Montana sculptor works in wood and bronze
One of sculptor Tyrel Johnson’s earliest memories is observing the Arabian horses his family once had.
And though he never took up riding, the magnificence of those 30 Arabian horses stayed with him — and inspired many of his bronze and wood sculptures. Johnson’s history includes being raised as the youngest of 16 kids, learning the inner workings of sculpting and casting monuments at his father’s foundry.
"Caution to the Wind," by Tyrel Johnson
The youngest of 16 children who grew up watching his father and siblings sculpting and working on castings at his father’s foundry, Johnson forged his destiny in bronze, stone and wood from his studio in Billings, Montana, where his passion for woodworking and sculpting – along with meticulous attention to anatomical accuracy – inspires his creative expression.
Wanting to find his own way as an artist, Johnson went on to apprentice to a master carpenter doing residential woodworking, exploring the wonder of wood by day while at night embarking on a study of horse anatomy, and sculpting skeletal structure and muscular details over a period of eight years.
"Continuance of Action," by Tyrel Johnson
Johnson’s artwork has been gaining media attention and earning a following. His signature style combines his metal and woodworking skills in bronze and wood creations that tell stories through sculpture with the goal of bringing something that transcends beauty to the viewer.
“I want my work to give its owners a positive feeling every time they walk through the room where they’ve placed it,” he said. “I want it to be beautiful and elegant yet simple. Their hearts are complex enough to fill it with countless meanings or moments that I couldn’t dream up if I tried. If something beautiful wells up within them because of my art, then I have succeeded.”
"Gratitude," by Tyrel Johnson
"Horse of Another Color," by Tyrel Johnson
"Undivided Love," by Tyrel Johnson
Johnson won Best of Show at the 2022 OutWest Art Show & Sale and both Best of Show and People’s Choice awards at the 2021 Sculpture in the Hills.