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 Veryl Goodnight  (1947 - )

About: Veryl Goodnight
 

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Lived/Active: Colorado/New Mexico      Known for: horse and figure sculpture

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Ad Code: 3
Veryl Goodnight
from Auction House Records.
No Turning Back
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Veryl Goodnight began her career as a wildlife artist in the 1970s as a painter, but she found she enjoyed sculpting, and within five years, was sculpting exclusively.  Later she took up painting again.  Of her work she says:  "The horse is my favorite subject.  I live with them, ride them, feed them and clean up after them." (McGarry, 23)

She only works with live models in order to capture the true essence of the animal she is depicting.

In 1998, Veryl Goodnight completed a monumental bronze sculpture depicting five horses crashing through the rubble of the collapsed Berlin Wall.  Titled The Day the Wall Came Down, the work includes pieces of the Wall, and weighs 14,000 pounds. It is located at the George Bush Presidential Library.

The artist's monumental works are found at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, the Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Brookgreen Gardens in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Sources:
Wildlife Art, May/June 2002
Susan Halsten McGarry, Cowgirl Up.  Art from the Other Half of the West

Biography from Mark Sublette Modern:
Veryl Goodnight has been sculpting since 1973. She is one of today’s best known sculptors of Western and animal subjects in bronze. Descended from Charles Goodnight, the legendary Texas cattle baron, Veryl is an artist whose work reflects the American West and highlights the pioneer ideal.

Raised near Denver, Veryl had formal artistic training that was greatly influenced by the beauty and freedom of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain wildlife and her keen interest in horses. As a child, she was only able to dream of having a horse of her own. This yearning became the impetus for her art, filling her with a passion to draw horses and even sculpt them in snow.

Veryl works exclusively from live models and has a special stage in her studio for the animals. She has raised many of her animal models including bison, deer, elk, goats, sheep, prairie dog, coyote and bear. Her work evolved over the years from sculpting only animals to sculpting people and animals. Veryl depicts this companionship in a way consistent with her philosophy toward nature’s creatures. The scenes are gentle and caring with the animal subjects shown as friends and equals.

This ideal is beautifully represented in her “Women of the West” sculpture series, which Veryl began in 1984 with "Cares For Her Brothers". This life-size bronze is located at the Denver Zoo and Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina. There are now eighteen sculptures in the “Women of the West” series.

“I’m interested in women who are close to the animals and the land. I focus on the 1800’s because animals were so integral to daily life.”

Veryl is one of the foremost equine sculptors in the United States. She is a sought after instructor, and teaches once a year at the Scottsdale Artists’ School and the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico.

Her equine bronzes range from miniature to monumental. Many of Veryl’s monuments are in museums and public collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. "Paint Mare" and "Filly", commissioned by the American Paint Horse Association, was dedicated at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in 1988. In 1989, The Lely Resort in Naples, Florida commissioned "The Freedom Horses", which depicts five over life-size running horses. "Spring and Sprite", a mare and running foal, was purchased for the Old West Museum in Cheyenne in 1999. Veryl is proud to also have "No Turning Back" at the Old West Museum. This life-size bronze is of a pioneer woman standing by a wagon wheel, looking over her shoulder. She seems to know that once she had started the journey west, there is 'No Turning Back'.

Her largest work to date, "The Day The Wall Came Down", a monument to freedom, portrays five horses jumping over the rubble of the collapsed Berlin Wall. The collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 was a moment of joy shared around the world, captured by the artist in this tremendous sculpture. There are two castings of this monument, one located at the George Bush Presidential Library and the “sister” casting is on display at the Allied Museum in Berlin, Germany. Each sculpture is 30 feet long, 18 feet wide and 12 feet high and weighs approximately 7 tons. The German casting was delivered by the U.S. Air Force on the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, installed by the German army, and unveiled by former U.S. President George Bush in July of 1998. The sculpture is a gift of friendship from the American people to the people of Germany. In October 2000, Veryl was the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Agency Seal Medallion” in recognition for her vision of freedom for “The Day The Wall Came Down.”

Veryl’s work has been profiled in the books "Leading The West" (Northland Press 1997) and "An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West" (University of Texas Press, 1998). She has also been featured in all major American art magazines, and exhibits in prestigious shows, such as Artists of America, Denver, CO; Great American Artists, Cincinnati, OH; Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, CA; Cheyenne Governor’s Invitational, Cheyenne, WY and the Northwest Rendezvous, Helena, MT.

