Joe Hickey: Whitefish Gallery Nights at Cawdrey Gallery - September 5th, 2024

Joe Hickey: Whitefish Gallery Nights at Cawdrey Gallery - September 5th, 2024

Bison skull artist Joe Hickey is the featured artist for September at Cawdrey Gallery. His opening reception will be during the Whitefish Gallery Nights Art Walk.

On Thursdays throughout the year, the art community of Whitefish comes together to host an evening of featured artist exhibitions, entertainment, and light refreshments. Join us in celebrating our art community through Whitefish Gallery Nights!

Hickey specializes in carving and painting animal skulls. Most of his work has been on buffalo skulls but he has also created art out of various animal skulls such as elk, cow, ram, bear and coyote.

Hickey claims he cannot paint on a flat surface; he needs the valleys and ridges of a skull to inspire his carvings and paintings. While he often has an idea of what he wants to depict, for the most part, he lets the contours of the skull determine the design.

Hickey buys about 20 buffalo skulls each year and has recently found a local source for steer and ram heads. He has them cleaned locally by a man who boils the skulls before allowing a team of beetles to eat the remaining flesh from the bone. The skulls are then bleached, providing Hickey with a clean slate upon which to work.

“Buffalo have a tremendous history in our world; we’ve worked so hard in the past to destroy them,” he added. “One of the concepts from the Balinese artists is you can never waste any part of an animal. Instead of throwing the heads in the trash bin, it’s my way of giving these things some life and showing respect.” - Joe

Browse available artwork by Joe Hickey