Tolley Marney

Tolley Marney is a lifelong agricultural worker in animal husbandry, working as a wrangler, horse trainer and horseshoer (farrier). Blacksmithing, an integral part of horse shoeing, inspired Tolley to create steel sculpture using the tools of his trade, transforming recycled metals and other materials into figurative sculptures reflecting his experiences.

Education: As a child in the 1960s and 1970s, Tolley’s dyslexia and attendant speech problems led to a mis-diagnosis titled (at the time), mental retardation. Consequently, Tolley was shifted into classes for the mentally disabled and subsequently, under-educated. His resulting functional illiteracy and lack of family support left him scrambling to support himself financially upon high school graduation. The FFA (Future Farmers of America) program in high school gave him enough of a skill set in the agricultural world to support himself. As his ability to survive became skills that allowed him to thrive, his childhood love of art surfaced as sculptures he created with his developing blacksmithing skills. An entirely self-taught artist, Tolley has been creating sculptures for over 30 years.

Professional Experience:

  1. Galleries
    • Gallery 5380, Truckee, California. Sculptures exhibited 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.
    • North by Northwest Gallery, Cannon Beach, Oregon. Sculptures exhibited 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. Gallery closed due to Covid 19.
    • The Grand, Jackson, Wyoming, Sculptures exhibited, 2016, 2018, 2019. Gallery closed due to economic factors.
  2. Awards
    • Southwest Art Magazine, March 2017, “Best and More Artist 2017”. Prize included 1/2 page free advertisement, magazine interview and glass sculpture award.
    • Palm Springs Art Show, Feb. 2012, Palm Springs, CA. “Commissioner’s Choice” prize.
    • New Jersey Equine Art Expo, New Jersey 2003. Awarded 1st place in Sculpture.

Artistic Discipline: 
Sculpture in steel, clay and wood
Disability type: 
Learning disability
53880 Avenida Mendoza, La Quinta, CA 92253
(760) 668-0809