Born on August 28, 1942, in northern Wisconsin amid the dairy farms and north woods, Gerald Balciar’s early interest in art began in grade school, where—in a one-room schoolhouse—he would fill up the blackboard with chalk drawings of animals. Art and animals have always been a part of Balciar’s life. He portrays the gentle side of nature in his marble and bronze sculptures. His repertoire of work ranges from small-scale creations to heroic and monumental installations.
Balciar is involved in the creative process of bronze making from beginning to end. He works his original sculpture in wax or clay, then personally makes his own molds and sends a finished wax to the foundry. Once the foundry has cast the bronze, he does the welding and metal chasing and then applies the patina and finishing touches to each bronze. While doing an 18-foot bronze elk in 1982, he devised a point-up system that revolutionized the traditional enlargement process.
At the 2012 Masters of the American West, Balciar won the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation Award for Sculpture for his marble sculpture, Grizzly Pride. In 2009 he received the People’s Choice Award at the 2009 Western Rendezvous of Art and the Award of Excellence from the Society of Animal Artists, and in 1985 he received the Prix de West Purchase Award from the National Academy of Western Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City for his marble sculpture, River Companion.
Balciar is a member of the Society of Animal Artists and Allied Artists of America. He resides with his wife, Bonnie, in Parker, Colorado. They have three children and five grandchildren.
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