John Gawne was a successful options trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange when, in the early 1990s, his sketches and pencil drawings brought him to the attention of collectors and Western artists, such as Joe Beeler, who encouraged Gawne to pursue an artistic career. Gawne soon quit the financial world, devoted himself full-time to art, and today his work is represented by some of the most prestigious galleries in the nation.

In explaining his passion for the West and the out-of-doors, the artist says “a river runs through it.” He is referring to a fourth-generation Gawne family retreat on the Fox River – a “sacred place” located roughly 50 miles southwest from his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois. This is where Gawne spent boyhood summers roaming the wilderness, and where his children are now making their own discoveries.The dead-end road to this secluded neck of the woods is Gawne Lane, the only name it has ever had. It was a lengthy driving trip out West, after Gawne graduated from Notre Dame, that first stimulated his special interest in Native American cultures. Today he still drives to the West, several times each year, for new source material and inspiration.


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