Buffalo Roam Art Project

Visitors to, and most certainly the residents of, West Yellowstone have frequently seen buffalo roaming the streets of this small Montana town. During the winter and springtime in particular, the buffalo are all over the place. Most residents have become used to seeing them while most visitors are wonderfully surprised and happy to see these huge and majestic animals right up close and right in town.

Though still a very new organization in the summer of 2006, WYED’s directors and supporters had an artistic epiphany. Why not use these majestic animals as the subject for a public art project? Thus was born the Buffalo Roam art project. It involved near life-sized buffalo cow statues made from fiberglass, and one year later life-sized buffalo calf statues, painted by local and regional artists. The artistic theme of the project was to depict Yellowstone National Park, Historic West Yellowstone, or the Native Americans of the region using the bare fiberglass buffalo statue as the artistic canvas.

The late Joe Halko, a Montana artist and sculptor from Chouteau, was contracted to create the buffalo cow model from which a mold was developed by Fiberstock Inc. of Buffalo, Minnesota. A public call out to artists resulted in artists from four neighboring states submitting bids to compete for right to paint one of the 26 buffalo and one year later one of the 10 calves. This project could not have happened without community support. Numerous sponsors donated $3,000 per buffalo to cover project costs which included artist fees. Some sponsors donated $10,000 to the project.

The grand unveiling for the buffalo cows was on June 2nd and 3rd in 2007. The grand unveiling for the calves was one year later in June of 2008. For more than two years, millions of visitors looked at, touched, walked under, walked around, probably climbed on (though they were not supposed to) and otherwise marveled at these incredibly beautiful buffalo sculptures. The project was written up by media across the Western United States. Literally millions of photos were taken of the 26 cows and 10 calves that graced the streets of West Yellowstone since the summer of 2007.

This three-year project culminated on the beautiful summer night of August 29, 2009. With more than 200 people in attendance, every single cow and calf was auctioned off to an enthusiastic crowd of art lovers, community supporters, and those who greatly appreciate the beauty of the Greater Yellowstone Region. Phone bids into the live auction were received from as far away as Georgia, California, and Nevada. It was a magical night and the auction raised $161,500 for WYED and its community projects including funding a local grants program (see Auction Guide).

By 2013, all grant funding had been dispersed.

Though most of the sculptures have been taken elsewhere, there are still over a dozen that remain in West Yellowstone. Take a look and be sure to find each one on your next trip into West Yellowstone.

Buffalo Roam could not have been a success without the hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours dedicated to the project by dozens and dozens of people.



"Four Winds"


"Now and Then"


"IINII"

fourwinds1a

johansen1a

nichols1a

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Artist:
Cameron Blagg

Hometown:
Noxon, Montana

Description:
This is an attempt to portray
part of the North Plains Indian belief in the legend of
the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman, who came down from
the heavens long ago to show the people the way to the
sacred path.

Winning Bid: $3,100.00
Kenosha, WI

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Artist:
Jan Johansen

Hometown:
Anoka, Minnesota

Description:
My Buffalo celebrates
America's love of nature and the outdoors. With the
invention of the automobile, camping boomed. Nowhere was
this more evident than in Yellowstone National Park.

Winning Bid: $2,500.00
West Yellowstone, MT

The Linde Family
Yellowstone Campgrounds, Inc.
3305 Targhee Pass

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Artist:
Traci Jo Nichols

Hometown:
Potomac, Montana

Description:
Iinii represents "Nitsitapiisinni"
- Our Way of Life (Blackfoot). She depicts the
journey between the Native American people and the
buffalo. The buffalo blessed the Native Americans with
everything they need to survive.

Winning Bid: $2,700.00
Ogden, UT



"Refuge"


"Celebrate Dreamers"


"Sage"

heaney1a

houston1a

mcclive1a



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Artist:
Kevin Heaney




Hometown:
Deer Lodge, Montana


Description:
I am portraying Chief Joseph
and Old Faithful, Chief Looking Glass and Lower
Yellowstone Falls.

Winning Bid: $4,600.00
West Yellowstone, MT



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Artist
Pam Houston




Hometown:
Ulm, Montana


Description:
When thinking of West
Yellowstone, many think of seeing the Park, wildlife and
geysers. I on the other hand think of all the people
that have come to visit, to work or to settle here.
There are many other facets to this great town and the
Park, but these are the images that mean the most to me.

Winning Bid: $4,000.00
Seattle, WA
John Matlick - Presented to Clyde Seely and Bill Howell



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Artist:
Rebecca
McClive



Hometown:

Fort Collins, Colorado

Description:
The scenes I created for the painted buffalo
depict tense moments in nature. The hunt for food and
the decision that determines the survival of the
fittest.

