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John Houser Artist Bio

Learn more about John Houser, the artist who has dedicated himself to making history come alive in large-scale public sculptures, and who is embroiled in Juan de Oñate sculpture controversy in El Paso.

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John Houser, sculptor and painter, is outstanding among contemporary artists for his versatility, the thoroughness of his training and the depth of his artistic sensibility. He was born in Rapid City, South Dakota where his native talent was honed from infancy in the studio of his father, the sculptor Ivan Houser, who was First Assistant to Gutzon Borglum in the early years of carving Mount Rushmore.

Mr. Houser completed a bronze statue (7' high) of Bishop Alfonso Gallegos, first Hispanic Bishop of Northern California, which was installed in February 1997 in Sacramento, California. The artist has executed portrait busts of many notable personalities including Lic. Francisco Gutiérrez Barrios (Minster of Interior, Republic of México), Jaime Bermúdez (the founder of the maquila industry), Maestro Abraham Chávez (Conductor, El Paso Symphony), José Cisneros (artist/historical illustrator), Tom Lea (artist/author), Arq. José Lizárraga (cultural affairs) and others.

Houser maintains his studio in El Paso, Texas where he is sculptor and project director for the XII Travelers Memorial of the Southwest, the first regional memorial in the United States. On September 26, 1996, Houser installed in downtown El Paso, a 14' monument to Fray García de San Francisco, first in the XII Travelers series.

Source: Official website for the Twelve Travelers Project (no longer online)

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