Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Artist of the Month – Neil Gray


September 22, 2022

Grace Moore

Neil Gray stands among treasures of the past in his store on Big Horn Avenue.

Moorcroft businessman Neil Gray and wife Dee have been familiar faces in Moorcroft for several years, having opened the doors to their antique store eight years ago. Not all of the items Gray gathers on his travels, though, are on show.

"A lot of times, there are antiques that are just beyond useable so I've got piles and piles of them at home," he says.

Now, others may see only junk, but Gray sees possibilities: "Once in a while, I think of some way to make them useful. The modern day word for it is up-cycle – you take a piece of junk and make it something else. It's not really art, it's just creativity."

Take, for instance, the pitchfork deck chair on display at the Moorcroft Senior Center at the MTC.

"I just looked at a pitchfork and thought it was about the shape of somebody's butt so I might as well make a chair out of it," he says. He assures those interested that this work of creativity is "meant to be used".

Grace Moore

Seeing the practical possiblilities in a couple of old pitchfork tines, Gray created a deck chair - cushions definitely advised.

Another example of this is the chair shelf, of which Gray says, "I had a chair that didn't have enough parts to be repaired so I thought of a way to use it and made a shelf out of it."

Leaving ranching was the best decision he and Dee could have made, Gray says of the change the couple made almost a decade ago.

"We always thought we'd kind like to have a shop, but never really had the opportunity. This store was available so we started an antique store," he says.

"We love it. It's fun going and finding stuff, it's fun dealing with people when they come in the door and it's fun seeing [how] people love the stuff we have."

There are a few of Gray's works of creativity on display at the Moorcroft Senior Center and guests are welcome to drop in any time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to take a look.


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