Growing up in Colorado, Janel Maher dreamed of horses in her youth. She recalls “Drawing and painting as a child set the stage for my aspiration to become an artist and I was always fascinated with animals, horses in particular.” Janel’s husband, renowned producer/songwriter Brent Maher, bought Janel her first horse while living in Las Vegas in 1968 and that set the stage for a lifelong pursuit of capturing the heart and soul of the horse, whether it is in a painting or in bronze.
Many of Janel’s sculptures are inspired by her own horses or poetry of songs brought to life as seen in Catch a Good Tailwind, inspired by singer-songwriter Kevin Welch or the defiance of No 8 Second Ride and the nobility of her warrior steed Dragon Slayer, both inspired by the poems of Will Ogilvie. “I want the viewer not to see cold metal, but a subject that breathes life.”
Janel’s passion for portraying an individual horse’s character and conformation is evident in her commissioned pieces that range from sculptures of National Champions, such as the Arabian stallion Nabiel, to the life-size at Thoroughbred Motor Cars, Chariot of Fire, on display in Nashville, TN.
Janel’s sculpture Cheval won the prestigious Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award for best realistic sculptor at the American Women Artists juried competition in 2013.
Janel’s limited-edition bronze sculptors can be found among collections throughout the United States, Europe and South America. In describing Janel’s “Ponies Before The Storm,” one collector says, “Horses run through Janel Maher’s hands…and she stops them in bronze so we can touch them.”