Winning Bid: $4,600.00
Winona, MN



"Bishee Ahpalaaxe"


"Shoreline Silhouettes"


"Flo"


(Short for Buf-flo)
(Name
Means: "Spirit of the Bison")

schermerhorn1a

halko1a

froemke1a



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Artist:
Pat
Schermerhorn



Hometown:

Cody, Wyoming

Description:
She roamed the Yellowstone and provided for the
Crow Indians that named her. Come see her in the darkest
hour to see her true "Spirit".

Winning Bid: $3,800.00
West Yellowstone, MT



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Artist
Joe Halko




Hometown:
Choteau, Montana


Description:
The Madison and Yellowstone
rivers and shorelines of Yellowstone National Park are
teeming with life. Swans, Sandhill Cranes and Canada
geese share the bounty with the bison and elk herds.

Winning Bid: $5,000.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Three Bear Restaurant - In memory of Joe Halko



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Artist
Pam Froemke




Hometown:

Bellvue, Colorado

Description:
The Yellowstone Wolf Reintroduction - a
representation of the first free wild wolves in
Yellowstone National Park after a sixty-year absence, in
their new Lamar Valley home.

Winning Bid: $3,600.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Jerry and Jacque Johnson
West Park mall
120 N. Canyon St.



"Yellowstone Heritage"


"Ponies of the People"


"White Buffalo Calf Woman"

floyd1a

nelson1a

phillippi1a



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Artist:
Anthony
Floyd




Hometown:
W. Yellowstone, Montana


Description:
I chose to paint bears and
buffalo, mountain men and Indians, forests, streams,
mountains, and the beautiful skies as my theme of "The
Majestic Yellowstone" area.

Winning Bid: $3,250.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
201 S. Canyon St.



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Artist:
Mitzi Nelson




Hometown:
Stanford, Montana


Description:
Indian ponies enjoying a
moment of freedom under the northern lights, with the
village in the background. Painted in acrylics, using an
airbrush for the sky then brushes for the horses.

Winning Bid: $3,800.00
Salt Lake City, UT



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Artist:
Linda
Phillippi




Hometown:
Ronan, Montana


Description:
Revered by Native Americans,
she is a symbol of peace, bringing together the four
races of the world - white, yellow, red and black - and
the teacher of the seven ways to pray.

Winning Bid: $3,100.00
West Yellowstone, MT
John and Christine Greve
533 Grouse Ave.


"Sunrise to Sunset in Yellowstone"


"Snaggle Tooth"


"Buffalo Fancy Dancer"

mcgahan1a

howe1a

cameron1a



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Artist:
Janet
McGahan




Hometown:
Arlee, Montana


Description:
Every May since 1974, Arlee
Montana's 8th grade biology class has camped for 5 days
in Yellowstone to experience the park's rich offerings

of landscape, geology and wildlife.

Winning Bid: $4,000.00
Island Park, ID



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Artist:
Carol
Newbury Howe




Hometown:
Livingston, Montana


Description:
"Snaggle Tooth" greets you
from diverse and historic West Yellowstone, Montana.

Final Price: $6,000.00

This item was sold and donated back to the Yellowstone Historic Center in West Yellowstone.



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Artist:
Lisa Cameron




Hometown:

Fort Collins, Colorado

Description:
At the end of the 19th century, the meaning of
the American Indian dancer changed. My buffalo wears the
bright colored regalia of a modern competitive fancy
dancer and represents strife which the buffalo and
Native American share.

Winning Bid: $5,000.00
Las Vegas, NV



"The Unknown Buffalo"


"Winter"


"Spirit of Yellowstone"

garre1a

joyner1a

utsler1a



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Artist:
Karen Garre




Hometown:
Livingston, Montana


Description:
The buffalo is painted with
symbolism relating to civilization's link to an animal
world. Representing age-old rock paintings to ghost-like
uncertain future.

Winning Bid: 5,700.00
Redwood, NY



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Artist:
Tim Joyner




Hometown:
Hamilton, Montana


Description:
A photo I saw of some elk in
a hot springs was my inspiration. I decided to paint the
snow covering to continue the winter theme. I chose to
use the purples and blues to carry out the cool theme
and help to tie the whole buffalo together.

Winning Bid: $10,250.00
Sandy, UT



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Artist:
Jim Utsler




Hometown:
Choteau, Montana


Description:
The Spirit of the White
Buffalo as guardian of the beauty and grandeur of
Yellowstone National Park.

Winning Bid: $5,500.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Holiday Inn
315 Yellowstone Ave.



"Spectres of Yellowstone"


"Arlo"


"Rounding Up The Girls"

meissner1a

macdonald1a

guy1a



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Artist:
Michael D.
Meissner




Hometown:
Glendive, Montana


Description:
Images of the silent memories
of Yellowstone. If such a grand place could speak,
consider what we might learn of her history and her
inhabitants.

Winning Bid: $3,250.00
Kenosha, WI



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Artist:
Asha Murthy
MacDonald




Hometown:
Virginia City, Montana


Description:
The focus of this piece is
the changing sky and light that provide a constant
backdrop for the natural wonder that is Yellowstone
National Park.



