When Evelyn Tennyson, owner of Two Old Crows Gallery in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, asked Dave LaMure to create a monumental sculpture in honor of her late husband’s passion—trout fishing—he hesitated before giving her a de!nite answer. “I said, ‘Let me research it,'” he recalls.
LaMure was so focused on the unique vessels he was making that he wasn’t sure he wanted to take time away from those creations to take on a trout commission. That changed as he began his research and became hooked on the story of the Native Cutthroat Trout, which was thought to be extinct for 70 years. He contacted Jim White, a friend and fish biologist in Durango, Colorado, who was a member of a team that had rediscovered that fish in the San Juan River basin. When compared with samples collected in 1874 by Charles Aiken and given to the Smithsonian Institution, they were found to be a genetic match. “I was excited to bring this story to light,” LaMure says.
The result is a sculpture LaMure titled Native that will soon be installed in Pagosa Springs, near the San Juan River. The piece, which is 7.5-feet wide, features three fish and “feeds the imagination of what fish might look like under water,” LaMure says. That sculpture has also been juried into the 62nd Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists, which opens September 24 in Redding, California, and will run through January 1, 2023.
17″ by 14″ by 14″
“Finding a roadrunner skull in the desert made me chuckle, as I pondered the desert ecology and how many lives were spared when this efficient predator turned to bones. This work won the Davy Crockett Artist Choice Award at the Briscoe Museum’s Night of the Artist in March 2022.”
17.5″ by 26″ by 15.5″
“This is the story of native trout rediscovered after they were determined extinct. This work is to envision a symphony in the river of time that we deserve to preserve.”