Who was Jay Contway?
Jay Contway was a man totally involved with his art. It was simply—his life.
Jay was a native Montana artist who raised working quarter horses. He spent time on the rodeo circuit. His knowledge and respect for the working cowboy shows clearly in his art. Appreciation for the history, his own native ancestry, and the people and animals of the west is illustrated in his work.
The horses and the equipment used by Cowboys and Native Americans have changed greatly over the years. Jay considered attention to historical detail very important. He knew first–hand the trappings, saddles, bridles, animals and action that you see in his work.
Jay was born in Malta, in Eastern Montana, and was raised in the ranching area. His ancestry includes Native American, English, and Irish. He attended Northern Montana College in Havre and the College of Great Falls to earn a teaching certificate.
Over the years Jay won numerous awards but the most important recognitions of his career were the inductions into the Calgary Stampede Western Art Show Hall of Fame in 2009, the C.M. Russell Museum Skull Society of Artists 2014 & 2015, the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in 2015, and the Montana Pro-Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame in 2016. His final salute came in September of 2019 when he received the Saddle of Honor Award from the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and the C.M. Russell Museum.
Jay Joseph Contway passed away November 21, 2019 in Great Falls, Montana. Learn more about his legacy here.
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