Winning Bid: $5,900.00
West Yellowstone, MT



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Artist:
Susan Guy




Hometown:

Buffalo, Wyoming

Description:
I often visit Yellowstone National Park. This is
a depiction of an elk herd along the Madison River in
the western section of the Park, as the bull elk rounds
up his "girls" one more time.


Winning Bid: $4,300.00
Livingston, MT



"When Joseph Was The Buffalo"


"Norbert The Notorious"


"Olaffub Enotswolley"

house1a

bryers1a

anderson1a



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Artist:
DG House




Hometown:
Bozeman, Montana


Description:
This buffalo tells the story
of Chief Joseph's 1877 run for freedom through
Yellowstone Park. It represents what Chief Joseph saw,
and what saw him.

Winning Bid: $4,100.00
Pocatello, ID



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Artist:
Sean Bryers




Hometown:
W. Yellowstone, Montana


Description:
Welcome to the representation
of my mind. This bison is an eclectic vision of native
nature in and around Montana. Color, Spirit, and Life.

Winning Bid: $5,500.00
Bozeman, MT



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Artist:
Diane
Anderson




Hometown:
Power, Montana


Description:
Olaffub Enotswolley
(Yellowstone Buffalo spelled backwards)
. The buffalo
on the landscape of Yellowstone Park has been reversed
to the landscape of Yellowstone Park on the buffalo.

Winning Bid: $8,000.00
Salt Lake City, UT



"Frances"


"Penelope"

francie1b


hausmann1a



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Artist: Collage of
15 Buffalo Roam Artists


Winning Bid: $6,750.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Three Bear lodge



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Artist:
Diane
Hausmann




Hometown:
Fairfield, Montana


Description:
"Comein' Around the
Mountain". Inspired by the old postcards of Yellowstone,
tourists traveled by tally-ho coaches and yellow touring
cars encountering many adventures.


Winning Bid: $17,000.00
West Yellowstone, MT



"Crocus-Bluebird's Daughter"


"Lulubelle"


"Sweet Spring"

calf1b

calf2b

calf3b



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Artist:

Pam Houston



Hometown:
Ulm, Montana


Description:
Comes from a Native American
story about how bluebirds represented a clear, bright
and serene way of being, and people who were attended by
them enjoyed those same benefits.

Winning Bid: $2,900.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Three Bear Lodge



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Artist:

Robin Berry



Hometown:
Houston, Texas


Description:
Lulubelle is a flower lover
and enjoys the beautiful hummingbirds, butterflies and
dragonflies of Yellowstone National Park.

This calf was raffled.
Winner: Dan Larson of Boise, ID.



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Artist:

Joe Halko



Hometown:
Choteau, Montana


Description:
Spring is sweet with the
fresh green, the rustling of the hatchlings and the warm
rays of the sun.

Winning Bid: $4,900.00
Bozeman, MT



"Snowflake"


"Buffalo Spring-Field"


"Blossom"

calf4b

calf5b

calf6b



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Hometown:
Fairfield, Montana


Description:
Snowflake, Penelope's calf,
portrays the tourist enjoying the park in the winter
season.


Artist:



Diane
Hausmann

Winning Bid: $7,250.00
Menlo Park, CA



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Artist:

Asha Murthy
MacDonald



Hometown:
Virginia City, Montana


Description:
This calf depicts aspects of
Yellowstone National Park under the light of a full
moon.

Winning Bid: $3,100.00
West Yellowstone, MT



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Artist:

Jim Utsler



Hometown:

Choteau, Montana


Description:
For the blossoming life of
spring.

Winning Bid: $3,500.00
Las Vegas, NV



"Forever Montana"


"Buddie"


"We Remember our Land"

calf7b

calf10b

calf9b



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Artist:

Michael D.
Meissner



Hometown:
Glendive, Montana


Description:
From the majestic mountains
in the west to the forbidding badlands of the east,
Montana captures the memories and souls of all who visit
her.

Winning Bid: $2,900.00
West Yellowstone, MT



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Artist:

Diane
Anderson



Hometown:
Power, Montana


Description:
Wildflowers on the buffalo
calf represent spring and the continuing cycle of life
in Yellowstone.

Winning Bid: $3,200.00
Macks Inn, ID



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Artist:

DG House



Hometown:
Bozeman, Montana


Description:
A tribute to the individual
birds of Yellowstone and their incredible view of this
magnificent land.

Winning Bid: $2,000.00
West Yellowstone, MT
Patrick Brennan and Leslie Campbell



"The Babies of Yellowstone"

(Poppy)

calf8b



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Artist:

Pat
Schermerhorn



Hometown:

Cody, Wyoming


Description:
Spring brings new life to
Yellowstone National Park. This is just a small sampling
of the new babies that arrive each spring.

Winning Bid: $4,500.00
Smyrna, GA