“Spirit Shaman”

by: Gene & Rebecca Tobey


Spirit Shaman is my first major bronze sculpted after Gene’s death. It is an enlargement of our Solstice eagle, released in 2005, which Gene had planned to sculpt himself. My stepson, Josh, helped me with the enlargement, as he had done on our last several monuments. It is an eagle turning in the air with its uppermost wing cocked on an air current.

As I readied myself to compose the drawings on the piece without Gene’s interaction, I awoke one night after having had a powerful dream about Gene…I composed a story about Gene, and I drew it onto the piece.

I have heard countless stories about people in near-death experiences who describe walking toward a light, and I wanted to express that. Thus I drew an eagle catcher with a man holding onto the bird as it flies into the light…On the lower wing is a man, Gene, reaching for the light with one hand, while he reaches forward with the other hand. From the middle of the man’s chest emerge two ghost fliers. One represents Gene flying away, and the other, which has its feet on the ground, represents me.

Below that scene are five buffalos representing our five children. Across the bottom is a group of people, representing all of the people in Gene’s life. On the back of the piece is a southwestern dragon filled with people, symbolic of the souls in Gene’s life yet to be born. There is a square life spiral followed by two handprints. The larger hand symbolizes Gene’s hand…Beneath it is my hand. On the base of the piece are two horses and riders representing Gene and me.”

– Rebecca Tobey – Excerpt from “Partners in Art”

Availability: Call to Order (928) 282-1125
Medium: Bronze
Edition Type: Limited
Edition Size: 30
Dimensions: 77.5"H 33"W 22"D
Style: Southwestern
Subject: Birds