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Featured Artist

Phillip Payne

Legend of the Spanish Mustang

While visiting Ruidoso, New Mexico a number of years back I stumbled across one of the most prestigious art galleries I had ever had the privilege of adventuring into…….

​When entering The Adobe Fine Art Gallery and glancing at the various forms of art majestically displayed on pedestals and hanging from the walls, you could feel the warmth of the light as it elegantly bathed each piece of creative intrigue with precision. The skill of the craftsmanship and quality of creative talent on display shouted “buy me” from every corner of the gallery.

I was immediately greeted and offered a cup of imported hot coffee. Since I drink my coffee in a manly fashion, black, no cream or sugar, I was offered a more enticing and inebriating additive to enjoy in my coffee while I perused the vast array of artwork.

Legend of the Spanish Mustang
Phillip Payne

The young man, Phillip Payne, enthusiastically began our exploration into the world of bronze sculptures that allured my wife and I to enter The Adobe Gallery. He intriguingly told “the story” and the historical significance behind every fabulous work of art we viewed with the passion of a master story teller. He made you feel as if you yourself had stepped on the accelerator of that infamous shimmering stainless steel Delorian, and were catapulted “back in time” to a day when the wild west was first beginning.

You could tell by his impressive presentation the fine craftsmanship was not only part of his story and soul, but was indeed part of his heritage also! If you have ever traveled to Cabella’s in Fort Worth you could not have missed the magnificent presence of the almost twenty foot tall bronze sculpture in front of the store. It was created by Ken Payne, Phillip’s father and mentor, and one of Phillip’s brothers. Phillip’s first sculpture he sold, one of several pieces of his collection in which we are blessed to own, “The Legend of the Spanish Mustang”, he created at the young age of 15 years old.


Phillip has continued to display fabulous growth and potential as a nationally known bronze sculptor by the numerous works of art he has meticulously created since “The Legend of the Spanish Mustang”. Undoubtedly his masterpieces are a valuable investment in the arts, a value only excelled by getting to know and become friends with this inspirational young man and sculptor! If you have an interest in Phillip or would like to view some of his work in person, please feel free to contact me at my office. You can also follow the links below to Phillip’s website to see more of his creativity talent. I have placed copy of his bio below.


In closing, Phillip thanks for all the joy your artistic creativity and talents bring me on a daily basis, but more than that, thanks for being a genuine friend and incredible inspiration to me!


Gary R. Gravley


Phillip Payne

Phillip Payne was born in Durango, Colorado on April 27, 1987. Soon after his parents and his brother Ben moved to Sedona, Arizona where his father Ken Payne opened Mountain Trails Gallery. Phillip was constantly around art and artists for those first nine years of his life. At the age of nine his family made another move to Chinle, Arizona, the Heart of the Navajo Reservation.

In Chinle Phillip alternated between public schooling and home schooling. His family would also travel as much as possible to study other artists. Phillip finished his first piece, named Legend of the Spanish Mustang, at the age of fifteen then continued his schooling in Tsaile, Arizona where he furthered his education about the Navajo culture and the arts. Shortly before he turned 18 his family moved to Ruidoso, New Mexico where they still reside.

Phillip has many goals as a young artist. One of which will be to tell the story of the Navajo people in bronze. More than that however, his goal is to reach the heart of people, to create art that he and others can relate to. Phillip studies closely under his father Ken Payne and works with other artists such as Ken Rowe as he creates pieces of personal and historical significance.

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