Collection: J.C. Dye

As J.C. Dye looked at the sculptures and canvases during a fortuitous 3rd grade class trip to the C.M. Russell Art Museum in Great Falls, Montana, a door opened inside him. In school, rudimentary drawings of horses and cowboy life filled the margins of his work sheets. Out of school he helped his father work their small ranch and was always on a horse pretending to be a cowboy. At night, images from the western movies he loved galloped across his dreams.

When told by the museum guide that Russell was a “cowboy artist” and had cowboyed right in J.C.’s hometown of Stanford, Montana, he knew right then and there just who it was he was meant to be. Years later, creating art was again what brought calm back to J.C.’s life after serving in the Marines in field artillery communications in the infamously deadly Ashau Valley, Con-Tien and numerous other fire support bases during the Vietnam War. For bravery and service, he earned the Combat and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry medals of honor.

His small-scale bronzes, monumental installations and oil paintings have been greatly inspired by his life as a rancher, working cowboy and avid outdoorsman. He has been honored with various awards including the People's Choice Award and the First Place Sculpture Award from the Central Montana Art Show, as well as the Founder's Award bestowed by the American Academy of Equine Arts.

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