Alaska’s Premier Wildlife Sculptor, Frank Entsminger, has studied wildlife in the Alaska wilderness for OVER FIVE DECADES bringing an unparalleled depth to his art. These true-to-life bronzes could only be the work of one who deeply understands wildlife.
Frank Entsminger is a sculptor in taxidermy and wildlife art. Frank’s love of nature and the outdoors began as a child in Montana. At a very young age, he collected mice to skin and mount and then make wildlife scenes in a shoe box. Later, he worked as a taxidermist for Great Falls Sporting Goods in his early high school years.
Just out of high school in 1962, Frank ventured to Alaska. Since then, he has roamed Alaska’s vast wilderness both as a hunter and student of wildlife anatomy. His first 15 years in Alaska were spent in the Fairbanks area operating his taxidermy business. A deep passion for wildlife and wilderness prompted Frank and his wife Sue to move to the Mentasta Mountains south of Tok. They have an abiding interest in the land, wildlife and their Alaska native neighbors.
In the midst of this wilderness setting, Frank is frequently afield with his spotting scope hiking the mountains observing and photographing sheep, moose, caribou, bears, waterfowl, small birds and mammals. Frank’s trained eye focuses not only on their beauty, but also the animal’s anatomy along with their movements. Frank uses these life experiences to create clay three-dimensional ideas for his life-size taxidermy work. He models a miniature sculpture to obtain ideas for his life-size poses. Frank has a definite natural ability in animal anatomy.
Years ago, many people recognized his self-taught talent and encouraged him to make the sculptures more permanent. Joe Halko, a friend & renowned bronze artist in Montana suggested to Frank to turn his conceptual sculptures into bronzes. But this did not happen until a tragedy occurred in Frank’s life. In 1976, the Entsmingers lost their home to fire, leaving Frank’s hands severely burned. He was unable to use his hands for two months. After the bandages came off, he began exercising his fingers by sculpting miniature waxes. Fate has a way of changing your life & opening new doors. In 1979, Frank cast his first sculpture bronze.
frankatworkSince his early years as a bronze artist he has collected full skeletons of big-game animals to sculpt the muscles onto the skeleton lending accurate measurements & positioning. He then transforms the knowledge from the finished life-size model to his intended sculpture.
Frank’s countless hours spent in the field researching, observing, and photographing equals the hours in his studio transferring his knowledge, talents, and love of wildlife to each sculpture. When you see his work, you will understand the value of all this background work.
Frank’s wife Sue is also an accomplished Alaska outdoors woman. Frank and Sue spend many days afield each year from their mountain valley home base.
In recent years, Frank has traveled abroad to Asia on several hunting trips for the critters in the high mountainous area of Tajikistan & Mongolia. His interest in high alpine dwellers has broadened his art to Asian sheep and ibex.