Mehl Lawson Public Sculpture Art Challenge

WR This Cats Smart at the foundry

WR This Cats Smart at Heritage Foundry, ready for the patina.


The Bonita Museum & Cultural Center (BMCC) invites you to accept the Mehl Lawson Public Sculpture Art Challenge.  The BMCC was awarded $25,000 by the San Diego County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.  Help us match this amount to erect a Mehl Lawson sculpture that will welcome visitors to the museum.

A 7-foot-tall life-size bronze sculpture of  WR This Cats Smart will become an icon and landmark in San Diego.


Click here to donate.  Donors will be invited to the unveiling of this historic event.

Scott Scott, Mehl and Mike at the groundbreaking for the sculpture base.

Construction update: Groundbreaking in December to build the base, path and lighting for the sculpture.  Anticipated unveiling of the completed sculpture in Spring of 2021.


Significant donors starting at $2500 will be commemorated on a distinguished plaque at the base of the horse.  As an 

appreciation, these donors will also receive a small horse sculpture that is limited/signed by artist Mehl Lawson.


Please contact BMCC Executive Director Wendy Wilson-Gibson at 619.267.5141 or for more information.


Art and Catherine Nicholas, County of San Diego,
Bonita Valley Horsemen, Susan Heavilin,
Dante and Edna Consing Concepcion, Patti and Jeff McKelvey,
Roy and Nimpa Akana, David and Jill Badger,
Vicente and Bea Bianes Family, David and Suellen Butler,
John and Stephanie Garcia, Tom and Jo Hazard,
Kenneth and Gail Ivary, Mehl and Martha Lawson,
Lee and Dottie Machado, David and Annie Malcolm,
The Optimist Club of Bonita, Robert and Barbara Scott,
Bette and Harvey Souza, Tony and Judy Tieber
Edward & Josephine Buchanan, Ramon and Roxie Castanares, Jon Miller,
Sweetwater Womans Club, Richard and Jean Yokley, Constance Mastorakos Ralph, Bud & Sandra Wilson, William Osborne and Shirley Horton,
Dan Stanford, Mike Clowers, Corinne and David Hollings,
Judy and Jeffrey Schaeffer, Fran & Alan Cornell, Carolynn Gibbs,
Yvonne and Bill Snyder, Anja & Johannes Lasthaus, Mike and Cindy Cohen, Mary Jane Pye, Leroy and Carol Hammond, Linda Allen, Greg and Jennifer Wilson, Sharon Lawson, Gary & Elizabeth Piazzoni, Ralph & Gwen Carrier, Dave & Phyllis Snyder, Diana Stephens Holman, Susan Krzywicki, Laurie and Durrett Dodson Family, Anja Helene Sanchez-Lasthaus



Mehl Lawson is an artist in three mediums: sculpture, braiding and horses. He is an heir to the proud vaquero tradition of Old California, a dedicated disciple of the refined, subtle elegance of the Santa Barbara style that inspired the creative spirits of such men as Ed Borein and Luis Ortega.

There is the same kind of magic in the hands that shape the sculptor’s clay as there is in the hands that hold the reins of a spade-bit horse. Mehl is accomplished in both venues and brings to each a concentrated focus that produces horseback memories and sculptural images of pure grace and beauty.

Mehl excels at depicting the devotion between man and his horse, and his sculptures capture the spirit of the Western buckaroo—the working men of the great California and Nevada ranches. He is happy to combine the world of horses with that of fine art, and his rawhide braiding artistry.

Mehl has been a member of the Cowboy Artists of America since 1982 and has received numerous Gold and Silver Medals and Best of Show Awards at the

Cowboy Artists of America show. He has been presented the Remington Award and the Express Ranches Great American Cowboy Award at the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Mehl was honored with the Thomas Moran Gold Medal in 1998 at the Masters of the American West show at the Autry National Center. In 2001, Mehl became a member of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association as a braider of rawhide gear. He was named Braider of the Year in 2008 by the Academy of Western Artists.

Mehl is the only member of both the Cowboy Artists of America and the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association exhibiting in the 2011 Cowboy Crossings show.

Mehl and his wife, Martha, reside in Bonita, California.


Board Member Johnny Garcia with the construction banner. Thank you to Minuteman Press in Chula Vista for the banner printing.