She maintains membership in the National Sculpture Society, Society of Animal Artists, Northwest Rendezvous, American Academy of Equine Art and is a Master of the Artists of America. Most recently, Goodnight was awarded the People’s Choice Award for her sculpture “Back From the Brink” at the 2001 Northwest Rendezvous show in Helena, Montana, where her quick draw painting captured the second highest bid at $1,700. In addition, September/October issure of Art of the West featured her work in an article focusing on recent works, including paintings.

Veryl began her career painting and later transitioned into sculpture to better understand anatomy. In no time at all, she was hooked on the medium. Veryl has recently returned to painting, and has taken advantage of the workshop opportunities to study with Dan Gerhartz, Tom Browning, Andrew Peters and Howard Terpning. She lives just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband Roger Brooks and their menagerie of animals. Their favorite pastime is riding their horses through the surrounding mountains and arroyos.

Biography from Whistle Pik Galleries:
The following is from the artist:

I was born loving animals and the American West, this has been the focus of my art for over three decades. My method of working from life was initially an excuse to be outdoors and near the horses, birds, and many other animals that shared my life. The reality, however, is that having a living, breathing model nearby, not only provides information that a thousand photos couldn't convey, it keeps me excited.

Working from life also keeps me from becoming repititious. The subtle differences of each living being have become my passion, whether I am sculpting or painting.

I am proud of the distinctions listed below, but it is the models you will meet in "Sculpting From Life" and "Back from the Brink" and seen in the photo below of "The Goodnight Girls" by Barbara van Cleeve, that deserve the credit. It is their energy that I strive to bring to each new work.

EXHIBITS AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Goodnight has been featured in major American art magazines and exhibition venues include Artists of America, Denver, Colorado, Great American Artists, Cincinnati, Ohio, Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, California and the Cheyenne Governor's Invitational, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Professional organizations include membership in the National Sculpture Society, Society of Animal Artists, Northwest Rendezvous and the American Academy of Equine Art.

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS AND MONUMENTS
During Goodnight's sculpting career she has placed work in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Her seven-ton bronze monument to freedom, "The Day The Wall Came Down," is located at the George Bush Presidential Library.

In 1998, a second or "sister" casting of this monument was delivered to Germany by the U. S. Air Force and unveiled at the Allied Museum in Berlin by former President George Bush.

In October of 2000, Goodnight was the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency's "Agency Seal Medallion" for this sculpture. The medallion is inscribed "For your vision of freedom, patriotism and expression of the human spirit."

Other monuments are on display at The Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum in Oklahoma City; the Houston Astrodome; Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Miyama Building, Tokyo, Japan; Lely Resort in Naples, Florida; amd The Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

ART INSTRUCTOR
Goodnight teaches equine sculpture including once a year at the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico, and the Scottsdale Artist's School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

LIFESTYLE
Goodnight and her husband, Roger Brooks, live just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico with a menagerie of animals. Their favorite pastime is riding their horses through the surrounding mountains and arroyos. Roger, a retired commercial airline Captain, manages the studio business and flies his own airplane.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II:
Veryl Goodnight (born January 26, 1947) is a sculptor currently living near San Juan National Forest in Colorado.  Her sculptures of horses have achieved international acclaim.  She is best known for her piece The Day the Wall Came Down, a tribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall given as a gift from the United States to Germany in 1998.

Veryl was born in Ashland, Ohio, on January 26, 1947, but her family moved to Lakewood, Colorado when she was only a few weeks old. As a young child living in the West, she fell in love with horses. Her parents could not afford to buy her one of her own, but Veryl continued to think and dream about horses. When she was very little she would sculpt horses out of snow.[1] She received from her parents her first set of professional paints when she was in third grade, and soon her home was filled with equine drawings and paintings.[2]

In 1965, Veryl had the opportunity for a scholarship to study art at the University of Colorado at Boulder,[2] but declined because she did not wish to study abstract art, which was the predominant form being taught at that time. She attended business school in Denver instead.  During her 20s she held a steady job as a secretary while she continued to study art in her spare time.  Her mentors included artists James Disney, Ned Jacob, Ken Bunn, and Jon Zahourek.  She learned painting, bronze sculpture, and horse anatomy and began making and selling sculptures for a living.

