About The Artist
A very young, Mickey Wells, started sculpting at the age of 13 under the teaching of Mary Mitchell, an Amarillo artist and gallery owner.
Mrs. Mitchell readily allowed Mickey to sit in on on her art classes in exchange for his help around the gallery. Often his help was not necessarily needed but she would find tasks for him to do like running errands to the local convenience store and sweeping the studio floors. She did this to provide for him the opportunity to be around art. Mrs. Mitchell was a kind, and talented woman, who had a soft spot in her heart for this young, budding artist. She became a source of positive inspiration and endless encouragement.
Later, experimenting with different mediums, Mickey bought his first few pounds of poly-form clay when it initially came out in 1972. After sculpting his first figure and bust in this very new product, Mickey was strongly encouraged to enter a locally judged art show where he won top awards in the 13 to 18 year old class and "Best of Show", for the 18 and older class.
Mr. Wells continued to study his art in all mediums; drawing, painting and especially, sculpting. At the age of 14 he found a market eager to purchase portraits that he had created, penned in pencil, ink,and oils.
As Mickey got older, his passion for art intensified from course work taken in anatomy and kinesiology. Passion took a turn to discouragement during this artist's college days, where he received a degree in commercial art in 1980.
While Mickey worked as a commercial artist, Phil White, a one time Amarillo foundry owner and artist, invited Mickey into his foundry as an apprentice to learn the intricities of the bronze casting process. Shortly there-after, Mickey cast his first bronze piece.
After two years, Mickey bought, built and/or borrowed enough equipment to start his own make-shift foundry. Today this foundry, no longer make-shift, is Southwest Bronze. His interests in subject matter have ranged from western and fantasy, to religious art.
In 1994, Mickey first learned that there was a project where an artist was needed to create life size bronze statues depicting the stations of the cross. Mickey submitted a bid and presented before the projects' board of directors, two life size clay busts of Jesus. This presentation allowed Mickey to highlight his talent in achieving wide ranges of emotion while working with clay as a medium.
The first bust depicted a Jesus that was content; a Jesus that accepted what was to be. This was the Jesus used in the first station of the cross, where Jesus was taken before Pontius Pilot and condemned to death. The second bust depicted a Jesus who was in pain and agony. This bust was later used to complete the 11th Station, in which Jesus was nailed to the cross.
Other artists, also bidding on the project, included a Colorado artist who had previously worked pieces for the Vatican and a team of artists from Italy, representing a large Italian foundry.
After 6 months of waiting and praying, Mr. Wells finally received word that he had been awarded the commission for this project.
Mickey hopes that his sculptures will enlighten viewers to the pain, suffering and sacrifice that has been endured for all men.
Mickey is currently working on another large religious art project that includes an even greater number of life-size bronze figures. His studio is also contracted to make purple heart plaques for all who have received this distinguished award and have since passed away.
Welcome to this web-site. We hope we have answered any inquiries you may have had concerning, Mickey Wells and his studio/foundry, Southwest Bronze Studio.