By Todd Wilkinson
Tim Shinabarger is an award-winning American sculptor and painter internationally known for his portrayals of wildlife. Today, his works in bronze can be found in major museums and private collections, including the Autry National Center’s Museum of the American West in Los Angeles and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Wyoming.
A native of Montana, Shinabarger spent his youth and early adulthood never far away from his beloved wilderness areas in the northern Rocky Mountains. The past few decades have seen Shinabarger going further afield, exploring some of the most remote corners of the continent to gather reference material for new pieces. “Nature is the source of my inspiration,” he says. “There is no replacement for total immersion if what you’re seeking is the truth.”
Critics hail Shinabarger’s work both for its mature, sophisticated approach to composition and for the artist’s ability to communicate the very spirit of his subjects. Expanding his corpus, Shinabarger has also won acclaim for his depictions of African and Alaskan mega fauna. He is, without question one of the finest wildlife sculptors of his generation.
“Tim Shinabarger is like an elder statesman of wildlife art without actually being very old,” says Adam Duncan Harris, chief curator at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. He has risen to the top and has remained there with work that is consistently innovative and of the highest quality.”
Among some of his accolades: Being a four time winner of the coveted James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award at the annual Prix de West Invitational and earning similar distinctions from the National Sculpture Society, National Museum of Wildlife Art, and Society of Animal Artists. In 2013, a solo exhibition of new works held at the Legacy Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming - the biggest show of Shinabarger’s career - resulted in a near sell out of 10 different pieces being offered in small edition sizes.