Several years ago, in recognition of the importance to our nation of the history and heritage of the sport of muzzleloading, the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association began an endowment program entitled “1 of 1000.” The endowment fund’s purpose was to support the long-term financial stability of the Association, perpetually preserving the principal while at the same time generating sufficient interest to be used for the furtherance of the NMLRA’s education goals. The premise was to recruit 1,000 members to each contribute $1,000, thereby funding the program with one million dollars. NMLRA member, Bob Copner, is currently leading the fundraising campaign.
Artist David Wright, an NMLRA Life Member who is well known for his artistic renderings of the American Frontier and early American life, has graciously given of his skills and talents in support of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association’s 1 of 1000 Endowment. He has donated a large, specially commissioned original oil painting entitled “The Spirit of America,” from which limited edition, signed and numbered prints and canvas giclees have been reproduced. States Wright, “Bob and I wanted to depict a subject that would represent the rich heritage and unifying spirit that enabled our forefathers to settle our country. The painting depicts a group of self-reliant settlers as they take the country westward. Each and all, in their indomitable ways, represent the unique spirit that has always characterized the American people. As they faced forthrightly the unknowns, as they stared down life-threatening risk, as they challenged the wilderness frontally, as they heard the hum of arrows, they persevered; they planted their flag. They carried freedom and democratic ideals on their backs and have earned the gratitude of the generations that have followed. They epitomize the spirit of America. It is an honor to create this painting for the 1 of 1000 Endowment, and to be part of this worthy fundraising endeavor. It is my hope that this may help assure the perpetuity of the NMLRA.”
Mr. Wright is an accomplished artist, who received formal professional training with advanced study in Italy. He joined Graystone Press in 1973, and remains with them. He has produced works for many historical sites and not-for-profit organizations, including Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Wilderness Road State Park, the Lincoln County Historical Association, the World’s Fair Arts Pavilion, and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. He has also won many prestigious awards, including the “Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award,” the “Victor Higgins Work of Distinction for Best Individual Work,” and the “Patrons Choice Award.” Wright’s paintings have been featured in numerous television documentaries, and his articles have appeared in journals, magazines, and books. He has served as an historical consultant in several television documentaries, and has served as Art Director for Native Sun Productions.
Wright will relinquish any royalties from the sale of the prints, and has agreed to attend the NMLRA’s National Championship Shoot in Friendship, IN on Sunday, September 13th. He will be on hand at 2:00 p.m. in the Media Room at the Clubhouse to personally sign copies of the prints and giclees which will be made available to the public at that time. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet the artist and purchase a print, or to join the 1 of 1000 Endowment and receive a free print!
For more information on purchasing the “The Spirit of America,” or on joining the 1 of 1000 Endowment program, please visit the NMLRA’s website at www.nmlra.org, or call the NMLRA offices at 1.812.667.5131.