“All my bronzes tell a story,” says Jay Contway.
This year, Contway’s bronze captures that moment of complete relaxation for both man and horse. Titled When the Works All Done This Fall, the sculpture depicts many a cowboy’s pleasure – a stolen nap in the afternoon sun when he should be riding over the prairie.
Perhaps the reason that Jay Contway’s Western artwork is so successful is because Jay Contway has lived a very Western life. Growing up on a homestead near Malta, he helped his family raise horses, cattle, and sheep. (This familiarity with horses and livestock would allow him to accurately depict animals in paintings and sculptures early on.) Later in life, after Contway had become a full-time artist, he decided to go back to his roots and raise horses with his wife, Lynn. They did this for many years, holding an annual horse auction at their home on the outskirts of Great Falls.
The Contways have been through many changes since then. They have not owned horses for several years now, and Jay and Lynn have recently moved into a new home. This has been a major adjustment for Jay as he has had to set up a new studio and no longer has his own foundry for casting bronze.
Despite these adjustments, Jay Contway is still hard at work producing masterful Western artwork. In fact, this year he was inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame and the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. Jay was included not only for calves he roped and horses he trained, but also for capturing the Western lifestyle in his art, particularly in the sculptures he creates.
Once again, he will be displaying his bronzes at the Jay Contway and Friends Art Show at the Hilton Garden Inn during Great Falls’ Western Art Week. He will also have a booth at the Civic Center as part of the Russell Auction’s Skull Society, an elite group of Western artists. All are encouraged to come out and view Jay Contway’s magnificent Western art. Every bronze tells a story; perhaps one of these stories will speak to you.
For more information, visit JayContway.com Hilton Garden Inn, March 17-20