Recently, the lanky, soft spoken contractor from Globe, was invited to join the Western Artists of America and showcase his work at the Seventh Annual Western Artists show in Corsicana, Texas in January.
Admission to W.A.A. is by invitation only and the show contained forty of the top Western Artists in the nation working in a variety of mediums from oils to bronze sculpture.
Harmon took the Gold in his category, with his bronze sculpture titled, Switchback, and his booth, featuring over a dozen pieces, also won the Best Presentation Award.
Not bad for a guy who grew up cowboy’n and started sculpting just eight years ago.
Harmon, who grew up around here, worked for uncles in Tonto Basin and Mammoth before moving just outside of Magdalena, New Mexico where he married and started raising 2 boys. At the time, he says he kinda wanted to be a veterinarian but ended up as a medic instead and was sent to Korea during the Viet Nam war.
When he got out, he went to work for some large ranches laying in watering holes for cattle, and later came back to Globe where he helped to dismantle the old Sleeping Beauty mine. He eventually got his contractors license and has been building and remodeling homes in the Globe area with his main focus for the last several years being on the historic Chrysocolla Inn which is slated to open the end of May.
Through it all he has dabbled in artistic pursuits as time would allow; whittling wood pieces, doing pencil sketches, trying his hand at oil painting and fabricating custom spurs. But it wasn’t until eight years ago when he picked up sculpting that all his life experiences and artistic pursuits seemed to dovetail into…the perfect groove.
It was 2003 when he took his first sculpting class and learned how to build armatures (a framework on which to mold the clay) and from there he was hooked on clay. His very first piece, Burnin’ Daylight has won several awards and depicts a cowboy headed out to saddle up. From the sweat hardened blanket to the minute details on the bridle, spurs and chaps, Harmon depicts a life he knows intimately.
Burnin’ Daylight shows a cowboy headed out to saddle up
Harmon’s knowledge of his subject is very much on display in his work, Switchback which shows two cowboys attempting to navigate a steep switchback while bringing in a wild range cow. From the facial expressions of both man and animal, to the precarious position of all three, Harmon conveys an authenticity which marks all of his works.
With his recent successes at shows and induction into the Western Artists of America, demand for his sculptures is rising and Harmon is looking forward to wrapping up his work on the Chrysocolla Inn this Spring and turning his focus full time to sculpting.
Note:This article was featured in the Spring 2011 edition of Globe Miami Times