weather icon Clear

Pahrump sculptor’s work included piece at Bonnie Springs

Thousands of locals and tourists once frequented Bonnie Springs, an attraction about 48 miles southeast of Pahrump which included an 1880s western town replica created by local resident David Squier, desert wildlife sculptor.

The old town and its attractions have since been demolished to make way for an upscale master planned community. Most of the set has been destroyed, including a copper statue that sat proudly for decades with the owners’ faces, Al and Bonnie Levinson, carefully crafted on it.

It was a gift sculpted by Pahrump artist David Squier in the summer of 1994.

“Al’s son came to me and asked me to create a statue with his parents’ faces on it,” said Squier.

According to Squier, Al Levinson was difficult to work with.

“He seemed to tolerate me, so that’s why his son requested I do it,” said Squier.

Squier needed to get multiple photographs of the couple without them knowing. In time, he had enough of both Bonnie and Al to start his project.

Over a period of roughly 18 months Squier recreated the likeness of the Levinsons in the form of a copper and fiberglass statue with a dedication inscribed on the bottom.

The statue sat on a boulder near the bridge to the old town and was several feet wide and several feet high.

“There were two copies, the original, and the artist’s copy — the original was accidentally destroyed by Al’s son after his father passed,” said Squier.

According to Squier, it was an accident that could have been avoided.

Nonetheless, the artist’s copy now sits in Squier’s Pahrump workshop — a garage filled with dozens of steel, copper, rusted metal sculptures depicting everything from wild stallions to mammoth donkeys.

It’s a copy that he would like to see sold or commissioned in another location such as a museum or gallery.

His workspace is likened to that of a mad scientist’s lab, with tools and various contraptions spread all around with his artwork adorning the walls and sitting on the floor. Every bit of free space is occupied by either his art or various tools.

“When I was a teenager I got into a lot of trouble. My mom wanted to send me to military school. Instead of that I talked her into art school at the University of Miami,” said Squier.

This was back in the 1960s. Squier never looked back and has been creating art since then.

His projects take time, anywhere from a couple of weeks to years. And his sculptures are intricately designed, with vivid, lifelike details down to the nails of a sculpted crow.

His artwork has been displayed not only in Bonnie Springs for all those years but also Black Star Winery and Desert Spirit in Pahrump, plus art galleries all over the country.

“We got to work for many wonderful people all over the U.S.,” Squier said. “The other side is going to a compound at 2 a.m. for weeks doing difficult elbow-grease work then wondering if you’ll ever get paid.”

It’s rough being a mom-and-pop business, he said.

Despite having sold much of his artwork, making money has still been a challenge. That’s the essence of an artist’s profession, according to Squier.

“Someone needs to have a full-time paying job,” he said.

His wife, Marylin, has tolerated the up-and-down career Squier has had.

“It’s been an interesting yet difficult life to be married to an artist,” said Marylin.

For custom artwork and wildlife sculptures Squier can be reached at 775-990-8123 or bidproduction07@gmail.com.

Patrick Billings is a freelance writer from Pahrump. Contact him at aregularbillings@gmail.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Meet the 12 contestants competing for the 2023 Miss Pahrump crown — PHOTOS

The Miss Pahrump Pageant will take place Saturday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Saddle West Showroom. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $15 for VIP tickets. To reserve a ticket contact the organization at MissPahrumpPageant@gmail.com.

See the looks from the Soroptomist Spring Fashion Show — PHOTOS

The afternoon was a celebration of all things chic. The stylish affair drew a sold-out crowd to the Sanders Family Winery and helped raised thousands of dollars to support Soroptimist International of the Pahrump Valley.

Pahrump Garden Club tour an excursion for the senses – PHOTOS

The Pahrump Valley Garden Club hosted its 2023 Landscape Tour on Saturday with a strong turnout of approximately 150 patrons. It was declared to be one of the best tours in the club’s history.

How Nye County celebrated Mother Nature at the Earth & Arbor Day Festival — PHOTOS

Taking place on Saturday, April 22, the 2023 Earth and Arbor Day Festival saw a steady stream of visitors throughout the four-hour event, with plenty of interaction between attendees and those manning booths from an array of businesses and organizations.

Cotillion teaching lessons for life to JG Johnson students – PHOTOS

J.G. Johnson Elementary hosted its annual fourth-grade cotillion on Saturday. It wasn’t exactly a ball to “present” affluent young debutantes to society. Rather it was the culmination of months of commitment and sacrifice by 29 students, their parents and devoted volunteers to put the kids on a lifelong path to success.

PAHRUMP EVENTS | What’s going on around town

Pahrump kids and families have so many options this week, and into the summer.For starters, Pahrump’s free outdoor Movies in the Park begins at dusk on Saturday, June 3, and runs each Saturday through Aug. 5 at Ian Deutch Memorial Park.