William “Bill” Gollings Statue Unveiled in Cheyenne

William “Bill” Gollings Statue ~ Cheyenne Wyoming

Wyoming sculptor Jerry Palen unveiled a 7-foot-tall statue of cowboy artist William “Bill” Gollings.

By Becky Orr
CHEYENNE — Brothers Chase and John Farrell climbed onto the statue’s sandstone base after the unveiling ceremony. “I like the spurs,” said John, 7, as he pointed to the back of one of the cowboy’s boots. The Savannah, Ga., boys and their mom, Sherry, are in town to visit relatives. The boys said they enjoyed playing on the statue’s seven-ton base. Their fun is what artist Jerry Palen is after. A Wyoming artist, Palen created the 7-foot-tall bronze of cowboy artist William “Bill” Gollings. “I hope people can touch it, love it and enjoy it,” Palen said at Friday’s dedication ceremony. He added that he hopes the statue will help make people more aware of the beauty of Wyoming and its wonderful people.

At Friday’s ceremony, officials pulled away a black curtain to reveal the bronze likeness of Gollings. It is located outside the Wyoming Arts Council, 2320 Capitol Ave., across from the State Capitol. A playful breeze stirred the leaves on the council lawn during the event, which occurred under a brilliant blue sky. The Gollings depicted in the statue is braced for the wind as his hat is on tight, Palen said. His chaps are blowing in the wind too. The statue honors Gollings, considered Wyoming’s foremost artist. He was a working cowboy who died in 1934 at age 54.

Gollings is shown with one boot resting on a saddle that he designed. He holds an artist’s palette in one hand and a paint brush in the other. “It’s not a buttoned-up, three-piece statue,” said Renee Bovee of the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. “There’s some whimsy that shows in it.” Gollings was a contemporary of Charles Russell and Will James. He also designed saddles. A bow and arrows sculpted in the bronze are signs of Gollings’ sympathy for the Indians of that era, Palen said. The bronze is a belated tribute to Gollings, said Dr. Bill Ward of Saratoga. “He was a true cowboy artist and lived on the range and painted on the range. He is to Wyoming what Charlie Russell is to Montana,” Ward said. Gollings was an excellent cowboy and top hand on the range, Ward said. He had a paint wagon on the range and operated a small studio in Sheridan. “I like (his work) because it is realistic art of what life was then,” Ward said. “He wasn’t a romantic like Russell. He was a realist.” Four of Gollings’ oil paintings from about 1918 hang in the state Capitol. Ward has collected Gollings’ works for more than 50 years. Most of them have been donated to the University of Wyoming art museum. Ward and his wife, Carole, of Saratoga, along with Wagonhound Ranch and Livestock near Douglas and Jerry and Peggy Palm of Centennial donated the money for the statue. Ward said the project cost $82,000. Gollings never has been properly recognized as an artist, Ward said. “It’s very satisfying to see it done. I’m glad to see him here.”

Original article: http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2010/10/16/news/01top_10-16-10.txt

Raunig Art Enterprises seeks to purchase original works by Bill Gollings. If you have one of his pieces, contact me at trdngpost@aol.com or call 303-829-4055

Mike Raunig, Owner
Raunig Art Enterprises

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