Collector Alert: New Rules, Baby almost sold out!

New Rules, Baby by Craig Bergsgaard

New Rules, Baby by Craig Bergsgaard

UPDATE 8/1/10: This edition is SOLD OUT. The last piece in the edition is on its way to a new home in London, England.  As of this time, there are only two versions remaining in my Saloon Girls series: High Explosives and Everything Nice. Please contact me to reserve yours before these editions are also closed.

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UPDATE 10/1/09: There is only one New Rules left in the edition. The collection of four Saloon Girls has been sold as has the last single figure.  Please call me ASAP if you have been thinking about adding her to your collection. After the last piece sells, this edition will be closed forever. The price of the last piece is $4,900.

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New Rules, Baby is the very last piece in my popular Saloon Girls series. As I was sculpting New Rules, my vision was that she represents the time in life when you no longer make apologies for who you are. You are comfortable in your own skin and couldn’t care less about the opinions of others.

I knew my collectors would relate to her confident demeanor, but even I was surprised at just how popular New Rules has been. As of my last show, there are now only two pieces left in the edition. (There are actually three left, but I am saving the very last one for a complete a set of all four Saloon Girls call me for price if you have interest.)

New Rules is priced at $3,900. UPDATE:The price of the final piece is $4,900.

Please contact me if you would like me to reserve one before they ride off into the sunset!

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“I can’t change the human condition, all I can do is tell the story”

Excerpts from the creative journal of Craig Bergsgaard written while researching “Memorare, Sand Creek 1864”

The site is in southwest Colorado, off the beaten path. You find the road 13 miles off a US highway, where the surface turns to gravel. At first, the road was well maintained, but with each cattle pass I crossed, the road got narrower. Weeds were creeping in from both sides and a few ominous storm clouds were gathering to the north enough changes in the vista to affect my mood. I’m not sure what I felt, perhaps melancholy, sorrow or even apprehension over what I was about to experience.

Memorare, Sand Creek 1864 by Craig Bergsgaard

Memorare, Sand Creek 1864 by Craig Bergsgaard

The first thing I noticed is the palatable reverence of the site. I was greeted by Eunice, a woman of Native American descent. Eunice introduced me to the site director, Alden Miller. We visted Eunice and I visited the site together. Over the course of the tour, she and I engaged in a two-hour conversation that I will not soon forget.

After I shared with Eunice details of the in-progress sculpture, she explained that she would describe the battle from the Native American perspective, and leave the military perspective to others.

Eunice started by describing the “take no prisoners” political temperature of the time. She then showed me the directions of the three pronged attack and which way the inhabitants tried to flee. She covered the atrocities in depth, including a story of the women and children begging for mercy before being killed.

It was at some point, perhaps after she mentioned there were still a few “witness trees” left, that the conversation lightened. The camp site was lined with Cottonwood trees, which is nearly always the case. I have been asked a few times what it is like to view the world through artist’s eyes and when she asked I said I always see Cottonwood groves as very spiritual. I can almost see the communities of Native Americans camped along the creek beds that always accompany the trees.

Eunice explained that she was sure there was remnants of the battle embedded in the trees, but by the nature of the tree would now be enveloped. She tells of how the Cottonwood is spiritual to her; if we were to pin a penny to the tree and return years later the tree would have grown around the penny, totally enveloping it, thus making the Cottonwood very nurturing, forgiving and accepting all.

I cannot remember at what point we discussed my internal conflict as a veteran with using a disfigured American flag in the sculpture. Eunice had a simple, but powerful reply: “I would rather be hurt by the truth than hurt by a lie.”  I knew right then that there would be a flag in this piece.

Prior to this meeting, I had not pondered why this particular event resonates with me, but the whole flag iconography made it clear. Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle simply wanted to live in peace, but the military disregarded this entirely. As I told Eunice, I can’t pretend that I can change the human condition, all I can do is tell the story.

~ Craig Bergsgaard, July 31, 2009

What everyone ought to know about sculpture

JR and Bernie Kelley

JR and Bernie Kelley found a home for the "Saloon Girls" atop their wine rack

For novice art buyers, investing in sculpture can be fraught with anxiety. After all, everybody knows what to do with a painting, but how do you incorporate a three-dimensional artwork into a living space?

For the answer to this question, we turned to two of our favorite collectors, J.R. and Bernie Kelley of Arizona. The Kelleys have over 150 sculptures tucked into a trim condominium all while maintaining an open, inviting living space.

“Just buy what you like,” says Bernie. “If you love a piece, you can find a spot for it. Plus it will make you happy every time you see it.”

The Kelleys started their collection in the early 1990s while visiting Arizona. They bought one coffee mug-sized piece. From there, the Kelleys grew their collection, first by adding more small sculptures to their collection and then graduating to sizeable, intricate works.

Most of the flat surfaces in the Kelley home have a bronze treasure displayed: they keep pieces on bancos, coffeetables, and in the case of Craig’s Saloon Girls series, on top of an oak wine rack.

Although the Kelleys have focused on southwestern themes, they have successfully incorporated varying styles and subjects into their collection with no loss of continuity.

J.R.’s prize possession is a bronze showing the first wave of Marines landing at Iwo Jima in 1945. J.R. was in the first group of Marines to see the fierce fighting and later served as a model for one of the faces on the sculpture. Bernie fell in love with Lladro porcelain figurines when they lived in Florida, and has a substantial piece nestled next to a Native American bronze.

I asked Bernie if they ever tire of their sculpture. “Oh no, we never get tired of our collection,” she says. “We have only bought what we loved, so we enjoy it every day.”

Retired! Good Day Gone Bad

Good Day Gone BadI would like to say “thank you” to all my collectors who purchased Good Day Gone Bad during the Calgary Stampede Western Showcase. I have now retired the mold forever.

For everyone who purchased Good Day, stay tuned for the progress at the foundry. For everyone else, I am saving the last numbered piece from this edition for the juried auction at the 2010 Stampede. The piece will have a minimum price reserve of $3,850.