Gary Moss, American
Gary Moss is a wildlife artist that has spent his entire life in the wild - fishing, hunting, observing.
His father was an avid duck hunter and instilled in him the love of the outdoors. When Gary first asked to go duck hunting his father required that he learn to identify all of the species in Sports Afield's guide to "The Ducks and Geese of North America". Then, and only then, could he go hunting. He was nine when he got them all right and that fall he and his father took their first hunting trip together. To this day Gary amazes his friends and hunting partners with his keen eyesight and ability to not only instantly identify birds but also to predict and understand their behavior. He has many fond memories of those early hunting trips at his father's side. Unfortunately, his father passed away when Gary was ten, but that did not end his duck hunting.
After school, on the weekends, and all summer, Gary and his friends were out either fishing or hunting. Even though he grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis he was close enough to lakes and streams to get there by walking or taking a bus until he was old enough to drive. The thrill of the hunt, rising at three AM to get the best spots on the lake, hunkering down in storms, training dogs, working dogs, outwitting birds, honing his hunting skills, bringing home birds to his widowed mother who appreciated the food that he provided for the family. This was his life. For his birthday or any other event that normally would be marked with a gift Gary's wish was always the same - no birthday cake - roast duck was his favorite food. No party - a hunting trip was far more appealing.
Gary Moss started drawing and painting waterfowl, ducks specifically, from early childhood. " The first thing I remember drawing was the head of a Canvasback." Ducks fascinated him and he sought out any pictures he could - to learn how to draw and identify them in all of their variations . Much anticipated were the annual "Crossroads of Sports" catalog, "Richard Bishop's Calendar", "Outdoor Life" and "Sport's Afield" magazines, plus many, many trips to the Minnneapolis public library searching for books on duck hunting. By age eleven his school teacher, impressed with his talent, encouraged his parents to nurture his artistic ability. In high school he was able to meet and visit Lee Jaques. Les Kouba was also gracious enough on many Saturdays to critique his art work, and eventually showed some of his work in his gallery.
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design, BFA 1968. Much to the consternation of his instructors he continued to paint and draw ducks.
- Atelier 63, Harlem, Holland. Studio painting, print making. 1966-1967.
After graduating from MCAD Gary was drafted into the Marines and was commissioned as a Combat Artist in Vietnam. In 1970, he was selected as USMC Combat Artist of the Year.
After being discharged Gary spent a few years as an Art Director at both Brown & Bigelow and 3M. In 1976 he returned to Minneapolis and devoted all of his time wildlife art. In 1978 he moved to Cambridge, Minnesota, where he currently resides.
"From the 1970's I have been incredibly fortunate to spend my life doing what I love most - hunting and painting."
Gary Moss' work has been, and still is to this day, a reflection of his love and experiences with wildlife. Over the last thirty years his artwork has been featured frequently by many Minnesotan and National conservation groups.
AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS partial list:
1970 USMC Combat Artist of the Year
1982 Best of Show- Wildlife and Western Art, Minneapolis, MN
1976-1980s- Federal Duck Stamp Comp.; open competition, top ten 6+ times
1983 Minnesota Duck Stamp, open competition
1986 Minnesota Trout Stamp, open competition
1984 Texas Duck Stamp, “Whitefronted Geese”, commissioned
ART FOR CONSERVATION GROUPS
Ducks Unlimited, Memphis, TN, National Print Package, invitational juried
1991, “Trumpeter Swans”, special print for Sponsor events
1992, “Morning Mallards”, Mallards
2000, “As Good As Home”, Mallards
Friends of National Rifle Assn., Fairfax, VA, limited invitational or commissioned
2000, “Maybe Another Day”, Sponsor Print
2001, “Hesitant Harem”, Elk; Sponsor Print
2002, “On the Wind”, Grizzly Bear
National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC commissioned
1990, “Prairie Pintails, Pintails
Ruffed Grouse Society, Coriapolus, PA
*All the pieces done for this group are commissioned or selected by RGS
1984; Stamp Print series, Ruffed Grouse; commissioned
1992; ”After the Hunt”, Woodcock
1989; “Chance to Double”, Ruffed Grouse; Sponsor Print; commissioned
1990, “Chance to Double”, Woodcock; Sponsor print; commissioned
1994; “On Alert”, Ruffed Grouse