On May 2, 2016, my nearly 7 foot sculpture of Saint Barbara was unveiled and dedicated at Fort Sill, OK. She now stands at the signature 18th hole of the Fort's golf course. Former Fort Sill Commader, Lt. Gen. David Halverson had commissioned the sculpture which is poised to protect those artillerists under her care. At the dedication, he said the statue is a symbol of the mission and heritage of all artillerymen.
"Eagle Dancer" - Ponca
The pre-historic, or pre-horse, Ponca, lived in what is now Nebraska near the Niobrara River after crossing the Mississippi and moving west. Unlike most Plains tribes, they were agrarian. They were never a large tribe, but were split into 2 groups post-contact: The Nebraska Ponca and the Oklahoma Ponca.
This man is performing the Eagle Dance from the pre-contact era. His deer tail head-piece holds 3 feathers and his arms show the grace and flow of many eagle wing-feathers as he reaches an almost trance-like state during the dance.
14" x 8" x 6"
Edition - 50
Northern Cheyenne Warrior
"Northern Cheyenne Warrior"
The Cheyenne tribe of Native American Indians were amongst what is now the most well-known of plains Indian tribes. Often allying with the Sioux and Arapaho, the Cheyenne tribe originally lived in stationary villages in the eastern parts of the country and occupied much of what is now Minnesota until they migrated to the high plains in the early 1800s. They were divided into the Northern Cheyenne and Southern Cheyenne and ranged from the Missouri River to the Arkansas River. Their language is part of the Algonquian language and is still spoken by many Cheyenne descendants. The name, Cheyenne, comes from the Dakota Sioux name for the Cheyennes, Šahiyenan, which may mean "relatives of the Cree."
18"H x 13"W x 8"D Edition: 25
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Quanah Parker - Comanche
Quanah Parker - Comanche
Quanah Parker was the last free Comanche chief, son of Nocomah and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who was captured by the tribe as a girl and assimilated gladly into the tribe of her future husband. They were incredible raiders; often stealing hundreds of horses and cattle at once. The Texas Rangers were their nemesis and drove them up into the Staked Plains of Texas, where they dared not follow. The band led by Quanah was unstoppable for years. His mother was recaptured by the whites and returned to her family where she died of a broken heart. The Rangers finally drove Quanah and his band to the reservation in Oklahoma where eventually he became a tribal judge.
The scene of this bison family was real, as they walked beside my vehicle while at the National Bison Range in Moeise, MT, which is just north of where I live.
I found it interesting that the one cow had twin calves, which is quite unusual in bison. The calf may have been a twin or a bum calf who she adopted. In any case, passing by free-roaming bison is always a thrill and I share it with you in bronze.
40" x 18" x 13" Edition: 12
This magnificent bull lives on the National Bison Range near Moeise, MT, on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The patchy look in the spring occurs when they shed their winter coat to reveal their lean musculature. These awesome beasts were on the brink of extinction before they were recognized as a national treasure and brought back to impressive numbers on national ranges and private ranches.
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13" x 13" x 8" Edition: 50
Grizzly bears are a native species in Montana. These are the largest carnivores found in the United States. They are actually omnivores and spend the spring through summer months eating vegetation, fruits, insects and meats. This bronze shows a mother and cub...exploring the underside of a creekside log looking for bugs and grubs. Grizzly mothers are incredibly protective of their cubs and are never to be approached. Those who have gotten between a bear and her cub have felt the wrath of those 5" long claws and enormous teeth. Most will avoid human contact.
8" x 9" x 8"
Horse-Head Door Knocker
A high-relief horse-head door knocker is a handsome addition to your front door, tack-room or barn. The patina is usually that of a bay or it can be custom-ordered to match the color/pattern of your favorite steed.
