In his expressive artwork, George Carlson reaches into the soul of his subject and translates the power or meekness he finds onto paper, into clay, and, ultimately, into bronze. He was a guest artist for the National Academy of Western Art exhibition in 1974, returning in 1975 to win the Prix de West Purchase Award for his bronze Courtship Flight. In 1989, he won the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, voted on by his peers, and has designed the Prix de West collector’s bolo twice.
Carlson is frequently commissioned for both private and corporate works. In 1994, he was commissioned by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, to create a bust of artist Bob Kuhn.
He has received numerous awards, including the 1996 Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 2015, Carlson and fellow artist Dean Mitchell tied for the Robert Lougheed Memorial Award — the sixth consecutive year Carlson was awarded the prize. In 2011, he received the Prix de West Purchase Award for his painting Umatilla Rock, making him the only artist to win the Purchase Award in both sculpture and painting.
In 2017, he received the Gene Autry Memorial Award and the Artists’ Choice Award at the Autry Museum’s Masters of the American West. This year, the Autry awarded him the Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Painting and the Artists’ Choice Award.