Gib Singleton, born Gilbert Jerome Singleton in Kennett, Missouri in 1936, defied all odds to become a preeminent sculptor, renowned for his masterful works with Western and Biblical themes.
From humble beginnings as a sharecropper's son, he exhibited artistic talent from an early age, winning a blue ribbon for his art at just nine years old. Despite financial constraints, Singleton's determination led him to create sculptures from mud and straw, sketch Christ figures on paper sacks, and even construct his own foundry at the age of 16. He embarked on a remarkable journey of self-discovery, serving in the U.S. Army, putting himself through college, and earning scholarships to prestigious institutions like the Art Institute of Chicago. A Fulbright Scholarship brought him to Florence, Italy, where he assisted in restoring Renaissance art and worked at the Vatican Workshop on the Pieta's restoration.
Gib Singleton's artistic vision, termed "Emotional Realism," began to take shape, ultimately leading him to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he pursued both Western and devotional art. His renowned "bowed cross" featured prominently in many of his works and gained recognition worldwide, even adorning the crosier of multiple popes.
Throughout his illustrious career, Singleton's dedication to his craft never wavered, with his daughter Shelly becoming a notable collaborator. His contributions prompted the creation of the Singleton-Biss Museum of Fine Art in Santa Fe, which celebrated contemporary American visual artists. Gib Singleton's enduring legacy lives on, a testament to his unwavering pursuit of artistic excellence and his belief in the power of art to touch the human soul. He passed away on February 28, 2014, leaving behind a rich artistic heritage and a profound impact on the art world.