"Saint Barbara - Maquette"
Saint Barbara was a 4th century teen-aged girl in Turkey, it is believed. Her father was a wealthy war-lord or nobleman, according to legend. He did not think anyone who desired to court his daughter was good enough and kept her mostly in seclusion in his home. When he left on a lengthy mission, she was told to stay within the walls. He was building a large bath in a tower for her, which was designed with 2 windows in the stone face. In her loneliness she decided she would like to learn to read. One of the household help said he would help her. She discovered he was a Christian, which was heresy in Turkey at that time. She asked about it and he explained his beliefs. She decided to embrace Christianity and to show her commitment, told the workers to add a third window to signify the Trinity. When her father returned, he asked about the change and she declared her new-found faith. He took her to the magistrates who pronounced the death sentence on her. Her father said he would kill her publicly himself, lest he be thought a heretic, as well. As he beheaded her with his sword and proudly held her head up for all to see, he was stricken by lightning. Thus Saint Barbara became the Protector saint for those who work with explosives: miners, artillerymen, firemen and, oddly enough, mathematicians. She also protects architects.
This maquette for the Saint Barbara monument at Fort Sill is now available.
It measures 15.5"H x 8"W x 5"D on a 1.5" Walnut Base (17"H)
Saint Barbara Saint Barbara, the protector and patron saint of artillerymen, was the subject of a competition in 2009. As the winner of this competition, Bolen created this image of St. Barbara, This monument was installed and dedicated in the Vernor Auditorium at Fort Sill, OK, in June of 2010 for the 100th Anniversary of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment. Mari is proud to be able to contribute her talents in support of the troops of the 30th. She is grateful for their service and dedication to duty. The monument with pedestal is 7' high.
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Saint Barbara Monument
"Crow Warrior"-click picture for more images
The Crow are of the Siouan linguistic group. In the pre-horse era they lived in harmony with the Hidatsa on the upper Missouri River. After a split in relations, the Crow, who called themselves Absaroke (Bird People), moved west to Central Montana. They were deeply religious and had ceremonies for all aspects of tribal life. Their gentleness in child-rearing and respect for elders did not diminish their prowess as warriors.
The Crow warrior depicted is a post-horse brave dated circa 1800-1850. His forelock is slick with bear grease and combed straight up. Crow men were noted for their extremely long hair. Often they would plait and grease it, then attach colored sap balls down the length of the hair.
Size: 22" x 13" x 12"
The Salish Nation, which is now part of the Salish-Kootenai Confederation, is located in western Montana and encompasses a large portion of Flathead Lake and all of the National Bison Range in Moeise. Their language group, Salishan, is widely used by many tribes. They have a written language using a beautiful alphabet. They were called the Flathead Indians despite the fact that they never did have flat heads. They were thought of as expert canoemen, trappers and fishermen. They were cut off from the plains buffalo by their neighbors, the Blackfeet, so they used the abundant waters of western Montana as their food source.
First To Serve
Mari was commissioned by the State of Montana to create a monument for the Montana National Guard 1-163rd Armory in Belgrade. The bronze is a portrayal of a Gulf Era soldier and is 48" x26" x 24". "I've depicted this soldier moving and searching out the invisible enemy the insurgents have become. The face of my soldier depicts a concentrated gaze based on strength and leadership. The image I've created shows the strain of this type of war, where you see no enemy because he does not wear a uniform as they did in both world wars. My soldier holds back his buddies with his left hand because he is a leader. He will peer into buildings, deserted streets or the desert night first. He shows strength, intelligence and diligence in this conflict." - Mari Bolen Inqiuries regarding purchase of the 12" tall bronze of this sculpture sculpture may be addressed to Mari at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Council Staff" - Crow - (click picture for more images)
"Council Staff" - Crow Warrior
A Crow society member proudly carries the society staff aloft as he reins in his horse. Each tribe had several societies or councils within the group. These societies elected a member to carry their staff or symbol...a proud position.
20" x 20" x 8"
Edition - 50
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"The Horse Of Kings"
Andalusian horses are one of the greatest ancient breeds. Called Spanish Horses by some, they originated in the Iberian Peninsula in the region of Andalusia. Though Andalusian horses were well spread in other regions as well, the breed was named after this very province. The Romans and Greek valued this breed greatly. The Andalusian Horse was used as a warhorse, which is confirmed by ancient carvings and other sources. In fact, some paintings depicting the Andalusian horse are dated as being 20,000 years old. Even today, one cannot but admire the breed's beauty, intelligence, and courage.