Studio West Bronze Foundry & Gallery was founded in Cochrane in 1970 and has been home to internationally-renowned sculptors and artists. Our bronze pieces have been appreciated globally, and more than 100 of these have featured on CTV and numerous publications. To view our artwork and bronze pieces, please call us or email today to schedule a free tour.
Don Begg first studied bronze casting and sculpture in Alberta and California, followed by specialized training in monumental sculpture in New Jersey and New York. World-renowned for his public monuments and sculptures, Don Begg has been sculpting at Studio West Bronze Foundry & Gallery since its establishment in 1970. In addition to creating popular public art attractions, and winning numerous public art commissions and awards, his works can be seen throughout Canada, United States, Germany and France.
Daughter of Doug Stephens and wife of Don Begg, Shirley Stephens-Begg has worked alongside Don since the studio’s establishment in 1970. As a professional sculptor, she has created some of Canada’s most striking and enduring monuments.
Karen Begg has worked in virtually every aspect of the bronze foundry and gallery business, including specializations such as designer, artist, sculptor, mould making, artist liaison, office manager, customer relations, job costing and bidding, project management, bronze casting and finishing processes and patina.
Karen is the go-to for sculpting materials, moulds and casting. Constantly willing to learn and expand, Karen continues to gain knowledge and skills. She recently began working in maintenance, conservation and care of outdoor public sculpture for clients, such as the City of Calgary, Public Art Department and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Rodeo Committee.
When not working in the studio or foundry, Karen guides tours through the Studio West Gallery. She demonstrates for visitors the fascinating lost-wax process of creating a sculpture from the artistic rendering to a bronze masterpiece, along with outlining the steps of the lost-wax method of casting. She is always welcoming visitors to Studio West Bronze Foundry & Art Gallery.
Doug Stephens (1918-1972)
Regarded by many as the “first Canadian artist to put Western bronzes into the realm of critical art”, Dough Stephens was a distinguished bronze sculptor and painter. His body of works remains a remarkable artistic document of the landscape and people of the early West, which he was very fond of. His experiences as a rodeo competitor, ranch hand, and a homesteader deeply influenced his art.
After serving as a Flying Officer in the R.C.A.F. until 1945 during World War II, Dough went to England to study art. He also studied illustration as a graduate for 4 years at the renowned ArtCentre College of Design in Los Angeles, California under the guidance of many respected artists, including Normal Rockwell. He illustrated the covers of many books and international magazines as a commercial art director. Known as Calgary’s original Cowboy artist, he was very proud to be the first Canadian artist who was made an associate member of the Cowboy Artists of America and a lifetime member of the Rodeo Historical Society of Oklahoma City.
Along with his daughter, Shirley, and her husband, Don, Doug established Studio West, the first fine-art bronze foundry in Western Canada. The ‘D’ in our logo is a tribute to his artistic contributions. He is affectionately remembered as “Deceased Western Master” in the international artistic community.