Veryl’s best-known work, The Day the Wall Came Down, is a famous monument to freedom. It features five horses jumping over the rubble of the Berlin Wall.  There are two copies of the sculpture.  The first, finished in 1997, is located at the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.[3] The second, finished in 1998, was given as a gift from the United States of America to Germany and is located at the Allied Museum in Berlin.[3] Each sculpture weighs approximately seven tons and measures 30 feet long by 18 feet wide by 12 feet high.[4]

References
^ Roberts, Honi. Creative Rider. The Trail Rider. 2005; 16: 46-55.
^ a b Reynolds, Gretchen. All the Pretty Horses. Southwest Art. 2006; July issue: 159-163.
^ a b http://www.verylgoodnight.com/PC.html
^ Kadash-Swan, Kathy. Freedom Horses. Western Horseman. 1999; January issue: 100-106.

---text from Wikipedia

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Veryl Goodnight has been sculpting since 1973. Descended from Charles Goodnight, the legendary Texas cattle baron, Veryl's work reflects the American West and highlights the pioneer ideal. Veryl works exclusively from live models and has a special stage in her studio for the animals.

She has raised many of her animal models including deer, elk goats, prairie dog, coyote, bear, and most recently, bison. Veryl’s work has been profiled in the books "Leading The West" (Northland Press 1997) and "An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West" (University of Texas Press, 1998). She has been featured in all major American art magazines, and exhibits in prestigious shows, such as Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, California; Cheyenne Governor’s Invitational, Cheyenne, Wyoming and the Northwest Rendezvous, Helena, Montana.

She maintains membership in the National Sculpture Society, Society of Animal Artists, Northwest Rendezvous, American Academy of Equine Art and is a Master of Artists of America. Her largest work to date, "The Day The Wall Came Down", a monument to freedom, portrays five over life-size horses jumping over the rubble of the collapsed Berlin Wall. There are two castings of this monument, one located at the George Bush Presidential Library and the “sister” casting is on display at the Allied Museum in Berlin, Germany. Each sculpture is 30 feet long, 18 feet wide and 12 feet high and weighs approximately 7 tons.

In October 2000, Veryl was the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Agency Seal Medallion” in recognition for her vision of freedom for "The Day The Wall Came Down". Other monuments are on display at The Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, the Houston Astrodome, Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, the Lely Resort in Naples, Florida, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Veryl is a sought after instructor of equine sculpture. She teaches once a year at the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico, and the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Veryl and her husband, Roger Brooks, live just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a menagerie of animals. Their favorite pastime is riding their horses through the surrounding mountains and arroyos.

Biography from Ann Korologos Gallery:
Veryl Goodnight was born loving animals and the American West, and these two elements have been the focus of her art for over three decades. “Working from life was initially an excuse to be outdoors and near the horses, birds, and many other animals that shared my life. The reality, however, is that having a living, breathing model nearby not only provides information that a thousand photos couldn’t convey, it keeps me excited. Working from life also keeps me from becoming repetitious.”

Veryl has been featured in all major American art magazines and exhibits in prestigious shows- Artists of America, Denver, Colorado, Great American Artists, Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, California and the Cheyenne Governor’s Invitational, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Professional organizations include: Membership in the National Sculpture Society, Society of Animal Artists and the Northwest Rendezvous.

During Veryl’s sculpting career she has placed work in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Her seven ton bronze monument to freedom, The Day The Wall Came Down, is located at the George Bush Presidential Library. In 1998, a second or “sister” casting of this monument was delivered to Germany by the U. S. Air Force and unveiled at the Allied Museum in Berlin by former President George Bush.

In October of 2000 Veryl was the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency’s “Agency Seal Medallion” for this sculpture. The medallion is inscribed “For your vision of freedom, patriotism and expression of the human spirit.” Other monuments are on display at The Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum in Oklahoma City; the Houston Astrodome; Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Miyama Building, Tokyo, Japan; Lely Resort in Naples, Florida; and The Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Veryl is sought after as an instructor of Equine sculpture. She has taught at the Fechin Institute in Taos, New Mexico and the Scottsdale Artist’s School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Veryl now teaches sculpting classes once a year at her studio in Mancos, Colorado.

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