Frank Entsminger is not only a sculptor in wildlife, he also has been a long time sculptor in taxidermy. For years, he has sculpted many forms for his taxidermy work when he began working as a taxidermist in the early '60's. Frank's love of wildlife & the natural environment they live along with his passion for the outdoors began as a child in Montana. At age five, he was intrigued at the beauty of the ducks while hunting with his dad & step-dad. This began his interest in taxidermy. Before he was ten year old, he collected, skinned, & mounted mice. In his early high school years, he worked at the taxidermy shop in Great Falls Sporting Goods making forms developing into do the taxidermy himself.
Frank graduated from high school in 1962. The day after high school graduation, Frank & two classmates, Sandy Jamieson & Marty Rinio ventured to Alaska where all three remain to this day. Frank has roamed the entire state hunting, studying & photographing wildlife ever since. Frank spends months each year in Alaska's vast wilderness. His natural talent seeing an animal's anatomy & study of their movements brings life to his art. His first 15 years in Alaska were spent in the Fairbanks area where he operated a taxidermy business with his partner, Marty Rinio. Summer of 1967, he spent four months in the Brooks Range trekking over a 50 miles radius from base camp to photograph wildlife while living off the wildlife and food flown in.
1973, Frank met his wife, Sue. They share a deep passion for wildlife and wilderness which prompted the young couple to move in 1976 to Frank's cabin in a remote area 50 miles south of Delta deep in the Alaska Range. Only 7 months later the home was destroyed by fire. Frank told Sue of all the places in Alaska he had been, he wanted to live in the Mentasta Mountains because a 40 inch ram was brought to his taxidermy shop that was hit by a vehicle. He told Sue, "if they hit 40" rams on the road that is where he wanted to live." Less than 5 months later, they made their home in the remote area of the Alaska Range. In the wilderness mountain setting, Frank has close access to the animals he sculpts. The couple hold the deepest respect for the wildlife, land, environment, & people, their Alaska native neighbors in Mentasta village. Katie John, their dear friend & adopted family live there.
Frank constantly found himself afield with his spotting scope hiking the mountains observing and photographing wildlife. Frank's trained eye focuses on the animal's anatomy & motion. Early on, Frank sculpted three-dimensional ideas in clay for his life-size taxidermy work. Frank later was encouraged by his friend, Joe Halko, a renowned bronze artist in Montana, to cast his conceptual miniatures into bronze. Frank continued his taxidermy until the tragedy of losing their first remote home to fire, leaving Frank's hands severely burned.
Frank Entsminger, Alaskan wildlife artist, sculptor, & taxidermist, has lived and studied Alaska's wildlife over five decades bringing an unprecedented perception of depth to his art. Frank's realistic true life sculptures demonstrates the work of one who deeply understands wildlife.
Phone (907)632-5315 Home (907)883-2833
Unable to use his hands for two months before the bandages came off, he began exercising his fingers by sculpting miniature waxes. Fate has a way of opening new doors that changes your life in a new direction.
Frank's countless hours spent in the field researching, observing, and photographing more than equals his hours in his studio transferring his knowledge, talents, and love of wildlife to each sculpture. When you see his work, you will understand the value of all this background work.
Frank's wife Sue is also an accomplished Alaska outdoors woman becoming a registered guide assisting her son, Matt Snyder. Frank and Sue together spend days afield each year. In recent years, Frank has traveled to Asia hunting the high mountainous areas of Tajikistan & Mongolia. His interest in mountain dwellers has broadened his wildlife art sculptures to Asian sheep and ibex.
Click here to more information about hunting with Matt Snyder, Frank's step son.
"Meeting of the Heavies" - Marco Polo sheep. 11 X 16 photo taken by Frank Entsminger in Tajikistan in 2000
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Frank Entsminger HC 72 Box 800, Tok Alaska 99780
Phone (907)883-2833 or 2830
Frank Entsminger Biography