Veryl Goodnight and her husband, Roger Brooks, live in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, between Durango and Mesa Verde National Park. The dramatic landscape, abundant wildlife, and ranching community provide endless inspiration for both sculpture and painting.
The essence of Veryl’s work is a result of working from life. Her sculpture studio is at the end of the barn and includes a “model run” to the west and an overhead door between the studio and the barn aisle. Veryl is spending more and more time painting outdoors. Her painting studio, which is in the house, provides uninterrupted views and frequent wildlife out of every window.
Veryl has monuments across the United States and in Europe. The most notable is “The Day The Wall Came Down”, a seven-ton sculpture of five horses jumping over the fallen Berlin Wall. The United States Air Force flew this monument to Berlin, Germany in 1998. A sister casting is permanently located at the George H. W. Bush Memorial Library at Texas A & M University.
Veryl’s work has been profiled in many books and her work has been featured in all major American art magazines. She exhibits in prestigious shows, such as Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, CA; Cheyenne Governor’s Invitational, Cheyenne, WY; Quest for the West, Indianapolis, Indiana; the Northwest Rendezvous, Helena, MT; and Cowgirl Up in Wickenburg, AZ. Veryl is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society.
2011 was a banner year for Veryl, as the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma honored her with a 40-year retrospective exhibit. A book titled “No Turning Back – the Art of Veryl Goodnight” was released. Her sculpture, “Ready to Ride”, was given the Best of Show at Cowgirl Up which is held at the Desert Caballeros Museum in Wickenburg, AZ. The life-sized sculpture of “A New Beginning” was installed in Cheyenne, Wyoming and another casting was purchased for the new Colorado History Museum in Denver, Colorado.
"Animals are my greatest source of joy and inspiration. Roger and I are now the proud owners of two Alaskan Huskies, dogs that have evolved as supreme partners to man; born to run and born to pull. Rosemary (black) and Sasha (blonde) are litter mates descending from a long line of huskies that have delivered mail, carried miners gear, rescued lost travelers, and participated in the 1925 “Great Race of Mercy,” relaying a diphtheria antitoxin across Alaska to Nome and saving this remote community from a diphtheria epidemic. More recently, the ancestors of my huskies are part of a resurgence of recreational mushing, participating in widely publicized races such as the Iditirod; a 1,049 mile race from Anchorage to Nome. Mechanized transportation almost brought about the world wide extinction of sled dogs as a mode of transportation, however, a snow mobile can never replace the companionship and loyalty of a dog. Sled dogs are back to stay and they have run and licked their way deep into my heart and are certain to inspire many works of art." - Veryl Goodnight
Selected Honors and Awards
- 2011 - Best of Show, Cowgirl Up!, Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
- April 2011 - Sculpture Demonstration and Artist Talk, Gilcrease Museum
- 2001-Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage 2000 - Guest Speaker on "The Day The Wall Came Down", Central Intelligence Agency and Recipient of the "Agency Seal Medallion" for her vision of Freedom in "The Day The Wall Came Down"
- 1991 - Albuquerque Museum "Odyssey Of The Horse"
- 1991 - Best of Show for "What Friends Are For"
- 1986 - American Academy Of Equine Art, Louisville, Kentucky, Best of Show for "Paint Mare And Filly" Allied Artists Of America
- 1982 - The Marylou Fitzgerald Memorial Award for "On The Crest Of A Wave"
- 1982-85 - American Embassy Botswana, Africa, Selected to exhibit by Ambassador Theodore C. Maino
- 1981 - Allied Artists of America, The Pietro and Alfrieda Montana Memorial
- 1981- Award for "Last Of The Wild Mustangs"
- 1981 - Northwest Rendezvous, Helena, Montana
- 1981 - Merit Of Honor Award for "The Mating Game"
- 1981 - American Western Art Exhibit Beijing, China, Selected to be among the first artists to exhibit in China
- April 2012 - Dedication of "A New Beginning" History Colorado, Denver, CO
- April - July 2012 - Annual Rendezvous Reunion: Exhibition and Art Sale, Thomas Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK
- March 2012 - Night of the Artist, Briscoe Western Museum, San Antonio, TX
- March 2012 - Cowgirl Up! - The Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
- March 2012 - Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Western Art Show and Sale, Canyon, TX
- Feb. 2012 - The Masters of the American West, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
- 6th Annual Heart of the West Exhibition, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, TX
- Santa Lucia Preserve, Invitational En Plein Air, Carmel, CA
- American Academy of Equine Art, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY
- Artists of America, Denver, CO
- Cheyenne Governor's Invitational, Old West Museum, Cheyenne, WY
- Great American Artists, Cincinnati, OH
- Haley Memorial Library Art Show, Midland, TX
- Masters of the American West, Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA
- Northwest Rendezvous Group, Helena, MT
- Quest for the West, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN
- Allied Artists of America
- American Academy of Equine Art
- National Sculpture Society
- Northwest Rendezvous Group
- Society of Animal Artist
- Master of Artists of America
Books featured in
- No Turning Back: The Art of Veryl Goodnight, 2011
- New Mexico Millennium Collection - New Mexico Millennium Collection, LLC 2000
- An Encyclopedia of Women Artists of the American West - University of Texas Press 1998
- Rocky Mountains - German travel guide 1998
- Route 66 - German travel book 1998
- Leading The West - Northland Press 1997
- A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas - University of Texas Press 1996
- Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Volume 2 - Brookgreen Gardens 1993
Publications, Magazines, Newspapers
- Art & Antiques
- Art Of The West
- Art Talk
- Chronicle Of The Horse
- Equine Images
- Equine Visions
- Fine Arts Collector International
- Life Today
- Southwest Art
- Western Horseman
- Albuquerque Journal
- Atlanta Journal
- Berliner Morgenpost
- Berliner Zeitung
- Denver Post
- Ft. Worth Star Telegram
- International Herald Tribune
- Los Angeles Times
- The New Mexican
- The New York Times
- The Oregonian
- The Stars & Stripes
- Phoenix Gazette/Arizona Republic
- Western Art Collector
Selected Public Collections
- George Bush Presidential Library, College Station, TX
- Allied Museum, Berlin, Germany
- Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C.
- Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City, OK
- Old West Museum, Cheyenne, WY
- City of Westcliffe, CO
- Lely Resort, Naples, FL
- Hirshfeld - Moore House, Austin, TX
- City Hall, St. Joseph, MO
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
- Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC
- Denver Zoo, Denver, CO
- International Museum of the Horse, Lexington, KY
- Museum of the Horse, Riudoso, NM
- Metro National Plaza, Houston, TX
- Haley Memorial Library, Midland, TX
- Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs, CO
- Houston Astrodome, Houston, TX
- The Shelton, Dallas, TX
- University of Texas, Austin, TX
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