Featuring the work by Michael,
fortunate to be selected as one of 25 participating artists in the West Yellowstone Economic Development (WYED)
Board 2007 "Where the Painted Buffalo Roam" art project. The buffalo were 3/4 scale fiberglass cow buffalo models,
handpainted into dramatic creations by artists from Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Minnesota.
Invited artists were asked to submit working drawings
of concepts for WYED committee review in July 2006. WYED established the themes the artists were asked to adhere to, including
one or more of the following: Significance of the bison to the Native American, (2) the history of Yellowstone Park, or (3) the
history of the community of West Yellowstone, Montana. The committee received about 50 submissions and of these, 25 artists
were selected for participation.
Early in November 2006, artists met at a reception in West
Yellowstone to meet the WYED
members and the sponsoring business owners that made this project possible, and to pick up their buffalo model.
Participating artists included (19)
from Montana, (3) from Colorado,
(2) from Wyoming, and one from Minnesota. The buffalo models were painted and returned to West Yellowstone in April and
May of 2007, where they were automotive clear-coated to protect them for outside display. To protect his buffalo prior to the long return
trip to West Yellowstone, "Bob's Body Shop" in Glendive generously donated their time and
material to clearcoat Michael's buffalo prior to its return.
All of the buffalo models were publicly unveiled
to a large crowd on a beautiful, sunny Saturday, 2 June, 2007 in West Yellowstone. After the unveiling the buffalo went on display "roaming"
in and around West Yellowstone for the next three years.
This has been a very exciting project and the
resulting 25 creations have been viewed by millions of tourists to Yellowstone Park over the last few years.
On Saturday, 29 August 2009, all 34 of the buffalo model
paintings were sold at public auction. Prices attained for cows averaged
between $ 3000.00 and $ 5000.00, with three selling for $ 8000.00, $ 10,250.00 and $ 17,000.00. It was an exciting evening in West
Yellowstone and the WYED Committee was very pleased to have made enough money to cover project expenses and have enough left over
to make generous contributions
to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, as well as to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters in and around the West Yellowstone community.