museum
Artist files of the Phoenix Art Museum Library
Norman Kolpas, "Luck of the Draw", Southwest Art, September 2004

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II:
A representational painter of contemporary Wyoming cowboys, cattle and horses in oil and pencil, Loren Entz was born in Newton, Kansas, in 1949 and has lived in Cody, Wyoming, since 1980. “The reason I became an artist,” he observes, “is an inner driving force. When I was a boy, I spend long house drawing picture instead of plowing fields I painted pictures in my mind. While riding as a cowboy, I was thinking about art. While driving down the highway, I’m thinking about art.

“I went to Frederic Remington High School, built out in the country near Brainard, Kansas. It made an impression that a famous artist owned a ranch near where I grew up. In the courtyard was a reproduction of a Remington bronze, and in the classrooms there were reproductions of Remington paintings. I went to Hesston College in Kansas for one semester. Abstract art was in vogue. I have always been a realist so I was discouraged and left school. In 1975, I moved to Missouri to help Dad farm and realized I didn’t want to be a farmer.

“In 1976, I went to Longview Community College in Missouri, majoring in commercial art, but I was turned down by commercial studios so I moved to Miles City, Montana, and pursued being a cowboy. Ranch hands work long hours, but I still made pictures and began to sell a little. In 1980, I moved to Cody and began working an eight hour job, carpentering, so I could spend more time making pictures. My first professional showing was in February 1981, and in May I received an award at the Phippen Memorial Show. I quit my job in December and now do artwork full time. The neat part is I’m making a living at something I love to do.

Resource: "Contemporary Western Artists", by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C.

Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:
Raised on a farm near Newton, Kansas, Entz began creating pencil sketches as a young boy. Dubbed "the school artist," he found himself drawing while others were out playing. Perhaps prophetically, Entz attended Frederick Remington High School in Whitewater, Kansas, a school located on the very ranch site that the famous Western artist had owned.

During this time the artist began his formal art training by correspondence through the Famous Artists School. He later attended Hesston College in Kansas and Longview College in Missouri, and then found a job as a commercial artist which he found was not to his liking. He left the city for a stint as a ranch hand in Montana and over time developed ties to the Western Art Scene and other artists in Cody, Wyoming. Another, and most important, contact he made in Cody was meeting Christy, who was to become his wife.

Loren's talent to honor and immortalize the pioneers who built this country with great artistic skill and elegance was recognized by the Cowboy Artists of America in 1993 when they invited him to join their prestigious association. His graceful painting style and choice of tender subject matter relates the beauty of the family spirit in the face of hardship, and reflects Loren's own character simultaneously. A gentle soul with strong ties to his wife and children, Entz believes that the simple things in life can bring much pleasure, and should be appreciated and not overlooked.

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