Arizona's Bronzesmith Fine Art Foundry & Gallery brings it straight from the fire
Remember the joke about the blonde who won a gold medal and had it bronzed? The punch line loses its impact during a visit to Arizona’s Bronzesmith Fine Art Foundry & Gallery. After touring the full-service foundry, gallery, and beautiful outdoor sculpture garden, having more bronze only seems like a good thing.
“I’ve been intrigued with the bronze casting process since I first learned about it,” says Ed Reilly, who co-owns the business with his brother, Billy. “I went to Northern Arizona University in the 1970s, and they had a full foundry set up there. I was so fascinated with the process, I decided to one day have a foundry where we could take people through and show them the process. That was the spark that lit the fire, but it took years to accomplish.”
The Reillys moved their business from Flagstaff to Prescott 20 years ago, designing a property inspired by the city in which it resides. “We’re in the heart of the West, home of the World’s Oldest Rodeo,” Ed explains. “So we picked a territorial theme for the front of the sandstone building and the gallery. People have said it takes them back to the Old West.”
Now every Thursday morning, guests are led through the facility by a knowledgeable guide, witnessing a step-by-step demonstration of bronze casting and meeting the artisans. “We make everything that we sell here,” says gallery manager Kathy Murphy-Reilly. “There are not many places collectors can go to see how the process happens.” Among the approximately 40 traditional and contemporary sculptors represented by Bronzesmith are Cowboy Artists of America members Joe Beeler, Harley Brown, Fred Fellows, and Bill Owen, and several prominent Native American artists, including Pahponee and Carolyn Carpio.
Bronzesmith Fine Art Foundry & Gallery, 7331 E. Second St., Prescott Valley, Arizona, 928.772.2378, www.bronzesmith.com.