(August 14, 2013) A bronze statue titled "The Cowboy" by legendary western painter and sculptor Buck McCain was officially dedicated today, Aug. 14, at the Jack V. Doland Field House. "The Cowboy" depicts a working cowboy - dusty and tired - after a long day's work. The statue - one of only 35 produced - is finished in a rich brown patina and stands 6 feet 8 inches including the base and weighs almost 900 pounds.
McCain is known for his attention to detail and all dress and gear are authentic reproductions based on clothing and accessories he wore while working on the family ranch in southern California. The cowboy is carrying a Fred Mueller saddle typical of the 1920s and '30s, with high wells favored by the bronc riders of that day, and the belt buckle was cast from an original buckle issued by Justin Boot Co.
"I tried very hard to make 'The Cowboy' as authentic as I could - he even stands on some old saddle shed planking. It is my tribute to the stoic men who made up my family, my heritage and my world as a youngster," said McCain, who attended the installation. "I hope 'The Cowboy' brings good luck, many wins and pride to the McNeese Cowboys."
McCain's studio is located in the mountains north of Tucson, Ariz. His work can be found in numerous galleries, private collections and museums throughout the country.
His has been named Artist of the Year by Friends of the Western Art and Tucson Museum of Art and True West magazine has named him the Best Western Sculptor.
Funding for the statue came from the Percent for the Arts program under the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Legislation enacted in 1999 stipulates that whenever more than $2 million in state funds is spent for the construction or renovation of a state facility, up to 1 percent of the funds are set aside for acquiring, conserving or restoring works of art for display in or on the grounds of the state building. For more information, go to: www.crt.state.la.us/arts/percentforart.aspx
This is the third statue on the McNeese campus to feature the cowboy mascot.
At the front of the Jack V. Doland Field House is a replica of the famous Frederic Remington sculpture, "The Bronco Buster," that was purchased by the Cowboy Club.
A nearly life-sized bronze sculpture of a cowboy and his horse by renowned western artist and sculptor Fred Fellows is the centerpiece of the entrance plaza at the corner of Ryan Street and Sale Road. Funded through private donations and the McNeese Alumni Association, the artwork, titled "An Honest Day's Work," was commissioned because it so closely resembles the university's horse and rider logo.
The original field house was built in 1965. In 2011 it was renovated and expanded to add 30,141 square feet, including a second floor that features indoor and outdoor seating for football games. The facility is named for Dr. Jack V. Doland, a former state senator, McNeese president from 1980-87, as well as alumnus, former athlete, football coach and athletics director at McNeese.
Pictured below: "The Cowboy" statue - one of only 35 produced by legendary sculptor Buck McCain - is finished in a rich brown patina, stands 6 feet 8 inches including the base and weighs almost 900 pounds. McCain smiles after "The Cowboy" is safely installed in the lobby of the Jack V. Doland Field House at McNeese State University.