John Tolmay

Murchison, Texas

About John

From a small boy feeding the yard dogs with his father on the ranch in Rhodesia to cowboy in the Sand Hills of Nebraska, returning home to Africa to establish his own cattle ranch, inadvertently becoming a professional hunter and now a successful self-taught sculptor, there has never been a dull decade in this man’s life!

Rural children in Rhodesia, attending boarding school from the age of six made for especially independent adults so, after completing agricultural college, John left Africa for America to advance his knowledge of cattle ranching. Then on to Europe to advance his ‘social skills’ and finally sailing home in 1965 on the Union Castle liner – the only way to get home for the now penniless young traveler.

Wildlife abounded in the expanse he ranched and hunting ‘for the pot’ naturally led John to become a safari guide for the burgeoning American market. The European market soon followed and in 1974, farming became secondary to the safari business – John guided in all the iconic African hunting countries for 30 years.

When it was time to hang up the hunting boots, he turned his attention back to art. Born with a natural artistic gift and being a keen observer, John dabbled in oil painting from time to time but found that three-dimensional art better suited his talent and imagination. This shines through in his bronze sculptures today. Now he lives in that head-space between past and present, interpreting scenes and images that are vividly recorded in his mind into masterful pieces of bronze art.

Today one of his favorite animals to sculpt is the cape buffalo, “Suspicion“, “Belligerence“, “Make My Day“, to name some. His elephant sculptures speak for themselves as do the endangered black Rhino, “Black Powder” and all the other African animals he brings to life, big and small!

Art Gallery Location

Charleston Place
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401 United States

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