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David Copher

David was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1954 while his father was serving in the Army; he and his family settled in Copperas Cove, Texas where David spent most of his childhood and young adult life.

In his formative years, teachers and family were constantly surprised and impressed by his creativity, talent and natural artistic skills. Like most kids, he had a summer job to earn money. Unlike the other kids, David spent his money on art supplies — purchasing canvas’s, paints, pens and sketch pads - and he never looked back.
By high school, his artistic and athletic talents blossomed. He won numerous awards for his art at every level. By senior year, Copher had placed Best of Division and Best of Show multiple times. He was considered one of the area’s finest young artists — and athletes - as he also served as captain of the rodeo squad and football team.
He signed on as an intern in a foundry. The work was grueling, but rewarding. He honed his skills creating molds, casting, and completing sculptures in bronze that were complex, and beautiful.

Torn between two great loves, art and the rodeo, Dave continued his athletic career participating as a rodeo bull rider and clown bullfighter to earn extra money. In no time, David was performing in top rodeos around the country.

But his love of, and dedication to his art never wavered. In his free time, often late at night, he create works in pen & ink, etchings, water colors, oils, and designed his first bronze sculptures.

After a trip to the mountains of southern Mexico Copher was inspired by the brilliance of the Mayan culture. He designed and produced his acclaimed “Mayan Kings” bronze sculpture series. In 1985, Copher was awarded a grant by Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) to illustrate a major anthropological textbook — featuring tools, vessels and implements used by the ancient Mayans.

In 1989 Copher moved to Santa Fe New Mexico and has been there for twenty-nine years. Copher’s good friend, international award winning Santa Fe artist, gallery owner and mentor Frank Howell (1937-1997), encouraged him to move to Santa Fe. The move spurred his creativity once again. Copher started experimenting in a variety of new media and styles while he carved stone with his friend and mentor internationally renowned stone and bronze sculptor - Doug Hyde. The El Tellar Gallery, own by world famous Amado Pena, was the first gallery in downtown Austin, Texas to feature Copher’s art.

In 2001 his love of art and rodeo came together in perfect harmony. The Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association Hall of Fame Museum located in Colorado Springs, Colorado honored Copher with a One Man Show featuring his famous “Rodeo Clown” oil’s and a number of his western themed sculpture works. He was also one of the featured artists in a show at the Museum of The Cowboy in Sheridan, Wyoming. Named one of the top western artists in the country Copher was featured by Western Horseman magazine. Among the highlights of his career, Copher painted portraits of the Clown Bullfighter inductees for the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The 1990s were breakout years in a variety of mediums. Copher designed and produced the first Kokopelli sculptures in Santa Fe. The Flickenger Center for the Performing Arts in Alamogordo, New Mexico houses the seven foot bronze Kokopelli for their lobby. Copher began the “Wind Spirit” series; a collection of one of a kind anthropomorphic bronze sculptures on a large scale. Copher began his next works a series of one of a kind bronze and polished stone sculptures called the “Ancient Ones”. This collection of works inspired Copher’s jewelry creations called “The Ancient Ladies”. Simultaneously Copher was painting an oil on canvas series called “Glyph”. These paintings still hang in the Santa Fe Ski Basin located at Ski Santa Fe.

In 1996 Copher received national and international attention for his “Magic Horse” series. These stone, bronze, steel and mixed media sculptures are hugely popular. This is a highly stylized contemporary image of an hi-tailing “magic” running horse. Copher describes it as the long shadow of a running horse. 

His current work reflects the growth and expansion of Copher as an artist and sculptor. His current abstracts and landscape’s are finding their way into high end boutique hotels, upscale office buildings and private residential collections.  

2018 David was commissioned to create and place his 12 foot Magic Horse at the entry to the Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Arts and the famed Santa Fe Children's Museum

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