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About the Owner

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Gallery owners Phil and Tonna Berkebile, Gallery director Richard Hunter, and sculptor T.D. Kelsey at the Cowboy Artists of America Cowboy Crossings Exhibition in Oklahoma City. www.ownbeyphotography.com

Phil Berkebile, Jr. opened the Great American West Gallery in 2011 with the primary objectives of showcasing American Western Fine Art, providing professional services to established Western art collectors, and introducing and promoting the very best contemporary and historic Western artists and their works to new audiences. Born in Kansas and growing up in the storied railroad cow towns of Wichita, Dodge City and Abilene, the Western culture has always been part of Phil's life. After graduating with a business degree from the University of Nebraska, Phil moved to Dallas to begin his professional career which culminated in the founding of the business information and technology company Austin-Tetra. In October 2006, Phil sold Austin-Tetra to Atlanta-based Equifax, a FORTUNE 1000 company.

Since retiring after the sale of his company, Phil has focused on his family and his varied investments. Still with a passion for the Old West and a desire to start and grow new businesses, Phil founded and opened the Great American West Gallery to fill a void in the Texas marketplace for a Gallery dedicated solely to American Western Fine Art.

Phil hopes that in some way, the Great American West Gallery will help to Preserve the Legacy of the American West through the visions, interpretations and skillful works of the very best Western painters and sculptors in the world.

About the Gallery Director

Richard Hunter joined the Great American West Gallery as Director and has undertaken the role to manage and lead the Gallery's day-to-day operations. Richard brings with him a wealth of professional experience, education, and a passion for Fine Western Art. Born and raised in Dallas, Richard received his Bachelors degree in History and Religion from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and his masters degree in Museum Science from Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Richard began his fine art career at the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas which is nationally renowned for its extensive collection of Western American Art from the 1850s - 1950s. At the Stark Museum, Richard served as the Collections Manager, Registrar and Curator of Exhibits for ten years. Richard left the Stark Museum in 2007 after being hired by the legendary Western art dealer Bill Burford at the Texas Art Gallery in Dallas where he served as a Sales Consultant. Richard left the Texas Art Gallery after Bill's passing and the subsequent closing of the Gallery in 2009.

Richard was selected to be the Great American West Gallery's Director by owner Phil Berkebile because of his education, his professional Western museum and fine art gallery experience, and his extensive knowledge of historic and contemporary Western artists and American Western Fine Art.