On the night in 1987 that Bill Nebeker announced an edition of 25 castings of his sculpture If Horses Could Talk, he sold all 25 of them—and had another 75 collectors wanting to buy it as well.
“It was the most popular piece I ever made; people just loved it,” he says. “You’ve got the cowboy looking for the deer, the deer sneaking away behind him, and the horse looking at the deer. It’s happened to every hunter out there. And people who don’t care for hunting love it, too, because the deer is getting away.”
During the following years, Nebeker had thought often about how he would love to make a larger version of that piece. “If there was one piece I would have loved to make a monument of, that would be the one,” he says. “But I thought it would never happen because it’s so complicated.”
Now, thanks to a commission from the Prescott Area Art Trust that was funded by the James Family Trust, it is becoming a reality. A 14-foot-tall monumental version of If Horses Could Talk will be installed in a roundabout on the north side of Prescott, Arizona, early this year.
If Horses Could Talk
Nebeker sculpting fine details in the clay-coated cowboy form.