Jay Dusard was born in 1937 in St. Louis, MO, and raised on southern Illinois farms. He received a degree in Architecture from the University of Florida in 1961, then spent two years in the U. S. Army. Moving to Arizona in 1963, he worked for a while on a cattle ranch on the Sonora border, beginning his long involvement with the ranching culture.
He began photographing in 1966, and 46 years later is still actively pursuing that art. He taught photography at Prescott College for seven years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this time he worked closely with his mentor, Frederick Sommer. He was awarded a 1981 Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography to make view camera portraits of working cowboys, buckaroos, and vaqueros from Canada to Mexico. 25,000 road miles and visits to some 45 ranches led to the publication of his acclaimed first book, The North American Cowboy: A Portrait.
In 1982 a large selection of Jay’s new cowboy photographs was shown alongside the annual Cowboy Artists of America exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum. In the years since he has become the acknowledged master, in black-and-white, of environmental portraits, landscapes, and abstractions. No longer making gelatin silver prints in his own darkroom, he has concentrated on the making of monumental-size prints in collaboration with Carlos Mandelaveitia of Tru-Res in Scottsdale. A suite of eighteen monumental cowboy portraits and panoramic landscapes was exhibited at the Booth Museum of Western Art. Nine prints ranging in size from 4×5 feet to 4×8 feet filled the main art gallery at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in 2009.
At the 2011 West Select show his 5 x 6.5 foot Abandoned Railroad Coach Car, Rodeo, NM received the Gold Award for Works on Paper. Image Number 2 of the edition of 3 is now in the permanent collection of the Phoenix Art Museum
Jay and his wife, Kathie, live near Douglas, AZ, where between trips to photograph and teach workshops, he finds time to punch cows and play jazz cornet.
Cattle Track Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
Etherton Gallery, Tucson, AZ
Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Paul Paletti Gallery, Lexington, KY