Born in Northern Wisconsin on August 28, 1942, Gerald Balciar had an early interest in art beginning in grade school. Today, 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 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 bronze sculpture to date is a 20 foot bronze moose, “Centennial”, which was installed in Moosehart, Illinois, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Loyal Order of Moose in 1988. His largest marble carving is an 18 foot, 16,000 pound cougar, “Canyon Princess”, which he sculpted for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. It was installed in June 1995.
Balciar is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society and a member of the Society of Animal Artists, Allied Artists of America and the Northwest Rendezvous group. He has won several awards, including nine from the National Sculpture Society, and is listed in “Whos Who In American Art”, “Whos Who In The West”, and the “Dictionary of American Sculptors”.
He has taught at the Scottsdale Artists School, the Art Students League of Denver, the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts, and the Hall of Fames adult art education program.
His most prestigious honor is the Prix de West Award, received in 1985 from the National Academy of Western Art for his marble sculpture of two otters, River Companions. In NAWA exhibitions, he has won Gold and Silver Medals as well as the Buyers Choice Award. In 1996, he received the Domenico Facci Memorial Award from Allied Artists of America, and in 1999, received the William E. Weiss Purchase Award at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center Art Show in Cody, Wyoming. Balciars work can also be seen in the collections of the Autry National Center and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.