into a farming family in north central Texas in 1940, Williford
began sculpting on 10-cent bars of Ivory soap while growing up.
He later studied at the University of Texas at Arlington, North
Texas State University, and the Art Center College of Art &
Design in Los Angeles, CA. Though Hollis worked in pencil, oils,
watercolors, and etchings, he was best known for his bronze sculptures.
In 1980, Williford won the National Academy of Western Art’s
gold medal and its Prix de West Purchase Award. He won two more
gold medals in 1986 for his sculpture and drawing of an Eskimo pursuing
a caribou herd by kayak. His list of artistic achievements is long
and impressive; but it is the depth of the artist and the love shown
for his subjects that leaves a continuing impression.
"I'm celebrating living forms in motion," Williford said
prior to his death in 2007. "The research is the fun part,
about a third of what is necessary. The difficult part is translating
dynamic action into a three-dimensional artwork. The final piece
must reflect design, mass, kinetics, and flow. I push my pieces
to the limit of thrust. A lot of my subjects feature such dynamic
action, but it's even harder to achieve subtle, graceful motion."
was one of the rare permanent members of the National Academy of
Western Art. His thirteen foot monumental sculpture "Welcome
Sundown" graces the entrance to the National Cowboy Hall of
Fame in Oklahoma City, OK. In addition, his works can be found in
the permanent collections of the Thomas Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa,
Oklahoma), Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland), and Duquesne
University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
Hollis Williford with his sculpture "The Need to Know".
Photo by Karen Stallwood as pictured in the "Dallas Morning