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Howard Terpning - Journey to the Medicine Wheel -  MASTERWORK CANVAS EDITION Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          Journey to the Medicine Wheel
by Howard Terpning


Limited Edition of: 85
Image Size: 52"w x 35"h.
Published: April 2009

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“The medicine wheel has been described by Native Americans as a Chapel in the Wilderness. The circle represents the universe. The lines to the center are messengers which carry the voice of man to God. The rock represents great grandmother earth.

“There is one such site at 10,000 feet atop the Big Horn Mountains. The limestone rocks form a circle almost 90 feet in diameter with 28 spokes. It is said that today more than 80 tribes take the long hike up the mountain to worship at the wheel. Crow tribal elder John Hill says that for more than a millennium the wheel has been a place for fasting and vision quests. There are many such wheels of varying sizes throughout the Northern Plains, some known only to the Native American.

“I first became interested in the medicine wheel when a friend brought me to the site of a small one in 1985 in the Bitterroot Range. I took a photo of the scene but it was getting dark and the image was underexposed, but at least it gave me a record of the scene. I thought there I might do a painting about the wheel, but nothing came to mind. Fifteen years later another friend sent me a newspaper article with a photo of the wheel covered with snow. I mulled over the idea for another seven years before I finally figured out how the picture should be composed. I’m relieved that the painting is finally out of my system and yet sad that the adventure is over.”

Howard Terpning
Quite simply, Howard Terpning is one of the most lauded painters of Western art. His awards are so numerous and he is honored with them so often, that to list them would require changing the count every few months. To name three would be to cite the highest prizes awarded to Western art: countless awards from the Cowboy Artists of America, the Hubbard Art Award for Excellence, the National Academy of Western Art’s Prix de West and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Autry National Center. Why such praise? Passion, compassion, devotion and respect for his subject matter, extraordinary talent in palette and brushstroke, an exceptional ability to evoke emotion both in his paintings and from those viewing them — all this and more has made Terpning the "Storyteller of the Native American." Born in Illinois and educated at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art, he first gained attention with his captivating advertising and story illustrations. Film fans praised his movie posters for such classics as The Sound of Music, Dr. Zhivago and the re-issue of Gone with the Wind. But his love of the West and Native American traditions saw his transition to fine art. Terpning is an Emeritus member of the Cowboy Artists of America, active for 22 years, during which time he was presented with a total of 41 awards. His book, The Art of Howard Terpning won the Wrangler "Outstanding Art Book" award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Terpning was recently honored with a one-man show at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana featuring 30 of the artist’s most distinguished works where he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This career milestone was further celebrated with the publication of Spirit of the Plains People (2001, Greenwich Workshop Press). Terpning is the recipient of the Autry National Center, 2005 Masters of the American West Thomas Moran Memorial Award, given in recognition of exceptional artistic merit for painting.


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