About the Artist: Richard Wright

My background has been in photography, particularly newspaper photography. I was born and raised in Lincoln, but have lived in Chicago, Dallas and Cheyenne, Wyoming. I have a Master's degree in Journalism.

I love the outdoors. I hunt, fish, camp, bike and work a 5,000 square foot garden during the season.

I volunteer with Sunrise Equitheraphy helping people with disabilities using horses to provide equine assisted activities and therapy in a non-clinical setting for individuals of all ages with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities. I also volunteer with Fontenelle Forest's Raptor Recovery helping rescue, rehab and release owls, eagles hawks and other raptors. I thoroughly enjoy working with the birds.

Artwork Interpretation: "The Prairie's Littlest Tough Guy, The Burrowing Owl"

With Prairie as the theme, I was inspired by my work with Fontenelle Forest's Raptor Recovery, helping rescue, rehab and release Eagles, Owls and Hawks. So, my theme is Owls. Raptors are, to me, the most beautiful birds in the world. They also play a huge role in our ecosystems.

The main focus of my barrel is a Burrowing Owl, which is a ground dweller, taking over uninhabited Prairie Dog burrows. They are a wonder to watch. In the background the prairie drifts off endlessly (if you've ever spent time out in the Sandhills of Nebraska, you know what I mean).

On the back side of the barrel is a Great Horned Owl, the top of the food chain for owls. TO hear one flying is amazing, since they make no noise as they float by in the sky. To have had the privilege to actually hold, and release, these magnificent birds has been a pleasure. And, one I wanted to show in my barrel.

Using recycled paints from Eco-Stores Nebraska, I decided to make this barrel as "green" as a plastic barrel could be.