Born in northern Wisconsin on August 28, 1942, Gerald Balciar had an early interest in art beginning in grade school. His art is noted for its readily identifiable artistic style which is grounded in an in-depth knowledge of animals. For reference, he works from his extensive library of wildlife material which includes photos, magazine clippings, books, and numerous study casts and measurements. He also uses live models as an invaluable aid in his sculptures and receives excellent cooperation from zoologists and wildlife organizations.
Balciar is involved in the creative process of bronze making from the beginning to end. He works his original sculpture in wax or clay and then personally makes his own molds and chases his own waxes. Once the bronze is cast at the foundry, he does the welding and metal chasing and then applies the patina and finishing touches to each bronze.
While doing an 18′ bronze elk in 1982, he devised a point up system that revolutionized the traditional enlargement process. His largest sculpture to date is a 20′ bronze moose, “Centennial,” which was installed at Mooseheart, Illinois, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Loyal Order of Moose in 1988. His largest marble carving is an 18′, 16,000 lb. cougar, “Canyon Princess,” which was installed at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City in June, 1995.
He is a fellow of the National Sculpture Society and a member of the Society of Animal Artists, Allied Artists of America, and Northwest Rendezvous Group. He has won several awards including nine from the National Sculpture Society, and he is listed in the Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in the West, and the Directory of American Sculptors. He has taught at the Scottsdale Artists School, Art Students League of Denver, and Loveland Academy of Fine Arts.
Balciar’s most prestigious award is the Prix de West received in 1985 from the National Academy of Western Art at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City for his marble.