Blair Buswell – NWR Artist
Blair Buswell has always been fascinated with the human figure. He likes the challenge of capturing the gesture, mood, and expression of a person in thought which brings a sense of life to his work. Blair has also studied the skilled athlete in action and has used his artistic talents to sculpt famous sports figures of our day, including Jack Nicklaus, Oscar Robertson, Doak Walker, and Paul “Bear” Bryant. He is also well known for his portraiture and since 1983 has sculpted more than 96 busts of the inductees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Blair was honored in 1990 as the Sport Artist of the Year by the United States Sports Academy; the first sculptor ever to be so honored.
Blair enjoys sculpting a wide variety of subject matter in a range of sizes. His pieces are displayed in museums, private collections, college campuses, sports complexes and fine art galleries nationwide. In Oklahoma City you can see two of Blair’s monuments; Mickey Mantle at Redhawks stadium as well as Charlton Heston here at the National Heritage Museum. In 2010 Blair installed a larger than life size standing figure of NFL Hall of Fame football player, Merlin Olsen at Utah State University in Logan, Utah and a twice-life size figure of General Robert Neyland in Knoxville Tennessee at the University of Tennessee football stadium which bears the General’s name. In 2012 an 8’ figure of Coach John Wooden will be installed at the entrance to the renovated Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA. In 2014 He installed two monuments honoring the Texas A&M Marching Band and Corps of Cadets at Kyle Field in College Station.
A member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group, Blair is also a Fellow and board member in the National Sculpture Society, and serves, by appointment from the Governor, on the board of the Utah Arts Council.
His traditional training has prepared him well, and Blair continues to push himself to learn new skills and techniques. The largest and most challenging project of Blair’s career was completed in 2009. In a collaborative effort, he and fellow sculptors Ed Fraughton and Kent Ullberg have produced larger-than-life-size works for downtown Omaha Nebraska. Blair and Ed’s part of this project was the creation of a wagon train, one city block long. Blair accepted this new and daunting task as yet another opportunity to broaden his skills. Along with his figurative work, he has now sculpted mules, oxen, horses, and other animals. He loves the old west and is excited to have had the opportunity to permanently capture its spirit as exemplified by the early pioneers. In 2014 he as asked to add to the overall story of the frontier in Omaha. This will be another multi-year project, the majority of which will represent the Native Americans of the area.