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.