About Peter M. Fillerup & Wild West Designs
Peter McNiven Fillerup grew up in Cody, Wyoming, spending summers on the family ranch located half way between Cody and Yellowstone Park. Here, Fillerup’s imaginationwas free to roam and explore, encouraged by his painter father, Mel Fillerup. Provided with horses, a fridge full of food and sketchbooks, Fillerup and his six siblings, often drew pictures of their rambling adventures. Fillerup recalls his father presenting him with a brick of sculpting clay he’d picked up in his travels. For the young boy it was the beginning of a life long passion.
Growing up in the heart of the west, Fillerup’s interest in the rough and tumble life on the frontier is evident in the subjects he choses to portray. A love of history and heritage are also common themes in his work. Fillerup studied at Brigham Young University on an Art Scholarship and later apprenticed with Dr. Avard Fairbanks, one of America’s foremost sculptors. While working for Fairbanks, Fillerup assisted in sculpting two heroic size sculptures, and traveled to Cararra, Italy where he studied marble carving and the process of enlarging.
During Fillerup’s career that spans over three decades, he has been the recipient of numerous art awards which include several gold medals from the American Indian and Cowboy Artist Show; Best of Show from the Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Peoples’ Choice Award at the Buffalo Bill Art Show in Cody, Wyoming. Fillerup’s sculptures grace many private as well as public collections across the country and include more recently, “Fanning a Twister-Steamboat” for the University of Wyoming, Laramie, the “Olympic Snowflake” for the 2002 Olympics in Soldier Hollow, Utah, “Two Eskimo Boys” in Nome, Alaska, the “Park City Skier,” Park City, Utah and “Bill Cody- Hard and Fast All the Way” in Cody, Wyoming.
Nearly twenty years ago friend and fellow artisan, Jimmy Covert approached Fillerup to lend a hand sculpting bronze inserts for a desk he was making. What began as an artistic diversion soon blossomed into a full time business that nearly eclipsed the traditional sculptures Fillerup was known for. Fillerup hired a crew and broadened his expertise making bronze light fixtures, furniture, sconces and hardware. Fillerup became immersed in designing architectural elements for unique homes and had the opportunity to work with R.M. Stern in New York and other premier architects across the nation. In the years that followed, Fillerup’s chandeliers and stained glass work have been featured in such magazines as: Architectural Digest, Cowboys and Indians, Luxury Living, Utah Homes and Gardens, Log Home Living and Art and Antiques. Some of the locations where Fillerup’s architectural designs can be found include the Wyoming Governors Mansion, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Maroon Creek Country Club in Aspen, Colorado; Montana Grille, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Pinto Ranch, Houston, Texas and Philmont Scout Ranch Chapel, Cimarron, New Mexico. For his architectural work, Fillerup holds several “Award of Excellence” honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects.